Match Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
Tottenham will host Liverpool on Wednesday night amidst a host of Premier League midweek games. Both teams will look to improve their standings on the table. Tottenham could climb up to sixth spot, whereas Liverpool could force their way into the top ten of the standings with three crucial points.
Tottenham would be confident going into this game, having earned a 3-1 victory over their local rivals West Ham United. It was a much needed boost for his side before such a pivotal game, after the humiliating loss to the Gunners.
Jermain Defoe was on the scoresheet, netting two goals and taking his tally to 7 goals for the season. Andre Villas Boas was all praise for his England striker, and he also went on to compare Defoe with the likes of Radamel Falcao.
Another player of whom the manager should feel positive about is Gareth Bale. We are finally beginning to see the Welsh winger in his prime form with brilliant performances in the last two games. He also looked in menacing form against Arsenal and at times also threatened to snatch a draw for Spurs even with a man down.
On the injury front, Scott Parker, who has been out for quite some time, is finally recovering well, but it might be too early for him to start on the bench. He may be available for the weekend’s game. Emmanuel Adebayor is still serving his suspension which he received against the Gunners. Benoit Assou-Ekkoto and Younes Kaboul are still out with injuries.
Team and Tactics:
Hugo Lloris could extend his run in the Premier League by earning another start to his name. The French captain has finally got the backing of his manager and is repaying the faith with decent performances between the sticks.
Steve Caulker and Micheal Dawson could be in the centre of the defence, with the more attacking pair of Kyle Walker and Jan Vertonghen as full backs. Tom Huddlestone and with Sandro, the latter fit again, will start in front of the defence, and Dembele, also available, should get the nod ahead of Clint Dempsey. The trio of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe are good enough to shackle any defence.
Liverpool are in 11th place following a frustrating 0-0 stalemate at Swansea on Sunday. The Merseyside club are unbeaten in their last eight matches, but have taken maximum points in just three of those games. Liverpool, who have not beaten Tottenham away since 2008, can climb as high as eighth place if they manage to beat a confident Spurs team.
Luis Suarez once again will be the main player in my opinion and will have to shoulder the responsibility of scoring goals as he is the only experienced striker Liverpool have at the moment. Brendan Rodgers might now actually rue his decision of sending striker Andy Carroll on loan.
Team and Tactics:
Liverpool manager has his young centre back Andre Wisdom back to full fitness. He was declared fit for the game against Swansea, but Brendan Rodgers had other things in mind. He started Stewart Downing at left back whereas Jose Enrique played as a winger. I don’t see that happening against Spurs and he would like to strengthen his defence as much as he can.
It is the midfield spot which the manager has not been able to fix. He is constantly switching players to find the right combination. Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen had a decent game against Swansea, and might start with Steve Gerrard in midfield. Suso Fernandez and Raheem Sterling should start on the flanks and their pace and trickery can give the Tottenham defence a hard time with Luis Suarez upfront.
Predicted Team Line-ups:
Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Huddlestone, Sandro, Lennon, Dembele, Bale, Defoe
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Wisdom, Skrtel, Enrique, Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Gerrard, Suso, Suarez
Both teams are looking good for a win, and with both the strikers in great form, we should expect goals in this game, with Tottenham edging this one for me.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 1 Liverpool