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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Leeds United v Spurs, 08.05.21

This season's home game - Spurs 3 Leeds 0, 02.01.21
Premier League Matchday 35 - last year
See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full League Record of Spurs -v- Leeds United

Premier         Pl  W  D  L  For- Ag  Pts
Home            13  7  3  3  23 - 13  24
Away            12  2  3  7  11 - 21   9
Total (Premier) 25  9  6 10  34 - 33  33  1.32 Pts per game
Football Lge
Home (Div 1)    28 14  8  6  47 - 34  37
Away (Div 1)    28  6 10 12  32 - 42  23
Total (Div 1)   56 20 18 18  79 - 76  60
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)     4  3  1  0  10 -  4   7
Away (Div 2)     4  1  1  2   3 -  5   3
Total (Div 2)    8  4  2  2  13 -  9  10
Total (Premier) 25  9  6 10  34 - 33  33
Total (Div 1)   56 20 18 18  79 - 76  60
Total (Div 2)    8  4  2  2  13 -  9  10
Grand Total     89 33 26 30 126 -119 103

Last Six Premier League results:-

Leeds      -    WWWDDL

Fulham     1-2    Leeds
Leeds      2-1    Sheff Utd
Man City   1-2    Leeds
Leeds      1-1    Liverpool
Leeds      0-0    Man Utd
Brighton   2-0    Leeds

Spurs      -    WDLDWW
A. Villa   0-2    Spurs
Newcastle  2-2    Spurs
Spurs      1-3    Man Utd
Everton    2-2    Spurs
Spurs      2-1    S'hampton
Spurs      4-0    Sheff Utd

Pos          P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 6. Spurs   34 16  8 10  60-38  22   56 
11. Leeds   34 14  5 15  50-52  -2   47   

Marching on to Europe?

Spurs make their first Premier League visit to Elland Road since January 2004 when we won 1-0. The goal was scored by former Leeds player Robbie Keane. The Leeds side included goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who would join Spurs after Leeds' relegation that year and former Spur Nick Barmby a rare Leeds appearance that season before he moved on to play out his career with Hull City.

Leeds were being managed at the time by legend Eddie Gray, still a club ambassador. In my preview for our home game in January (which we won 3-0) I made reference to the passing of a number of Leeds legends such as Jack Charlton, Normman Hunter, Trevor Cherry and Paul Madeley. Billy Bremner (played by Stephen Graham in The Damned United) died in 1997, and his statue stands outside the Elland Road ground. Now, since January another legend Peter Lorimer has passed away aged 74.

Another renowned footballer, Frank Worthingon, who played for many clubs including Leeds, sadly died in March. The last goal Worthington scored against Spurs was on 8th May 1982 when playing for a Leeds side which included Trevor Cherry and Eddie Gray. Goalkeeper John Lukic was born in Chesterfield (where I now live) and also played in that May '82 game which we won with a Kenny Burns own goal, and a 66th minute winner by Garry Brooke. Lukic went on to play for Arsenal in two spells and also had a second spell at Leeds.

Think of the modern day Leeds and you do not think of "Dirty Leeds", but of the charismatic Marcelo Bielsa, now aged 65, whose previous appointments have included the national teams of Argentina and Chile. The images of Bielsa constantly pacing his technical area, or sitting on his "bucket" pervade any TV coverage of Leeds' games, and will be a feature of this game, being played on Saturday lunchtime in front of BT Sport's cameras.

Until they lost their last game 2-0 at Brighton, Leeds' league record was symmetrical, reading:-

  P  W  D  L   F-A    GD  Pts
 33 14  5 14  50-50   0   47

Leeds were convincing title winners in last year's Championship and have been comfortably mid-table in the Premier League this season, unlike their runners-up West Brom, and play-off winners Fulham, both of whom are almost certain to return below after only one season. Norwich and Watford are already assured of an immediate return and we could yet see the third relegated side last season - Bournemouth - promoted via the play-offs.

