These two teams met as recently as three seasons ago after Leeds United had improbably won 1-0 at Old Trafford in the third round of the FA Cup. Jermaine Beckford was the hero against Manchester United and he chipped in with two more goals at White Hart Lane as the sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw before Spurs won the replay 3-1 thanks to a hat-trick from Jermain Defoe.
While Beckford has since left Elland Road, Defoe remains very much part of the team at Tottenham and he will be looking to get back on the goal trail at Elland Road after a barren patch which has seen the forward fail to score in the last four matches.
He’s a 9/2 chance to break the deadlock and his Spurs team are a best price 8/11 (William Hill) to book their place in the fifth round of the competition by winning this match in ninety minutes, although Leeds have beaten a couple of Premier League teams at home this season.
While Neil Warnock’s side are struggling to mount a promotion challenge in the Championship, they have beaten Southampton and Everton in the Capital One Cup before losing 5-1 at home to Chelsea in the quarter final of the competition. Some will fancy the 9/2 (bet365) that a third top flight scalp is claimed on Sunday afternoon.
Warnock might well be on borrowed time at the west Yorkshire club considering Leeds seemed to be doing better under Simon Grayson than they are with Warnock although the board might give the manager until the end of the season and there’s an outside chance of United making the play-offs.
It’s possible that Luciano Becchio will be left out of the squad for this match after handing in a shock transfer request this week and the Argentine’s 19 goals is the reason why Leeds have the chance to challenge for a top six place.
Perhaps he will play his last game in a white shirt on Sunday and the crowd favourite is a 7/1 chance to stun Tottenham by scoring the opener, although the visitors will be confident of coming out on top in this match.
Spurs are arguably improved under Andre Villas-Boas, especially from a defensive point-of-view where Steven Caulker, Michael Dawson and Jan Vertonghen compete for places, while Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey support Defoe in attack.
Bale in particular has stood out once again and the Welshman will be looking to wreak more havoc in this game, although there’s a concern that a physical Leeds side could look to shackle him at every turn.
Spurs’ class should eventually tell and they are a 17/2 chance with BetVictor to win 2-1 while a 3-1 win in their favour is 14/1 and there is certainly lots of goals throughout the team.