Antonio Conte sounded bullish and allayed fears of his uncertain Tottenham future in his latest press conference. “The dream is to stay here for many years and try to build something important,” the Italian stated. However, the current mood entering Saturday’s match-up is one of a growing concern following three defeats in Spurs’ last four Premier League games.
It’s been a bit of a mixed season for the Lilywhites so far. Conte managed to squeeze through a Champions League group that looked favourable on paper, but proved anything but straightforward, before crashing out of the EFL Cup in midweek with a limp display in Nottingham. The Premier League hasn’t provided much respite in recent weeks, but the Londoners remain in the top four and will want to sign off on a high before the World Cup.
Leeds have been on the comeback trail in recent outings and taken some of the heat off Jesse Marsch’s shoulders. The spotlight was starting the burn with feverish intensity following a winless spell of eight games, but back-to-back triumphs over Liverpool and Bournemouth has brought a new wave of impetus and optimism on the terraces. The American coach will hope to channel that form into another positive performance in the capital before attention turns to Qatar.
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Tottenham v Leeds match stats
Conte and Marsch have opposing stylistic ideas, but in midfield, they share similar principles on work rate and intensity. It will come as no surprise that both Tyler Adams (49) and Rodrigo Bentancur (34) rank in the Premier League’s top 10 for most tackles by a midfielder this season. Conte embraces a fast-break system predicated on exploiting open space, while Marsch adopts more of an up-and-at-em approach, but both operate on the condition of work-hungry midfielders. In fact, Adams has started more open-play sequences than any other player in the Premier League this season (186), a metric that underlines his ball-recovery abilities for Leeds.
26 Feb 2022 – Leeds 0-4 Tottenham – Premier League
21 Nov 2021 – Tottenham 2-1 Leeds – Premier League
08 May 2021 – Leeds 3-1 Tottenham – Premier League
02 Jan 2021 – Tottenham 3-0 Leeds – Premier League
27 Jan 2013 – Leeds 2-1 Tottenham – FA Cup
Marcelo Bielsa was the man in charge the last time these two clubs met in London. Dan James broke the deadlock for Leeds on the stroke of half-time, but a Spurs comeback inspired by unlikely goal-getters Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon changed the complexion of the contest.
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