In-form Liverpool will be expecting to keep their title challenge on track by taking all three points when they host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (16:00 BST, live on Sky Sports).
Liverpool come into the match on the back of seven consecutive league victories that have seen them established as genuine title contenders. They are second in the Premier League table, a point behind leaders Chelsea, with 68 points from 21 wins, five draws and five defeats.
The Reds were 2-1 victors at home to Sunderland on Wednesday. They established a two-goal lead with strikes either side of half time from Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge (pictured) and held out for the three points thereafter despite a spirited fight back from their visitors. The win extended the club’s unbeaten league run to 12 matches.
Goalscoring has been Liverpool’s primary strength this season. They have only failed to score on two occasions in 31 league matches and possess the second best goal rate in the Premier League at 2.71 per match. Sturridge and Luis Suarez have formed a deadly partnership up front, with Philippe Coutinho and/or Raheem Sterling in support.
Brendan Rodgers’ side attack with great purpose, committing numbers forward and moving the ball quickly into the final third. It is an approach that does tend to leave his side undermanned in defence but which has generally proved apposite, with the potency of Liverpool’s attacking play usually sufficient to overcome any defensive shortcomings.
Jose Enrique (knee) remains Liverpool’s only long-term injury absentee and Rodgers otherwise looks to have a full squad to pick from.
Tottenham come into this match on the back of three wins, two draws and five defeats in their last 10 matches in all competitions. They are sixth in the Premier League table, with 56 points from 17 wins, five draws and nine defeats, seven points behind Arsenal in fourth.
Tim Sherwood’s side showed good character to come back from two goals down to defeat Southampton at White Hart Lane last weekend, with a double from Christian Eriksen and a stoppage-time winner from Gylfi Sigurdsson giving them all three points. It was not, however, a truly convincing performance, particularly in a first half largely controlled by the away side.
Southampton got in behind the Spurs defence on numerous occasions in the early exchanges and Sherwood would be wise to ensure his side adopt a deeper defensive line against Liverpool for this match. Tottenham have kept just two clean sheets in their last 10 matches in all competitions and conceded 12 times in their last five.
At the other end of the pitch, Sherwood will have taken encouragement from a good performance by Roberto Soldado, who provided the assist for Eriksen’s second goal and set up another couple of chances with sublime first touch layoffs. Spurs do possess some potentially dangerous forwards, but have failed to click as a unit throughout the campaign.
Sherwood will be without the injured Erik Lamela (thigh) and Etienne Capoue (ankle), while Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) and Kyle Walker (groin) are both doubtful. Vlad Chiriches (back) returned to training this week, but is not yet ready for first team action.
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur Betting Tips
Liverpool won 5-0 when these sides met at White Hart Lane earlier this season in a result that led to the departure of then-Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas. The Reds have won three of the last five meetings between the sides at Anfield, including a 3-2 victory in last season’s equivalent fixture. Spurs have won once in the same period.
Liverpool are in excellent form and showed in their commanding victory at White Hart Lane that they have players capable of taking advantage of the lack of pace in the centre of the Spurs defence. The Reds’ own defence is far from solid, but their forwards can be trusted to score the goals required for victory.
Spurs are in the midst of quite a poor run of form and were somewhat fortunate to come away with all three points at home to Southampton last weekend, especially after being outplayed for much of the first half. They have players capable of causing the Liverpool defence some problems but it is unlikely their own defensive unit will hold up to scrutiny.
- Back Liverpool -1 on the Asian Handicap @ best odds of 710/1000 with Ladbrokes. The bet pays out if Liverpool win by two or more goals, while your stake is returned if they win by one.
- Seven of Liverpool’s last 11 league matches have ended with four or more goals, while Spurs have conceded four or more goals against the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City (twice) and Liverpool themselves already this season. We expect to see a high-scoring match, so back over 3.5 goals @ best odds of 5/4 with SkyBet.