Liverpool vs Tottenham:
What would have been a mouth-savouring, lip-smacking rivalry even a year back is now shrouded in the veil of mediocrity from one side and supremacy from the other. Come this Saturday, league leaders Liverpool will cross swords with Tottenham Hotspur in the latter’s den.
A soaring Liverpool is still to taste defeat this season in Premier League and will come afresh from their recent victory against Everton in the 3rd round of FA Cup. A more notable fact that riveted the attention on last Sunday was Liverpool’s second-string squad that humbled a fully-equipped Everton.
Tottenham, on the contrary, is desperate to return to winning ways as their last victory came on Boxing Day against Brighton. Post that, Mourinho’s wards have managed to draw with Norwich, lost to Southampton and were once again held by Middlesbrough on Sunday in their third-round fixture of FA Cup. With the challenge of Liverpool looming above Mourinho like the sword of Damocles, he will have to make the fullest use of his resources to arrest Tottenham’s slump.
Suspensions and injuries are not a concern for Jurgen Klopp in this imminent clash against Spurs. Despite, James Milner not being completely fit to play, Klopp will probably not be inclined towards including him in the lineup either, given his current crop of players. He will most likely resort to his religious 4-3-3 formation.
With Takumi Minamino added to the echelons of Liverpool, Klopp may test the Japanese sensation for the upcoming torment of the Premier League. Curtis Jones may also get the nod to start the game, given the absence of Milner.
Mourinho will have to up his game by a million notches, as he is going to miss out a slew of star players from his team for Saturday’s fixture. With Hugo Lloris sidelined with a dislocated elbow until February, Harry Kane will also be in the stands with a ligament tear. To add to the Special One’s woes, Mousa Sissoko underwent an operation for a knee injury that will sideline him for almost three months.
Mourinho will also miss out the services of Danny Rose and Ben Davies who are out with injuries for an indefinite period of time. The Portuguese manager will most likely relinquish his 3-5-2 formation and will probably switch over to his own “park the bus” shape-up that will a feature a 4-4-2 line up against Liverpool.
Predicted lineups (Liverpool vs Tottenham):
Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Trent Alexander-Arnold; Joe Gomez; Virgil van Dijk; Andrew Robertson; James Milner; Takumi Minamino; Jordan Henderson; Georginio Wijnaldum; Mohamed Salah; Sadio Mané; Roberto Firmino.
Tottenham Hotspur: Eric Dier; Toby Alderweireld; Jan Vertonghen; Davinson Sánchez; Serge Aurier; Christian Eriksen; Harry Winks; Dele Alli; Lucas Moura; Son Heung-min
Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham
It should be yet another comfortable win for the north London giants. However, they may fail to keep a clean-sheet, as Spurs will look to push for a goal when their opponents push forward. It will be interesting to see whether Mourinho call pull off yet another master-class or not.