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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Spurs v Leeds, 21.11.21

· Last season's game - Spurs 3 Leeds 0, 02.01.21
· Premier League Matchday 12 - last year
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Full League Record of Spurs -v- Leeds United


Premier         Pl  W  D  L  For- Ag  Pts
Home            13  7  3  3  23 - 13  24
Away            13  2  3  8  12 - 24   9
========================================
Total (Premier) 26  9  6 11  35 - 37  33  1.27 Pts per game
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Football Lge
Home (Div 1)    28 14  8  6  47 - 34  37
Away (Div 1)    28  6 10 12  32 - 42  23
========================================
Total (Div 1)   56 20 18 18  79 - 76  60
========================================
Football Lge
Home (Div 2)     4  3  1  0  10 -  4   7
Away (Div 2)     4  1  1  2   3 -  5   3
========================================
Total (Div 2)    8  4  2  2  13 -  9  10
========================================
Total (Premier) 26  9  6 11  35 - 37  33
Total (Div 1)   56 20 18 18  79 - 76  60
Total (Div 2)    8  4  2  2  13 -  9  10
========================================
Grand Total     90 33 26 31 127 -122 103
========================================

Last Six Premier League results:-

Spurs      -    LWWLLD
           
Arsenal    3-1    Spurs
Spurs      2-1    A. Villa
Newcastle  2-3    Spurs
West Ham   1-0    Spurs
Spurs      0-3    Man Utd
Everton    0-0    Spurs

Leeds      -    LWLDWD

Leeds      1-2    West Ham
Leeds      1-0    Watford
S'hampton  1-0    Leeds
Leeds      1-1    Wolves
Norwich    1-2    Leeds
Leeds      1-1    Leicester

Pos         P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
 9. Spurs  11  5  1  5   9-16  -7   16
15. Leeds  11  2  5  4  11-18  -7   11

Hoping to see Kane's England form for Spurs

The Spurs Odyssey Flag

England captain Harry Kane has scored as many goals in his last two Internationals (7) as he has all season (so far) for Tottenham. Harry's first two goals this season were scored for Spurs in his second club appearance against Pacos de Ferreira. His next goals were in three consecutive England games. If Roy Castle's "Record Breakers" programme was still around (ask your Mum or Dad), Harry would have been featured many times. Now he has set several more England records after his four-goal haul against San Marino. In the course of his last two England games, Harry has overtaken Spurs legend Jimmy Greaves. On 48 International goals, Harry has drawn level with Gary Lineker, who was a Spurs player at the end of his England career. Harry has Bobby Charlton (49) and Wayne Rooney (53) in his sights.

21st November is a special day on my calendar. Had he been alive, Sunday's matchday (4.30pm SKY) would have been my father's 101st birthday. I am hoping he can look down upon us and give Spurs a win, and let us see Harry Kane show his England form for his club.

My dad passed away in 1997, around the time the country was freshly mourning Princess Diana. In 1997/98, Leeds finished fifth in the league and beat a poor Spurs side 1-0 both at home and away. Managed by George Graham, who would succeed Christian Gross at Spurs, Leeds' winner at White Hart Lane on 1st November 1997 was scored by Rod Wallace. The Leeds side included Nigel Martyn in goal and iconic players such as Lucas Radebe and Harry Kewell. They also included Alf-Inge Haaland, famously the father of Borussia Dortmund's goal machine 21-year-old Erling Haaland. Leeds even had players such as Haisselbank, Bowyer and Harte unused on the bench.

Here we are, 24 years later with Leeds having spent 16 seasons out of the top fight. Three of those seasons were even in the third tier. Sunday's game will be the first at our still new stadium at which fans will be in attendance to see Marcelo Bielsa's team play. Last season we beat them 3-0 on 2nd January with goals by Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Toby Alderweireld. That was Toby's last Spurs goal. It is amazing to think that this will be Antonio Conte’s second Premier League game in charge of Spurs and yet already there are already three managers of Premier League clubs with less time in their current jobs! (Villa, Newcastle and Norwich).

