EPL Match Preview
New Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp makes his highly anticipated debut on the bench this weekend as his side travel to the capital to face in-form Spurs on Saturday lunchtime.
IMPROVING SPURS A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK
An opening day defeat to Manchester United remains Tottenham Hotspurs only loss so far this season as Mauricio Pochettino’s men make a serious claim for one of the four Champions League spots available next season. (The best online betting sites currently price them at *5.50 to achieve this) Having beaten championship favourites Manchester City in their last home game, the visit of Klopp’s Liverpool team should not faze the North Londoners. However, Spurs have a dreadful recent record against the club from Merseyside having lost their last five meetings against them. The last time the club lost six consecutive matches to the same opposition was between 2006 and 2008 when Newcastle United proved to be a bogey team.
THE “NORMAL ONE” LOOKING TO RESUME NORMAL SERVICE AT LIVERPOOL
The Jürgen Klopp era at Anfield is under way and all eyes will be glued on proceedings at White Hart Lane on Saturday to see if the 48-year-old German can bring a halt to the clubs awful away recordwhich has seen them win just one of their last nine outings on the road. Another statistic that the new man at the helm will also want to change is to become the first Liverpool manager since 1998 to win his opening Premier League fixture. Since his appointment during the international break, the Anfield club are now priced at *3.25 on the best betting sites to finish in a Champions League spot in May and Klopp will be desperate to get off to the best possible start in the capital.
Ryan Mason should come into midfield for the home side on Saturday in the absence of Eric Dier who is suspended. Pochettino also has MousaDembele and Nabil Bentaleb both in contention for a midfield start but it’s likely that Mason will get the vote to partner recent England debutant, Dele Alli. Attacking midfielder Heung-min Son, who was bought during the summer transfer window, is unavailable to the North London side so NacerChadli should get another chance to impress.
Klopp will have spent the first week as Liverpool boss checking the infirmary with the clubs injury list growing by the day. The new man in charge will be without Roberto Firmino, Jon Flanagan, Christian Benteke and captain Jordan Henderson for the trip south with doubts also surrounding the fitness of DejanLovren and Philippe Coutinho. The Brazilian midfielder has been the clubs best player so far this campaign and Klopp is likely to give him every opportunity to make the starting XI on Saturday.
PROBABLE STARTING XI’S
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1) Lloris; Davies, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Walker; Mason, Alli; Chadli, Eriksen, Lamela; Kane
Liverpool (4-2-3-1) Mignolet, Moreno, Sakho, Skrtl, Clyne; Can, Leiva; Lallana, Coutinho, Milner; Sturridge
HEAD TO HEAD
Last season’s corresponding fixture in August ended in a comfortable 3-0 win for the Merseysiders but Klopp will be unable to call upon two of the men who scored that day with both Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard having left the club in the summer. Saturday’s match will be the 145th meeting between the two sides in all competitions and if Liverpool take the three points it will be the first time that one of these teams has recorded six consecutive victories against the other.
Spurs 2.45 Draw 3.50 Liverpool 2.80
*odds courtesy of Bet365
Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)