Crunch time. Just a scant seven league games remain for Tottenham Hotspur this season, as the Lilywhites chase their first league title in over 50 years. A five point gap between Spurs and league leaders Leicester City have left Tottenham with a narrow path to get into first place by the season's end. Spurs are in fine form, brushing aside a plucky Bournemouth team 3-0 in their last league game and seeing four Tottenham players feature well for England's upset win over Germany in the international break. The question will be if Spurs can stay hot as they travel to the hornet's nest that is Anfield.
The Liverpool team hosting Spurs have been unbelievably inconsistent this season. The team sits in ninth place (albeit with nine games left to play in the league), yet have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Europa League with a strong knockout of Manchester United. The path to Champions League for Liverpool lies through a Europa League title, which will not be easy with a looming match-up versus Borussia Dortmund on April 7th. However, it is unclear how much The Reds will rotate their squad this weekend ahead of the massive trip to Germany. While the Liverpool defense has not been strong this year, Klopp does have attacking threats in the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, James Milner, and Jordan Henderson, although it is tough to tell who will feature ahead of the crucial Dortmund match.
Can Spurs take down a distracted Liverpool team at Anfield and keep the pressure on Leicester City? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Saturday, April 2, 2016, 5:30 p.m.. (UK), 12:30 p.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool, UK
Official: Jonathan Moss
TV: NBC (USA), Sky Sports 1 (UK), Sportsnet One (Canada), Fox Sports 3 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
Health! Tottenham Hotspur are entering the home stretch of the season as healthy as they have been in months, as Jan Vertonghen is on the verge of full fitness after returning to training. Other than long-term injuries to Clinton N'Jie and Nabil Bentaleb, the team is reported fully fit. The biggest question for the starting lineup versus Liverpool will come in Erik Lamela, who only just returned to Spurs from international duty yesterday. We expect for him to start for now, but it very likely could be Son Heung-Min starting in his stead. Otherwise, it is difficult to identify anywhere Pochettino would deviate from in his now go-to first team--at least until Vertonghen is back healthy.
As for the Prediction League, things stayed tight at the top with all the leaders predicting victory for Spurs over Bournemouth, but nobody nailing the perfect prediction. 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||14|
Dustin Menno: This game scares the pee out of me. 3-2 Spurs, with the winning goal coming from a Harry Kane shot that’s deflected past Mignolet off of Anfield Cat.
Skipjack: Why stop now? 2-2 Draw
Ben Daniels: Klopp is probably looking ahead to Dortmund and will blow it. 3-1 Spurs
55thVin: We will outplay them for long stretches, but 20-25 minutes of good play will be all they need for a goal. Harry Kane is in a run, though, and I can't see Liverpool containing him. We'll wear them down, and eventually grab a second goal. 2-1 Spurs
Luke Zimmerman: Sports are terrible and awful. The international break tends to lend to random number generator worthy results, but I predict both sides will be out of sync. 0-0 Draw, an untimely, frustrating outcome.
Earl of Shoop: Guys, we're good. Not clean sheet good, but good enough to make Liverpool look less good. 3-1 Spurs
Matt Pachniuk: Can't help but feel like this match is similar to Spurs 3-2 defeat against Liverpool in March of 2013. Things seemed almost too good to be true at that moment in the season and the same sentiment rings true today. In general, we have struggled mightily against The Reds in recent seasons and this worries me. Different team this year, but I still think this is a trap game. 2-2 Draw. Spurs will be the better side, but drop points nonetheless. Bring on the late anxiety folks.
Jake Meador: When Poche has played teams that like to press as much as we do the net result is the presses cancel each other out and the game becomes an unwatchable slog. 0-0 Draw
GN Punk: The only thing that makes me happy in this match is if Harry Kane does a phoenix splash off the crossbar onto Martin Skrtel's head. That, and a brace for our lord and savior. Spurs 2-1
Brian Mechanick: I get the feeling that Klopp really, really prioritizes Europa, yet this game ends up ugly. I foresee goals for Kane and Dembele. 2-0 Spurs
Ed F.: I almost feel like we should be allowed a couple of different guesses given how bizarre Liverpool's form has been under Klopp. Let's hope we catch them on one of their crap days- 3-2 Spurs, we score the equaliser and winner in stoppage time.
Bryan Ashlock: So a bunch of you wimps are predicting a draw, but no one has the guts to make a full heel turn and pick the loss? Well, fortunately, I've been working heel for a while, so it's easy for me to say that despite whatever B team Klopp throws out, Liverpool will thrash Spurs. 2-0 Liverpool