Tottenham v Liverpool – preview

The Reds travel to White Hart Lane this Sunday as manager Roy Hodgson pits his wits against Harry Redknapp and Tottenham Hotspur.

When Fabio Capello’s job as England manager looked under threat over the summer both of these managers were linked with taking the job off his hands. No doubt there is much relief amongst Spurs fans that Capello stayed in his post and they didn’t lose their boss. Liverpool fans (by and large uninterested in England’s fortunes) would gladly hand their boss over to the FA (or any other side) right now.

The mood in the two camps, certainly as far as supporters are concerned, couldn’t be much different – but that could all change on Sunday. How will the game go, who’s going to be in amongst the goals? Will there be any goals?

We’ve had an expert take a look ahead at the game – you may or may not agree with their assessment:

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Before we start with the gratuitous insults, we’ve got to tell you about the fantastic Money-Back Special Paddy Power are running for this game. If there are more than 4 goals in the match, they’ll refund all losing 1st goalscorer, last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast bets on the match.

“Pah! Well more than 4 goals is 5,” you might scoff in response to our transparent and ill-conceived choice of language, “there won’t be 5 goals in this game.” In response to that cynicism we’d say then you clearly haven’t seen either of these teams try to defend this season.

Whilst Tottenham have generally been able to cover up their defensive shortcomings by scoring more golas then their opponents, Liverpool have struggled in the goalscoring department. And the defending department. A trouncing of West Ham has helped, but the reality remains that Liverpool are vulnerable. If Gareth Bale was able to destroy alleged best right-back in the world, Maicon, think what he’s going to do to poor Glenn Johnson – a man who’s defending is suspect at the best of times!

If that paints a picture gloomier than a Goth in art class, then there is hope for the Reds. Midweek matches have had an impact on Spurs’ Premier League campaign to the point where they’ve suffered some shock defeats and dropped valuable points. In their six games following European action so far this season they’ve picked up 10 points out of a possible 18. It’s hardly a disaster, but it suggests a potential weakness. Liverpool’s players have spent the week taking it easy and saying ill-advised things on Twitter and their freshness should give Tottenham something else to think about.

When trying to pick out a possible result, you could make a case for virtually any of them. Spurs are clearly good enough to claim a straightforward win @ 11/10. Liverpool could improve their general performance levels and possibly claim at least a point, if not all three points. We’ll be indecisive about our indecision and nail our colours to the mast of the draw @ 23/10.

One bet that we’ve been watching closely for the last number of weeks is Raul Meireles to get one the scoresheet at any stage in the match. Throughout his career he’s chipped in with goals for Porto and Portugal and he seems to be finding his range a little more as he settles in to the Liverpool side. It’s only a matter of time before he opens his account and the 6/1 for that to happen this Sunday is tempting. If you’re that way inclined, then the option of Meireles to be 1st Goalscorer @ 16/1 may also appeal.

For Spurs, there’s such a wide variety of goalscoring options it’s difficult to single out one. Incredibly, Spurs have had 11 different goalscorers in all competitions this season and with less than half the season gone, 4 players are already in the foothills of notching up 10 goals. As we previously mentioned, Bale could get his fair share of joy out of Johnson, but with Liverpool unlikely to commit when forward, it’s likely he’ll then provide the assist for a team-mate. Against one of his many former employers, Peter Crouch may have extra motivation to score and 13/2 for him to open the scoring looks like value.

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4 thoughts on “Tottenham v Liverpool – preview”

  1. This is a crucial match. If Spurs win they will be 6 pts ahead of us and the struggle to get to a 4th or better position will become far more difficult. If Man City or Bolton win it’s a 9 pt gap to 4th.

    But if Roy were to set free the shackles (as Rafa did towards the end of the 08/09 season) then Liverpool have a more than decent chance of winning to bring us level on points with Spurs. Physcologically it would give the team a huge lift.

    Roy, don’t think with your Fulham head on. Try to think as the manager of a top 4 club and send out the lads to do the job we all know they’re capable of.

  2. After this afternoon’s result where Man City, Stoke and Bolton drew and Sunderland lost tomorrow’s game takes on even greater significance.

    A win takes us to just 4 points away from Man City in 4th. A 2-0 win would see us overtake Spurs into 6th.

    He who dares Rodney… er, Roy.

  3. Roy now claims that the “squad is stronger than he realised”. I mean this guy said the team needed a major rebuild at first, than later went on to say that it didn’t need that but needed a few good signings and now says its not that bad really. Come on, this guy keeps changing his mind and does not even realise what he really has. If this is proof of his mental and squad awareness than we are in trouble for the long term. So lets hope he is just short term.

    Here is the link:
    http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=846521&sec=england&cc=4716

  4. The weekend results could not have been more favourable and as Ray poins out, it would offer a huge psychological boost to the team.

    I worry which team will turn up. The team that comprehensively beat Chelsea in every department or the shambles that folded to Blackpool?

    It ios now or never Roy. Although you are not clearly the right man for the long term it is time to show some steel and deliver. This squad is good enough if they apply spirit and they are set up to deliver good quality chances for Torres.

    On another notew NESV need to make a major impression in the January window, depsite its limitations, otherwise I fear that Torres and Reina in particular will call their Reds careers to an end…..and that would be simply disastrous for us.

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