Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur

1 Apr

Liverpool's Emre Can challenges Tottenham's Dele Alli


Dele Alli joined Tottenham last year despite interest from Liverpool

TEAM NEWS

Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino is doubtful with a hamstring injury, while a knee problem rules out fellow forward Christian Benteke.

Divock Origi is fit despite missing international duty with Belgium because of a thigh injury.

James Milner is back from suspension and Alberto Moreno is available after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld is set to play despite missing Belgium’s defeat in Portugal through illness.

Erik Lamela is doubtful after suffering an injury on international duty, while the game comes too soon for Jan Vertonghen, who is close to a comeback.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Steve Wilson: “It’s hard to think that Tottenham have faced a more crucial game at Anfield in the 43 years since playing there in the first leg of a Uefa Cup semi-final.

“Keeping every ounce of pressure on Leicester is crucial now – and this is the only occasion in the next month that Spurs will play their match BEFORE their title rivals.

“Of course, Tottenham have other significant goals – finishing above Arsenal and qualifying for the Champions League are two – but to settle for mere local superiority now would be a real disappointment when the prospect of only a third title win has seldom seemed so tantalising since their 1961 success.

“By the way, Spurs lost both that 1973 Uefa Cup match, and the tie, to Liverpool and have won only six of 72 league visits to Anfield – probably not what they wanted to hear.”

Twitter: @SteveWilson1967

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Liverpool manager: “When Tottenham play against Liverpool it is usually not a birthday party. It is a hard fight.

“The next day Leicester play Southampton – we know what can happen against Southampton. Arsenal should not stop dreaming as they have a few points to get an everything is possible. We are not involved so I am interested but we are involved tomorrow and that is important.

“It is unbelievable how strong they [Spurs] are – everyone could see it in the [England] national team. That is good for Tottenham but not for us unfortunately.”

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino: “We need to give the credit to Leicester. They are top because they deserve to be. From the beginning of the season they were fantastic. We cannot take the credit from them.

“We are in a very good position but we cannot compare with another team. We need to fight. We have seven games and it’s important to fight until the end of the season with the possibility to achieve good things.

“One is the possibility to win the title and the other is to finish in the top four, which is important for us.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Would a draw be enough for Tottenham’s title hopes? With Leicester playing on Sunday, I think they would take a point and see what happens.

Pochettino is not going to go all out for a win because that would play into Liverpool’s hands, and I think avoiding defeat will be his priority. If they don’t win, then they are still in contention.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro’s full predictions v indie band James.

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last six matches against Tottenham, winning five of those games.
  • The Reds have lost just one of their last 21 Premier League home matches against Spurs (W14, D6).
  • Liverpool have scored 15 goals and conceded just two in their last five games against Spurs.
  • Liverpool against Tottenham has produced nine Premier League own goals – more than any other fixture in the competition’s history.

Liverpool

  • Victory would see the Reds claim back-to-back home league wins for the first time since defeating Newcastle and QPR in April and May 2015.
  • The Reds have dropped 15 points from winning positions – the highest figure in the Premier League. Eleven of those have come since Jurgen Klopp took charge.
  • Roberto Firmino has scored seven goals in his last eight Premier League games after netting just once in his first 17 appearances in the division.

Tottenham

  • Spurs have recovered 18 points from losing positions – the most in the top flight this season.
  • Spurs have lost just one of their last 14 away league games (W8, D5).
  • Their tally of 12 Premier League away goals conceded is the lowest in the top flight.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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