21 October 2017

Liverpool at Tottenham 10.22.17

11am ET, live in the US on NBC Sports

Last four head-to-head:
2-0 Liverpool (h) 02.11.17
2-1 Liverpool (h; League Cup) 10.25.16
1-1 (a) 08.27.16
1-1 (h) 04.02.16

Last three matches:
Liverpool: 7-0 Maribor (a); 0-0 United (h); 1-1 Newcastle (a)
Tottenham: 1-1 Real Madrid (a); 1-0 Bournemouth (h); 4-0 Huddersfield (a)

Goalscorers (league):
Liverpool: Salah 4; Mané 3; Coutinho, Firmino 2; Henderson, Sturridge 1
Tottenham: Kane 6; Eriksen 3; Alli, Davies 2; Sissoko 1

Referee: Andre Marriner (LFC History) (WhoScored)

Guess at a line-up:
Gomez Matip Lovren Moreno
Milner Henderson Can
Salah Firmino Coutinho

Liverpool's ten-match voodoo over Tottenham versus Liverpool's results over the last month. Klopp's record at Wembley versus Tottenham's relative struggles at home.

Liverpool's recent form versus Liverpool's recent record.

Maribor was good. Really, really good. But whether Maribor removed the millstone hanging from Liverpool's neck since September or was a singular explosion will remain a concern.

Mignolet will come back in for Karius. Gomez probably will for Alexander-Arnold. And Henderson's expected to as well, although I'm hoping it's for Wijnaldum rather than Milner. Yes, yes, Maribor were Maribor, but Milner felt crucial to Liverpool's improved counter-press, although Can playing deeper was probably just as vital. Still, Milner in this role almost – but not quite – felt like Lallana was back in the side. Milner ran farther than any other player in the Liverpool team on Tuesday. And Milner created two clear-cut chances from wide positions inside the penalty box: one scored, one missed. And, yes, The Wijnaldum Away Axiom sadly remains in effect.

We know what we need from this Liverpool side. What's perpetually in doubt is whether they'll do it. An effective press. Taking the chances they'll almost certainly create. And continuing to get more secure in defense; after Maribor, Liverpool have now kept consecutive clean sheets for the first time this season.

But Tottenham presents a far different challenge than either Manchester United or Maribor. Tottenham isn't parking any bus. Tottenham remains somewhat of fun house mirror version of Liverpool, one that's a year further along in its development. They're young, they're settled, they've a discernible, fun style. They really like to press. They're potent up front – especially Harry Kane, but I'll also nervously mention Eriksen's set plays – but still excellent in defense, with five clean sheets through eight league matches.

And they've become more versatile this season. It hasn't been 3-4-2-1 in every match. If Spurs play their "usual" XI, it'll be Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dier, Winks, Davies; Eriksen, Alli; Kane. But there's a more-than-negligible chance that Spurs attempt to replicate their performance at Real Madrid, sitting deeper and counter-attacking – even though Madrid should have won had they converted their chances, even though Spurs are at home, and even though (despite our most fevered dreams) Liverpool are not Real Madrid.

Tottenham's line-up on Wednesday was Lloris; Aurier, Sanchez, Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Sissoko, Winks, Eriksen; Llorente, Kane. And Pochettino could (and probably should) tweak that if using this style. Dier could move into midfield, with Vertoghen shifting inside and Davies or Rose coming in at left-back. Alli could play in midfield or up front. Son Heung-Min could come in for Llorente.

Tottenham have options, Pochettino has options. The only absentees are Dembele, Wanyama, and Lamela.

This will be an excellent test of each's potential for the rest of the season. We're nearing the hallowed ten-matches-in mark, where the league starts to settle into place. And Tottenham are third, impressive but not City or United impressive, and five points behind the league leaders (which is likely to be eight by kickoff tomorrow). And Liverpool are eighth, four points behind Tottenham.

Away from home, against a top-six club, coming off a record win under the current manager. Coming off a result that finally match the performance. And a chance to set a marker. It's set up for you, Liverpool. Just knock it down.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

United got stuffed good at Huddersfield today. Karma is a bitch, eh? Mou saying how other managers cry and cry about injuries. Obviously trying to light up Conte. GNev saying how United will be pushing for the title this season. 5 big points off the pace now boys. How do you like it? Big mistakes by Mata and Lindelof resulting in the 2 Huddersfield goals. They held Lukaku pretty well in check. Dispossessed him quite a bit, just like we did. Klopp no doubt gave Wagner a few pointers.

Need a win tomorrow at Wembley. Wouldn't mind seeing a midfield of Can, Milner and Gini. Not going to happen though. Will probably be Hendo, Milner and Gini. Milner played well against Maribor and his assist for Phil's goal is something none of our other midfielders can do. Play the ball back behind traffic with a one touch pass to an open player for a first time shot.

Up the Reds.