Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur: Can Spurs stop the freefall?
The international break is rarely welcomed by football fans but for Tottenham supporters, it may have been a pleasant diversion this time around. With the club picking up just one point from their last four matches, the faint hopes of a title challenge are over and there are some more pressing issues all of a sudden.
Tottenham remain in third place but that Champions League slot is suddenly under threat. An away trip to leaders Liverpool is hardly ideal but can Spurs respond and get something positive at Anfield on Sunday?
There are no suspensions for this game but there are three injuries to consider. Confirmed team news hasn’t come out at the time of writing but it seems that Serge Aurier is the man most likely to miss out.
Eric Dier limped out of England’s game with the Czech Republic while Harry Winks has had three weeks to recover from a hip injury and while both are doubts, they should be in contention for a place on the bench at the very least.
Match Result Betting
The bookmakers have hardly given Spurs a ringing endorsement for this game and in the lead up to kick off, the visitors are the outside bet at odds of 23/5 with Unibet and 888Sport. Liverpool are heavy odds on favourites at 8/13 with Betway while the draw completes the betting at 16/5 with William Hill.
It’s been so long since Tottenham took to the field in anger that form might not come into the equation. That would clearly be a good thing after the wretched run that yielded just one point from a possible twelve. Liverpool are in the ascendancy and this will be tough but hopeful Spurs fans would be backing that 16/5 on the draw at the very least.
Harry Kane kept up his scoring record at international level with two in two for England across the international break but he’s in the unusual position of being third favourite to open the scoring here. Kane is available at best odds of 6/1 with Unibet and Black Type for the first goal but it’s Liverpool’s Mo Salah who leads the way here at a top price of 57/17 with 10Bet and Bethard.
Sandwiched in between the two is Sadio Mane at a best of 11/2 with SportNation and RedZoneSports so it’s clear we have a battle on our hands.
Other interesting options here from a Spurs point of view might include Son Heung-Min at a best of 9/1 with 10Bet or Christian Eriksen at 16/1 with William Hill.
Turning to the other popular side bets and we have Both Teams to Score available at best odds of 8/11 with William Hill and Betway. Taking into account the firepower in each camp and the recent results between these two sides, we think that could be the most likely bet of the afternoon.
There are lots of options here but punters might also want to consider over 4.5 goals at 4/1 with BetFred and a Correct Score of Liverpool 3 Spurs 2 at 22/1 with Black Type. As you will have guessed by now, we’re not entirely optimistic about this game but can anything change our minds?
Head to Head
Few fans on either side will forget last year’s corresponding fixture in a hurry. Penalty drama, a disgruntled Jurgen Klopp and a wonder strike from Victor Wanyama contributed to a thrilling 2-2 draw at Anfield in 2017/18.
Historically, this isn’t a great fixture for Spurs and many of us can remember that long run without a win at Anfield that ran for over 70 years until the mid-1980s. Things have improved considerably since then and while Liverpool have the upper hand in terms of overall results, the last seven premier league games show four draws, two wins for Liverpool and one victory for Tottenham.
There’s no ambiguity with the dangerman this week. Mohamed Salah may not be running away with the Golden Boot this year but he’s not exactly suffering from second season syndrome either. The Egyptian has scored 17 goals in 30 league games so far in 2018/19 and if we take into account all competitions, that record becomes 20 in 39.
With Mane and Firmino on board, there is plenty of attacking threat behind the main striker but it’s clear that Salah is the one we have to watch.
We can only hope that the break has somehow been beneficial for a Spurs team who looked determined to relinquish their grip on Champions League football. If we can see the same Spurs side who compete so well in Europe then we’re in with a chance of at least a point but sadly we can’t see it coming here.
The positive news is that Dele Alli is back and we have a strong attacking unit to choose from. That is our best hope with Alli, Kane, Eriksen and Son pulling the strings. We simply need to score as it’s going to be so tough keeping Liverpool quiet as they move forward.
As we hinted at during the preview, we’re looking at a high scoring loss. Hopefully it won’t be terminal in regards to a Top Four finish as we expect Spurs to recover from Wednesday when we go back home and host Crystal Palace at our brand new stadium.