Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
It has to be someone! And next up, it’s Jose Mourinho’s Spurs who have the task of somehow stopping the heirs to the 2020 Premier League title.
Premier League: Spurs vs Liverpool at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is sure to be a great contest for the neutrals to watch. Liverpool have only dropped two points this season by winning 19 from 20 and Jurgen Klopp still thinks his team has room for improvement.
Jose Mourinho, still relatively new in his job as Spurs head coach, is a master of tactics in these big games. But some may say he’d need to be a miracle worker to stop the Reds, particularly without his best player.
Kane out again
The big Spurs vs Liverpool news in the run-up to this game has been the confirmed absence of Whites skipper and talisman Harry Kane. He exited Spurs’ disappointing 1-0 defeat to Southampton on New Years Day, and a new hamstring injury will keep him sidelined for the game against Liverpool.
Kane has been dogged by injury in recent seasons and when he’s out, Spurs need to find a way to replace his goals.
Last season, Heung Min-Son stepped up to take the scoring responsibility. But Kane’s latest setback, along with the absence of Moussa Dembele, is a real headache for Mourinho.
In fairness, his side looked short of ideas before Kane limped off at Southampton. After winning his first three games in charge in North London, Jose’s honeymoon period ended abruptly with a loss to his former club Manchester United.
And following a recent 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea, the Spurs have won only one of the following four matches.
The loss of Christian Eriksen as a committed soldier is the biggest shame for Spurs fans in my opinion. The Dane has been a model of consistency and a creative muscle over the last few seasons, but he is out of contract at the end of the season and has made no secret of his desire to leave Spurs.
Manchester United are showing interest, but Eriksen is more likely to head to Serie A title-chasers Inter Milan.
Without Kane and Eriksen, Mourinho is likely to start with Lucas Moura upfront and with Son in support.
How can the Spurs frustrate Liverpool?
The Reds are full of confidence and full of goals.
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane continue to strike fear into the heart of every Premier League defence, taking Sheffield United apart last week. Mane has 11 and Salah has ten goals as they fire Liverpool to the title.
But Mane, who was crowned African Player of the Year this week, loves a challenge!
If Spurs are to stop these two scoring, they need to cut off the supply. Flying wing-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold both hit double figures for assists last season and are well on the way again this term, so Mourinho will set up his team to block the path of these two.
Of course, the Reds can also play through the middle, so this is a good chance for Spurs’ big summer signing Tanguy NDombele to show he is worth the £65-M his club shelled out.
Liverpool have won the last three competitive games between these two teams by 2-1, and they have won twice as many contests as their opponents in the 58 meetings since 1993 (28 to 14).
The most recent coming together was at Anfield in October when Kane put Spurs ahead in the first minute only for Jordan Henderson and Salah to grab another win for the Reds with a late penalty.
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