6th February 2012
Liverpool can make a real statement of their top 4 credentials by beating high-flying Tottenham and at the same time get revenge on Spurs for the 4-0 defeat at the start to the season. Harry Redknapp’s side rediscovered their form to beat Wigan in midweek, but numerous selection problems could prevent them from giving their best at Anfield.
Just as Liverpool started finding their form after the somewhat slow start to the season, they had the misfortune of having their star player Luis Suarez receive an eight-match ban, and there are no doubts the Uruguayan was sorely missed over the last few weeks. With Andy Carroll still finding his feet at Anfield, Craig Belamy stepped in and scored several very important goals to keep the Reds in the race for FA Cup and Carling Cup trophies as well as the Champions League places, but there was so much he could do on his own. The good news is that Suarez finally returns to the squad and is set to be unleashed up front alongside Carroll, and with Steven Gerrard responsible for creating chances for the pair. Kenny Dalglish believes that the trio could prove to have a very positive effect on team’s attacking performances once they properly gel, so everybody at the club is eager to see how this attacking trident will fare against one of the best defences in the Premiership. Being five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, Liverpool have no choice but to try and win this game.
Tottenham are enjoying one of the best seasons in recent history as the Spurs continue to show they have finally learned to cope with the pressure of expectations. Harry Redknapp has done brilliantly to create a very balanced squad that oozes class in every area of the team and I am certainly not surprised that Spurs are still very much in the title race. Tottenham missed an excellent opportunity to increase their title chances when they lost to Manchester City despite the fact that Jermain Defoe had had a glorious chance to win the game for his side, but they recovered quickly from the defeat and produced a stunning attacking performance to beat Wigan in midweek. Being well clear of their top 4 rivals, Spurs can afford to take some risks at Anfield and everything suggests we will see another impressive attacking display from the North London side. Harry Redknapp will not be able to field his strongest side at Anfield, as Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor, Aaron Lennon and Rafa van der Vaart are all injury doubts, so we could easily see new signing Louis Saha in the starting line-up.
Both Liverpool and Tottenham are brimming with confidence after the impressive attacking displays in midweek, and everything suggests we will see a very open game at Anfield. The hosts are expected to show considerable improvement now that Luis Suarez is back to the side, whereas Spurs are likely to continue scoring even without several starters.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 5/6