Liverpool travel to White Hart Lane today to take on a Tottenham side just below them in the league. Liverpool's defeat at Blackburn saw them drop from third to sixth and Rafael Benitez is desperate to ensure that the defeat doesn't signal a return to the awful away run the Reds started the season with. If Spurs win today the two sides would be level on points.
Possible changes for Liverpool include returns for Dirk Kuyt, Jermaine Pennant and Luis Garcia. For Tottenham there will be late checks on Aaron Lennon and Mido who missed their win over Aston Villa on Boxing day, but Robbie Keane and Jermaine Jenas are both out of this game.
Liverpool have to beat a Tottenham side who have won all of their last League and Cup games at White Hart Lane – 12 wins, including 7 league wins. Spurs last lost at home in August, 2-0 against Everton. Liverpool don't get what they want at White Hart Lane in general – winning only one of the last nine league games they've played there. On the other hand Spurs have not won any of the last five league games they've played against the Reds, including the 3-0 Liverpool victory earlier this season at Anfield.
Spurs haven't been able to keep a clean sheet – they've gone 10 games without doing so. Liverpool finally conceded on on Boxing Day, but that's the only one they've let in during 730 minutes in the league.
Ex-Red Danny Murphy is now a Spurs player of course and will be hoping to start against his old team.
Rafa Benitez says beating Spurs won't be easy: "They are playing well and scoring goals but we are a good, strong team as well. We have had a lot of clean sheets and we know we can do it down there. We have confidence as well. We know we need to score more goals but we have been creating 16-20 chances away from home in games this season and usually you must win after that kind of performance." He was also asked about Jermaine Defoe, the Spurs top scorer. Liverpool have been linked with him on numerous occasions but any talk during this transfer window would be nothing more than idle speculation. Rafa won't discuss him in case it starts tongues wagging: "I prefer not to talk about him because people might say we want to buy the player. He is a good player, along with Berbatov, Mido and Robbie Keane. They have spent big money on good players and that is why they have a good team. It will be a hard game for us but we can win."
Another milestone to watch out for today is the likelihood of the 15,000th Premier League being scored at a game today. The total is currently standing at 14,993 and with a full programme of games on today it's almost certain that someone will get the milestone this afternoon. Whoever bags it will earn a charity related to his club £15,000 courtesy of Barclays. A competition for the fans has also been announced by Barclays. According to the official Premier League website the winner will get six VIP tickets to a match of their choice, and an opportunity to present a special award to the player who scores the goal. "To stand a chance of winning, fans simply need to text the full name of the player they think will score the 15,000th goal to 61066. One randomly selected fan who predicts correctly will be the winner." See the official Premier League site for the terms and conditions of this competition, which has nothing at all to do with us!