14th December 2013
Buoyed by back to back triumphs over Fulham and Sunderland, Tottenham have a chance to close the gap behind top 4 positions to just one point, but Liverpool, too, will have a huge incentive to try and win the high-profile clash at White Hart Lane seeing as how the Reds would climb to second in the Premier League standings with three points.
After the club spent the entire transfer fee they received from the sale of Gareth Bale on new players, many believed that Tottenham finally had the squad capable of matching the best sides in the league. And despite the team misfiring in the early exchanges, some solid defensive showings proved enough to keep the results respectable, but the recent four-match winless run threatened to ruin their campaign. Nevertheless, Spurs managed to return to the right track by first producing a very good display in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United, before defeating Fulham and Sunderland on the road to revive their top 4 bid. Midweek’s victory over injury-hit Anzhi was pretty much expected, but the fact Roberto Soldado finally ended his scoring drought by bagging a hat-trick is another reason for optimism. With their top 4 rivals slowly getting away, Spurs have no choice but to try and defeat Liverpool and they can take some comfort in the fact the Reds are winless in last four away matches. It remains to be seen whether Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen will be considered for starting places after returning into action against Anzhi, but Jan Vertonghen is definitely out. Meanwhile, Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul face fitness tests.
Liverpool may have slipped to fifth place following the Saturday’s fixtures, but the Reds have been given an opportunity to close their gap behind league leaders Arsenal to mere two points with the Gunners suffering a heavy defeat at Manchester City. Even if many people still doubt their title credentials, Brendan Rodgers’ side are showing a lot of consistency and they are doing really well to win those smaller games. While recording five comfortable home wins in a row, the Reds have experienced some problems on the travels, bringing just two points from last four away fixtures, which is certainly a cause for concern ahead of the clash with improving Tottenham. Liverpool have also received several major blows of late, with both Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge picking up serious injuries, meaning the team now almost entirely rely on magnificent Luis Suarez to produce the goals. However, even though the Uruguayan has been absolutely amazing this season, the lack of quality service could prove to be a major issue at White Hart Lane, with shaky defence another reason why the Reds are likely to return home empty-handed.
Tottenham have finally started playing to their potential and having notched up several very good results in a row, Spurs look they can edge this one as well. Meanwhile, the likes of Gerrard and Sturridge will be sorely missed for Liverpool and with the Reds largely struggling on the road, I cannot see them getting anything from the Lane.
Verdict: Home win Tottenham (1)
Best Odds: 3/2
Bookmaker: William Hill