MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Spurs
Can Liverpool beat Spurs? After a string of disastrous results (bar a pretty decent draw with Chelsea) that is the big question hanging over manager Jurgen Klopp this weekend. The fact is though, the Reds have had a funny old season and despite having lost to the likes of Hull and Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent weeks, they will probably go on to beat Tottenham.
|Image via liverpooecho.co.uk|
So what do the stats say?
Well, Liverpool have amassed a total of 52 goals so far this season, that's eight more than Spurs. On the flip side, the Reds have conceded 30 goals while Tottenham have only let in 16.
The stats show what we all know to be true, Liverpool have a massive defensive issue. A back four consisting of a makeshift leftback and an alternating centre back partnership of Lovren, Klavan, Matip and even on the odd occasion Lucas Leiva creates an unfavourable situation for the Reds.
Frustratingly, Matip and Lovren who are probably the top partnership when everyone is fit have not had many opportunities to play together so far this season. It remains to be seen whether regular game time for the both of them could ease some of the defensive woes.
Liverpool have scored 16 goals from set pieces so far this season. Positively, Spurs have only scored eight. The Reds have been extremely susceptible to set piece goals and the stats for Spurs show that this may not be a huge issue for Klopp's side. You can however guarantee that Spurs will aim to penalise on the counter attack, yet another thing Liverpool have been struggling to deal with.
For Liverpool, Dejan Lovren will be subject to a late fitness test after he missed the Hull game with a knee injury. Also a doubt is Adam Lallana who apparently has an Achilles issue.
Tottenham are unable to call upon Vertonghen who has a knee injury. Manager Pochettino is also without Danny Rose who has an ankle problem leaving a significant gap in his defense.
The last time the two sides met was in October last year in the League Cup. It was a good result for Liverpool after Daniel Sturridge found the back of the net twice. The game ended 2-1.
The previous three matches all ended in draws. A 1-1 at White Hart Lane in August saw James Milner convert a penalty. Another 1-1 this time at Anfield in April 2016 included goals from Philippe Coutinho and Harry Kane. Finally there was a 0-0 back in October 2015.
Liverpool have won five out of the last 10 meetings between the two sides in the Premier League.
Just one week after the disaster at Hull to me it actually feels a hell of a lot longer, hopefully it feels that way for the players too because if their focus remains on that performance, it won't be a pretty result on Saturday.
For me, despite our pitfalls this season, the Reds have always been stronger against teams like Spurs, teams that play openly and come to Anfield to attack. I am completely aware that we've been utterly terrible of late but I would not be at all surprised if we beat Spurs 2-1 or even 3-2 on Saturday. The more likely result is probably a score draw but Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp seriously need to get three points on the board to stop the rot.
Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to be able to catch the match tomorrow as I'm out all day for a mate's birthday so I'll be relying on all of you lovely Twitter folk for updates!
Enjoy the match folks, wherever you are watching!