The mid-week Premier League action keeps coming on Thursday evening, as Tottenham play host to Liverpool in an 8pm kick off. Plenty has changed since the pair locked horns at Anfield back in December. On that occasion, it was a battle between first and second in the EPL table.
We’re now talking about a fixture between two teams trying to get back into the top four. Read on for our Spurs vs Liverpool preview and betting tips.
Tottenham back in form
When they took on Liverpool back in December, Tottenham found themselves stuttering. They’d just slumped to a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace, which probably led to them being fearful when taking on the champions away from home. They followed the narrow defeat in the north west by losing at home to Leicester. A poor festive period then culminated in a disappointing draw away against Wolves.
However, things have improved since. Mourinho’s men are now without defeat in eight matches in all competitions, six of which they’ve won. Having delivered a commanding performance to win away against Sheffield United last time out in the league, the Lilywhites ought to fancy themselves against a visiting side that is now badly out of sorts.
Spurs to be less fearful
Part of the reason why Spurs were probably cautious ahead of December’s renewal of this fixture would’ve been Liverpool’s almighty home record. Fortunately for Thursday’s hosts, the Reds’ record on the road is nothing like their once imperious home form. Liverpool come into this match off the back of tasting defeat at Old Trafford in the FA Cup last time out, while they’ve won just one of their last six away matches in the league. Keeping this in mind, there is every reason to think that Mourinho and his side will approach this match feeling far more upbeat than they did about the reverse fixture.
Travelling troubles for Champions
As touched on above, Liverpool have been having a tough time of it on the road. Since beating Chelsea away from home back in September, Jurgen Klopp’s men have won just on their travels in the English top-flight, losing two and drawing five. They’ve by no means become easy to beat, though nothing about their travelling efforts over the last few months have suggested that they’re ready to retain their crown.
We’ve seen a drop in quality from their once untouchable front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah, and without that trio firing, it’s hard to see where the goals are going to come from. No goals have been scored in each of their last two away games in the Premier League, while they’ve only scored more than once in one of their last six travelling matches. Such a record is unbecoming of a side that has, or perhaps had, eyes on the big prize.
Are Spurs built for this type of game?
Even at home this season, on occasion, we’ve seen Spurs struggle either to assert themselves or put their dominance to good use. Their 1-1 draw against Fulham when last in action at this venue was a perfect example of the latter. However, in big games of this ilk, Tottenham have developed a habit of getting the job done with aplomb. Both Manchester City and Arsenal have fallen victim to a Mourinho masterplan. Against both of those opponents, Spurs delivered a disciplined display as they dug in and kept things tight, before using their abundance of attacking talent to counter with devastating effect. Given Liverpool’s recent attacking woes, coupled with the fact that the visitors haven’t been too clever at the back lately, the hosts really should fancy themselves to carry out something similar on Thursday.
Where’s the money going?
The early betting ahead of this fixture has Spurs as outsiders, which given the way things have gone lately, and this term in general really, seems slightly off. On their own patch, Mourinho’s men surely deserve more respect? It would be absolutely no surprise to see the price of the home win be somewhat shorter than the current 5/2. After their recent displays, Liverpool cannot be financially supported at 11/10, odds that simply look too short.
Hosts can line punters’ pockets
Mourinho’s plan didn’t pay off at Anfield, but we shouldn’t forget that it very nearly did. Had either Harry Kane or Steven Bergwijn taken glorious opportunities in front of goal before Roberto Firmino finally settled the tie late on, the visitors would likely have returned to London with all three points. Punters should not be put off by that failing. As touched on above, Spurs have been excellent in this type of game at home this season, while they’ve seemingly played themselves into form of late. What’s more, this is a great time to face a wobbling Liverpool side, as both Manchester United and Burnley have found out in the last week.
With the visitors ailing at both ends of the pitch right now, this is a gilt-edged opportunity for Tottenham to deliver another of their effective big-match performances, and at generous odds, they’re worth backing to do just that. After all, they’ve beaten better opposition (Manchester City) at bigger odds this term.
Son to Score
Those wary of getting involved in the match betting market ahead of games such as this, might fancy a play on an anytime scorer. In that market, Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min is hard to avoid. The South Korean has enjoyed himself in the final third this season, scoring 12 goals in 18 Premier League appearances, while he has made a habit of hurting teams in matches where Spurs have set up to play on the break. See home matches against both Arsenal and Manchester City. Moreover, three of his last four goals in all competitions have come at this venue. An average of 0.38 expected goals per 90 is eye-catching too, at least enough to feel that the goal-getter is worth a play ahead of a game where he’s sure to be afforded plenty of space to break into, just as he was when finding the net in the reverse fixture. So the betting tips for this THFC vs LFC preview are:
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Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.