This could be one of the most entertaining matches of the weekend, as Tottenham try to keep their slim hopes of a top four finish alive with a win at Elland Road. Leeds United are a difficult test for any team and they will be pushing for a top half finish to cap their first season back in the top flight. In recent weeks, they have taken points from matches against Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. This underlines the quality they do have and how their game management has improved over the course of the campaign.
It will be interesting to see how Leeds push on over the coming months, as they will want to avoid the fate suffered by Sheffield United after a positive first season in the Premier League. In Marcelo Bielsa, they have a world class coach and he will have plans to improve further in the top flight. The players are so ingrained in his style and with two or three quality additions, they could challenge further up the league table. This is an opportunity to show their improvement over the season and beat one of the top-six teams.
Ryan Mason is unlikely to be full-time managerial appointment, but he has facilitated an improvement in North London. Tottenham have played a more entertaining style since their former player took over from Jose Mourinho. Supporters will like that he is getting their most talented players on the pitch at the same time. It was exciting to see Son Heung-min, Harry Kane, Gareth Bale and Dele Alli all starting against Sheffield United. Spurs will want to take positive momentum into what will be a hugely important summer for the future of the club.
There have been 102 goals in matches featuring Leeds United this season. No team has seen more goals in their matches this season.
Only three players have double figures for both goals and assists. Two of them play for Tottenham, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.
There have been a number of players to stand out in this Leeds team, but Stuart Dallas could be the standout. He is versatile, having played a number of different positions, but he may be most effective in a central midfield role. The Northern Irish international has contributed seven goals and two assists. Only Patrick Bamford has scored more goals for Leeds this season than Dallas. His standout performance came a couple of weeks ago when he scored a brace to help Leeds beat Manchester City. However, he has been consistent throughout the campaign and he is fully trusted by Bielsa, as shown by his minutes played. No player has featured in more minutes than Dallas (3051). He is combative out of possession and has plenty of drive when Leeds have the ball. Tottenham are fragile in central areas and Leeds’ energetic approach will cause them problems. It will be another opportunity for the 30-year-old to show his importance and quality against a top-six opposition.
It has been a frustrating season for Gareth Bale following his return to Tottenham. However, there have been positive signs since Ryan Mason took over from Jose Mourinho. The former manager didn’t trust Bale to play regularly and that slowed down his reintegration to the Premier League. That said, it is difficult not to be impressed by his attacking numbers. The Welshman has contributed nine goals and two assists, with a goal involvement every 66.1 minutes. Supporters will believe that he should have played more often and there will be hope that he returns for another season. It will feel like unfinished if the 31-year-old leaves at the end of the current campaign. Leeds play a man-to-man marking style and there will be space for Tottenham attackers on Saturday. If Bale is in the form in front of goal he showed against Sheffield United, he could have a real impact at Elland Road.
It is hoped that Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips will both be available, but they are both facing battles to be passed fit in time. Liam Cooper will be available again following his recent suspension. Helder Costa will be missing for the rest of the season with a back injury.
Ben Davies will be missing for the visitors. Mason may continue with Bale, Kane, Son and Alli in the starting eleven. It is a great opportunity for Alli to continue his return to form and remind the world why he is a highly rated Premier League attacker.
This should be a great watch, as Tottenham have shown a greater desire to attack under Mason. Meanwhile, Leeds are always exciting to watch and they will play positively against one of the top six teams. There should be goals at both ends, but Spurs are the more likely winners. As they showed last week, they are devastating in front of goal and their attacking quality should be too much for Bielsa’s side.
Leeds 2-3 Tottenham