Preview: Tottenham vs Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur keen to build on positive Real Madrid display with win against Liverpool
Tottenham will look to build on their midweek positive result against Real Madrid when they meet another European heavyweights Liverpool in a crunch Premier League clash at Wembley Stadium on Sunday evening.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham have been making all the right noises in London, with their finishing above Arsenal for only the first time in over two decades last season. On Tuesday night in Champions League, they showed they can hang with the big dogs when they produced yet another display their supporters can be proud of when they drew 1-1 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Having claimed Borussia Dortmund’s scalp in the competition previously, salvaging a point against the La Liga and Champions League holders meant they’d most likely find themselves in the knockout stages.
They can now turn their attention to Premier League, a competition in which they’ve been neither impressive nor bad. They’ve lost their only big-six fixture of the season – a 2-1 loss at the hands of local rivals Chelsea at home – and their record against the Reds, in particular, hasn’t been amazing as they haven’t registered a victory over them in five years. Additionally, their record at Wembley Stadium remains unimpressive; they’ve lost once, drawn twice and have managed to only narrowly beat 19th-placed Bournemouth there. A win on Sunday would definitely be an against-the-odds one, accordingly; however, as a win will prove a huge psychological boost, one expects Pochettino’s boys to come out all guns blazing.
They don’t have a full-strength squad heading into the crunch clash, with iroman Victor Wanyama and forward Erik Lamela not expected to return at least until November. Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, who received a concussion in the Bournemouth game is a doubt and so are Ben Davies and Mousa Dembele. Danny Rose, who played a cameo role in the historic draw in the Spanish capital, will look to be on the starting line-up for the first time since January.
Liverpool themselves have several key players on the sidelines. Sadio Mane, who has been impressive in the attacking third this season, made himself unavailable when he sustained an injury during the recent international break. Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Bogdan are also on the sidelines thanks to injuries.
Liverpool, however, have recently received a major boost, with Philippe Coutinho returning to his best after missing six games through a back injury at the start of the season. The Brazilian, who has been directly involved in seven goals in seven starts this season, will look to add more goals and assists to his tally to prove the Barcelonas and Real Madrids that he’s a true professional, unlike the contract rebels at Arsenal, who are proving gigantic sloths. His counterpart at Tottenham, Harry Kane, will also look to steal the show as he has often done this season, when he goes up against Simon Mignolet.
Liverpool have had a mixed season, as they’ve drawn three and lost one in the domestic league, with the loss being a 5-0 hammering at the hands of currently-unstoppable league leaders Manchester City. However, they’ve managed to drub Tottenham’s neighbours Arsenal 4-0, so it’s safe to assume that their performance against a composed Tottenham side could be the perfect indicator of their strength.