YEP Jury: Leeds United face daunting task of countering the Conte factor

Our panel of fans are expecting a tough challenge for Leeds United at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday – with new Spurs boss Antonio Conte taking charge of his first home game and Harry Kane back on form in front of goal. Here’s what they think about the game:

Friday, 19th November 2021, 8:01 am

JACOB STARR

The international break probably came at the wrong time for Leeds United, but at the right time for Tottenham. Sunday’s contest will be interesting that’s for sure.

After beating Norwich and putting in an excellent performance against Leicester, it seemed as though the Whites had somewhat turned a corner, so hopefully the most recent break hasn’t hindered us too much.

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New Spurs boss Antonio Conte shows his emotions on the sidelines against Everton. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Spurs, however, have had two weeks of preparation under new boss Antonio Conte, who is a real coup of an appointment on paper.

In addition, Harry Kane looks to be enjoying his football again and back amongst the goals. Just the seven for him in the two games for England.

Hopefully he doesn’t choose this fixture to rekindle his deadly 2020/21-partnership with Heung-Min Son.

Patrick Bamford will be missing again and looks likely to be the case for a couple of weeks at least, so most aspects are favouring the home side, and so am I to be honest. Conte is a superb coach.

Raphinha on the run against Leicester City. Picture: Tony Johnson.

Last campaign we lost 3-0 in fairly comfortable fashion, and I do think there will be a similar number of goals this time around.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 1.

ANDY RHODES

After yet another international break which came just as Leeds were gaining some momentum, the Whites travel south in search of an elusive win in the dreaded capital.

Spurs danger man Harry Kane celebrates his hat-trick goal for England at San Marino on Monday. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

The draw against Leicester last time out saw Leeds give their best performance of the season so far, playing the Foxes off the park for large spells of the game.

Looking back, it’s a mystery how Leicester survived the barrage of Leeds attacks.

Against Antonio Conte’s new side, Marcelo Bielsa could be forgiven for being less gung-ho in his approach.

Before Conte’s arrival, Spurs conceded 16 goals in seven league games, hardly the form of a top side.

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa on the sidelines against Leicester City. Picture: Tony Johnson.

With that form, Raphinha’s eyes will be lighting up after four goals in his last six games for club and country.

Focus will also be on Leeds’ defence and keeping Harry Kane quiet.

Yorkshiremen have a reputation for fearing the big smoke. With Spurs winless in three league games, United should go in with nothing to lose.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 0.

KEITH INGHAM

Leeds go to Spurs with renewed confidence, five points from their latest games with Wolves, Norwich and Leicester have improved their Premier League position a little but the performance against a good Leicester side made most sit up and see that they could soon move away from the bottom end of the table.

Spurs have a new manager in Antonio Conte who was successful at Chelsea before moving back to Italy. He will no doubt be putting across his way and by all accounts they will find him totally different from Nuno Espirito Santo. Conte will hope to get Harry Kane back to his best after a poor start to the season.

That said the England international scored seven goals in the two games during the break.

Marcelo Bielsa will hope that Adam Forshaw continues his impressive form.

It is doubtful that Luke Ayling or Patrick Bamford will be back for the game but he may have Jamie Shackleton and Junior Firpo available.

It’s a tough game and if Leeds come away from it with a point I’ll be more than happy.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 2.

DAVID WATKINS

Leeds face Tottenham this Sunday as we restart the season with the international breaks now finished until next March.

For me, it’s my first visit to the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, having last been at White Hart Lane more than 50 years ago! To say I’m looking forward to this trip is, therefore, an understatement!

It’s a big game for new Spurs gaffer Antonio Conte too, it will be his first home league game in charge of the Lilywhites as they take on the Mighty Whites!

If current form tables are anything to go by then, surprisingly, Leeds have the edge, with nine points from our last eight games compared with just seven for Spurs. The Londoners’ form collapsed after a decent start and hence the arrival of Conte to try to stem the tide. A win for Spurs though and they could well be back among the top six.

For Leeds, it’s about building on that fabulous performance against Leicester that proved how Bielsaball was not lost, it had just been hiding!

I think Spurs will edge this one, but a top performance could see us return with a point.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1 Leeds United 0.

MIKE GILL
Another tough challenge in a season of tough challenges is coming up. The war of attrition in Leeds United’s second Premier League season is showing no signs of abating.

Pre-season problems with Harry Kane, a poor start and the eventual sacking of the unfortunate Nuno Espirito Santo should have all conspired to play into United’s hands.

Enter Antonio Conte who is arguably one of the best coaches in the world.

Only Conte himself will fully understand the size of the task in front of him as he settles himself in to a very unsettled club.

As for United, against Leicester, the Whites at last seemed more like their old selves but the problem of wastefulness continues to haunt them. If Dan James, Jack Harrison and Rodrigo had put away just one extra chance each in recent games the men from LS11 would have a lot more points on the board.

Nevertheless, there have been enough signs in recent weeks to suggest that they could grab a point in North London.

Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Leeds United 2.

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