Week three of the Premier League starts off with a cracking contest between Tottenham and Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Both sides have already dropped points so far with Spurs held 1-1 at Everton on the opening day, while the Reds succumbed to a shock 2-0 loss at the hands of Burnley last weekend.
It’s been hard to separate the sides in recent meetings with the teams cancelling each other out in their last two meetings. Prior to those draws, Liverpool had won five in succession against Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino’s side last beat the Reds in 2012 and will look to end their hoodoo on Saturday, while Jurgen Klopp will be hoping for a strong response from his players.
Tottenham v Liverpool | Saturday 27 August | White Hart Lane | 13:30
To Win (90 Mins)
Tottenham 27/20 | Draw 24/10 | Liverpool 39/20
Tottenham were headed for a goalless draw against Crystal Palace last Saturday but Pochettino’s side kept on fighting and managed to find a late winner from Victor Wanyama. However, there will need to be significant improvement if Spurs are to repeat last season’s title challenge. There was a disjointedness about them, a lack of fluidity, for which Palace are due some credit for their discipline and organisation. The fact that Spurs got the job done and found a way to win can be taken as a major positive and Pochettino will look to build on that.
Their meetings with Liverpool haven’t gone in their favour, with their last victory against the Anfield club coming in 2012, a 2-1 win courtesy of a brace from Gareth Bale. Since then, Spurs have struggled against the Reds, losing five from their previous seven encounters, including two of their last three ties at White Hart Lane.
Having already dropped two points in their opening match with Everton that ended 1-1, Spurs occupy seventh place in the Premier League table and are already two points adrift of the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea. It’s still early days but Pochettino’s side can’t afford to lose more ground on their rivals and they’ll look to clinch maximum points against Liverpool.
Pochettino has experimented with his formation to get £17million signing Vincent Janssen working with last season’s top scorer Harry Kane. Against Palace, it was Dele Alli on the bench, though Pochettino suggested everyone will be rotated. Janssen was a nuisance up front against Alan Pardew’s side but missed the perfect opportunity to open his Tottenham account on his home debut.
Janssen, who scored 27 goals in the Eredivisie for AZ Alkmaar last season, will be hoping to find his goalscoring form against Liverpool. The likes of Kane, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen all need to step up a gear if Spurs are to end their hoodoo against the Reds.
After a breathtaking performance on the opening day of the season where they beat Arsenal 4-3 at the Emirates, Liverpool suffered a 2-0 defeat away to newly-promoted Burnley. Klopp's side were 1-0 down early on as Welsh international striker Sam Vokes put Burnley ahead with a superb finish, and Andre Gray made it 2-0 before half time to give Liverpool a mountain to climb. Liverpool perked up in the second half, and had a staggering 80% of possession at Turf Moor, but ultimately left empty-handed on a disappointing afternoon for Klopp.
The Reds’ defence have shipped five goals from their opening two matches, which is a huge worry for Klopp. The former Borussia Dortmund coach is paying the price for allowing experienced centre-back Martin Skrtel to join Fenerbahce. Nathaniel Clyne was responsible for conceding the first goal, Dejan Lovren and Ragner Klavan look uncomfortable next to each other, while Alberto Moreno is an accident waiting to happen. Klopp clearly has a lot of work to do, particularly in the defence, but he will demand better from his players in this weekend’s clash with Spurs.
The Reds will rely on Philippe Coutinho to run the show in midfield. The skillful Brazilian will be a menace to Pochettino’s side as he brings creativity and invention – not to mention goal threat. Klopp will have Sadio Mane back in the side after the Senegalese winger missed last weekend’s tie with Burnley due to a shoulder injury. Other players such a Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge and Georginio Wijnaldum have to come to the party.
You just don’t know which Liverpool team is going to turn up against Tottenham. But if it’s the team that has been showing up against Spurs in recent seasons, Klopp will be delighted and hopeful of three points.
Verdict: Draw + Both Teams To Score (29/10)
Liverpool tend to raise their games against bigger teams and they have an impressive record against Spurs. These sides cancelled each other out in both league meetings last season. Another tight affair is expected with the Draw + Both Teams To Score tipped at 29/10.
Written by Chadley Nagel @Hollywoodbets