It took yet another second-half comeback, but Tottenham Hotspur did what it had to on Tuesday and beat Marseille to qualify for the Champions League Round of 16 and even end up as a group winner. Failing to advance would have been catastrophic, but thankfully supporters can now look ahead towards February’s knockout phase.
Domestically, the vibes are similar. Spurs sit third despite some frustrating moments and are on track for one of their better Premier League campaigns. However, there is still plenty of room for improvement, including a pathetic 0-0-3 record against big six competition, a trend that is sadly nothing new.
Now Tottenham gets a chance to reverse that against Liverpool, arguably the biggest thorn it its side over the past few seasons. Last year’s pair of draws were very respectable given Liverpool’s finish, but those two points against the Reds were more than the entire past three years against them combined (that total would be zero btw). On one hand, the club is just trying to survive this fall, but at the same time this represents a key opportunity to reverse fortunes.
Tottenham Hotspur (3rd, 26pts) vs. Liverpool (9th, 16pts)
Date: Sunday, November 6
Time: 11:30 am ET, 4:30 pm UK
Location: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, England
TV: Peacock Premium (USA), Sky Sports Main Event
The start of the season is obviously not what Liverpool intended, with back-to-back league defeats leaving the club down in ninth a third of the way through the season. This is not all doom and gloom: the Reds are a little unlucky by GD (fifth) and xGF (seventh) and there is still plenty of talent on the roster, but clearly this squad is not going to put up the same effort as last season’s (kinda) near quadruple.
Liverpool’s problems will sound familiar to Tottenham supporters. The midfield is often overworked and once-deadly counterattacks are converting far too infrequently. Add in slow starts (the Reds have a habit of conceding first the majority of the time) and disastrous individual mistakes, and suddenly it feels like looking in a mirror with a little less fortune.
Considering the opponent’s current state — which includes a 0-2-3 record on the road in the league — it might feel like this a great moment for Spurs to finally reverse course and grab a win for the first time since that 4-1 at Wembley five years ago, which feels possible after two positive results last season that each could have resulted in a victory.
However, this match comes at a time that sees Heung-Min Son (who scored two of the three goals against Liverpool last season), Dejan Kulusevski, and Richarlison all injured when the attack is already struggling. Currently the strategy seems like Tottenham can only come alive after falling behind, and even then it might require a stoppage time effort to win.
There is unlikely to be any chosen starting XI that feels satisfactory. The one change most will be crying out for again is Bryan Gil, who should make a substitute appearance at the very least. With all of the injuries up front, this likely brings back the 3-5-2, which does seem to make the most sense against Liverpool. Given everything going on, a draw would be good enough, even if it winds up feeling like points left on the table.