Spurs return to Premier League action for the first time in three weeks when they travel to table toppers Liverpool on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side did not play in the last set of fixtures before the international break and instead benefited from a winter break in Barcelona. It seems a long time ago, but their last Premier League match was a 2-1 defeat against Southampton at St Mary’s stadium. Although that defeat will be out of the system, Spurs will know that a result is vital at Anfield as the game is the first in a busy spell for the Lilywhites.
Liverpool are in a two-horse race for the Premier League title and our top of the table by two points. Manchester City have a game in hand on them and are still favourites for the title, but Jurgen Klopp’s side look like they are going to take them to the wire.
The hosts have earned a number of wins without playing at their best in the last few months just as they did at the start of the season to put in there with a chance of winning their first Premier League. Not only that, but they’ve also won four of their last five matches in all competitions. However, they have not kept a clean sheet in their last three games even with the world-class Virgil Van Dijk, something which Harry Kane and Heung-min Son will be looking to exploit. Both are in scoring form after netting for their countries in the international break.
Make no mistake, this is a huge game for Liverpool in terms of their title challenge and they will know that this Spurs side can turn them over if they are not at their best, even in front of their passionate home crowd.
Liverpool v Spurs Team News
⚽️ Spurs Team News ⚽️
— Spurs Travel Club Tickets (@SpursVIP) March 29, 2019
It was confirmed by the club on Friday that both Eric Dier and Harry Winks are injured and will be unavailable for selection at the weekend. Dier is suffering from a hip injury which he picked up in the first half of England’s EURO 2022 qualifying victory over the Czech Republic. Winks, on the other hand, has a groin injury which the club are hopeful is not too serious.
The other fitness concern is Serge Aurier, who also picked up a knock on international duty. His hamstring injury will be assessed before the match on Sunday but with a number of games to follow in quick succession, it is likely he will not be risked.
Another player that may not play the full ninety minutes is Dele Alli. The England international is fit after starting both matches for his country, but Pochettino will be wary of how much match time he gives the Spurs man as he too has only recently returned from injury.
For the hosts, Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Trent Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri have resumed full team training. Both were forced to withdraw from their national team squads with injury and it was expected that both would miss out against Spurs. However, it now looks likely that they will feature.
Another positive return for Liverpool is that of defender Joe Gomez. The commanding centre back has been out for over three months with injury and has returned to training. He is not expected to come straight back into the starting eleven though, with Klopp opting to ease him into the squad for the end of season run-in.
Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in training after almost a year out but will not be returning to first team action soon according to Klopp.
Liverpool v Spurs Predicted Team
With Serge Aurier the only defensive injury doubt we expect Spurs to put out a strong back line. Davinson Sanchez is likely to be on the bench after extensive travel playing for Colombia, meaning it is a back four of Kieran Trippier, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose.
With Eric Dier and Harry Winks both out, Victor Wanyama could be given a rare start as the holding midfielder. However, like Sanchez he will have clocked up the air miles playing for his country this week so may not be fit enough to start, meaning that Oliver Skipp could even make an appearance from the outset.
Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko are almost certainties to start, with Alli another player who Pochettino will be keen to call upon to play just in front of them. Up front, Spurs are likely to be led by Kane and Heung-min Son although the South Korean may be used out wide if Pochettino chooses to tweak his formation from the midfield diamond that has been used for a lot of the season.
What the Manager Said
Spurs Manager Mauricio Pochettino
“Everyone was surprised by the magnitude of the project. The stadium is the best in the world, we can confirm now. Every single space in it is the best I’ve seen in my life. You cannot compare with another. All the effort everyone is doing, the fans, the players, the staff, all that they committed in the last few years paid off when you are there and see the reality of the project. It’s an amazing project and an amazing stadium, it’s going to be fantastic for the future of the club.”
Liverpool v Spurs Referee
Experienced official Martin Atkinson will be the referee on Sunday. Atkinson has taken charge of Spurs three times this season, the most recent being in their 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
Liverpool v Spurs Prediction
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 29, 2019
Despite the long period since the last round of Premier League matches, both sides have had a lot of players involved in the international break. This could mean that there are some tired bodies on both sides although with the match being on Sunday this should give enough time for the players to recover.
Spurs will be boosted by their training session at the new stadium and although they are not the favourites, we think they might be able to snatch a draw. We’re going for a repeat of the scoreline of the same match last season.
Our prediction is Liverpool 2-2 Spurs
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