Why Liverpool are favourites to beat Tottenham
Tottenham host Liverpool at White Hart Lane on Sunday, with both sides looking to further their ambitions of a top-four finish this season.
Both teams have had a couple of encouraging results of late, and can close the gap on league leaders Arsenal with three points here.
Although Tottenham have won the last six games against Liverpool at home, the visitors may well fancy their chances today for a number of reasons.
Spurs will not be able to contain Suarez
Luis Suarez is undoubtedly the form striker in England at the moment, and has already netted 15 Premier League goals in 10 appearances this season.
Shackling the pace and trickery of the Uruguayan is going to be a real concern for Spurs, who are down to their bare bones at the back.
With their best defender Jan Vertonghen injured, and both Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul doubtful for the clash, it is likely that the hosts will field cumbersome Michael Dawson and midfielder Etienne Capoue in the heart of their rearguard.
As such, Spurs will have real issues in trying to contain Suarez, which could be the difference between two evenly matched sides.
Hard work in midfield can stifle Spurs’ creativity
Christian Eriksen made a substitute cameo against Anzhi Makhachkala in midweek, but Lewis Holtby is likely to regain his place as the side’s main creative player in midfield.
However, Spurs have struggled to score at home, netting only seven times at White Hart Lane this season. Part of the problem has been a lack of supply to the main striker, with Tottenham finding it difficult to break down regimented and committed opponents.
Although Steven Gerrard is sidelined with a hamstring injury, the midfield will comprise the likes of Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen – all hardworking midfielders that will close down their oppositions’ space.
If this trio can limit the influence of Holtby, Tottenham could well find it hard to create chances for their attacking players.
Liverpool’s pace in wide areas
One of Tottenham’s main weaknesses is at full-back, with the positional sense of both Kyle Walker and Danny Rose repeatedly under question.
Both have attacking tendencies and can be guilty of ball-watching; something that Brendan Rodgers will hope to take advantage of.
With the pace and trickery of widemen such as Philippe Coutinho, Victor Moses and Raheem Sterling, and marauding full-backs, Liverpool could certainly get some joy in wide areas, and will look to get in behind Spurs’ back four.