Tottenham will look to replicate their recent form at Anfield, with Spurs facing the prospect of entering the top four with a win over Liverpool on Sunday.
Liverpool took a major step in the positive direction, making quick work of a struggling Huddersfield side, the kind of sides the Reds seem to always struggled against. The Reds will now find themselves in a more comfortable predicament, with Jurgen Klopp & co. set to host Tottenham on Sunday.
For Tottenham, the top four race has certainly become more interesting with a win over Manchester United. Mauricio Pochettino will take heart from the fact that, while the league still has a fair bit of matches left, they could enter the top four if they manage to secure a win at Anfield.
The last encounter between the two sides saw Liverpool struggle to cope with the threat of Tottenham, with Spurs running out 4-1 winners at home. Ahead of their latest encounter, we take a closer look at the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne have both returned to training, but are unlikely to feature against Spurs on Sunday. Virgil van Dijk will most likely be named in the starting lineup after being rested against Huddersfield during the midweek.
Loris Karius should continue in goal. But, the main point of contention will be the fact that who between Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip will make way for van Dijk, should the January arrival return to the starting lineup.
One more change could be in the offing, with Klopp unlikely to start James Milner in back-to-back games in midfield. In his stead, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should get the nod.
Klopp will be more intent on the attacking side of the game, with the manager already admitting that the defence needs a bit of work before being ready to control the game.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Karius; Gomez, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Can, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Serge Aurier (calf) and Harry Winks (ankle) seem to have recovered from their respective injuries and are in contention to feature on Sunday. But, the major point of concern will be the potential inclusion of new arrival Lucas Moura. The Brazilian only joined training on Saturday and while he could be named on the bench, it is highly improbable that Pochettino thrusts him straight into the starting lineup.
We could ideally see Pochettino retain the entire starting eleven that won 2-0 against Manchester United, with Eric Dier working well to diffuse the attacks and the Englishman is likely to be tasked with the same responsibility against Liverpool.
Son Heung-Min’s work rate was one of the driving factors in the midweek win and the attacker will retain his spot, unless the manager surprises everyone by starting Lucas Moura.
Tottenham will look to pile on the pressure from the get-go, with Pochettino directing his players to press high up the field in order to force Liverpool’s defenders into making mistakes.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Dier, Dembele; Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane
1. Both Teams to Score – YES @ 1.50
2. Over 4.5 Match Cards @ 1.83
1. A red card in Match – YES @ 4.50
1. Big-game manager – Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in the last 12 home matches in the Premier League against a ‘top six’ opponent.
2. Kane Spurs do it? – While Harry Kane does have a more than decent record of 4 goals and 2 assists in 6 outings against Liverpool, the Spurs striker has been on the winning end of the fixture just once.
3. Can’t stop at one – Harry Kane has a knack of scoring more than one goal in Premier League this season. Out of a total 24 appearances so far, he has scored in just 11 matches but 8 of those have been braces or more – the stat includes 2 hattricks.
4. Mohamed Salah can become the fastest Liverpool player to reach 20 goals in the Premier League. The Egyptian has 19 goals from 24 games, with Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres currently holding the record (27 games each).
5. Liverpool have lost just one of their previous 23 meetings with Tottenham at home in the Premier League (W15 D7).
Player to Watch
Virgil van Dijk
The player has come under scrutiny very early on in his Liverpool career. The rest during the midweek is unlikely to do him any good. Against Tottenham, not only does he have a chance to redeem himself for playing a key role in their loss to Swansea, but also to justify his arrival and price tag as well.
Big players often come up with clutch moments in big matches. And Sunday could be van Dijk’s moment.
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
We strangely, tip a narrow win for Liverpool on Sunday. Yes, Tottenham are riding high on their 2-0 win over Manchester United. But, Liverpool’s performances against the top sides have always been top notch and we expect the same at Anfield on Sunday.
Expect both the teams to get on the scoresheet, but for Liverpool to edge the visitors out, albeit narrowly.