Tottenham vs Liverpool
TV: Sky Sports Main Event
Referee: Michael Oliver
With the international break out of the way, we see a return to Premier League football with a cracker in the early kick off as Spurs take on Liverpool at Wembley Stadium. In recent years, this match has become a gruelling affair as both fans and players have started to see this fixture as a mini-grudge match with bragging rights and three points on offer each and every time.
Liverpool will be looking to maintain their unprecedented 100% record and keep their name at the top of the Premier League table whilst a win for Spurs would ensure they are level on points with Klopp’s side after five matches.
Last season, this fixture saw Klopp’s worst defeat of the season, with the men in white running away as 4-1 winners. Poch’s men also managed to keep Liverpool to a 2-2 draw at Anfield in a game which saw Liverpool take the lead after three minutes through Mo Salah and what unfolded in the last 10-15 minutes of the game was arguably the most entertaining snippet of a match in a very long time.
Victor Wanyama’s first touch, having come on as a substitute in the 79th minute, led to a monstrous curving effort into the top left-hand corner which Loris Karius could do nothing about to equalise for Spurs, before Harry Kane missed a penalty in the 87th minute. Mo Salah looked to have sealed victory for Liverpool in the 91st minute only for Liverpool to gift another penalty in the 95th minute which Harry Kane stepped up calmly and slotted to share the spoils on that day. If we have half of what was on offer that day, the general public and football itself will see enough entertainment to last them the rest of the weekend.
Spurs were pegged back last time out as they suffered a defeat to Watford who managed to come from behind and take all three points in the clash prior to the international break. Liverpool, on the other hand, managed a win at the King Power Stadium against Leicester, although it has to be said they hung on for large parts of the game as Leicester tried everything they could to take something away from the game. The Reds will have to play well against a very stubborn Spurs side should they want to take the bragging rights back to Liverpool with them this coming Saturday.
It’s also worth noting that Spurs are on an eight-match winning run with Michael Oliver refereeing their games.
Poch has been hit with a double injury blow and looks to be without Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli, most definitely two of the first names on his team sheet when available. The French goalkeeper seems to be hampered by a thigh injury and will most likely make way for Michel Vorm while Dele Alli, who managed a goal in the Spurs’ 4-1 rout last season, has damaged his hamstring on international duty with England. Pochettino has also confirmed that Moussa Sissoko and Juan Foyth are both unavailable.
Although Heung-Min Son has returned to the club, it’s unlikely he features so soon after playing eight games in the space of 26 days at the Asian Games last month. On top of all this, there has been a lot of discussion across the footballing world with respect to Harry Kane, how fit he actually is and whether the England captain is due a long-awaited rest. I doubt he is rested for this one but at some point he may drop out of the starting XI to get him back to 100% fitness. Add this to the fact that this game was supposed to mark the opening of the new stadium, a loss will not be ideal for Spurs at all here.
For Klopp, he is still unable to select Dejan Lovren who was subjected to stomach issues and of course, they are still without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is on the long road to recovery with his ruptured ACL. Other than this, a clean bill of health for the Reds although questions still remain on their £40m man Fabinho, who is yet to feature for Liverpool this season whilst he adapts to the style of play. With that being said, Liverpool will mostly be unchanged but I would expect to see Naby Keita return to the starting XI.
Predicted Starting XI’s:
Spurs: Vorm; Davies, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Alderweirald, Trippier; Dembele, Dier, Eriksen; Moura; Kane
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Milner, Keita; Mane, Firmino, Mane
Score Prediction: Tottenham 1 Liverpool 3
Liverpool to continue their 100% record and return from international break with a big win. I’m expecting Spurs to fall further from grace with a seriously weakened side and they may not have recovered morally from the Watford defeat. The usual suspects on target with Kane, Salah and Mane for me.