Back from the break. Tottenham Hotspur return from their international break off the back of a 2-2 draw with Swansea City, leaving Spurs in 7th place. Tottenham is just three points out of second place and two points out of fourth place, a marked improvement after a very slow start to the season. However, the injury bug has caught up with Tottenham, as Son, Mason, and Bentaleb are all out of action, not to mention a one-game yellow card suspension Eric Dier will have to serve Saturday. It seems a thin Tottenham midfield will have a major test as a renowned manager arrives for his Premier League debut...
And that manager of course is Jurgen Klopp, newly arrived to Liverpool after a seven year stint with Borussia Dortmund. Klopp takes over for the ineffective Brendan Rodgers, who despite a second place finish in 2013-14 was never able to reach the expectations set by the Liverpool faithful. Klopp's new squad sits in 10th place, just a point behind Spurs. The Reds have been let down by an inconsistent attack which has tallied only eight goals in eight games. Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke, and Philippe Coutinho are all still major attacking talents, but the test will be on for Klopp to get them to work well in tandem quickly.
Can Spurs give Klopp an unhappy opener as Liverpool manager? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, October 17, 12:45 p.m. (UK), 7:45 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: White Hart Lane, London, UK
Official: Craig Pawson
TV: NBCSN (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK), TSN 3 (Canada), Fox Sports 4 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBCS Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Injuries galore. Tottenham Hostpur is banged up ahead of the Liverpool match, as Son Heung-Min, Ryan Mason, and Nabil Bentaleb are confirmed out with injury while Eric Dier serves a yellow card suspension. As such, we expect Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli to start on the wings while Mousa Dembele returns from injury to pair with Dele Alli in central midfield. Watch out though for Tom Carroll, who may be given the chance to start with Tottenham's thin central midfield.
As for the Prediction League, Skipjack dropped a perfect prediction, bringing him towards the top of the table. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||2|
Michael Caley: Spurs 2-1. We're at home. We've been playing better football all year. Both clubs have a pile of injuries, neither clearly worse than the other. So I'm going with a big win.
Bryan A.: I can't decide what is more powerful, narrative or Spurs' form. So far this season it has been form, but that can't last forever. I fully expect Liverpool to deliver a heavy metal thrashing, in which they dominate play, their end product ultimately sucks. 1-1 Draw seems the right result.
GN_Punk: Two walking MASH units will take the pitch at White Hart Lane, though I think I'd rather have midfield issues than attacking issues. We're probably looking at a Moose-Alli combo in the midfield, and that's okay. Both are capable, though we will certainly miss Dier. I think the back four can stymie the 'Pool attack, especially since they're down to Daniel Sturridge and a bag of potato chips up top. Spurs ruin Klopp's Premier League debut with a solid victory. Spurs, 2-0
Mechanick: I am very concerned about the Tottenham central midfield's ability to hang with the likes of Can, Lucas, and Coutinho. I also think the Spurs' defense comes ready to play. 1-1 Draw
Ed F.: 4-1 Liverpool.
Skipjack: 2-1 Liverpool. Liverpool get thrashed but win off of two stupid mistakes. Narrative wins and we all drown in Klopp/Shankly slash fic.
Dustin Menno: Tottenham’s midfield scares me without Eric Dier. However, Liverpool looks like they’re down to starting Divock Origi at striker, so there’s that. Liverpool are going to get better under Jurgen Klopp, but it’s not going to be this week. 2-0 Spurs
Brett Rainbow: Remember the lift Spurs got when AVB was replaced by Tim Sherwood? How the team and all of white hart lane seemed re-energized? Spurs still lost that first game 2-1 to West Ham. Klopp makes a difference, but we're still the better side. Spurs 2-1.
Ben Daniels: I don't think Klopp has had time to make a real difference, but the new manager bounce is still a thing. Either way, I don't love our chances without Sonny or any midfielders. But Liverpool have their own injury woes and Harry Kane is ready to remind everyone how good he is. 2-1 Spurs.
Kevin McCauley: TBD
55thVin: This game is a bit of an enigma. We all know Klopp has a preferred style, but can it be implemented in less than two weeks, coinciding with an international break? I vote no. I think we will create chances by the boat load and only poor finishing will hold us back. 2-0 Spurs
Earl of Shoop: TBD
Luke Zimmerman: Sports are bullshit. Liverpool plays some narrative ball and wins 1-0 on a stupid late goal we all hate forever. I hate this match already. 1-0 Liverpool
Salmon Chase: TBD
Matthew Pachniuk: This is an incredibly difficult match to pick and absolutely no result would surprise me. Spurs have struggled mightily against Liverpool the past few seasons and seem to have reserved their worst performances for them. The Klopp hype doesn’t worry me so much as Son not being available for selection does. Without an element of pace to the team, the pairing of Chadli and Lamela struggle. Liverpool though, aren’t overly impressive. If we win, I think we might have something special, but I think this ends in a draw. 1-1 Draw.
Jake Meador: Doctor Tottenham will see you now, Liverpool. 2-2 Draw