Saturday, 17th October 2015, 12.45 BST
White Hart Lane
Liverpool take on Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday in their ninth game of the season. Club action begins after a brief international break. Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpoola s new manager and the build up to the game is around the German manager. The euphoria of landing the talismanic Klopp might have made people forget that Spurs are in brilliant touch at the moment. They will also be facing a Liverpool side that will be regrouping under the new boss.
Team News & Tactics
. Tottenham Hotspur
All eyes will be on Klopp, but Spurs would be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the league to an impressive eight games. For Tottenham, the international break came at a bad time as the side was just beginning to bloom. Spurs, along with Everton and Leicester, are the only teams to have lost just one game in the league this season. They sit in the eighth position with 13 points in the league table.
As far as team news is concerned, the home side will be without the talismanic Eric Dier who has impressed massively in his new midfield role. He is suspended for one game for picking up his fifth yellow card of the season. The problem is only compounded as Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason will also miss the game with injuries. This could mean Moussa Dembele would start alongside Dele Alli in the midfield. Alex Pritchard is also sidelined. The big blow for Spurs is that summer recruit Son Heung-Min is out for another six weeks due to the ankle injury he picked up against Manchester City.
Pochettino would want Harry Kane to start firing for the side again soon. After scoring 31 goals in all competitions last season, Kane has been struggling to recapture that stunning form, scoring just once in 13 games for Spurs in all competitions. They do have other attackers in the form of Eriksen, Chadli and Lamela who could shoulder the scoring responsibility, but Spurs need a firing striker. After a goal against Lithuania, Kane should be feeling confident of going against a shaky Liverpool defence.
The advantage for the London side in this game is also the fact that the Liverpool side could be caught between two philosophies as Jurgen Klopp has hardly got a week to get his new side sorted. Tottenham should look to play an attacking game and try and make Kloppa s start to the Premier League, very difficult.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Alli, Dembele; Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli; Kane
Brendan Rodgers is a forgotten man, despite the fact that he was in charge of the club just two weeks ago. Such is the effect of Jurgen Klopp. The German is facing a tough test in his first outing but he oozes confidence nevertheless.
Liverpool have been cursed with the international break, especially with their England contingent. They havena t been spared this time as well. They received a massive blow with Danny Ings and Joe Gomez both ruled out for the season with ACL injuries. Both summer recruits have been particularly good for the club and it is a difficult situation as it leaves the squad paper thin. Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino, Jordan Henderson and long term absentee Jon Flanagan will miss the game with injuries. Dejan Lovren and Philippe Coutinho will be available for selection.
It is a puzzle what team Klopp would field in his first game. The German preferred the 4-2-3-1 at Dortmund and it is our wild guess that he woud use the same formation in his first game in charge of Liverpool. The big question as far as selection goes is where we are likely to see James Milner. Surely, the stand-in captain will get a start, although he must make more of a mark to cement his place in the team. Milner has not done well starting in the midfield for the Reds. It would be interesting to see if he plays on the wings, where he was so successful for Manchester City. Emre Can and one of Joe Allen or Lucas Leiva could find themselves starting in the midfield. Youngster Joao Carlos Teixeira was seen training with the first team and could feature in the game.
Liverpool have done well against Tottenham under Brendan Rodgers and Klopp should look to replicate it. They mustna t forget that their opponents are in good form at the moment. The defence will have to be doubly careful against the likes of Eriksen, Chadli, Lamela and Kane. Meanwhile Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho will be Liverpoola s go-to men for goals. The duo share a good chemistry on the pitch and for Liverpool to secure maximum points, both the players will have to give in their 100%.
Probable starting line-up: Mignolet; Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno; Lucas, Can, Milner, Coutinho, Lallana; Sturridge
- Liverpool have won five successive league matches against Spurs for the first time since 1976; this is the 145th league clash between the sides but neither has ever won six in a row.
- Liverpool have scored exactly once in eight of their last 11 league matches.
- Tottenhama s last five Premier League home defeats have all been by a one goal margin; the last team to win by more at White Hart Lane were Liverpool (3-0 in August 2014).
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur)
The Dane has been emphatic for Spurs since his arrival from Ajax a couple of seasons ago. He showed just how good he is last season with his constant late winners and once again rescued his side against Swansea with two great free-kicks. In fact, since his Premier League debut in September 2013, Christian Eriksen has scored more direct free-kicks than any other player- 6. His contribution will be important for the home side, especially with Harry Kane firing blanks. He could have an easy task if Lucas starts in the midfield as the Brazilian has become slow after many injuries.
Tottenham 2 Liverpool 1
A win could see Liverpool go above Spurs in the table. But despite Klopp and the bucket load of positivity he has brought with him, the home side which is in such wonderful touch at the moment, should be expected to win against a depleted Liverpool.