Tottenham Hotspur will travel to Anfield looking to vastly improve their recent Premier League form and their attempts at defence. After a 5-0 victory against FK Crvena Zvezda in midweek, the club will have greater confidence in this fixture. But, their defence has been leaky lately and this must be addressed prior to Liverpool’s impending barrage.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Defence Must Strengthen As Spurs Travel to Anfield
In their last match in the Champions League, Spurs deployed with four defenders. Serge Aurier, Davinson Sanchez, Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies managed to play their part in keeping a clean sheet. However, whether Mauricio Pochettino will make changes in this defence remains to be seen. After all, Danny Rose is usually left out of the European matches to allow Davies some minutes. Thus, he may make a start on Sunday instead. It was perhaps a little unusual that Toby Alderweireld was missing, though. Again it may be a case of resting and protecting players.
Against opposition such as Liverpool, Spurs will need to tighten up. They, most recently, have been leaking goals against Brighton and Hove Albion as well as Watford. There is no disrespect to these teams who capitalised on their chances well. But, with Liverpool’s attacking talent, no mistakes can be made.
Pochettino has deployed different systems and combinations in the last few matches. At Watford, this was a three at the back combination with Sanchez, Vertonghen and Alderweireld. Against Brighton, it was a four at a back that featured Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies.
In the pre-match conference, the manager explained that Spurs “use different plans in all the games that we play….different systems, dynamics of the game. The most important [thing] is how we are and to find a way to a solid performance…not think too much of Liverpool but of ourselves.”
Thus, this does seem to suggest that there may be more changes for this upcoming match. But, also that Spurs are to be set up best for how they play, rather than a reactionary formation to Liverpool’s advances.
Giovani Lo Celso Has More Than A Cameo In Him
Finally, the Argentinian midfielder returns from injury. Lo Celso made a brief cameo in midweek, showing some flashes of his ability. He will hopefully see more minutes on the field this weekend. It is unlikely for the player to start if only for prevention of any reoccurrence of injury.
However, later on in the match, Lo Celso could help to inject some much-needed creativity. Tanguy Ndombele has been providing assists and some playmaking from deep. But, having that creative force further forward to supplement would really help Spurs.
Paulo Gazzaniga Test
With Hugo Lloris still recovering, Paulo Gazzaniga gets to don his gloves and start against Liverpool. Indeed, this is another chance to prove his worth as the main shot-stopper. It can be argued that Gazzaniga is better with his feet and thus fits the manager’s system. Playing out from the back against Liverpool will be a risky tactic and thus the Argentinian will need to be at the top of his game.
Tottenham Hotspur are underperforming. Their Premier League record has been woeful for too long. The Reds, on the other hand, haven’t lost a single league match thus far. On paper, the odds are firmly stacked against Spurs, especially at Anfield. But, if Pochettino and his men can concentrate on their own game and a watertight defence, they can match Liverpool.
Score prediction: 2-0 Liverpool