As the season progress, and we are halfway through the fixtures, the teams that sit at the top are finally going to lock horns in a tense battle at Anfield. Looking to the past, Liverpool’s dominance over Tottenham Hotspur doesn’t favour them anymore this season, as Spurs visit Anfield with growing confidence under Jose Mourinho, and back to back results. Liverpool on the other hand, with an unimpressive 1-1 draw at Fulham last weekend, come into the game without the injured Diego Joto, and doubtful starters in Joel Matip and Naby Keita. With many other first-team regulars out of this crucial encounter, it will be interesting to see how Liverpool could set themselves up against a Spurs side, who favour counter attacking football.
Liverpool come into the game with a confidence of five consecutive wins against Spurs in all competitions. They are also unbeaten on their home turf in the last 64 league matches, a club record. Despite these stats, this time around things won’t be as easy, with the mounting injury crisis which forced Jorgen Klopp to introduce academy players on to the team sheet. Diego Jota is the latest name in the long list of injuries alongside Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Tsimikas, and Shaqiri to miss this important fixture. Klopp could also be forced to introduce Nat Philips alongside Fabinho, or a doubtful starter in Matip, who was taken off during the half time.
Spurs, on the other hand, come into the game with impressive stats of their own. With the best defensive record of the division and the presence of the Son and Kane combination upfront, they have everything in their favour coming into the game. Having a five-goal advantage over Liverpool, Mourinho would be expecting nothing short of win at Anfield. With Lamela, being the only player injured and out, we could also expect the return of Gareth Bale back into the team sheet after being absent for selection last week. Spurs also come into the game with the confidence of having achieved positive results against top 6 sides this season, playing deep and expecting quick counter-attacks through Kane and Son.
In previous meetings, Liverpool side has won 85 matches out of 175 they have played against Spurs. Liverpool have lost 48 times to them with 42 of the games ending in a draw.
Liverpool Predicted XI (4-3-3): Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nat Phillips, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Curtis Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Tottenham Hotspur Predicted XI (4-3-3): Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon, Hojbjerg, Sissoko, Ndombele, Bergwijn, Son, Kane
The major question regarding the game will be on how Liverpool will be planning to contain Harry Kane in the middle of the park without the defenders not getting dragged out of their position. The high-pressing wing backs of Liverpool could be forced to play more defensively to counter the presence of Bergwijn and Son prowling behind the vacant spaces left in the wings. It could also be interesting to see how Henderson and Fabinho deal with Harry Kane’s habit of dropping into the middle of the park to progress their attacks. Mourinho would also be looking forward to introducing Le Celso from the start, after his good form in recent games. Meanwhile, Ndombele could if he doesn’t start be introduced later during the game to bolster their defence. Liverpool, on the other hand, would be expected to trust their attack more than their defence in winning points out of the game. With Spurs expecting to sit back, with a defensive pivot in the middle, we could see either the game of football we saw at Manchester City or the game of rigid football we saw at Chelsea.