26th January 2013
While Leeds United are attempting to return to the Premier League, they will get a taste of Premiership football when they welcome in-form Tottenham to Elland Road. With both sides doing really well at the moment, there is every chance we will see an enthralling encounter in Yorkshire.
Despite plying their trade in the Championship, Leeds United are still regarded as one of the most famous clubs in the UK, with the Whites enjoying a lot of success in the past on both domestic and European stage. However, the last decade hasn’t given the fans a lot to cheer about, with the team unable to return to the top flight since getting relegated in 2004. Leeds United have shown a lot of improvement since Neil Warnock took over the reigns at Elland Road, but they still remain five points adrift of play-off places. Once again, the Whites are enjoying their FA Cup campaign, with 2-1 victory over Birmingham in the 3rd round replay earning them a clash with high-flying Tottenham. The game against Spurs does not come in a good time for the hosts given that their star player Luciano Becchio has just handed in a transfer request, so he could be left out of the starting line-up. Neil Warnock is set to make some changes to the starting line-up, with Jamie Ashdown, Michael Tonge and Paul Green all expected to feature.
At the time when top Premier League sides are being eliminated by lower division teams in both Cup competitions, Tottenham look a safe bet to avoid any embarrassments. Spurs appear to be on top of their game at the moment, as witnessed by the excellent performance against Premier League leaders Manchester United, while they seem to be taking every competition seriously under Andre Villas-Boas. With several first team players missing out through various reasons, the Portuguese manager doesn’t have such a big squad to choose from, but that is unlikely to make Leeds’ job any easier, seeing that most of the first team regulars will be starting at Elland Road. Emmanuel Adebayor, Sandro, William Gallas and Younes Kaboul are all unavailable, while Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Tom Huddlestone will be hoping to get some much needed match practice.
While the hosts can be expected to produce a decent performance in front of their own fans even if Neil Warnock opts to rest some of his starters, I seriously doubt the Whites have what it takes to stop Tottenham from winning. Spurs are flying high at the moment and it is important to note their showings on the road have improved a great deal this term.
Verdict: Away win
Best Odds: 7/10
Bookmaker: Paddy Power