Tottenham Hotspur will be looking for three points when they host fellow top four hopefuls Liverpool at White Hart Lane on Sunday (16:00 GMT, live on Sky Sports).
Spurs have recovered well from their 6-0 thrashing away to Man City, taking seven points from their last three league matches, including consecutive away wins. They are sixth in the Premier League with 27 points from eight wins, three draws and four defeats.
Andre Villas Boas’ side have generally performed better on their travels, taking 16 points from eight away matches compared to 11 in seven at home. The way he sets up the team, with a solid, strong midfield base, is better suited to controlling away matches than it is to breaking down defensive opponents at home.
Spurs do, however, have plenty of offensive options and the reintroduction of Aaron Lennon after injury has certainly helped bring more pace and vibrancy to their attack in recent weeks. Lewis Holtby is also enjoying a purple patch, providing energy and incision from midfield.
Tottenham were certainly impressive, albeit against fairly weak opposition, in their commanding 4-1 Europa League victory over Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday night. Roberto Soldado, perennially starved of service during previous outings, was finally provided with a steady stream of chances and responded with a well-taken hat-trick.
Spurs have now scored two or more goals in each of their last five matches in all competitions, but this period of increased offensive efficiency has coincided with a defensive downturn. They kept 12 clean sheets in their first 15 matches in all competitions, but have kept just one in their last five, conceding a goal per match on average.
Villas Boas has a number of defensive injuries to contend with ahead of Sunday’s match, with Jan Vertonghen certain to miss out and Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul doubtful. Christian Eriksen and Danny Rose both returned from injury to appear in the win over Anzhi and could be part of the squad. Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to miss out with a knee injury.
Liverpool have enjoyed an excellent season and come into Sunday’s match in second place, five points behind leaders Arsenal, with 30 points from nine wins, three draws and three defeats. They continued their impressive recent form in front of goal by hammering West Ham 4-1 last weekend.
Those four goals took Liverpool’s total to the season to 34 from 15 matches. They are the second highest scoring team in the league and have been particularly prolific since Luis Suarez (pictured) returned from his lengthy suspension for the 3-1 win away to Sunderland in late September, scoring 29 times in 10 matches.
Suarez can lay serious claim to being the Premier League’s outstanding player so far this season, having scored 15 of those goals himself, including a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion and four in the 5-1 thrashing of Norwich. Quick and wiry, he will fancy his chances of getting the better of Michael Dawson in this match.
Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers has displayed greater tactical flexibility so far this season, varying formations and styles in line with available personnel and opposition tactics. At their best, his side have been very fluid, with Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho forming an inventive triumvirate in the final third.
There have been some frustrating moments, particularly away from home, but overall Rodgers will be very content with Liverpool’s start to the season. His side’s credentials will be seriously tested in the coming weeks, with this match followed by trips to Chelsea and Manchester City before the end of the year.
Rodgers will be without the injured Sturridge, Jose Enrique, Sebastian Coates and Steven Gerrard for this match, while Daniel Agger and Jordan Henderson will both face late fitness tests.
Spurs v Liverpool Betting Tips Verdict
Spurs won last season’s equivalent fixture 2-1 thanks to early goals from Lennon and Gareth Bale and have an excellent record at home to Liverpool in recent times, having triumphed in each of the last five league meetings between the sides at White Hart Lane.
Both teams have numerous injury problems coming into this match, but it is Liverpool who are more likely to be negatively affected. While the absence of Gerrard will allow Rodgers to pick a more conservative midfield pairing, providing better defensive cover, the extensive passing range of his captain will be very much missed.
While they have often been brilliant at home, Liverpool’s away form has been less impressive, with their defeat to Hull in early December extending their winless run to four league matches. Spurs are starting to get their act together in attack and have the necessary talent to keep their excellent home record against Liverpool going for another year.
- Back Tottenham Hotspur to win @ 6/4 with Bet365, Betfred, Coral or William Hill.
- The last five league meetings between these sides at White Hart Lane have ended with three or more goals, as have five of Liverpool’s seven away matches this season. Tottenham’s home matches have generally been quite low scoring, but they have opened up a little in recent weeks. Therefore, back over 2.5 goals @ best odds of 5/6 with BetVictor.