Tottenham host Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night. The hosts are just a point behind the defending champions with a game in hand. Liverpool are on a terrible run of form with their confidence very low according to Jurgen Klopp. Who will come out on top?
Having seen an 11-match unbeaten run in Premier League ended with defeats to Liverpool and Leicester, Mourinho has Spurs back in reasonable good form albeit with a consistent problem in putting matches to bed. In three of their last six league games, Spurs led 1-0 against all of Crystal Palace, Wolves and Fulham but dropped deep and conceded equalisers in the final 16 minutes of each match.
Spurs are currently on a four game unbeaten league run including the Wolves and Fulham draws, a 3-0 home win against Leeds and a 3-1 away win at Sheffield United last time out. Serge Aurier, Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombele scored the goals. Their last match was a 4-1 FA Cup win away at Wycombe.
Tottenham Team News
Mourinho played a strong team in midweek against Wycombe but left Kane, Son and Ndombele on the bench as insurance. All three were required and came on to turn the game. They will form three of the front four with one of Lucas Moura, Gareth Bale or Steven Bergwijn completing the attack.
At right-back, Matt Doherty has an injury and Aurier wasn’t fit enough to start against Wycombe but he should play this game. Ben Davies is a doubt at left-back with a calf problem so Sergio Reguilon will play in that role.
Spurs will play exactly the same way they did at Anfield. They will sit back and try to draw Liverpool onto them and look to play on the counter attack or create big chances from set plays or defensive errors.
Tottenham had enough good opportunities to win that match and lost in the final minute. Mourinho would probably be quite satisfied if the match ended 0-0 considering that Spurs are just a point behind Liverpool with a game in hand.
Klopp went with a very strong side in the FA Cup with just Joel Matip rested to protect him at centre back and Sadio Mane used as a substitute. Both will start this match. Jordan Henderson has a muscle problem and is doubtful so James Milner or Curtis Jones could play from the start in midfield.
Diogo Jota, Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain out injured and Naby Keita is doubtful but Matip’s return alongside Fabinho gives the side a much stronger base. The biggest issues are currently with the tired and stale looking front three.
Liverpool Team News
Klopp played a very strong team in the last round of the FA Cup but that was to retain match fitness and avoid a 13 day gap between facing Southampton and taking on Man Utd. He rested the likes of Mo Salah and Bobby Firmino but they both came on in the loss to Burnley. The squad will be under pressure after such a quick turnaround time from Thursday to Sunday.
Klopp said his side’s confidence has been stamped like a small flower and therefore playing a very open and positive game isn’t that likely. With the defensive issues, Liverpool haven’t been as aggressive in their high pressing without knowing there is solidity behind them.
Liverpool will play to win but would very likely take a point if it comes alongside an improved performance.
Spurs have won 6 of their last 8 matches
Spurs have won 2 of their last 7 PL matches
Spurs have drawn 2 of their last 4 PL matches
Spurs have 1 of their last 3 home PL matches
The Reds are 5 PL matches without win, failing to score in 4 of those
Liverpool have lost 2 of their last 15 PL matches (W6, D7)
Liverpool have won just 6 of their last 16 PL matches
Liverpool have won 2 of their last 9 away matches
The Reds have kept 2 clean sheets in their last 9 away matches
This is going to be a close and cagey game, possibly between two sides not very high on confidence. A draw certainly looks like the best bet and most likely outcome.