Liverpool will be hoping to reopen their six-point gap atop the Premier League table when they welcome Tottenham to Anfield on Sunday.
Gameweek 10 of the 2019-20 Premier League season comes to an end on Sunday, with four of the ‘Big Six’ sides in action at the same time. The marquee fixture of the weekend, though, will have Liverpool playing hosts to Tottenham Hotspur, looking to continue their unbeaten start to their league campaign.
Liverpool look like a team on a mission after missing out on winning the Premier League title last season by just one point. The Reds have been the runaway leaders in the top-flight this term, having not been beaten yet in their first nine fixtures. In fact, the only time they were unable to win a game was last weekend, when they held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw.
Tottenham, on the other hand, have been in disarray in the first two months of the season. After a sub-par start to the season, things have only gone from bad to worse for the North Londoners, who have failed to win six of their last eight games, although Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be buoyed by their 5-0 win in the UEFA Champions League over Crvena Zvezda earlier this week.
Liverpool and Tottenham clashed three times last season, the latest being the Champions League final, wherein the Reds had triumphed. The Merseyside club also won the corresponding fixture last season and ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the Premier League encounter.
Team News & Tactics
Jurgen Klopp has only provided positive updates on the team news front ahead of the visit of Tottenham Hotspur. On Sunday, the Liverpool boss is only likely to be without two first-team players, namely Nathaniel Clyne (knee) and Xherdan Shaqiri (calf), although Joel Matip is a major doubt heading into the fixture.
The Cameroonian defender missed the midweek fixture against Genk due to a knee injury and will face a late fitness test to determine his availability for Sunday. But, first-choice full-back pairing Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson are fit and likely to start.
Alexander-Arnold did not travel to Belgium for the Champions League excursion due to an illness, but has recovered to make himself available for the visit of Tottenham. Robertson, on the other hand, has shrugged off a knock and will take up the left-back slot for Liverpool.
If Matip is not risked, Dejan Lovren could be the man to partner Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the Liverpool defence once again, just as he did at Genk. Behind the defensive line, Alisson Becker will take his place in goal once again.
Up ahead in midfield, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in contention to start a second successive game following his superb brace in the Champions League. But, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson should replace his compatriot in the starting lineup, with Georginio Wijnaldum expected to come into the side in place of Naby Keita.
Fabinho will hold the fort in front of the backline and will look to set the tempo of the game as well. The attacking unit, meanwhile, picks itself, with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane being certain starters for Liverpool.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Mauricio Pochettino will be without two first-team players ahead of Tottenham’s trip to Liverpool this weekend. Ryan Sessegnon is recovering from a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined till next month.
But, the major miss for Spurs is Hugo Lloris, who is a long-term absentee due to an elbow injury he picked up earlier this month. In the Tottenham captain’s absence, Paulo Gazzaniga will continue to deputise in goal against Liverpool, although he will need to weed out the mistakes that can often creep into his game.
Pochettino, meanwhile, should change formation to contain the threat posed by the Liverpool front three, with the Tottenham boss likely to make use of the 3-4-2-1. In the back-three, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez are certain picks.
Serge Aurier and Danny Rose ought to be the two wing-backs, positions that cater to their strengths better. Tanguy Ndombele did impress in the 5-0 rout of Crvena Zvezda. But, the Frenchman might have to make way for Harry Winks, who will look to stifle the Liverpool midfielders, with Moussa Sissoko being the workhorse in the middle of the park.
Dele Alli has made quite an impression in the last two games and the resurgent Englishman should be one of the two attacking midfielders playing off Harry Kane. Son Heung-min will take the final place in the side, with the South Korean forward being the form player for Spurs.
Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Gazzaniga; Sanchez, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Aurier, Sissoko, Winks, Rose; Son, Alli; Kane
- Tottenham’s 4-1 win at Wembley in October 2017 is their only win in their last 15 meetings with Liverpool in all competitions (D4 L10).
- If Liverpool win this match, they will equal the Premier League record of 28 points after the first 10 games. All three teams that hold that record (Chelsea in 2005-06, Manchester City in 2011-12 & 2017-18) went on to win the title that season.
- Tottenham won 11 of their opening 13 Premier League away games last season but are winless in all subsequent 10 top-flight matches on the road (D2 L8).
- Mohamed Salah has scored six goals in his last eight starts against Tottenham across all competitions, four for the Reds and one each for Basel and Fiorentina.
- Harry Kane has been directly involved in seven goals in nine Premier League appearances against Liverpool, scoring five and setting up two.
Player to Watch
He may have a decent record of 9 goals in 12 appearances across all competitions this season. But, no player has exemplified Tottenham’s struggles and inconsistencies this season more than Harry Kane.
When Spurs have their backs against the wall, the English striker is more often than not completely out of the game. When they are in among the goals, it is usually Kane who is involved, as was the case earlier this week in the UEFA Champions League as well.
With Premier League leaders Liverpool up next for Tottenham, Kane, who will don the armband for Tottenham, will need to lead by example in order to inspire what will be regarded as quite a shock in the current scheme of things.
Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
This is a match that pits two heavyweights of the Premier League, albeit two teams that are on the opposite end of the spectrum as far as form in the competition is concerned. Tottenham have been horrible on the road all through 2019 while there has been no beating Liverpool at home for a long time.
But, in their 5-0 thrashing of Crvena Zvezda, Spurs showed that they can channel their anguish into something positively tangible. Having said that, Tottenham are likely to find it difficult to edge Liverpool at Anfield, which is nothing short of a fortress for the Reds.
Expect a tight contest early on, with Liverpool likely to open up a two-goal lead in the second half. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 win for Jurgen Klopp & co. A result that piles on the misery on Mauricio Pochettino while enabling the Reds to keep their six-point lead atop the Premier League intact.