LIVERPOOL VS TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR: PREVIEW
Liverpool face a stern test of their title credentials tomorrow night when they host Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur. Victory will take the Reds two points clear of Manchester City who aren’t in action until Sunday. Here’s a preview of the game.
Spurs are currently fifth in the table, two points behind North London rivals Arsenal. They face the Gunners next week in what is a straight shootout for top four. With just four games remaining in this Premier League season, everything is on the line.
Conte knows his side have to get something from Anfield tomorrow night to keep their top four hopes alive. Defeat could leave them five points behind Arsenal with three games to go. Manchester United’s struggles this season has opened that fourth slot up for the two North London giants.
Spurs are desperate for the Champions League and the finances it brings. They hired Antonio Conte to get them there and they will give absolutely everything they’ve got at Anfield tomorrow night. They are ruthless on the counter and the Italian will set them up to frustrate.
It will be yet another game where the Reds will have to balance committing numbers in attack in an attempt to break down a parked bus, whilst also leaving enough men for protection to defend against counter attacks. Kulusevski, Kane and Son are in terrific form and will pose a threat.
Spurs have won five of their last seven league fixtures, with just the one defeat in that run. They have picked up a head of steam at the right time as they seek to beat Arsenal to that final Champions League spot.
It was a breathless end to end encounter the last time Liverpool faced Spurs. That was back in December at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, as Jürgen Klopp’s side came away with a 2-2 draw after playing the last twenty or so minutes with ten men.
It was a controversial game, with Robertson getting sent off after a VAR intervention. This after Kane had avoided a sending off for a horrendous tackle on Robertson. The Reds came from a goal down to lead 2-1 before an Alisson error allowed Son to level the score.
None of Van Dijk, Fabinho, Henderson or Thiago featured after a Covid outbreak at the AXA Training ground left the side understrength. All four are fit and available for tomorrow night, and the Reds are in a much better place now than they were then.
Having just come off an incredible April, Liverpool have already started May as they mean to go on. An impressive comeback victory at Villarreal on Tuesday night sealed a place in their third Champions League final in five seasons.
With an FA Cup final against Chelsea also to come, the Reds are in contention to win the lot. This is uncharted territory for any English side and you can expect Anfield to be in full voice under the lights tomorrow. This is the penultimate game at the famous stadium this season.
Liverpool have won their last six matches in all competitions, and haven’t dropped points at Anfield in six months! It’s twelve straight league victories at home since Brighton managed to fight back from 2-0 down to take a share of the spoils back in October.
It is truly frightening form. The aggregate score in that run of a dozen games is 35-2, with the Reds keeping 10 clean sheets and conceding just twice. Jürgen Klopp has an impeccable record against Spurs as well, facing them on 15 occasions across all competitions and losing just once.
In fact the 2-2 draw in October marked the end of seven straight victories over the Lilywhites. The most memorable victory of course came in the 2019 Champions League final where Pochettino’s side were beaten 2-0 as Liverpool lifted number 6.
Antonio Conte knows how to set a team up though, and will make it difficult tomorrow. It will be interesting to see which front three comes out on top. It’ll all be on the line. Title dreams vs top four aspirations. A stalemate doesn’t help either cause. It’s win or bust.
For Liverpool, Roberto Firmino has returned to training after a little over two weeks out with a foot injury. The manager raised doubts over his involvement by suggesting it may be better for the Brazilian to train throughout the weekend.
That would suggest a return to the squad for Tuesday’s trip to Aston Villa. Everyone else remains available. Meanwhile for Spurs, Reguilon is ruled out with a hamstring injury whilst Oliver Skipp (groin), Tanganga (knee) and Matt Doherty (knee) are all out for the season.
The 23 year old will once again be targeted by the opposing side. It is a tactic he has gotten used to, but once in a every while he is questioned. Tomorrow will be a tough battle against Son. It is almost preparation for what he’ll face in the Champions League final against Vinicius Junior.
The 30 year old is only three goals behind Mo Salah in the race for the Golden Boot. He continues to be lethal infront of goal for Tottenham and will carry the most threat for Conte’s side on the break. The Reds will have to quell his telepathic understanding and linkup with Kane.
To say the Colombian was influential off the bench in midweek is an understatement. He will surely to start here and will be up against the erratic Royal Emerson in what could shape up to be a mismatch.
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