Like all Premier league (and some EFL managers) Bielsa and Conte will have sweated over the safe return of their International players. Spurs have been the main victims, after Romero sustained a hamstring injury in Argentina's game against Brazil. Cristian's injury will be fully assessed next week. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg was absent from Denmark's gmes against The Faroe Islands and Scotland, but was seen fully particpating in yesterday's training session. Hojbjerg will apparently have a late fitness test, but his presence will be crucial, bearing in mind the absence of Oliver Skipp through suspension. It looks like Harry Winks will get the gig next to Hojbjerg on Sunday.

Regardless of whether Conte plays three or four at the back, he has to adjust for Romero's absence. There must be a case for four at the back and a place for Ndombele in a three behind Harry Kane. Kane's opposition in those last two Internationals was of moderate, even poor calibre, but he did gain from excellent service for some of his goals. Conte will have been working hard at Hotspur Way with Ndombele, who had no International commitment. Lo Celso is also a slight doubt upon his return from South America.

Leeds have badly missed Patrick Bamford, who was last season's top scorer. Bamford has been out with an ankle injury since mid-September and won't be back for a couple of weeks yet. Defender Luke Ayling is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.

Brazilian Raphinha is a key man for Bielsa and top scorer with five league goals. He will be Leeds' main danger. Raphinha also played in the midweek game between Argentina and Brazil, but he did not play 90 minutes in either of Brazil's two November games.

Another key player for Leeds is England's Kalvin Phillips, affectionately nicknamed "The Yorkshire Pirlo". Phillips made his England debut last year a week before his Premier League debut when Leeds lost 4-3 at Anfield on Matchday One of last season. Phillips' England debut came in a Nations League game against Denmark. Phillips now has 19 caps, imcluding the 7 games he played in the Euro 20 campaign last summer. He started all of Engand's games. Phillips will be 26 next month. He made his debut for his home town club on 6th April 2015 in another 4-3 defeat against Wolves in the Championship. Wolves narrowly failed to reach the play-offs that season, whilst Leeds finished 15th. The Bielsa revolution did not start until 2018.

A number of Leeds legends have passed away in recent years. Names such as Jack Charlton and Peter Lorimer come to mind. This summer two more famous Leeds names joined the list of departed favourites. Midfielder Mick Bates, who made almost 200 appearances during the Don Revie era, died aged 73. Bates spent 12 years at Leeds during the Sixties and Seventies when they regularly challenged for major honours, making a total of 191 appearances and scoring nine goals.

Yet another Leeds legend, left back Terry Cooper, died on July 31st aged 77. Cooper was a playing member of Sir Alf Ramsey's England squad for Mexico 1970.

Leeds are lurking too close to the relegation zone for comfort. The only league games they have won so far have been against Watford and Norwich, both of whom are currently in lower positions. Bielsa will not compromise on is style and he can boast attacking players such as Harrison and James, as well as Raphinha. I expect an open game, and a Spurs win. I'll say 3-1.

I have a very happy family memory connected with Leeds. On 16th September, 1978, my wife and I were married. On that day Spurs (who had been promoted that year from their one-year exile from the top flight) won 2-1!

Due to family commitments this weekend, there will be a delay to Spurs Odyssey post-match services.

Match referee Andre Marriner is in charge of a Spurs game for the 48th time in all, and for the third time this season. Mr. Marriner's last two games were our wins over Watford and Newcastle. One of this referee's worst games with Spurs was at Stamford Bridge in April 2011 when a 45th minute shot by Frank Lampard was deemed to have crossed the line. TV replays showed that not to be the case. Since then, of course, goal-line technology was introduced, and has prevented such mistakes. I personally have grown to like Mr. Marriner's refereeing style, which is calm, but authorative. He has one of the highest average grades (5.8) as assessed by Spurs Odyssey readers since January 2010. Conversely one of his better games was also at Stamford Bridge on 1st April 2018 when we won!

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