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Liverpool’s players will look to lift the morbid mood around the club with a positive performance at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, with three points really needed at a now-crucial time in the Reds’ season.
Match: Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Date: Saturday 11th February
Time: 17:30 BST
Liverpool have won just one game in 10, away at Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup replay. They’d go on to lose at home to Championship side Wolves in the next round. Home defeats to Southampton and Swansea City have also come about in this woeful run, with Premier League draws against Sunderland, Manchester United and Chelsea the only points the Reds have picked up in the league of late.
That performance against Chelsea, in the second half at least, did seem to signal a revival, one that was quickly quashed by a horrendous performance against Hull City at the KCOM Stadium last weekend, Jürgen Klopp’s men losing 2-0. They’re now out of the top four, down to fifth and only a point ahead of Manchester United. It’s not crisis time just yet, but another defeat on Saturday might well push things over the limit.
Spurs’ story of late is completely different. Their fine run has seen them leapfrog Liverpool in the league, now in second and four points ahead of the Reds. They’re seen by many as Chelsea’s only credible title challengers, but do remain a staggering nine points off the Blues with 24 games played.
The Lilywhites have struggled for goals in the last couple of games, an away stalemate at Sunderland followed up by a Harry Kane penalty securing a 1-0 win at home to Middlesbrough. Still, they’re unbeaten in 11 in all competitions, leaving Liverpool with a really tough task on their hands come Saturday.
Klopp may well be tempted to change things around after last weekend’s debacle, and given there are no new injuries to worry about, he may well do so. You’d expect the front three to remain the same despite failing to fire against Hull, but Georginio Wijnaldum will be expected to come back into the fold for Emre Can having been surprisingly dropped against the Tigers.
Simon Mignolet’s position in goal could come into consideration given a belief shared by many that he’s cost his side two goals in as many games, although Loris Karius would consider himself lucky to get back into the side for this one. Dejan Lovren faces a scan on his knee to determine his fitness.
Jan Vertonghen’s injury has seen Mauricio Pochettino return to a four-man defensive formation of late, with Kevin Wimmer not trusted in a three-man backline alongside Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld. Spurs are sweating on the fitness of Danny Rose, who faces a late fitness test to see if he’ll be available, although it seems unlikely at this point. Kieran Trippier is another absentee in the defence. Erik Lamela is a long term absentee with a hip problem.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana; Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.
Tottenham Hotspur Predicted XI: Lloris; Walker, Dier, Alderweireld, Davies; Dembele, Wanyama; Alli, Son, Eriksen; Kane.
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool’s impressive recent record against Tottenham continued earlier on in the season as the two teams played out a competitive 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, in just the third week of the league campaign. James Milner opened the scoring from the spot as Joel Matip went on to hit the bar with a header in his first start for the Reds, before Rose’s 72nd minute equaliser ensured a share of the spoils in what Klopp labelled “a very good away performance”.
- Liverpool have won five and drawn three of their last eight Premier League games vs Tottenham
- This fixture has seen more penalties awarded than any other in Premier League history
- Mauricio Pochettino is yet to beat Liverpool as Spurs manager, but managed the feat home and away when in charge of Southampton
- Spurs have only won twice in their last 24 visits to Anfied, losing 15 times.
PREDICTION: LIVERPOOL 2-2 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR
The Reds will once again raise their game for a big opponent and the unbeaten run against Spurs will continue, but I don’t think Liverpool will manage a win this weekend. A draw might not be a bad result in the long run, but will likely see supporters left frustrated once more. Philippe Coutinho on the scoresheet.