Shaky Tottenham hope to avoid Leeds banana-skin in the FA Cup

Shaky Tottenham hope to avoid Leeds banana skin in the FA CupTottenham v Leeds, FA Cup, January 21, 2010

Tottenham 1/3; Draw 5/1; Leeds 10/1

After seeing off Manchester United at Old Trafford, Leeds United were handed another difficult FA Cup fixture at Spurs in the fourth round. Simon Grayson’s side travel to London hoping to show their pedigree once again on the big stage despite a patchy run of form since their win at the Theatre of Dreams.

Jermaine Beckford has been the centre of much transfer speculation since scoring the winner against Manchester United. (Leeds are 17/2 to score in both halves.) Newcastle and Everton have been linked with the free-scoring striker who seems set to run down his contract at Elland Road before a lucrative summer move.

Leeds have lost two games and drawn one since their win at Manchester United and will be eager to gain some momentum from another clash against a major team with their lead at the top of League One down to three points.

There is little doubt that if Leeds show the same desire and commitment at White Hart Lane as they did at Old Trafford, another shock could be on the cards. Casper Ankergren was barely tested in the third round thanks to impressive performances at the back from the likes of Richard Naylor and Jason Crowe. (Leeds are 9/1 to keep a clean sheet, 1/11 against.)

In midfield Neil Kilkenny and Jonathan Howson were full of running and Luciano Becchio proved he can be a threat against Premier League defences. Beckford may have received all the plaudits and attention after his goal, but this Leeds team are better than League One and are sure to rise to the occasion again on Saturday tea time.

Spurs meanwhile will be looking to recover from their disappointing display at Anfield on Wednesday night. Harry Redknapp’s side failed to match Liverpool’s desire and work rate in a pivotal clash for a Champions League spot. The Tottenham boss takes the FA Cup seriously but he admitted after the Premier League defeat that some of the younger players would get an opportunity to impress.

Almost a first choice Spurs team saw off Peterborough 4-0 in the last round, this time the likes of Danny Rose and Giovani Dos Santos could be given a chance to impress after they were unused substitutes at Liverpool. Aaron Lennon has pinpointed this match to make his return from a groin injury and along with Robbie Keane, another who is likely to be restored to the starting line up, will face his former club. (Spurs are 9/1 to win both halves.)

Another former Leeds player Jonathan Woodgate will be missing through injury, as will Ledley King and Tom Huddlestone. (Spurs are EVS to keep a clean sheet, 10/11 against.)  A number of lesser sides have defended deep and secured points at White Hart Lane this season, including Hull last week and Stoke and Wolves. Wigan’s 9-1 mauling is often held up to prove Spurs’ attacking prowess but it isn’t always so cut and dried.

This is probably the tie of the round and with both teams having something to prove it could well be a close match. (11/10 to be under 2.5 goals, 5/7 to be over.)

101gg predicts: Tottenham 2 – Leeds 1 (9/1)

Tottenham 1/3; Draw 5/1; Leeds 10/1

Full match odds here.