Venue – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London
Referee – Martin Atkinson
Date & Time – Saturday, January 11th @ 17:30
Current Odds – Spurs 7/2, Draw 10/3, Liverpool 4/6
Liverpool can take another steady step towards league title number 19 this Saturday evening. That 30-year-thirst looks like it just may be quenched at the end of this season. However, there will be plenty more obstacles thrown in The Reds’ path. One such hurdle is this visit to Jose Mourinho’s Spurs. Mourinho was dismissed from his last role, at Manchester United, after a 3-1 defeat at Anfield in December 2018. You can be sure he has revenge on his mind.
Since Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the Spurs hot-seat in late November, they have won six, drawn two and lost four of their 12 games in all competitions.
While that record isn’t fantastic, it has seen Spurs rise from 14th in the league up to 6th. That mid-table area is very tightly contested.
What will worry Spurs fans is that they are without a win in their last three games – drawing 2-2 at Norwich, losing 1-0 away to Southampton and drawing 1-1 on the road at Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.
At their new stadium, Spurs have won six, drawn two and lost two of their 10 home games in the Premier League this campaign.
Liverpool have taken 58 points from a possible 60 in the league. With over half the season now played, The Reds’ 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in October is the only ‘blemish’ on the record for Liverpool this season.
They also have a Champions League last-sixteen clash with Atletico Madrid to look forward. The fringe players and youngsters ensured safe passage to the 4th round of the FA Cup, beating local rivals Everton 1-0 at Anfield last Sunday. All is rosy at Melwood and Anfield.
Against Spurs, Liverpool have won all of the last four fixtures between the two.
Spurs Team News
Like Liverpool, Spurs have some injury worries to contend with at the moment.
Hugo Lloris, Moussa Sissoko, Danny Rose, Tanguy Ndombele, Harry Kane and Ben Davies are all unavailable for selection this weekend.
Jose Mourinho normally sets his Spurs side up in a 4-2-3-1 shape.
Heung-Min Son will likely lead the line in attack with Erik Lamela, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura supporting him from the attacking-midfield area.
Jan Vertonghen will be asked to play at left-back again due to Rose and Davies both being out.
Liverpool Team News
Jurgen Klopp might be slightly worried at the lengthening injury-list at Melwood these days. James Milner, Fabinho, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Naby Keita are all out through injury. Xherdan Shaqiri faces a late fitness test.
The good news is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made a speedy recovery and came off the bench in the FA Cup win over Everton last Sunday. Also, Joe Gomez has shown the form he started the 2018/19 season with and, even if all defenders were now fit, he would probably still be Klopp’s first choice to partner Virgil van Dijk in the centre of the back four.
Thankfully, Liverpool’s strongest front three are all fighting fit and raring to go – Sadio Mané will be buzzing after winning the 2019 CAF African Player of the Year award too.
Spurs XI (4-2-3-1) – Gazzaniga; Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Dier, Winks; Lamela, Alli, Moura; Son
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Firmino, Mané
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool beat Spurs 2-1 at Anfield back in October. Harry Kane gave the visitors a lead in the first minute but second-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah (penalty) gave The Reds a well-deserved victory.
The previous meeting was in Madrid and decided the small matter of the Champions League trophy. Liverpool won 2-0 on that day, of course. Again, Salah scored a penalty and a late Divock Origi goal killed off any Spurs hope of a comeback.
The last match between the sides in London ended in a 2-1 win for The Reds at Wembley. Goals from Gini Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino put Liverpool two ahead. A late strike by Erik Lamela was no more than a consolation for Spurs.
This weekend’s clash will be the first meeting between the sides at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Spurs’ 4-1 win in October 2017 was the last time they managed a win over Jurgen Klopp’s side.
SPURS 1 – 2 LIVERPOOL
One cause for concern is my belief that Spurs can often play better when Harry Kane isn’t in the team. They still have players like Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli and Lucas Moura who can inflict damage on Liverpool. However, this Reds team is a different beast altogether. I think Liverpool will get the win and continue on the march to title number 19.