Mouth-watering clash of titans as champions Liverpool face table toppers Tottenham
Liverpool to win 3-1
This has the makings of a terrific game of football and one that could pit Liverpool’s attacking intensity against Tottenham’s counterattacking firepower.
Although Liverpool have not started the season with quite the same vigour as last campaign, they have still been mighty impressive and are only held off the top spot by Spurs’ superior goal difference having conceded eight fewer goals.
They’ve also had a number of several high-profile injuries to contend with and have had to rotate several youth or reserve players into the first team at times. Despite this, they’ve been strong.
Tottenham have been one of the surprises of the season, even though manager Jose Mourinho has fantastic experience in the Premier League.
In Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min they have two of the finest forwards in the league and could be a nightmare for Liverpool’s injury-hit defence.
As champions Liverpool will be slight favourites, but that will not bother Mourinho one bit.
Form Guide (all comps): DWWDD
Reasons to be cheerful:
Have continued their good form despite injuries
Are joint 1st despite not yet hitting top gear
Reasons to be fearful:
New injuries keep coming, particularly in defence
Tottenham’s attack can exploit any weaknesses
Jurgen Klopp has done a pretty outrageous job of keeping Liverpool in the hunt at the top of the table despite having to deal with an injury-ravaged squad, particularly in defence.
They were already threadbare in this position before their 1-1 draw with Fulham, with van Dijk and Joe Gomez suffering potentially season-ending injuries. Joel Matip, Liverpool’s last senior centre back, also picked up an injury in the weekend game, though is hoped to be fit for the clash against Spurs.
Either way, Jose Mourinho will surely look to exploit a second-choice centre back pairing with the pace and quality of Kane and Son.
Fortunately, Liverpool’s attack still looks as dangerous as ever, with Salah continuing to score with high consistency. Diogo Jota could miss up to six weeks with injury, however.
Klopp will not change his tactics, despite the injury situation.
Star Man – Mo Salah
Is one of the few ever-present starters for Liverpool currently and continues to score the goals, with 13 this season already.
Form Guide (all comps): DDWWD
Reasons to be cheerful
Performances in the big games have been great
Can take advantage of Liverpool’s injury crisis
Reasons to be fearful
Are untested against a team of Liverpool’s quality
Rely heavily on Kane and Son’s goals
Tottenham are certainly among the favourites to lift the Premier League at the end of the season.
This fantastic form cannot be considered a mere blip and, as long as Kane and Son stay fit, will be in with a real chance.
Spurs do heavily rely on their two attacking stars, of course. If either of them was to pick up an injury, it would be interesting to see how they cope going forward. They have good players throughout the team, but Kane and Son are without doubt their world-class pair.
They’ve played Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea this season, winning all but one and drawing the other.
That being said, Liverpool will represent quality on a different level to any of those and will provide a massive test of Spurs’ title credentials.
Star Man – Harry Kane
His all-round play is spectacular. He has 19 goal involvements this season, five more than anyone else in the league.
Liverpool will boss possession
If Liverpool score first, Spurs will have to be positive
The champions are favourites
The flow of this match will depend on who scores first.
If it’s Spurs, we’ll see a similar match to their previous fixtures against the big six, by sitting back and hitting them on the counter.
It’ll be more interesting for the neutral fan if Liverpool score first, meaning that Spurs will have to be more positive and play a more open match in search of an equaliser.
Liverpool should just edge this.
Liverpool to win 3-1