The lunchtime kick-off on Saturday will welcome Leeds United to Tottenham and Jose Mourinho’s side will have the chance to play, having seen their midweek fixture with Fulham postponed just hours before kick-off sending.
With a record number of positive coronavirus tests among Premier League staff and players reported this week, Spurs’ game was the third to be delayed due to an outbreak at a club this season.
The outbreak took place in the Fulham camp, meaning Mourinho’s side are unaffected, meaning this weekend’s game has to take place.
Spurs are seventh in the table, winless out of four and struggled to regain the fluidity that prevailed earlier in the season. This is not the case for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, who are enjoying life in the Premier League.
Three points for Leeds would put them level on points with the North London club, while Spurs themselves could move up to third with a win. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
When does the kick-off take place? Saturday January 2
What time is the kick-off? 12:30 p.m. (GMT)
Where is it played? Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
TV channel / live broadcast? BT Sport (UK)
Arbitrator? David Coote
Tottenham are set to be left without Giovani Lo Celso and Gareth Bale – the Welshman was pulled out in his EFL Cup match at Stoke last week after suffering an injury. Carlos Vinicius is also a doubt.
Leeds remain without their captain, Liam Cooper, who still suffers from an abdominal problem that prevented him from winning against Burnley.
Bielsa also misses long-missing Robin Koch due to a knee injury, and Mateusz Klich received a blow midweek, just like touching and going.
Tottenham: Lloris; Aurier, Dier, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Hojbjerg, Sissoko; Bergwijn, Kane, Jr.
Leeds: Meslier, Dallas, Ayling, Struijk, Alioski; Phillips; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Klich, Harrison; Bamford.
Spurs are currently at a stalemate, without a league win since their 2-0 win over Arsenal in early December.
Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s goals appear to have dried up somewhat, meaning Spurs have only managed 11 goals in their last ten league games. A late Romain Saiss led the equalizer the last time around meant Mourinho’s men lost even more points.
Leeds’ winding season continued into the Christmas season. A brutal defeat at the hands of Man Utd was followed by a 1-0 victory over Burnley and 5-0 over West Brom of Sam Allardyce.
Bielsa’s roster, which practically leaves the five attacking players free to move and trade, has worked well as they are the league’s fourth-best scorer. Patrick Bamford, Raphinha and Jack Harrison, looked particularly impressive.
Here’s how they’ve both gotten along in their last five matches.
Wolves 1-1 Tottenham (12/27)
Stoke 1-3 Tottenham (23/12)
Tottenham 0-2 Leicester (20/12)
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham (16/12)
Crystal Palace 1-1 Tottenham (13/12)
West Brom 0-5 Leeds (29/12)
Leeds 1-0 Burnley (27/12)
Manchester United 6-2 Leeds (20/12)
Leeds 5-2 Newcastle (16/12)
Leeds 1-2 West Ham (11/12)
The Spurs’ defense could be on a very difficult afternoon and Mourinho’s side are unlikely to look slightly cautious since they took a 3-0 home lead against West Ham in October.
With Tottenham’s recent struggles particularly manifested against teams that stand deep and defend, Leeds certainly won’t.
It could play straight into Spurs hands and if their defense can withstand the pressure from Bielsa’s side, Son and Kane could have a day on the pitch.
Prediction: Tottenham 3-2 Leeds