Leeds' recent form has been their most consistent of the season. They were unbeaten in 6 games before last week's defeat at The Amex, and achieved creditable draws against Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United. Two of those draws were goal-less too, showing that Bielsa's side can defend stoutly. Leeds ruffled a few Liverpool feathers in their Monday night game after the breaking of the ESL story. Players and executives wore T-shirts with the slogans "Football is for the fans" and "Earn it". Jurgen Klopp had been kept in the dark by his owners and left to face the Sky and press hounds in their inevitably attacking interviews regarding the super league proposal.

One of Leeds' most exciting players this season has been the 24-year-old Brazilian Raphinha, who has been absent for a month with a thigh injury. He is said to have a 50% chance of playing on Saturday. Another key player Kalvin Phillips, capped by Gareth Southgate, missed last week's game with a knee injury and faces a late fitness test with a 25% chance of playing. Phillips plays in front of the back four but often leads attacking moves with sweeping passes to players such as Jack Harrison on loan from Manchester City for a third season. Surely Leeds will make his signing permanent this summer.

Centre-back Diego Llorente was signed last summer from Real Sociedad, but missed a lot of the first half the season through injury. Look out for Northern Ireland International Stuart Dallas who puts me in mind of Paul Madeley and plays on the left or right of the defence or midfield. Dallas scored both goals in Leeds' biggest recent result - a 2-1 away win against Champions League finalists Manchester City. I suspect he really could play anywhere! Spurs had better look out for Patrick Bamford, who has 14 league goals, but has drawn blanks in his last five games. He'll be keen to break that barrier.

Leeds' Luke Ayling started his career with the Arsenal Academy. He played in an Academy League Play-Off Final against Spurs at White Hart Lane in May 2009. West Brom's Kyle Bartley was in the same Arsenal team, as was Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny who faced Harry Kane and England for Poland recently. Kane (then aged just 15) was an unused sub in that 2009 game. Ayling was shown two yellow cards in the game, but Arsenal won 1-0. Ayling usually plays at right back, but can also play in the centre of defence.

Spurs won this season's home game with a 3-0 scoreline, but they will need to be their best to win this game and to continue what they hope would be a march into Europe. At least the turf they play on might be familiar as Leeds obtained their current pitch courtesy of THFC who had this turf as back-up to New White Hart Lane. The pitch was cutting up badly in early games, but seems to have settled now.

It's a little early for team news, but I think Ben Davies is still not ready to return. The question is whether Ryan Mason will play the same team as last week, and including Gareth Bale. I'm going for a 2-1 away win. COME ON YOU SPURS!

Did you know? (1) - Leeds were the last winners of the old Football League Division one title. They topped the league of 22 teams with 82 points and finished four points above Manchester United. Managed by Howard Wilkinson, their squad included top scorer Lee Chapman, a certain Eric Cantona and former Spurs Chris Fairclough and Steve Hodge. Spurs finished 15th that season with 52 points. We lost at home, but drew at Elland Road that season. (Goalkeeper John Lukic was ever-present in league matches. Gary McAllister and Gary Speed started 41 of those games, as did central defender Chris Whyte.)

Did you know? (2) - Lyricist Barry Mason, who died recently aged 85, wrote, or co-wrote several well-known 60s and 70s popular songs including Tom Jones' "Delilah" and other hits for Engelbert Humperdinck and Edison Lighthouse ("Love grows where my Rosemary goes"). Mason was born in Lancashire, but he also co-wrote the Leeds United anthem "Marching on Together". Thus he can be held jointly responsible for the anthemic songs of two football clubs - Stoke City and Leeds United.

Our match referee for the fifth time this season is Michael Oliver. All of his previous matches with us this season have been away fixtures at Burnley, Marine, Arsenal, and Everton. We won the first two, but lost and drew the most recent games. Last week, Mr. Oliver was scheduled to have charge of the ill-fated Manchester United v Liverpool game.

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