Will second-season syndrome™ claim another team? Leeds were great on their return to the Premier League last year, finishing a comfortable ninth, just six points off the European spots. Marcelo Bielsa was highly praised for the work he has done at Elland Road and will forever be remembered at the club for bringing them back to the top flight, but there’s no denying that 2021/22 hasn’t gone to plan.
The Whites currently sit 15th in the Premier League and are just three points clear of 18th-placed Burnley, who do have two games in hand. In fact, the three teams directly below Leeds all have at least one game in hand on Bielsa’s side, putting them in serious danger of the drop. Should they all win their games in hand (however unlikely that may be), Leeds would drop into the bottom three and their form won’t lead many to believe that they’d be able to claw their way out. Leeds have lost four of their past five league matches, including a 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool on Wednesday.
Things aren’t going much better for Tottenham, despite their position in the top half of the table. Antonio Conte’s side are currently eighth and seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the race for Champions League football but it is a gap they will have expected to be closer. Last weekend, Tottenham kept their destiny in their own hands with a 3-2 win over Manchester City, closing the gap on Man Utd to seven points with three games in hand.
However, Tottenham lost the first of those games in hand, beaten 1-0 by relegation-battling Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday night. It was Tottenham’s fourth defeat in their past five Premier League matches and led Conte to question his future at the club, causing his odds to be the next Premier League manager to leave to shorten. The Italian remains in charge for now, but can he turn things around against a struggling Leeds?
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Leeds vs Tottenham: Match Stats
Tottenham’s attack struggled against a defensive Burnley side so they will be relishing the chance to stretch their legs against a Leeds that will be a lot of more. In particular, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min will be licking their lips as they were against Man City, when the duo combined for four shots on target against the best defence in the league. Against the worst? It should be much better.
As mentioned, Leeds have the worst defence in the Premier League, conceding 56 goals – three more than rock-bottom Norwich City. That, of course, has been pushed by the 6-0 defeat to Liverpool and 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City, but it’s still worrying. Also worrying is the fact that Tottenham haven’t kept a clean sheet in their past 10 games across all competitions.
21 November 2021 – Tottenham 2-1 Leeds – Premier League
8 May 2021 – Leeds 3-1 Tottenham – Premier League
2 January 2021 – Tottenham 3-0 Leeds – Premier League
27 January 2013 – Leeds 2-1 Tottenham – FA Cup
3 February 2010 – Leeds 1-3 Tottenham – FA Cup
Tottenham ran out 2-1 winners in the previous meeting earlier this season and will be looking to do the Premier League double over Leeds for the first time since 2003/04 (though they have only had one opportunity since). However, Leeds won this fixture last season and are unbeaten against Tottenham in their past two matches at Elland Road.