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Liverpool v Tottenham: England exploits will boost Spurs, says Alli

Dele Alli believes Tottenham’s England stars will be buoyed by their international exploits as they continue to chase Premier League leaders Leicester City.

Second-placed Spurs visit Liverpool on Saturday, and a win will lift them to within two points of Leicester ahead of the table-toppers’ clash with Southampton on Sunday.

Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker all starred for England during the international break, and Alli expects their bond at club level to strengthen on the back of the experience.

“It’s always great to play for your country and to do it with these lads makes it even better. It’s a big credit to Mauricio [Pochettino] and the whole club,” midfielder Alli told Tottenham’s official website.

“This result [Tuesday’s defeat to Netherlands] is a low after what happened in Germany [last weekend’s 3-2 win], which was a great team performance. I thought the team played well again. It’s a learning curve for us.

“There are only a few games left until the end of the season and it’s important that we perform well at Tottenham and we take how we played with England back to the club.”

Spurs coach Pochettino is likely to be without Jan Vertonghen (knee) and Erik Lamela (muscle) at Anfield, although Toby Alderweireld is expected to be fit after a stomach problem.

Saturday’s match will come too soon for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, who is still struggling with a thigh injury.

However, the Brazilian – who hopes to return to full training shortly – travelled with Jurgen Klopp and those team-mates not on international duty to Tenerife for a warm-weather training camp, and he believes that has boosted the squad ahead of the run-in.

Lucas told the club’s official website: “It was brilliant. Something like that has never happened before; it’s great credit to the manager for having the idea to take all the players who were not on international duty and the staff as well.

“It was a good chance to take our families, to be closer to each other and know each other better. It was a great idea to go out, get a little bit of sun and come back for these last six weeks of the season, which will be very intense.

“We were still working in training and for me, doing rehab. It was just going out to get a bit of sun and change the place a little bit.

“It’s going to be a very intense six weeks and we are all ready to make the most of it.”

Lucas’ compatriot Roberto Firmino missed Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat at Southampton last time out with a hamstring injury, but could feature on Saturday.

Striker Divock Origi was withdrawn from the Belgium squad to face Portugal due to an injury and is unlikely to play.

Klopp’s first game in charge of Liverpool came in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in October, a game that finished goalless.

Key Opta stats:

– Liverpool have won five and lost one of their last six Barclays Premier League meetings with Tottenham.
– Spurs have failed to score in four of the last five Premier League meetings with the Reds.
– Tottenham have won just one of their last 21 Premier League visits to Anfield (W1 D6 L14).
– Liverpool haven’t won back to back Premier League home games since May 2015.
– Spurs have lost just one of their last 14 Premier League away matches (W8 D5 L1).

Thu 31 Mar, 2016
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