Tottenham Hotspur will take on Liverpool this weekend at Wembley Stadium in what promises to be as exciting of a football game as one could imagine. Managers extraordinaire, Mauricio Pochettino and Jürgen Klopp, will face each other across the pitch in an undeniably tense contest.
In recent years, Spurs have developed a knack of winning games ever so quietly, and their presence in the top four (top three, in fact), is now almost a given. Tottenham Hotspur have, once again, managed to accumulate the most points in the calendar year without ever really getting a taste of what it means to be at the top of the Premier League pile.
With five wins and two draws in the opening eight games—and an impressive performance against the European Champions—the North London outfit have made a solid start to their campaign. They are placed third in the league with only three points separating them and Manchester United. But it remains to be seen whether they will legitimately challenge the Manchester clubs who, at the moment, look the most likely to take the crown back to North West England.
Liverpool, on the other hand, seem to have dusted themselves off. After a shaky start and a rough defeat, they are raring to go again—like they always tend to do. A rather disappointing result against their biggest rivals (Manchester United) in the weekend—overshadowing a positive performance—paved the way for a rout in Europe against Maribor. A midweek 7-0 win put some confidence back in the side.
The Reds enter this game with the right kind of momentum. In addition to the recent history between the two clubs, Jürgen Klopp will be eager to further their already impeccable record against the fellow ‘Big Six’ sides in the country.
Ben Davies is still sidelined through illness and will have to be assessed before the weekend. Key midfielder Mousa Dembélé is also a doubt ahead of Liverpool’s visit. Danny Rose made his first appearance in a Spurs’ shirt since January, with a 10-minute cameo. He could make the bench again. Victor Wanyama and Erik Lamela remain a few weeks from a return. Georges-Kévin N’Koudou could miss the game after suffering a concussion.
Liverpool appear to have no fresh injury concerns; however, two of their main men, Sadio Mané and Adam Lallana, remain on the sidelines. Nonetheless, Philippe Coutinho looks back to his best after pushing for a summer move and will be chasing his fifth consecutive away game on Sunday.
Tottenham—Lloris, Sánchez, Dier, Alderweireld, Trippier, Sissoko, Winks, Eriksen, Vertonghen, Son, Dele, and Kane
Liverpool—Mignolet, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Can, Salah, Firmino, and Coutinho
- After a run of four wins and a draw between 2010-2012, Tottenham Hotspur are winless in their last nine Premier League matches against Liverpool (W0 D3 L6).
- There has been a Premier League record of nine own goals scored in this fixture.
- Harry Kane has not scored in either of his PL home appearances versus Liverpool (173 minutes). The only side he has faced more often without finding the net at home is Crystal Palace (three appearances, 269 minutes).
Harry Kane—Tottenham Hotspur
It’s got to be Harry Kane. The fact that Kane has not scored against Liverpool as often as he has done against the other sides in the Premier League may indeed be one of the primary reasons behind Spurs’ poor record against the Reds. The 24-year-old is undoubtedly world-class and he’s showed it consistently in the last three seasons. But it is time Spurs won these games to take points off fellow contenders.
Phillipe Coutinho is Liverpool’s most important player, and on his day he can destroy most teams on his own. But the streak of inconsistency and poor decision-making from the Brazilian has often been Liverpool’s undoing. This is particularly true in the games against lesser sides, although Spurs are far from one.
Liverpool, under Klopp, have been finding it difficult—rather uncharacteristically so—to convert chances; the 25-year-old could prove vital to the visitors in improving that record.
I think this is the week when Spurs finally break the Liverpool curse:
Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 Liverpool