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There is no shame in coming out second best at the fortress that is Anfield, but the manner in which his side capitulated surely concerned Marcelo Bielsa, as the Leeds boss witnessed his side go down 6-0 to the title-chasing Merseysiders.
Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane both struck braces for Liverpool on the day, while one of Joel Matip‘s mazy forward runs finally ended in a goal and Virgil van Dijk scored the easiest header he will ever score to round off an emphatic Reds victory.
Bielsa admitted after the encounter that the threat of relegation is starting to worry him, as Leeds and their leaky defence now occupy 15th spot in the rankings – just three points above Burnley, who have experienced an upturn in fortunes – having played two games more.
The Whites’ tally of 56 goals conceded represents the worst defensive record in the Premier League this term – with 16 of those strikes being shipped in their last four games – and it is now three successive defeats for this confidence-depleted Leeds side.
Furthermore, three of Leeds’ most recent four Premier League games at Elland Road have ended in defeat as they endeavour to pull off a surprise result against Tottenham, but the visitors’ confidence also took a mammoth hit in midweek.
Leeds remain without the services of Patrick Bamford, Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Sam Greenwood, but Diego Llorente should be back from a hamstring strain which caused him to miss the Liverpool loss.
Some predicted Llorente to be dropped in any case given his below-par outing against Manchester United, and Robin Koch has recovered from the head injury he sustained against the Red Devils.
Bielsa’s hand is therefore forced in several areas, but the Whites boss should consider bringing Tyler Roberts and Jamie Shackleton back into the XI in a bid to freshen things up.
Meanwhile, Spurs have been handed a fresh concern with January signing Rodrigo Bentancur, who was taken off at half time after suffering an awkward fall in the torrid conditions at Burnley and will not take part on Saturday.
Sergio Reguilon was fit enough for a place on the bench and could now displace Ryan Sessegnon, but Pierluigi Gollini is a doubt due to illness, while Oliver Skipp (groin) and Japhet Tanganga (knee) are fighting uphill battles to recover from their injuries.
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Conte may elect to re-introduce Lucas Moura to the first XI this week, in turn allowing Dejan Kulusevski to move into a wing-back role as Emerson Royal drops out of the side.
Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Struijk, Llorente, Dallas; Koch, Forshaw; Raphinha, Rodrigo, Harrison; Roberts
Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Kulusevski, Winks, Hojbjerg, Reguilon; Lucas, Kane, Son