Paul Parker

Another upset in offing for Leeds

Paul Parker

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UPSET OF THE WEEKEND: Tottenham v Leeds

Leeds have been to Old Trafford and beaten Manchester United and they will go to White Hart Lane without fear of top flight opposition - and in the knowledge that they are capable of causing another upset.

On paper, this is a match Spurs should win - Leeds are, after all, two divisions below them - but Harry Redknapp's side have shown this season they are prone to losing home games they are expected to win. Look no further than the games against Wolves, Stoke and Hull.

Leeds have nothing to lose in their trip to North London. They head into the game on the crest of a wave having knocked out the Premier League champions in the third round, a result that will have given Simon Grayson's side a huge amount of confidence.

Leeds are winning games of football at the moment, they're pushing for promotion from their league and clearly their fans believe they should be pitting their wits against the likes of United and Spurs week in, week out.

This game gives them another chance to prove how capable they are and, with the away end sold out and a rocking atmosphere expected, Redknapp will have a real challenge on his hands to get his players tuned in and up for the fight.

MATCH OF THE WEEKEND: West Brom v Newcastle

I watched the Championship match between these two sides on Monday and it was an entertaining affair which bodes well for this weekend's rematch in the Cup. It looks like it could be a real cracker.

It wasn't too long ago when these sides were meeting in the top flight and both teams will have ambitions of doing well in this season's Cup. They will have had a look at who is left in the competition and realised there is no reason why they cannot go far this year.

Like Leeds in the division below them, they are both winning games at the moment and there are not too many places between them and some of the Premier League teams left in the competition. So why not?

West Brom were unlucky not to have won all three points at St James' Park during the week but it was a fairly well-matched game and could have gone either way. Both sides will fancy their chances this time round at The Hawthorns but I think home advantage may be telling, with Roman Bednar to make the difference for the Baggies.

The striker has taken his time to find favour but he scored on Monday and has a knack of being in the right place at the right time.


For the player to watch this weekend, look no further than Carlos Tevez.

The spat with Gary Neville this week ensured he made the headlines and he is sure to be the centre of attention at Scunthorpe. So again, he will find himself having a point to prove, something he is increasingly finding himself adept at.

Tevez does everything - he scores goals, makes goals, works hard, never sulks and is the kind of player that is always in contention for players' player of the year awards.

You can put him anywhere - Eastlands, the Blue Square Premier or the middle of Hackney Marshes - and he will always give you 100 per cent. He was born to play football.

Of course he wants to earn money too, but he wants to play as often as possible and he wants to win things. He will never take anything for granted or disrespect anybody. As far as I'm concerned, he is an Argentinian with the heart of an old-fashioned British player.

So you can bet your life he will be up for the game at Glanford Park - and that can only be bad news for Scunthorpe.


The new Burnley manager faces a tricky tie at Reading in his second game in charge after his first ended in defeat to Manchester United in what was a real baptism of fire.

There is no shame at all in losing at Old Trafford and Burnley actually played very well last weekend, but Laws will be expected to lead his side to victory over Reading on Saturday.

That his side are playing a Championship outfit automatically adds to the pressure on any new manager's shoulders. Failure to beat perceived inferior opposition would be far from ideal at this early stage of his Turf Moor career.

A slip-up at the Madejski Stadium would make his next game - at fellow Premier League strugglers Bolton - a must-win fixture, if it wasn't already.

And Reading will make it tough for the Clarets. They did exceptionally well to knock out Liverpool over two games in the last round and despite their previous poor league form, they may fancy their chances against Burnley, especially since Saturday's visitors to Berkshire have such a poor away record.

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