Tottenham Hotspur travel to Leeds United in the lunchtime Premier League kick-off with their hopes of a top four finish still alive.
If Spurs can win at Elland Road, they will leapfrog West Ham into fifth and close to within two points of Chelsea, who face the daunting trip to champions-elect Manchester City this afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who are looking to bounce back after defeat to Brighton last time out, are still pushing for a top half finish in the Premier League, though they now face a rejuvenated Spurs side confident after thrashing Sheffield United as Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick.
In the opposite dugout, Ryan Mason will look to learn from what will likely be a short-term spell in charge of Spurs, with the young coach admitting Mauricio Pochettino is a big influence.
“I think energy is important and it’s important that it’s a good energy. Mauricio opened my eyes to a lot of things, him and his coaching team opened my eyes to a lot as a player and as a person as well. It’s important. If you’re doing something, you need to feel good, you need to be mentally in the right place to work and to compete. Yeah, it’s so important that we try and transmit this kind of feeling to each other, to our players, to the groundsmen, to the cleaners, everyone.
“When you get that feel good energy, the running doesn’t seem as hard, the competition doesn’t seem as hard, it’s a key to any environment to work well, not just in football but in life as well. Whether it’s at home with your kids, with your family – you need to be happy, you need to feel good, for sure.”
Patrick Bamford kicks off proceedings
Leeds 0 – 0 Tottenham
Kick off: Leeds get the match started. It’s been hammering down all day in Leeds and the pitch is soaking wet, the grounds staf have done a good job of clearing all the puddles from this morning’s downpour.
Here come the teams
Spurs are playing at Elland Road in the league for the first time in 17 years. They’ll move up to fifth with a win today. Kick off is next.
A double ton for Dier
Flat track bully?
All nine of Gareth Bale’s Premier League goals in 2020/21 have been scored at home, and against teams currently in the bottom eight of the table. Can he change that today?
Spurs’ poor away form
Spurs have scored in 11 successive league games, the longest current run in the competition. Only Manchester City have scored in more top-flight fixtures this season than the 28 by Spurs but they have only won three of their last 13 Premier League away matches.
Ryan Mason is aiming to become the first manager or coach to win his opening three Premier League matches in charge of Tottenham.
The age difference of 35 years and 327 days between head coach Marcelo Bielsa and Tottenham counterpart Mason is the second biggest in Premier League history, after Bobby Robson and Chris Coleman (37 years and 112 days).
The players are out for the warm ups after the grounds staff cleared the pitch of a ton of water. It’s not the best of days for it out there.
Leeds slowing down?
There were 86 goals in Leeds’ first 25 Premier League fixtures this season, but only 16 in the last nine games. They have lost seven of their last eight Premier League matches without Kalvin Phillips who starts on the bench today.
Leeds hoping for elusive home win
Leeds are without a win in all nine of their Premier League home fixtures this season against teams currently above them in the table having drawn five times and lost four.
But, all five of their home league matches so far against established top-six opposition in 2020/21 have ended in draws.
Spurs aiming for top four says Kane
Harry Kane spoke before the game about how Tottenham want to end the season on a high by winning their last four league games. He said:
We’ll have to win all four of our remaining games to have any chance [of top four spot] – starting today.
“The challenge is to finish the season strongly. The Southampton home game was a good result and against Sheffield United it was a good solid performance from everyone.
“Leeds will be a high-intensity game and it’s raining so it’ll be quick. They are pretty unique in how they set up and play. We have got to match their intensity and make sure we keep our structure.”
Source: Read Full Article