When does a downturn become a crisis? It would be easy to get carried away at this point with Liverpool’s poor form, but the point remains that they are yet to win a game in 2017. This was not the start to the year that anybody craved.
Our last victory came against Manchester City on New Year Eve; a result which, realistically, should have kicked us into 2017 nicely. Why the wheels have come off so dramatically is anybody’s guess – the African Cup of Nations shenanigans didn’t help – but the key now is for Jurgen Klopp to find a solution. And with Tottenham on the horizon, find it fast.
Helpfully, the Londoners look set to be without key defensive duo Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose due to injury, and so that should give the Reds some kind of confidence. Yes, we are suspect defensively and both Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan are battling to be fit, but at Anfield we should be playing to our strengths: and those are quick, incisive attacks.
Such attacking vivacity was not in evidence last week in the crushing 0-2 defeat at Hull; a side who, still battling away doggedly, Liverpool really should be beating if our Champions League aspirations are to be realised.
We had chances to get on the scoresheet, but the reality is that Hull probably deserved to win on the day. It wasn’t about hunger or desire, it was about the Liverpool players seemingly playing with fear; the early season joie de vivre a thing of the past. Grinding out results is not really the way forward for this group of players.
It would be excellent if we can find our rhythm again, live in front of the TV cameras, against a team that is also vying for a top four finish. We believe in Klopp and the players, so let’s hope the Anfield buzz gives us the edge against Tottenham. He has demanded a reaction from his team; let’s hope he gets one.
Liverpool Team News
There are concerns at the heart of the Liverpool defence; a problem area, seeing as though we have conceded nine in our last five starts.
Dejan Lovren sat out the Hull game with a knock to his knee, and he is rated as ‘doubtful’ to take to the field here. His most obvious replacement, Ragnar Klavan, has been battling with illness this week, and may be pressed into action without being fully 100%.
So that is a concern, but the good news is that otherwise Klopp has a full deck to play with. So with attacking resources in place and Gigi Wijnaldum back to replace Emre Can, we can hope to see Liverpool back to their best in the final third of the pitch.
Spurs have been outstanding all season long, and it depends on hoe optimistic you are feeling as to how their form will play out on Saturday.
They have only lost two league games all season, but both of those were away at top six sides in Manchester United and Chelsea. Their record on the road against the Premier League’s elite half-dozen reads W0 D2 L2….we have to cling to any morsels of hope we can get at the moment!
More recently, Mauricio Pochettino’s side struggled past Middlesbrough 1-0 – they could have drawn if Martin de Roon hadn’t fired wide when well placed, and drew 0-0 at Sunderland. So the headline is yes, they are in fine form, but there are still chinks of light for Liverpool to enjoy amongst that run.
Liverpool vs Tottenham Betting Tips
With two unfamiliar defences, and two sides who – on their day – are excellent going forward, goals have to be at the centre of our betting tips for this one.
Exactly 50% of Tottenham matches have witnessed both teams scoring, but with team news outlined above clearly that percentage probability increases somewhat at Anfield. Liverpool are at 18/24 for the same market too, and so the 7/10 price on BTTS is a tempter. But for those punters seeking additional value, perhaps Over 2.5 Goals is the play at 9/10.
We take no pleasure from betting against Liverpool, obviously, but without Lovren and with a half-fit Klavan in his place you have to fancy Harry Kane getting on the scoresheet at a generous 7/4. He’s netted seven in his last seven Premier League starts.
This feels like the kind of game that could go either way by a solitary goal, so let’s be smart and back the 2-1 correct score to both Liverpool and Tottenham at 9/1 and 12/1 respectively.