One of the standout fixtures of the weekend is Tottenham’s home fixture against Leeds United. The visitors are one of the form teams with three wins from their last four Premier League matches. Jose Mourinho will know that his team needs to return to winning ways, but this will be a challenging fixture. It will be an intriguing tactical battle between two world class coaches. Mourinho may look at the way that Manchester United set up against Leeds and do something similar. It would be uncharacteristic, but it might be the best approach.
Tottenham didn’t play during the week, which may give them an advantage, as they will be rested compared to the Leeds’ players. That said, they are in a spot of rough form and they will not be relishing the task of facing a relentless Leeds’ team. There has been criticism of their failure to see games out and their defensive approach. They should be able to do well on the counter attack on Saturday, with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane likely to play a big part.
Leeds United have won their last two matches keeping two clean sheets. This has shown a different part of their game, especially in the match against Burnley. In the second half of that match, they struggled to hold on, but they battled and came through with the three points. They will be looking to get a much better result on Saturday than they managed against Manchester United a few weeks ago.
Tottenham are now on a four-match winless run, which is their worst run in the Premier League since the period between February and June.
Jack Harrison has had seven goal contributions (three goals and four assists). The only Englishman to contribute more goals in the Premier League this season is Jack Grealish with 11.
Harry Kane will be celebrating the birth of his new child and that could give him the extra motivation to get on the score-sheet. He is already set to achieve his best ever season for goals and assist, with a possibility to reach the 20-mark for both. From 15 matches, he has contributed nine goals and ten assists with a goal involvement every 70.7 minutes. It has been an incredible start to the season for the England captain, as he has silenced the doubters that suggested he was on the decline. His record is even more impressive considering the defensive tactics sometimes utilised by Spurs. This fixture should suit him, as there will be space to operate in. Leeds will look to man mark him, but he has the quality to cause real damage. Bruno Fernandes dominated Leeds a couple of weeks ago. Kane could have a similar impact.
It has been a positive few weeks for Leeds as an attacking unit and the emergence of Raphinha has been encouraging to watch. During the summer, Marcelo Bielsa looked to add quality to the squad. Raphinha and Rodrigo have certainly added that to the attack, with both now regulars in the starting eleven. The Brazilian has contributed a goal and two assists in the last three matches. He will feel like he could have had even more, as his involvement has been high. Tottenham have been good at the back this season, with Mourinho’s obvious influence on their organisation. That said, Leeds play at an intensity that will cause them problems and Raphinha has the quality to make a big impact on the match.
Lucas Moura and Vinicius are both major doubts for the home side. Gareth Bale is struggling with a knock and he won’t be available against Leeds. Giovani Lo Celso will be missing for another few weeks with a thigh injury.
Liam Cooper and Mateusz Klich are both major doubts for the weekend. Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are unlikely to be available as both recover from injuries.
This could go one of two ways. If Tottenham get the first goal, they may choose to sit deep and invite Leeds onto them. However, their recent issues dropping points from leading positions means this would be a highly risky approach. They would be better off trying to fight fire with fire, as they do have the attacking quality to hurt Leeds. Regardless of the approach used, there should be goals. There always are with Leeds involved, but Tottenham are the more likely winners.
Tottenham 3-2 Leeds United