Liverpool vs Tottenham: match preview and predicted starting XIs

After three weeks without a match, Tottenham travel to Anfield to face title challengers Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds headed back to the summit of the table last time out as they just about edged past a dogged Fulham side before the international break. Manchester City’s cup commitments meant they headed into their fixture with Fulham on Saturday two points behind their title challengers and despite Liverpool only losing once this season in comparison to the Citizens four times, it is City who are now back on top after their 2-0 win – putting the pressure back on their rivals.

Without a midweek game to follow Sunday’s match, Liverpool know that a win against Spurs could be crucial as City may have the chance to go four points clear at the top on Wednesday should Liverpool lose. However, the Reds have been formidable at Anfield this season, shipping just nine goals without losing a match in the process; and although Tottenham are by no means easy opposition, Liverpool are very much the favourites to win the match.

Sadio Mane has been the most talked about Liverpool player in recent weeks and for all the right reasons. The Senegalese has scored five times in his last three matches and has been highlighted for netting the most goals from open play in the Premier League this season before the weekend. There’s not much that can stop the 26-year-old at the moment, and the Spurs defence will need to be switched on to prevent him from scoring.

Tottenham’s defence has been fragile at best in the league throughout the last couple of months, the Lilywhites have kept just one clean sheet in their last nine league games, and their form certainly shows for it. One point in their last four matches means that finishing in the top four has become doubtful for Pochettino’s men.

The fact that this recent run of poor results had coincided with the return of Kane and Alli from injury is slightly worrying for Spurs fans. The team was grinding out a fair amount of wins whilst their star men were out of action but, for some reason, Alli and Kane have not managed to propel Tottenham into any convincing performances.

An away game at Liverpool is not an ideal match to return to after a three-week break from football, but if the team can grind out a win, it would return a whole heap of confidence to the squad. A likely defeat would however allow Arsenal to overtake their rivals with a win on Monday night and force Spurs down into fourth place.

Team News

Trent Alexander-Arnold pulled out of the England squad before the international break and remains a doubt for Liverpool with a back injury. Super substitute Xherdan Shaqiri also pulled out from international duty with Switzerland and Klopp may not risk bringing him on and aggravating his groin injury. Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be unavailable with long-term leg injuries but both are recovering well.

As for Spurs, their squad remains relatively injury-free. Eric Dier and Serge Aurier may miss out after both being substituted in their national team’s matches with slight injuries. Harry Winks may also be unavailable as the Englishman has not fully recovered from a groin injury he picked up against Dortmund earlier in the month.

Predicted Starting XIs

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Robertson, Van Dijk, Matip, Alexander-Arnold; Lallana, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah

Tottenham Hotspur (4-1-2-1-2): Lloris; Rose, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Aurier; Dier; Eriksen, Sissoko; Alli; Kane, Son

Score Prediction: Liverpool 1 Tottenham Hotspur 0

After such a significant break in football matches, it’s difficult to predict any match as form can take a turn in either direction. However, it’s hard to see Spurs managing to grab an unlikely victory and they may even fail to test the Liverpool defence.

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