Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Anthony Taylor
Date & Time – Wednesday, December 16th @ 20:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 3/4, Draw 14/5, Spurs 7/2
There will be 2,000 lucky Liverpool fans present this Wednesday night as the reigning Premier League champions welcome the current league leaders to Anfield. Jürgen Klopp holds the upper hand in head-to-head meetings with Mourinho, having won five of their eleven matches. Mourinho’s teams have beaten Klopp’s twice.
Liverpool looked surprisingly lethargic at Fulham on Sunday, just about scraping a 1-1 draw with the Londoners thanks to a late Mohamed Salah penalty. Yet, it should not really be a surprise at all that we saw a performance such as that one. This Liverpool squad must be running on fumes at this stage.
Last time out at Anfield, The Reds delighted the 2,000 Kopites who were present with a scintillating 4-0 win over a good Wolves side. More of the same Wednesday night, lads, please.
Spurs have lost just twice in 22 competitive fixtures this season. Jose Mourinho’s side sits top of the Premier League at the moment, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference. They have beaten Manchester City, hammered Manchester United and earned a draw away to Chelsea in recent months.
There’s no doubt Mourinho would like nothing more than to show the football world that his ‘dinosaur’ tag was prematurely attached. However, if Spurs encounter an injury crisis even half the extent of what Liverpool have faced, that title challenge could come undone very quickly indeed.
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool, unfortunately, have now added the names of Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas to the seemingly ever-increasing injury list. It was reported in recent days that Jota’s knee injury will keep him out for up to eight weeks. Now, it seems that Tsimikas’ injury is going to make him unavailable for roughly the same period of time.
The players missing at the moment, along with Jota and Tsimikas, are Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcântara, Naby Keïta, Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Apparently, Keïta is the only player from that list who has any chance of making Wednesday’s match-day squad.
Joël Matip went off injured at half time in the Fulham game on Sunday. However, Jürgen Klopp reported the issue to be a back spasm and stated that the centre-half may well be available to start against Spurs.
The good news for Liverpool is that Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold are now both back to full fitness.
Klopp will stick with Matip and Fabinho in central defence if Matip is deemed fit to play. Alexander-Arnold will start on the right with Andy Robertson at left-back as usual.
In midfield, Curtis Jones could get the nod again as he teams up with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum in a 4-3-3 formation.
With Diogo Jota now also out, that leaves Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané as the sure starters in the forward line for Liverpool.
Spurs Team News
Jose Mourinho is likely to choose either a 3-5-2 or 4-2-3-1 shape with his Spurs selection this weekend. I think Mourinho will opt for four at the back with the full-backs not given too much licence to push forward in an attempt to negate the impact of both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané on the counter-attack.
Gareth Bale has been ill but is expected to be available for selection for this game.
Serge Aurier could get the nod at right-back in place of Matt Doherty while Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier could be Spurs’ pairing in central defence.
As always, Liverpool will need to be on their toes to guard against the pace and creativity of Heung-Min Son. Harry Kane and Son have formed a lethal partnership so far this campaign with Kane having 9 goals and 10 assists already. Son has 10 goals and 4 assists.
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Jones; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Spurs XI (4-2-3-1) – Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilón; Sissoko, Højbjerg; Bergwijn, Lo Celso, Son; Kane
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool did the double over Spurs last season, winning 1-0 in London and 2-1 at Anfield.
Harry Kane actually gave the visitors a very early lead in the Anfield clash but second-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah (penalty) secured the three points for The Reds.
LIVERPOOL 2 – 1 SPURS
The main reason I’ve gone for a Liverpool win here is that I expect a hugely positive reaction after the team’s disappointing showing against Fulham on Sunday. There’s no denying these Reds are jaded and will only get more exhausted as the festive schedule piles up, however, Spurs have been playing a lot with their Europa League commitments too.
Liverpool to win, just…