Antonio Conte's first league game at home in charge of Spurs sees struggling Leeds provide the opposition
Antonio Conte’s first Premier League home game in charge of Tottenham Hotspur takes place on Sunday afternoon, as Leeds United travel to the capital to provide the opposition.
After a thrilling 3-2 win over Vitesse in the Europa Conference League, expectation was high going into last weekend’s game against Everton, but a goalless draw brought a reminder of the work that the Italian still needs to do.
Marcelo Bielsa’s workload isn’t lacking either, with the Whites still hovering over the relegation zone after a slow start to their second season back in the top flight. Much of their lethargic start has been down to injuries in key areas, with Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford missing large portions of action so far.
Despite hopes that Bamford would be back after a troublesome ankle injury, the news is negative on that front. The England striker is expected to miss at least another week with the issue, so Rodrigo is likely to continue up front for Leeds.
Robin Koch is also out with a pelvic injury and won’t feature anytime soon, and Luke Ayling isn’t expected to make it either, so another patched-together defence is set to line up in North London. Jamie Shackleton and Junior Firpo should be OK to make the squad, but there’s doubts over young striker Joe Gelhardt.
As for Spurs, Conte’s patented back three system was seen against Everton, and is set to continue. Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal got the nod in the all important wing-back roles and are likely to continue, with Harry Kane leading the line after scoring seven goals for England during the international break.
Oliver Skipp won’t be involved after picking up a suspension for five yellow cards, meaning Spurs have issues in central midfield. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missed both of Denmark’s games during the break and faces a late fitness test to determine whether he’s beaten a knee problem, so Harry Winks and Tanguy Ndombele could come in.
Bryan Gil is likely to miss out with a thigh problem, and the almost forgotten Ryan Sessegnon is also injured and won’t be involved.
Last season, both sides claimed a win apiece, with both scoring three goals when on home turf. Kane, Son Heung-Min and Toby Alderweireld netted for Spurs when Jose Mourinho was in charge, which feels like a lifetime ago. Bielsa will be hoping for a repeat of the result at Elland Road, when the Whites ran out 3-1 winners.
Spurs take on Leeds United at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 21st. Kick-off is at 4.30pm.