Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane is the scene for the big event of the coming Premier League weekend: the first game as the Liverpool manager for Jurgen Klopp. A lot has been said and written about the German’s instant lifting of moods in and around Liverpool, but his first real test is against an in-form Tottenham side looking to end their recent hoodoo against the Reds.
A baptism of fire for Klopp, but the fact Liverpool have won the last five league games against their weekend opponents will be music to the German’s ears. However, the two clubs are in the middle of contrasting runs of form. Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side haven’t lost a league game since the opening day of the season, while Liverpool have failed to notch an away win since the opening weekend of the season.
Both Tottenham and Liverpool come into the game on the back of hard-fought draws in their previous fixtures, before the international break. Spurs drew 2-2 away at Swansea, while Liverpool came away with a 1-1 draw against local rivals Everton which saw the sacking of ex-manager Brendan Rodgers. Only one point separates both sides, with Spurs sitting on eighth place in the table, while Liverpool are tenth.
Tottenham will look to end their run of five successive losses against Liverpool. Last season, the Reds ran out comfortable 3-0 winners in the corresponding fixture, which was Rodgers’ 100th game in charge and also saw the debut of Mario Balotelli in Liverpool colours. A lot has changed in the intervening period, and Pochettino will be wary of the new-look Liverpool, who will be expected to ride the wave of excitement a new manager brings.
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Team News
Eric Dier is serving a suspension for accumulating five yellow cards and will not feature, while forward Son Heung-min, who is currently nursing a foot injury, is unavailable for selection, and so is youngster Alex Pritchard, who is out with an ankle injury. Midfielders Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason are also expected to sit out through injury, while Danny Rose’s selection is uncertain as he hasn’t recovered from a hand injury.
Mousa Dembele played ten minutes against Swansea in his return from injury last time out, and the Belgian is once again expected to be part of the squad. Whether or not he makes it into the starting eleven remains to be seen, as youngster Dele Alli has been impressive in midfield.
There are far more injury concerns for Klopp at Liverpool as he will be without captain Jordan Henderson, who has been out since August. Striker Christian Benteke hasn’t recovered from a hamstring injury, while Roberto Firmino is also out with a back injury. Yesterday’s news of the cruciate ligament injury to Joe Gomez which will keep the defender out for up to nine months is another new setback for Klopp.
Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren are expected to be back in the fold, particularly the Brazilian, who is one of the key players in the Liverpool side. Long-term absentee Jon Flanagan is out of the reckoning, while Daniel Sturridge is now fully fit after his long injury layoff.
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Probable Line-Ups
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Davies, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Chadli, Lamela, Kane.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Milner, Can, Coutinho, Lallana, Ibe, Sturridge.
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Key Stats
- Since his Premier League debut in Sept 2013, Christian Eriksen has scored more direct free-kicks than any other player (6)
- Liverpool have won five successive league matches against Spurs for the first time since 1976; this is the 145th league clash between the sides but neither has ever won six in a row.
- Liverpool have scored exactly once in eight of their last 11 league matches.
- Tottenham’s last five Premier League home defeats have all been by a one goal margin; the last team to win by more at White Hart Lane were Liverpool (3-0 in August 2014).
- Jurgen Klopp’s win percentage at Borussia Dortmund was 56.29, better than Brendan Rodgers’ record of 50 percent at Liverpool.
Prediction: Tottenham 2-3 Liverpool