Liverpool is an interesting team. The knock on them has always been that, although they are an offensive juggernaut with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino, they are always trying to outscore whatever their hilarious defense ships in any given match.
Well, they’ve taken steps to address that, purchasing Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton to replace Dejan Lovren. And if you think about it, a Liverpool team with a not-hilarious defense is suddenly a lot more scary. Still, it hasn’t always worked, as we saw in their recent losses to Swansea in the league and West Brom in the FA Cup.
Even so, it’s never good to underestimate Liverpool, especially at Anfield, which has been a fortress for them this season. The Reds are undefeated at home this season, and it’s been something of a house of horrors for Tottenham; they haven’t beaten Liverpool at Anfield since 2011.
Tottenham and Liverpool both employ tactical approaches from Mauricio Pochettinio and Jurgen Klopp that are, if not similar, at least in the same wheelhouse. Excepting the first match this season, the previous meetings between these two sides have featured press vs. gegenpress and they have largely cancelled each other out. Somehow I doubt that will happen again. This looks like a match up that will feature some goals, quite possibly a lot of them.
Spurs got their February gauntlet off to a rousing start with their 2-0 win over Manchester United at Wembley. While they are unlikely to see new signing Lucas Moura on the pitch for them during this particular match (off the bench in the North London Derby next weekend would be a more logical place for his debut), they are boosted by the fact that as a squad they are now entirely healthy, with Serge Aurier, Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld, and even Harry Winks all in full training.
That’s not to say that they’ll all PLAY -- of the four just mentioned, only Aurier is likely to start the match on Sunday. But it means depth and rotation are coming, and just in time. Spurs have an FA Cup replay against Newport midweek, then the North London Derby, then a trip to Turin for something called the “Champions League” against some old ladies or something, I dunno.
Considering the fast turn-around and the trip to Liverpool, nobody would be surprised if Spurs face some sort of let-down on Sunday. A result would be good. A win would be fantastic.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, February 4, 2018, 4:30 p.m. (UK), 11:30 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, UK
Official: Jonathan Moss
TV: NBCSN, Sky Sports Premier League/Main Event, Sportsnet World (Canada), Optus Sport (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also often at BBC Radio London,BBC Radio 5 Live, and TalkSport
Yes, Spurs played in midweek. No, I don’t think we’ll see much rotation. That’s what the Newport match this coming Wednesday is for. There’s some question as to the overall health and availability of Rose and Alderweireld. Lucas hasn’t even trained with the team yet and was in Paris on Friday, so there’s no way he plays. My gut tells me Aurier-Davies as the fullbacks, and a Dier-Wanyama pivot to help avoid Liverpool’s explosive offense, since I’m not convinced Dembele can play two full 90s in a week. The rest of the team picks itself. Maaaaaybe if you squint you can see Lamela starting for Son, but my guess is he gets the bulk of his minutes vs. Newport.
Only Ed F. and I dared predict a Spurs win over United on Wednesday. Go us, we rock. I still have the lead because I’m the boss and they’re all wisely letting the old guy win.
Cartilage Free Captain Prediction League Standings 2017-18
|Earl of Shoop||16|
Dustin Menno: I hate playing at Anfield. 2-1 Liverpool
Matthew Pachniuk: 2-1 Spurs
GN Punk: It’s Anfield. We never seem to do better than a draw there. 2-2 draw.
Jake Meador: 2-2. Salah tortures Davy and DESK runs Liverpool ragged
Pardeep Cattry: Nice things already happened to Spurs this week, so less nice things have to happen now, right? Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham
Skipjack: Hoping that after exceeding expectations all year, Liverpool finally comes back down to a more realistic value. 2-1 Liverpool
Ed F: Liverpool go 2-0 up, then the usual thing happens. 3-2 Spurs.
Salmon Chase: TBD
Earl of Shoop: Hmmmm, One team has an improved defense but a much worse offense after the window. The other has an improved attack and a fully healthy squad. The latter won the last match up, so really only one thing can happen here. Liverpool 3-2
Alex Greenberg: Harry Kane banishes Virgil Van Dijk to the Shadow Realm. 3-1 Spurs.
Joe Patrick: I’m going to be optimistic and go for 2-2 after Spurs go down 2-0 at HT but mount a comeback.
Joel Wertheimer: I’m feeling oddly optimistic about this one, which I do not like: No Coutinho no party. 3-1 Spurs.
Nathan Giannini: The only time Spurs won at Anfield during my fandom I wasn’t watching for some dumb reason, so I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never actually see it happen. 2-1 Liverpool.
Bryan A: TBD