Spurs out to show class at Elland Road - Betting Preview
After a Cup run two seasons ago saw Leeds topple Manchester United at Old Trafford, they advanced to face Spurs at White hart Lane. A late Jermaine Beckford penalty earned the club a replay, and whilst they were methodically dismantled by the north London side at home, they will take heart from the initial result.
Tottenham have repeatedly struggled against lesser opposition in recent times, having fallen in the Premier League to the likes of Wigan, Wolves and Norwich consistently, however their from away from home has improved dramatically under the charismatic young manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese boss, known for taking every competition seriously, will have no qualms about fielding a full strength side in Yorkshire, knowing that Neil Warnock is likely to prepare his team in a way that will limit Spurs' attacking options as much as possible.
Having signed Stephen Warnock, United have strengthened their defence with a view of forging a play-off run, however there back line will expect a barrage of flair and ability unparalleled with that of any Championship side.
The free-flowing forward game the Lilywhite possess has shone throughout the season, and was demonstrated in last week's fine performance against Man Utd, which, whilst resulting a 1-1 draw, may have been so much better. Gareth Bale was limited against the Red Devils but is likely to exploit a free role in this fourth round tie. Without Emmanuel Adebayor, Spurs will rely on the instinctive nature of Jermain Defoe up front; whose persistent attempts at goal show both sides of his game.
For Leeds, a transfer request received by in-form Argentine striker Luciano Becchio wil come as a blow, but was not altogether unexpected. Having netted 19 times already this campaign, one of the hottest attackers in the Championship was always likely, like so many before him, to leave Elland Road, whether it was of his own accord or not.
However, Warnock has been able to rely on controversial Senegalese attacked El Hadji Diouf since the former Liverpool and Bolton striker joined Leeds in the summer. Whilst he has not been as prolific with Becchio, he ranks second in the squad having scored nine, and will hope to prove his worth once again against quality opposition.
If Leeds are to win, it would provide another famous FA Cup shock considering the recent, rather divergent fortunes of this pair, and whilst an upset may well be on the cards Tottenham will expect to show their quality through a superior all-round game. Like many lower league clubs facing top flight opposition, it is expected that Leeds will press constantly in an attempt to limit Spurs' flow, but AVB will look for their work rate to drop later in the game.
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- The two clubs have faced each other five times in the FA Cup before, with Leeds winning just one tie (sixth round in 1972).
- The most recent meeting came back in 2010, in the fourth round, when the original tie ended 2-2. The replay saw Spurs win 3-1 at Elland Road, courtesy of a Jermain Defoe hat-trick.
- Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.
- Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.
- At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.
- AVB's Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three.
- After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.
To win: Leeds 4/1; Draw 13/5; Tottenham 7/10
To qualify: Leeds 2/7; Tottenham 5/2
Headline Offers: El Hadji Diouf to score and Leeds to win 8/1; Gareth Bale to score and Tottenham to win 3/1
Best Bet: Tottenham -1: 6/4
Worth a Punt: Tottenham 3/1: 12/1