Liverpool versus Tottenham Hotspur has always been an exciting fixture. Both sides boast attacking flair of the highest degree and robust defenses and watching these titans of English football go head to head in battle has always been a treat to watch for fans and neutrals alike.
Both the Reds and the Lilywhites have looked like their former, glorious selves again this Premier League season after their fumbles from last season. Even though the Reds are in second place as compared to Spurs' fourth, only two points separate the two giants of English football.
As both these clubs prepare to face each other in GW 7 of the Premier League season, let's look at three things which Spurs must do to overcome their great rivals.
#3 Exploit Liverpool's high defensive line
Despite the absence of a genuine defensive midfielder, Liverpool have continued to play with a high defensive line. However, unlike the great Liverpool sides of recent years, their defense is not as dependable as it was before.
The lack of a genuine No. 6 makes Liverpool susceptible to rapid counter-attacks. More often than not, the Reds have give away easy chances and conceded several goals because there was no defensive midfielder to shield the backline.
For instance, Liverpool were caught on the break during their EFL Cup clash against Leicester City as Kostas Tsimikas' fumble allowed the Foxes to score early. The same was the case against West Ham United on matchday six as their defense was all over the place when Jarrod Bowen equalized for the Hammers.
Till now, Jurgen Klopp has not opted to start Wataru Endo, their only genuine No. 6, in big games. So, the trend is likely to continue against Spurs too. If the Lilywhites manage to get their press spot on, they could get some big chances to score.
Spurs have no shortage of attacking options as Son Heung-min, Dejan Kulusevski, and James Maddison can unlock any defense on their day. So, it certainly won't be an issue for them to unlock a leaky Liverpool defense that has kept only one clean sheet in six Premier League games this sason.
#2 Stifle Mohamed Salah
For all their attacking riches, Mohamed Salah is still Liverpool's best forward by a country mile. However, the one thing that separates the Egyptian from the rest of his peers is his ability to unlock defenses with the blink of an eye.
The Egyptian has scored or assisted in 12 successive games for Liverpool, dating back to April this year. Coincidentally, Salah's streak started with a goal against Spurs at Anfield and since then, the winger has produced 15 goal contributions (six goals, nine assists).
Stopping Salah from making too many inroads into their final third would be a big ask for Spurs. However, it's not like they are short-handed in dealing with the Egyptian.
Destiny Udogie is having a fine debut season at left-back for Spurs. The Italian has averaged roughly three tackles and an interception in his first six games for the club (as per WhoScored). He is also a threat going forward and has provided two assists this season.
If the young Italian somehow manages to keep the Egyptian quiet, Spurs could essentially nullify Liverpool's attack. The key would be to not allow him too much time and space on the ball.
While Udogie and Yves Bissouma should chase him down, whereas Micky van de Ven should block his passing lanes. While it is easier said than done, Spurs do have what it takes to knock Salah off his stride.
#1 Settle in the game quickly
Of the eight games Liverpool have played this season, they have conceded the first goal in five games. Besides, their opponents have always been able to get an equalizer against them, especially in the first half.
The Reds have started games slowly this season. More often than not, they were way off the pace of the game before pulling clear in the second half. The games against Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers are classic examples of their tale of two contrasting halves in a single game.
While the Reds have won seven successive games, Jurgen Klopp would be having a headache over their slow starts. Newcastle could have scored at least twice before the hour mark, and the same can also be said about Wolves and West Ham.
Buoyed by the home support, Spurs could get a window of opportunity as the Reds let their guard down. If they manage to get at least two goals during that time, they could have a strong foundation to build some momentum.