Saturday, July 2, 2022

Prediction: Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 7 May 2022

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Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 11/25

Bookmaker: Unibet

The Premier League season is well in its final stretch, with just a few rounds left for the teams to try and improve their standings, but for those involved in the races at the top and at the bottom, it probably feels like there’s a lot of work to be done still.

The match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, set to take place at Anfield on Saturday evening, is of huge importance for both sides, and we’re likely in for a proper battle. Their first clash of the season, played in December in North London, saw the spoils shared, with Harry Kane and Son Heung-min on target for Spurs, and Diogo Jota netting along with Andy Robertson at the other end. Shortly after scoring his goal, Robertson was sent off, while Kane previously got away for a similar challenge on Robertson himself.

Liverpool

None of that will matter to Liverpool at this point. What’s done is done, the two points dropped that day won’t come back, and they now need every single one of them still on offer to stand a chance of overtaking Manchester City in the title race. As things stand, they are one point behind the defending champions with four matches to play for both teams. A win here would take them to the top, at least until Sunday afternoon, when City host Newcastle.

Jurgen Klopp’s team are currently marching on a high note, having taken the final stage of the season very seriously. Apart from still being very much in the title race, they’ve won the Carabao Cup, they’ll face Chelsea in the FA Cup final a week after this match, and they’ve just booked a place in the Champions League final where they’ll face Real Madrid on May 28th in Paris. The ‘quadruple’ beckons, but it remains to be seen if they have what it takes to become the first English side ever to win it.

The form Liverpool are currently on is well reflected by their results in recent matches, with their last-six run comprised of six triumphs. They first beat Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley by 3-2, then they smashed Manchester United 4-0 and beat Everton 2-0, both at Anfield. The first leg of the Champions League semifinals saw them beat Villarreal at home by 2-0, followed by a triumph 0-1 away to Newcastle. Earlier this week, they completed the double over Villarreal by coming back from 2-0 down to win 2-3 at the Estadio La Ceramica.

Team News

Absolutely everyone at Liverpool is fit for this match, after Klopp confirmed forward Roberto Firmino, who missed several matches through a foot injury, was now back in full training.

Given the vast squad depth at his disposal at this crucial stage of the season as well as the denseness of the schedule, Klopp is likely to rotate his players from now on, right down to the final game of the league campaign. Players like Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, Ibrahima Konate, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi will all probably get game-time sooner or later, and we may even see players like Virgil van Dijk or Mohamed Salah rested at some point.

Not for this game, though. Van Dijk is sure to be marshalling the back line with the Kane-Son threat to deal with, and Salah will likely be needed at the other end, but the rest of the starting XI could be arranged in numerous variations.

Tottenham Hotspur

To each his own, as they say, and while Spurs aren’t involved in the title race (it’s been a very long time since they were), they’re fiercely battling arch-rivals Arsenal for the fourth place and the final Champions League spot for next season. Like with Liverpool, any point they get is worth a mountain of gold.

At the moment, Antonio Conte’s men are in fifth place with two points less than the Gunners in fourth. Manchester United, sitting three points further down in sixth, could in theory get involved in the race, but with 36 matches played (both Arsenal and Spurs have 34), that boat has in all fairness already departed for the Red Devils.

Spurs have been on excellent form too, though they don’t quite have the same consistency as Liverpool. Still, four wins, a draw and one defeat is not a bad last-six run. It starts with a 3-1 win over West Ham at home. Then they thrashed Newcastle 5-1, also at home. Then came a 0-4 win away to Aston Villa, a 0-1 defeat at home to Brighton and Hove Albion, a goalless draw away to Brentford, and a return to winning ways just in time with a 3-1 triumph at home over Leicester City.

Team News

Conte won’t be able to count on fullbacks Matt Doherty (knee) and Sergio Reguilon (groin), as well as centre-back Japhet Tanganga (knee). Midfielder Oliver Skipp won’t play again this season after undergoing knee surgery.

Unlike Klopp, the Italian tactician has no special reason to rotate his team. It’s very likely that the trio of Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Ben Davies plays the back line ahead of captain Hugo Lloris in goal. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentacur will probably be in the middle of the park, flanked by Ryan Sessegnon and Emerson Royal. Upfront, Dejan Kulusevski seems the likeliest candidate to join Son and Kane, though Lucas Moura will obviously be hoping for a start as well.

Conclusion

League matches between these two teams have rarely been a dull affair. The one in December was the first after a long time in which Spurs managed to avoid defeat, but Liverpool are likely to set that straight from their point of view now. It will be tight though, with plenty of goals.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 11/25

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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