Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur: Preview, team news and score prediction
Liverpool tackle Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League this Sunday, in what will be an exciting battle for a place in the top four. The Reds and the Lily Whites are fresh off two impressive mid-week wins against Huddersfield Town and Manchester United respectively.
Liverpool come into this match having endured a difficult two-week spell which saw their 18-game unbeaten run come to a dreadful end with two defeats in domestic competitions against Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion.
The latter resulted in an exit from the FA Cup, ensuring their chances of winning silverware this season near impossible, making a top-four finish the priority for Jürgen Klopp's men. That meant a 3-0 victory away to Huddersfield on Tuesday night was important and earning another three points against their rivals on Sunday will be crucial.
Tottenham rushed into the lead on Wednesday night against Manchester United - eventually winning the game 2-0 - and it was an effort that showed their determination not to lie down and accept defeat in the competitive race for a return to the UEFA Champions League.
Mauricio Pochettino's men were five points behind Liverpool before the match at Wembley, with victory seeing them close the gap down to two. Spurs fans will be fully aware that a second big win in only one week for their side would mean a place in the top four, setting them up well for a strong finish to the campaign.
With 21 league goals for Tottenham this season, Harry Kane will once again be relied upon to lead his side to victory and the opposition defenders should be especially weary given the Englishman's four goals in his last six league matches against Liverpool. Score again on Sunday and the striker will enter the Premier League's elite 100 club.
Adam Lallana is unlikely to play a part in this match despite returning to training recently, after missing Liverpool's trip to Huddersfield due to a thigh injury. Defender Virgil van Dijk, though, will be eager to make his second league start for the Reds, after being rested in mid-week.
Spurs are still without defenders Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose. Meanwhile, Serge Aurier and Harry Winks will be fit to travel, following respective calf and ankle injuries.
It is a very well balanced affair between two of the Premier League's in-form sides and coming out the loser will be fiercely dreaded on both sides, making victory an all-important target.
Football fans have a strong reputation for never forgetting. The Liverpool faithful will still be hurting from the 4-1 loss their side suffered in the reverse fixture at Wembley stadium last October. Expect the players to be equally motivated by that defeat in their attempt to avenge it.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will be looking to do a league double over their rivals and an Anfield record of one win in 23 games against the Reds should be as inspiring as it is discouraging. Pochettino will be aware that as much as he can rely on Kane to score goals for his side, he will also need his defenders to keep out Liverpool's front-three, who haven't shown any signs of their form coming to an end in front of goal.
It should once again be the trio that leads the Reds to a huge win.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur