Tottenham Hotspur have to defy a poor recent record against Liverpool when they host the Reds at White Hart Lane on Saturday (12:45 BST, live on BT Sport).
Spurs have made a solid start to the season and come into Saturday’s match undefeated in seven since their opening-day loss to Manchester United. They are eighth in the Premier League with 13 points from three victories, four draws and a single loss.
They played out an entertaining 2-2 draw away to Swansea in their last fixture prior to the international break. They twice came back from a goal down to level courtesy of two excellent free kicks from Christian Eriksen and manager Mauricio Pochettino might feel a little aggrieved not to come away with all three points following a highly assured performance.
That draw was their fourth in eight league matches to date and Pochettino will be keen to start turning some of them into victories. The arrival of Toby Alderweireld and the relocation of Eric Dier into midfield have largely cleared up last season’s problems at the back, providing Spurs with the strong defensive core that they have been lacking in recent years.
The attack, too, is largely functioning well despite Harry Kane’s relative goal drought. They are currently only the Premier League’s 11th highest scorers but are creating enough good-quality chances to suggest they will improve on that ranking over the coming months. There is a good balance to the side and they look well-positioned to challenge for a top-four finish.
Pochettino is without the injured Alex Pritchard (ankle) and suspended Dier. Heung-Min Son (foot) is unlikely to take part, but Danny Rose (hand), Nabil Bentaleb (ankle) and Ryan Mason (knee) all have a solid chance of recovering from their respective injuries in time to do so.
Liverpool sacked Brendan Rodgers on the eve of the international break and have since brought in former Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp (pictured). He takes over a side who are 10th in the table with 12 points from three wins, three draws and a couple of defeats.
The Reds drew 1-1 away to Everton in Rodgers’ final match in charge. Danny Ings gave them a 41st-minute lead, only for a defensive mix-up to gift their hosts an equaliser prior to the interval. It was an evenly contested match, albeit one that was low on quality in the final third, and Liverpool didn’t do enough to take any more than a point from their neighbours.
Rodgers can feel a little aggrieved about losing his job so early into the new season, yet after just three victories – none of which were achieved by more than a one-goal margin – in 10 matches in league and European action, and some tough fixtures to come over the next five weeks, it is understandable that the owners felt the time was right for a change.
Klopp was careful not to promise the earth during his presentation as the club’s new coach, but he did make it clear that he will expect his new charges to replicate the energy and intensity of his successful Dortmund side. He inherits a talented but unbalanced squad and a points tally that still gives Liverpool a good chance of competing for a top six finish or better.
Klopp will definitely be without the injured Christian Benteke (hamstring), Jon Flanagan (knee) and Jordan Henderson (foot) for the trip down south, while Joe Gomez (knee) and Roberto Firmino (back) are both doubtful. Dejan Lovren (ankle) and Philippe Coutinho (knock) are both expected to be fit enough to take part.
Spurs vs Liverpool Betting Tips
Liverpool were 3-0 victors in last season’s equivalent fixture and also triumphed 3-2 in the return at Anfield. Indeed, they have won each of the last five league meetings between these sides, including a 5-0 success at White Hart Lane in 2013. Yet prior to that, Spurs had won six and lost just two of the previous 10, including five consecutive victories on home soil.
Spurs have had a stronger look about them so far this season and while they will inevitably miss the defensive smarts of the suspended Dier, they can still be expected to give Liverpool a good game. Whether that will be enough to take all three points will depend on how clinical they are in front of goal and what effect Klopp’s arrival has on their visitors’ performance.
Liverpool are sure to be fired up for their first match under the command of their new coach. This is a new beginning for the club, and players who were only on the fringes of Rodgers’ plans will be working hard to take full advantage of the opportunity that represents. Liverpool will certainly not make things easy for their hosts in what is likely to be well-contested match.
Spurs have a solid chance of ending their poor run against Liverpool with victory this weekend, but we still believe that a score draw is the most likely outcome.