Liverpool are facing another tricky test as they surge to their first Premier League title. They will visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to face Jose Mourinho’s Spurs team. The Portuguese manager has long been a scourge of the Reds, but it is difficult to see him coming out on top this weekend. Spurs are dealing with injury problems following Harry Kane and Moussa Sissoko both ruled out for several weeks.They will go into this match as huge outsiders and this is a result of their recent poor performances.
It was hoped that Mourinho would make an immediate impact at the club. He usually starts very well whenever he takes a new job, but he has struggled to stamp his image on the Tottenham team. The injuries and lack of certainty over the long term future of a few key players haven’t helped. That said, the performance against Middlesbrough last weekend was a huge concern. It was a very strong team, but they were lacking ideas in attack and somewhat fortunate to escape Teesside with a replay. The occasion on Saturday might see an improved performance, but it is becoming more and more difficult to back this Spurs’ team.
Few would expect Liverpool to fail to win the Premier League title from their current position. They are on track for a record breaking season, if they continue at their current pace. At this point, they have dropped points on only two occasions. This is another fixture that they may trip up in, but based on recent performances, it is very unlikely that they will do. They were dominant against Sheffield United in their last league game. Meanwhile, they managed to beat a full-strength Everton team in the FA Cup, despite making wholesale changes themselves. The future looks very bright for the Reds.
- Tottenham have kept only one clean sheet in 12 matches across all competitions under Jose Mourinho.
- Since the start of last season, Trent Alexander-Arnold (20) and Andy Robertson (17) lead the league in assists.
The South Korean international is going to have to step up in the absence of Harry Kane as he has done in previous seasons. It will be interesting to see how Mourinho utilises the forward. He could be lost if he is started in a central role. It is obvious that Son is most comfortable in a wide forward position. Unlike Kane, he isn’t as good when he is asked to drop deep and link the play. Unfortunately, there are few other options available to the Spurs manager. At the time of writing, he has contributed five goals and seven assists in 16 Premier League matches this season. He is averaging 2 shots and 1.6 key passes per game. If Tottenham are to finish in the top four, they will need Son to play a starring role, starting on Saturday.
Alexander-Arnold is arguably the best young player in world football. He has created 13 big chances this season, with a current contribution of eight assists. This is very impressive for a full-back, but he is one of the leading players in his position. Liverpool rely on their full-backs for creativity and they will be confident that they can have a huge impact this weekend. Tottenham aren’t very reliable at the back and they have weaknesses at full-back. Jan Vertonghen is currently being used as a left-back and he will struggle to deal with the threat of Alexander-Arnold. This could be another chapter in the rise of the England international.
Moussa Sissoko will be missing until April following a knee injury. Meanwhile, Harry Kane has been ruled out for a similar time frame. Tanguy Ndombele, Danny Rose and Hugo Lloris remain on the treatment table.
Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri are set to be available following injuries. However, James Milner and Naby Keita are both set to miss out. Dejan Lovren is a doubt.
This should be an away win for the current league leaders when you take the form of the two teams into account. Liverpool have been rampant and they will not want to let up at this point of the season, especially with several players having a rest last weekend. This is a huge game for the Reds to show just how much better they are than the team that they beat in last season’s Champions League final. This could make for grim watching for the home supporters.
Tottenham 1-3 Liverpool