Liverpool will have a lot to prove when they welcome Tottenham to Anfield having allowed Southampton to come from two goals behind and beat them at St Mary’s. Meanwhile, Spurs will be looking to place an extra pressure on title rivals Leicester by winning at Merseyside, and they do appear to be the favourites here.
There is a feeling that Liverpool would now be challenging for top 4 positions in the Premier League had Jurgen Klopp arrived at Anfield during pre-season, but the Reds are not out of the race for European places just yet. Liverpool embarked on a very good run of results before the international break, winning three straight league fixtures while also hammering Manchester United in the Europa League, and even their Champions League berth did not look too far away as the Reds were two goals up at half time of the Southampton game. But, probably thinking about their upcoming international commitments, Liverpool players switched off earlier than they should have, allowing the Saints to produce a stunning comeback and record a 3-2 win. Nothing is lost just yet considering that the Reds have one or two games in hand on all sides above them in the standings, and the Tottenham game will serve as a perfect test to their top 4 ambitions. However, with Roberto Firmino a major doubt and Philippe Coutinho back after flying across the world, it is clear that Klopp’s key men will not be in the best possible shape even if they both start the game.
Roberto Firmino will be accessed as he battles a hamstring injury, whereas Philippe Coutinho is not certain to start after a long journey from South America.
Christian Benteke and Divock Origi both pulled out of Belgium duty, and they also face fitness tests ahead of the Spurs clash.
The mere fact that three Tottenham Hotspur footballers are widely tipped to start for England at the Euro 2016 speak volumes about Spurs’ performances this season and it is hardly surprising that many believe Mauricio Pochettino should be given some credit for the recent resurgence of the Three Lions. While Harry Kane was always going to star for both his club and the national team, nobody really believed that either Dele Alli or Eric Dier would be starting for Spurs, let alone England, but they, too, have grown with this Tottenham side and made an effortless transition to international football. The trio’s strong performances against Germany will further raise the confidence in the Spurs camp ahead of the all-important Liverpool clash which they need to win if they want to keep their title hopes alive. With the Reds unlikely to be at full strength and Spurs winning four of last five Premier League fixtures on the road, we believe the White Hart Lane outfit stand a good chance of winning their first game at Anfield in almost five years.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino was delighted to see all his international players return to the club unscathed, meaning he will be able to field his strongest side at Anfield.
Full-back Ben Davies has returned into action on international duty, but Nabil Bentaleb and Clinton N’Jie remain on the sidelines.
Key Factors to Consider
- Liverpool are unbeaten in last six meetings with Spurs
- The Reds won last three meetings at Anfield
- Liverpool won just one of last four home fixtures
- Spurs have four wins in last five away games in EPL
- Tottenham have scored 26 goals in 15 away matches
Both Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have a huge effect on the way Liverpool play and with neither in good shape at the moment, the Reds could find it hard to match red-hot Spurs. Tottenham have been thoroughly impressive on the road of late and even though they have enjoyed little success at Anfield, this is a perfect time to end the barren run.
Verdict: Tottenham Draw no bet
Best Odds: 21/20
Bookmaker: William Hill