Preview- Tottenham vs Liverpool
It’s fitting that the first game to get the ball rolling in the Premier League following the international break should revolve around the hottest talking point during the domestic football hiatus. Jurgen Klopp will take charge of his first game as Liverpool manager, with Reds fans giddy with excitement as they prepare to travel south to face Tottenham.
The two sides are still most tipped to disturb last season’s top 4 and despite modest starts to the campaign, separated as they are by just a single point, both are within 6 points of top spot. In recent seasons this game has very much gone the way of Liverpool, with Rodgers tending to have Tottenham’s number, so if Klopp is to get off to a winning start the visitors will stretch their winning run over Spurs to 6 matches. The Reds have scored at least 3 times in each of their 5 successive victories, though Pochettino’s men have made some strides defensively thus far, with no team conceding fewer goals (7).
With Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino both ruled out, and Danny Ings and Joe Gomez suffering long-term injuries, Klopp won’t have a full squad at his disposal at White Hart Lane, with Ings’ form in particular a positive in recent weeks. The mission for the hosts’ backline in Saturday’s early kick-off then will likely be to keep Daniel Sturridge at bay, with the Liverpool striker well rested over the international break.
Despite Liverpool’s superb scoring run against this weekend’s opponents Sturridge has never netted for the Reds against Spurs, so will be looking to put that right in the capital. However, all of the players will likely take some time to adapt to the playing style of the new manager and Sturridge’s fitness may be a slight concern given Klopp’s demanding pressing style.
On the opposing side is arguably Sturridge’s main threat to a starting berth at next summer’s European championships – provided both stay fit – as Harry Kane looks to improve upon a disappointing start to the season. The England striker opened his account for the season in Spurs’ thumping win over table-toppers City, but netted a decisive own goal last time out against Swansea, ultimately costing his side two points. Nevertheless the youngster continues to pose a threat and, having scored the last time these two sides met, he should cause a shaky Liverpool defence problems once more.
With so much intrigue surrounding this encounter owing much to the movement in the away dugout, there should be plenty of entertainment on the field between two sides battling it out to be considered the greatest challenger to last season’s top 4