Tottenham v Liverpool: Mou can't stop Reds' march

Liverpool have built a 13-point cushion at the top of league, and Kevin Hatchard believes they'll at least maintain that by winning at an injury-hit Spurs...

Tottenham v Liverpool
Saturday 11 January, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports

Mourinho wants to revel in pantomime villain role

When Liverpool were chasing the Premier League title under Brendan Rodgers in 2014, their 2-0 home defeat to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea came to define that campaign. Steven Gerrard's famous slip let in Demba Ba for the opener, and Mourinho celebrated Willian's stoppage-time strike as if he was about to lift the Premier League trophy himself.
That moment captured the essence of Mourinho - uber-competitive, keen to make a statement and able to frustrate and destroy. The build-up to that fateful game at Anfield saw Mourinho drill into his players that he wanted them to spoil Liverpool's party, and that's exactly what they did. Now they have another celebration to try to ruin, with Liverpool currently unbeaten in the league and romping towards a first Premier League title since 1990.
But are Spurs in a position to cause an upset?
Star striker Harry Kane has been ruled out of action until April after damaging a hamstring in the recent 1-0 defeat at Southampton, while midfielder Moussa Sissoko will spend a similar amount of time on the sidelines after knee surgery, and Tanguy Ndombele is still struggling for full fitness. Tottenham have won just one of their last five games, and are six points adrift of the top four.
But it isn't all doom and gloom. Spurs have won three of their last four home games in the league, and overall under Mourinho they have taken maximum points from five of their nine top-flight outings. At their new stadium this term, Tottenham have won six of their ten PL games.

Liverpool charging towards the promised land

There is an eye-widening relentlessness about Liverpool this season, as they gracefully and determinedly leap the hurdles that stand between them and Premier League title glory.
Many people thought the physical demands of fighting for the Club World Cup title in Doha would take a toll heading into the busy festive period, but that proved not to be the case. Not only did Liverpool win all of their games across the Christmas and New Year period, but they did so without conceding a single goal, and they barely made any changes to their line-up. The senior players were only given a rest for the FA Cup tie against Merseyside rivals Everton, and the kids won that game anyway.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has the Midas touch at present, and the extraordinary work that goes into maintaining the team's high fitness levels is paying off handsomely.
Once again, the team's key players have proven to be incredibly durable - the front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have missed just four PL games between them, while defensive behemoth Virgil van Dijk has been an ever-present, and supercharged full-backs Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have featured in every top-flight game. This isn't merely good fortune - Liverpool's medical department clearly do an excellent job, and Klopp has an innate understanding of how hard he can push certain players.
That's not to say everyone is hale. Fabinho and Joel Matip are only only just returning to fitness after long spells out, while Naby Keita continues to be frustrated by a series of minor issues.

Liverpool short, but understandably so

It says a lot about Liverpool's extraordinary form that they are 1.72 to win at Spurs. The Reds are unbeaten in 37 Premier League games, they have won their last 11 top-flight matches, and Opta tell us they have collected 85 points from the last 87 available. Mourinho has only won two of his ten career meetings with Klopp, Spurs have only one of their last 14 Premier League meetings with Liverpool, and they have won just two of their last 12 games in which Harry Kane has played no part.
The body of evidence points to a Liverpool victory, and we can boost their odds to above evens by backing the Reds -1.0 on the Asian Handicap at 2.20. Five of Liverpool's last six PL wins have been by more than one goal.
It's also worth bearing in mind that Liverpool have kept clean sheets in their last five Premier League games, and they haven't leaked a goal in any competition since December 18. You could back Liverpool to win to nil at 3.15, or go for No in the Both Teams To Score market at 2.36.

Mane in magnificent form

There's an argument to say that Sadio Mane is Liverpool's most effective attacking player, and has been for some time, and he has a case to be in that stellar secondary bracket below Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Opta tell us that the Senegal international has been involved in 11 goals in his last nine PL appearances, and has scored in six of those games. He has 13 goals across the league and Champions League, and is 2.30 to find the net here.

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