It doesn’t seem to matter what day of the week they play, Liverpool just keep on winning. A rare foray into Thursday night action yielded a 3-1 victory, and it was very much a case of expectations being lived up to against the struggling Magpies.
But the triumph came with a price. Virgil van Dijk and Fabinho missed the game after positive Covid tests, with Curtis Jones also now joining them on the quarantined list. More testing will be done before Sunday’s trip to Tottenham, who themselves haven’t played in two weeks due to a mini pandemic of their own at the club.
Jurgen Klopp’s headache worsened after just seven minutes into the game against Newcastle, when former Reds midfielder Jonjo Shelvey tucked home after a clinical Magpies counter attack.
That setback seemed to shock Liverpool into life and, despite the absence of two of their talisman, they quickly found a way back into the contest.
The equaliser was not without controversy, but it would be churlish to suggest that the game should have been stopped when Isaac Hayden went down in the penalty area with a head injury – the players continued, and the ball eventually found its way to Diogo Jota, who was in the right place at the right time to nudge home.
Just four minutes later, Liverpool had taken the lead. Sadio Mane was alive to Shelvey’s attempted back pass, and after his shot was saved it was up to Mo Salah to prod in the rebound. It was the fifteenth Premier League game in a row that the Egyptian has either scored or assisted, and that takes him level for the record with Jamie Vardy.
It has to be said that Newcastle had chances to get back into the contest, but some solid goalkeeping and wasteful finishing prevented them from drawing level.
Trent Alexander-Arnold removed all doubt late on with a trademark long-range strike, and with Chelsea dropping points this was a vital victory for the Reds. Can they dust themselves down and go again on Sunday?
Liverpool Team News
The Covid three will now have to serve their mandatory ten-day period of isolation, and so Van Dijk, Fabinho and Jones will definitely be out of Klopp’s plans.
There’s injuries to Nat Phillips and Divock Origi too, although there was some much-needed game time for Naby Keita and Bobby Firmino late on against Newcastle – could they be ready for Sunday?
Perhaps they won’t be risked from the start, and so there’s a possibility that Klopp will name an unchanged starting eleven from the one that started on Thursday.
Without a game since December 5 due to Covid postponements, Tottenham should go into this contest rested and ready to go.
They’d actually won three on the spin prior to that hiatus, and clearly Antonio Conte has got the Londoners playing decent, winning football again.
However, they still have Covid issues of their own. Son Heung-min and Lucas Moura could miss out for that reason, while Cristian Romero and Sergio Reguilon are struggling with injury.
It might come down to who’s fringe players are the strongest on Sunday, or which team’s star men are able to make their mark on the contest at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Tottenham vs Liverpool Betting Tips
Until we know the confirmed team news, it will be difficult to bet with authority here – we heartily recommend waiting until Sunday before pulling the trigger on your selections.
That said, and with a heavy heart, we have to say that Tottenham look decent value at 9/2. They seem to be coming out of the other side of their Covid woes, whereas the Reds are in the midst of their theirs….who knows who else will be ruled out before the game.
At this stage in the season, inactivity won’t hurt Spurs – the rest will surely have done them good, and so they are the better prospect from a betting perspective than Liverpool.
That’s not to suggest we think Spurs will win this game, but to see them listed at 17/20 with a +1 goal Asian handicap – we’ll get a refund even if the Reds prevail by a single goal – is the sort of chance worth taking.
An extraordinary punt sees Harry Kane listed at 2/1 to score anytime….with no Van Dijk at the back for Liverpool, he will surely fancy the job.