It feels like a lifetime ago now, such is the nature of the international break, but the 2-1 win over Leicester last time out was a decent way to enter the prolonged abstinence from club football. We could have been at least 3-0 to the good at half time, with goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino following a complete horror-show of a miss from Mo Salah, who really should have done better with his early chance.
The second half was a complete contrast, where we looked out of sorts against a spirited Leicester side that, so much so, Salah was substituted after a anonymous second period; unthinkable last season.
And that’s before we even get on to Alisson’s howler….look, we vilified Loris Karius for making errors of judgement and letting in soft goals, so we have to call out the Brazilian for his ‘arrogance’ in trying to execute a Cruyff turn; a week after getting away with a similar act of impudence against Brighton.
This time, it led to a goal and an uncomfortable half-hour for the Reds as the Foxes pushed for an equaliser.
More concerning was Jurgen Klopp’s comfort in brushing the error under the carpet as if it was nothing. “It was clearly going to happen one day,” he said.
“It’s all okay. He knows he could have cleared the situation. I said last week we need to get used to it. Don’t constantly give the goalkeeper the ball, there are other solutions.
“He’s a fantastic goalkeeper who makes fantastic saves and of course in this situation he did not do what he should have done, but it’s all good.”
Okay, so we’ve splashed out the best part of £70 million on a keeper whom Klopp knew would make arrogant mistakes somewhere down the line?
It’s easy to fly off the handle and overplay the incident, but what if Leicester had gone on to equalise? Are we willing to excuse Alisson’s exuberance even in the face of dropped points?
Let’s hope that someone since has taken him to one side and reminded him of his duties as a reliable shot-stopper, first and foremost. Save the tricks for the training ground….
Anyway, enough of that. Let’s focus on the task in hand, which is a tough trip to Wembley to take on Tottenham in Saturday’s early kick off.
We all remember what happened last season when we visited the capital, with Dejan Lovren hooked in the first half after being beaten all ends up by Harry Kane. It was a defining moment of our campaign, perhaps the moment where we realised we couldn’t win the title, and so revenge will hopefully be a dish served up cold to the Londoners on Saturday.
Liverpool Team News
We sit and wait with baited breath for any injury news emanating from the international break.
Salah should be okay given that Egypt only played once during the break; a 6-0 romp over Niger on Saturday, in which the winger netted a brace. Sadio Mane also only played once for Senegal in Madagascar, while, happily, Roberto Firmino and Alisson were unused subs in Wednesday’s 5-0 win for Brazil over El Salvador. Hopefully the jet lag won’t prove to be too much of a problem.
The English lads were just down the M1 in Leicester on Tuesday, so no problems there, while Europeans like Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson weren’t far from home either.
So, assuming that the South Americans and the Africans return in good health, Klopp should have a full-ish deck to work with now that Dejan Lovren is ready to go again.
He faces a decision whether to install the Croat at centre half or stick with Joe Gomez, who has done little wrong so far.
The physicality of Tottenham’s midfield suggests that James Milner and Jordan Henderson could both start in the middle alongside Naby Keita, with Trent Alexander-Arnold continuing at right back ahead of Nathaniel Clyne.
What with the international break, we can press the refresh button on the form showed just prior to the fortnight off.
But Tottenham showed plenty of vulnerabilities in their 1-2 defeat to Watford, who were aggressive, physical and at times overran the Londoners in midfield.
Prior to that, Spurs had won three on the bounce against Manchester United, Newcastle and Fulham.
Tottenham vs Liverpool Betting Tips
Two evenly-matched teams can often lead to a stalemate of sorts, but if last season’s meetings between Tottenham and Liverpool are anything to go by we have no concerns about that.
A 1-4 tonking at Wembley was backed by an enthralling 2-2 draw at Anfield, with the visitors scoring a 95th minute equaliser from the spot.
There’s no reason not to expect another end-to-end encounter on Saturday, with conservatism not really in the vocabulary of either of these teams.
Picking a winner is difficult, and much may depend on the fitness of the key players involved: as well as our international stars, Spurs have doubts over Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris.
We may just sit on the fence and enjoy the spectacle, with a small flutter on Both Teams to Sore & Over 2.5 Goals at 5/6 our only wager on the day.