OPTA PREVIEW: Leeds United v Tottenham
While a lot of the teams in the lower reaches of the Premiership managed to pick up points from the midweek set of fixtures, Leeds were going down to an Alan Shearer goal at St James Park, leaving Eddie Gray’s men two points adrift from safety.
On Saturday they face Tottenham, a side who went into the New Year alongside Leeds in the Premiership’s drop zone but what a difference a week makes. Two thumping wins for Spurs have brought new hope and optimism to White Hart Lane. The Lilywhites are now 16th in the league and are just three points away from a position in mid-table.
Freddie Kanoute was the hat-trick hero for Spurs in the FA Cup last week, but while Tottenham are resigned to losing his services for the duration of the African Nations Cup at the end of the month, a new hero emerged against Birmingham on Wednesday night.
Frenchman Stephane Dalmat, currently on loan from Inter Milan, hit two goals in an irresistible performance which had the west Midlanders on the back foot from the opening whistle. "He is getting better and better and his ability is there for all to see," said assistant boss Chris Hughton — this could be bad news for Leeds.
Unlike Spurs, the Whites were slow out of the starting blocks on Wednesday night and found themselves a goal down before they had even settled. To their credit they battled back in the second half but it wasn’t to be and they now find themselves searching for their first win in five games to keep the survival hopes alive.
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|Team||Leeds United||Tottenham Hotspur|
|Ave Goals per game||0.90||1.15|
|Shots (excl blocked shots)||159||200|
|% Shots on Target||42%||40%|
|% Goals to Shots||11%||12%|
|Overall Pass Completion %||69%||74%|
|Ave goals conceded per game||2.05||1.50|
|Tackles Won %||71%||71%|
|Blocks, Clearances & Interceptions||964||999|