Tottenham Team News, Starting XI Prediction vs Leeds United

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What a difference a few days can make in football. After riding high following their victory over runaway league leaders in Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur followed it up with a complete capitulation against relegation-threatened Burnley.

To be fair, it is a perfect microcosm of this current Spurs outfit. World beaters one week, easy-beats the next. The next stop on this rollercoaster? Leeds United.

As if the defeat to The Clarets wasn’t bad enough, some outrageous comments from Spurs boss Antonio Conte followed. In his post-match interview, the Italian questioned the club’s ambition, the squad’s desire to win and his own ability to turn The Lily White’s current form around. 

Here is just some of what the Italian had to say in the aftermath of the Burnley defeat:

“But the problem, I repeat: I’m trying to do everything to change the situation but the situation is not changing. Someone has to speak about the race for the fourth place, and the reality from the last five games is we have to pay attention to not fight for the relegation zone. This is the truth. this is the reality, and when this type of situation happens, maybe there is something wrong. I don’t want to close my eyes, I want to take my responsibility, if I have the responsibility.

I am open, I am open for every decision because I want to help Tottenham. From the first day I arrived here I want to help Tottenham. I repeat: I am too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way, and also take my salary. But it’s not right in this moment.”

Leeds vs Tottenham FYIs

When is it? Saturday, 26 February 2022 12:30 PM

Where is it? Elland Road, Leeds

Who’s in form? Leeds (LDLLL) Tottenham (WLLWL)

What are the odds? Leeds (+300) Tottenham (-115) Draw (+290)

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Team News:

Despite those incredible comments, Conte is, in fact, still picking up his Spurs paycheck. So with that in mind, let’s look at the team news for the capital city club as they prepare to take on Leeds.

New signing Rodrigo Bentancur fell awkwardly in the dastardly Turf Moor conditions to compound Spurs’ terrible night. The Uruguayan is a 50/50 shot of appearing in the matchday squad at Elland Road.

We expect Pierluigi Gollini to miss this match because of illness. I have been less than convinced of the Italian shot-stopper’s ability to perform at the highest level of English football. If Hugo Lloris’s form continues its downward trajectory, he might get a run in the side, regardless. Not this week, though.

Finally, long-term injured pair Oliver Skipp and Japhet Tanganga are both considered highly doubtful about making their returns from their respective injuries. Spurs FA Cup clash against Middlesbrough is a more likely target for their return to the matchday squad. 

Starting XI Prediction:

Because of the aforementioned Gollini’s illness, French goalie Hugo Lloris has time to turn his dreadful form around at Elland Road.

The back three will look similar to the one that took the field vs Burnley. Cristian Romero will play to the right of Eric Dier. The Englishman will have Welsh international Ben Davies playing to his left. 

Spurs named Serge Reguilon on the bench for the Burnley clash marking his return from his positive COVID test. I think he takes the starting left-wingback spot from Ryan Sessegnon here.

The right wing-back slot is up for grabs too, because of Emerson Royal’s poor form. I am going to go with Dejan Kulusevski to start in the Brazilians place.

With Bentancur likely to miss this fixture with injury, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Harry Winks will probably pair up as the central midfield duo.

The front three will be the triumvirate of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane & Lucas Moura. The Brazilian, Moura, comes back in on the right-hand side. Son, and Kane in particular, must be licking their lips at the prospect of facing a shaky Leeds defense.

Prediction

I think that Sours bounce back with a victory over Leeds. Marco Bielsa’s Leeds side is in big trouble and I think relegation is looming if they can’t turn around their dreadful form. Look for Spurs to compound that trouble with a convincing victory here.

Tottenham 4-1

Stuart Kavanagh is an up-and-coming sports journalist from Melbourne, Australia. Along with being the owner of the sports and entertainment website thepyrrhic.com, he is also the co-host of the ‘After Extra Time’ podcast. Football mad, he is always down for debate and discussion at @stueyissickofit on Twitter.

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