Venue: White Hart Lane
Kick-off: 1230 hrs, Saturday, 27th August 2016
No Live Broadcast. Match of The Day to save the day.
Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham, like any good Quentin Tarantino movie, will look to kick the door in and go out, all guns blazing. That will prove to be a concern for Juergen Klopp, who has been a bit of a slow burner (like The Sopranos) in league campaigns trying to get his players conditioned to the physically exerting style, has taken a toll on some of the players.
The Story So Far For Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs eked out a result in the dying embers of the match vs Crystal Palace, in a competent performance overall that mostly pleased Mauricio, though he’d have liked a wider margin, to add to the goal-difference that could prove to be telling at the end of the season. Their performance against Everton in the week before last, was heartening, pegging the rampant Merseysiders back after being overrun on the flanks, to fight their way into the match to draw, 1-1.
The Story So Far For Liverpool
Their 5-0 blitz of Burton in midweek restored normalcy, somewhat, after an utterly abject display at Turf Moor vs Burnley, a 2-0 loss which was devoid of character and direction. That loss took the gloss of Liverpool’s buccaneering second-half display at The Emirates which, as much as it primed fan’s expectations, laid bare irreconcilable weaknesses. Very much a Jekyll and Hyde side.
Tottenham Hotspur Player To Watch Out For – Dele Alli
Dele Alli, whenever he plies his trade against the European giants, will look to put a show on to serve as a constant reminder of what Liverpool have missed out on. On the verge of being a Liverpool player, last minute low-balling from Chief Executive, Ian Ayre, let down Alli and his representatives. Now, with his talent vindicating his worth, he’ll look to throw a heft spanner in the works, figuratively. Came on vs Crystal Palace to light the pitch up with his attacking play.
Liverpool FC Player To Watch Out For – Sadio Mané
Sadio Mané has turned out to be Liverpool’s main man. Electric incisiveness has pegged back an entire back-line on his own. With 2 assists over midweek, on early evidence, it appears that much will depend on him if Liverpool are to put a semblance of credibility together in their quest of Champions League football.
3 Key Battles
#1 Sadio Mané vs Danny Rose
This is going to be an enthralling competition – pace vs pace, and power vs power. With Danny Rose’s tendency to push up the pitch, the Senegalese international can wreck outright havoc if the Doncaster-born Danny isn’t prudent in timing his runs.
#2 Jordan Henderson vs Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier
Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t want to be Jordan Henderson right about now. If the former Sunderland man is paired up with Adam Lallana and Wijnaldum, he might have to find himself needing to be in three places at once. We fear that the Liverpool midfield may get mercilessly raided like in the time of the Mongols, if Klopp doesn’t put a proper midfielder alongside the Liverpool skipper – namely, man-mountain, Marko Grujic, otherwise known as the Serbian Kraken. Emre Can’s injury may have compounded their misery.
#3 Alberto Moreno vs Kyle Walker
This may be utterly one-sided. But at this point, we are unsure which side the scales will tip to. Albie Moreno thrives when a team plays a high line, the wing-forward turned wing-back bringing out his full attacking repertoire. While his defensive game leaves a lot to be desired, his attacking forays, quick interchanges on the flank, punches holes in the opposing full-back’s game – a reason why Juergen holds him in high regards, despite the incessant criticism. Liverpool will look to exploit the channels out wide which Everton so effectively did in the first-half of the opening game of the season, and much depends on whether Kyle Walker applies himself positionally.
If James Milner starts at left-back, Kyle Walker is going to have a field day.
Tottenham Team News
Notable absentee, Hugo Lloris is expected back after the international break. Moussa Dembele is likely to be rested.
Liverpool Team News
Emre Can is out with a recurring ankle injury, while Phil Coutinho would need to pass a late fitness test after straining his hamstring in training. Divock Origi is still nursing his muscular cramp from his midweek action vs Burton.
Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Kyle Walker
Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama
Erik Lamela, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen
Alberto Moreno, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Nathaniel Clyne
Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Adam Lallana
Bob Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mané