Tottenham vs. Leeds United
Venue: Tottenham Stadium
Kick off: 1:30PM
Tottenham Hotspur will be aiming to kick off the New Year on the right foot when they welcome Leeds United to North London in today’s Premier League encounter.
The visitors trounced West Bromwich Albion 5-0 in midweek, whereas Tottenham’s clash with Fulham was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Cottagers’ camp.
The visit of Fulham would have represented the perfect opportunity for Tottenham to return to winning ways and end the year on a high note, but as was the case with numerous fixtures in midweek, that London derby had to be called off after Fulham reported several coronavirus cases.
On the other hand, Jose Mourinho’s men would have been thankful for a few more days of rest after a gruelling encounter with Wolverhampton Wanderers, in which the Spurs manager set his team up to defend and did not reap the rewards.
Tanguy Ndombele took just 57 seconds to break the deadlock at Molineux last Sunday, but Wolves deservedly levelled through Romain Saiss in the dying embers of the match, and Mourinho once again drew heavy criticism for his perceived negative style of play.
Spurs have since slipped out of the title race amid an underwhelming spell of form, and that draw with Wolves stretched their winless run in the top flight to four matches since a 2-0 North London derby win over Arsenal earlier this month.
Having been neck-and-neck with Liverpool for the majority of the campaign so far, Mourinho’s side now find themselves seven points adrift of the champions, although a place in the top four is still within their reach.
Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion’s rearguard produced a stellar performance to restrict Liverpool to a solitary goal last weekend, but the Baggies defence was breached all too easily by Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.
The Whites struck four times in the first half – with Ezgjan Alioski, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo netting after Romaine Sawyers’s comical own goal – and a delightful strike from Raphinha completed the rout at The Hawthorns on Tuesday evening.
Aside from their narrow 1-0 win over Burnley last weekend, Leeds simply do not do low-scoring affairs, and Bielsa’s talented attacking contingent are sure to fancy their chances against a Spurs side who have become renowned for sitting back.
However, Leeds’ defensive frailties are very much still there – West Brom are the only team to have shipped more goals than the Whites this season – but the 30 strikes that Bielsa’s men have chalked up at the correct end of the field can only be bettered by Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Leeds have risen to 11th in the table after taking nine points from their last four matches, the Whites would leapfrog the capital outfit if they can at least hold Spurs to a draw this afternoon.
Tottenham Hotspur possible XI: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Bergwijn, Ndombele, Son, Kane.
Leeds United possible XI: Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Alioski, Phillips, Raphinha, Rodrigo, Hernandez, Harrison, Bamford.