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Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool: Match preview

Stadium: White Hart Lane

Referee: Phil Dowd

Kick-off: 1:15 AM (IST), Thursday, 29th of November

11th placed Liverpool travel to London to take on 7th placed Tottenham in Wednesday’s fixture at White Hart Lane. A win would do wonders for Andre Villas Boas, as his team could leapfrog both Everton and Arsenal, who play each other at the same time, to move into fifth place. Defeat, however, could see them slip to 9th in the league, but more importantly, cut short their revival after the win at West Ham which was preceded by a 3 match losing streak.

Liverpool, on the other hand, are heading nowhere in particular with any result, but will want to keep their recent unbeaten streak going. A couple of switches in tactics and personnel have bid well for the club, with them emerging from a reasonably tough run of fixtures with at least a point in each game. A win in this fixture might see even better news for the club, with contention for European football becoming a distant, yet achievable possibility.

Form

Tottenham: W L L D W

A good showing against West Ham over the weekend would have helped ease thoughts of their recent slump in form, and with Dembele returning to action for 15 minutes on Sunday, things seem on the up for the Cockerels. AVB will be keen for his team to gather momentum, and with the visit of an unimpressive Liverpool, should have ample opportunity to do so. The Merseyside club have lost at White Hart Lane in each of their last four attempts, and with Tottenham’s defence actually looking slightly better than it has in recent years, in spite of having kept just one clean sheet, the streak seems all but ready to stretch to five games.

Liverpool: L D W D D

The story of Liverpool’s league campaign so far this season has been a fairly constant one, with Suarez rescuing, or garnering a point for the Reds time after time. Suarez has scored in four of Liverpool’s last five matches, with the side drawing a blank on the one occasion he hasn’t. Thus, it is most justified to say that Liverpool have been hugely underwhelming this season. Understandably, there is a transition well and truly in progress at Anfield, but simply being in the phase of transition never got anybody 3 points, did it?

Injuries, Concerns and Suspensions

Tottenham: Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Younes Kaboul, Scott Parker, Emmanuel Adebayor.

Liverpool: Lucas Leiva, Fabio Borini, Martin Kelly, Andre Wisdom.

Key Clashes

Jose Enrique vs Kyle Walker

Enrique, the versatile Spanish fullback, has been deployed in increasingly attacking positions over the recent weeks, and has done well, with a goal and an assist to his name in the weekend before last. Tottenham have a leaning towards committing too many men to attack and being caught on the counter. Thus, Enrique could be a major influence in the game, given that he can defend attacks just as well as lead them down the wing. With his pace and agility, he is all set to give young full back Kyle Walker a real tough time.

Jermain Defoe vs Jose Reina

The slippery forward has been in good nick for the home side, keeping Adebayor out of the team, even when he was available for selection, and scoring an impressive seven goals. Defoe has always been nigh impossible to stop when he manages to slip his marker, and an astonishing 56 attempts at goal this season show that he is not shy of going for the headlines himself. Up against the experienced Reina, however, he faces an uphill task. The Liverpool ‘keeper was out of action for a few weeks, but has kept clean sheets in both the league games since his return. An interesting battle, which may just decide the outcome of the match.

What to expect

A struggle for Liverpool to maintain their eight-game unbeaten league streak. Tottenham have been fairly consistent at home this season, in spite of a couple of losses, and have failed to score on only one occasion in their thirteen league games thus far. This, combined with Liverpool’s record of just one clean sheet away from home this season, almost gives an air of certainty to Tottenham scoring. Liverpool, meanwhile, have only one player who has scored more than once in the league this season, and will be hoping others step up to the plate on this visit to London.

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