The early kick off on Saturday features two sides that are expected to challenge for the top four and we will discover a lot about each of them this weekend. This is a good test to have early on and if either side manages to win this weekend, it will provide them with a lot of confidence ahead of the international break. Tottenham have a more settled side than Liverpool, which could give them an advantage this weekend, but the away team have a dangerous attack that is capable of winning any game.
Tottenham have started their season with four points, despite being far from their best. This is a positive sign for Mauricio Pochettino and his side going forwards as they will only improve. They started poorly last season and if they can prevent that, they have a great chance of securing a second successive top four finish. Before the season started, Spurs were forgotten about and the lack of expectation could help them to have another successful campaign.
The visitors are expected to have a better campaign than last year with Jurgen Klopp being in control from the beginning of the season. They started with an impressive 4-3 win at the Emirates Stadium and their attack was sublime. The addition of Sadio Mane has added pace to their front line and he looks to be stepping up his game at Anfield. They followed their opening day victory with a loss against Burnley, despite having over 80% possession. It is matches like these why there are doubts about Liverpool qualifying for the Champions League. Their inconsistency is a problem
Head to Head Statistics
Liverpool have had the better of the fixture over the last few years, winning four of their last six meetings. This should boost their confidence after the disappointing result against Burnley. Tottenham have failed to score in their last three matches against Liverpool at White Hart Lane and that could play on their minds during the match on Saturday. Every side has a bogey side and Liverpool have been that for Tottenham in recent years.
Spurs are coming into the match in good form at White Hart Lane, only losing once in their last six matches at home. They have also ended a winless streak in the league with a narrow home victory over Crystal Palace last weekend. Their defence has looked well organised over the first two weeks and they have only conceded one goal, which was an unfortunate one to concede from a free kick against Everton.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have problems defensively on the road and haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last six matches away from Anfield. They have conceded as many as they have scored away from home over the last 20 matches and goals could be on the cards this weekend.
The form guide over the last ten matches favours the home side, as they have lost fewer than Liverpool. Those losses came at the end of last season and even with the 5-1 loss to Newcastle, Spurs have a better defensive record than Liverpool over this period. They also have the knack of scoring first, which could prove to be crucial this weekend. Liverpool’s conversion rate is better in the final third, but Simon Mignolet’s record of saving shots is poor and Tottenham will look to test him whenever possible.
- Harry Kane hasn’t scored a Premier League goal in August, which is a worry for Spurs ahead of this weekend.
- Liverpool have conceded fewer shots on goal (12) than any other side, but have conceded a joint-high of five goals.
Despite a poor start to the season, Kane remains the key man for Spurs in attack and is their most likely source of goals. He is getting over a difficult summer with England, but the best way to do that is to get back to scoring goals for his club. Tottenham have struggled in the final third in their opening two matches and had to rely on a late Victor Wanyama goal to beat a poor Crystal Palace side. They will be coming up against a struggling Liverpool back four and they will create chances. Simon Mignolet is having a bad start to the season, conceding nearly every shot on his goal and this weekend offers Kane a great opportunity to open his account for the season. It is incredible that he hasn’t scored a Premier League goal in August and he will want to put an end for that. Liverpool struggled to deal with Burnley’s strike partnership and Kane should take confidence from that.
The Brazilian has already been used in two different roles this season and he is developing well under Jurgen Klopp. Although he didn’t score against Arsenal in their opening weekend victory, he played superbly and created space for his team-mates to exploit. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him used in a false nine role again on Saturday. Tottenham are an excellent defensive unit, but Liverpool have the players in attack to cause them problems. The movement that Liverpool showed against Arsenal was sublime and they need a similar performance against Spurs. At the moment, Jurgen Klopp can’t depend on his defence to keep a clean sheet, which increases the pressure on the attackers. They are going to need to score at least one on Saturday and if Firmino plays well, they have a great chance of getting a positive result.
Hugo Lloris is still missing for Tottenham, which means that Michel Vorm will continue in goal against Liverpool. Vincent Janssen played well against Crystal Palace, despite failing to score and could keep his place in the first team. The other option for Pochettino is Dele Alli and it will be interesting which one of them starts against Liverpool.
Sadio Mane will return this weekend after featuring in the EFL Cup. Emre Can and Divock Origi are both doubts ahead of the trip to North London. Loris Karius, Lucas Leiva, Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho will all miss out this weekend, but should return to action next month.
It is going to be a good match to watch for the neutral with the attacking talent on display. The difference between the two sides at the moment is that Spurs have a much better defence and that puts them as favourites this weekend. Mauricio Pochettino is ahead of Jurgen Klopp in building a side to carry out his philosophy and I expect Spurs to win this weekend. Although there has been some criticism of Klopp in the media recently, he needs to be given time to turn Liverpool into a top four side. There is still plenty of work to be done and this weekend will be a reminder of that.
Tottenham 3-1 Liverpool
Thanks to kickoff for the stats used in this article.