Liverpool have won their last five Premier League meetings with Tottenham by a one-goal margin, including four 2-1 victories. Something has got to give, so does the current form of Jurgen Klopp’s side swing Thursday’s tie in Spurs’ favour? Or will see the response of champions?
Predictions are almost futile in this current Premier League season. Manchesters City and United lead the way having looked decidedly average a couple of months ago, while Liverpool have scored just one goal in the five league matches since they stuck seven past Crystal Palace.
It means there is no way of foreseeing what will happen at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night, as Liverpool travel to a Spurs side one point below them in the table, but who also have a game in hand.
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We can, however, predict how the game will play out and look at what we can expect based on recent meetings between the two sides. No wonder, then, that Spurs supporters are going in with low expectations.
That is because Liverpool have won the past six meetings in all competitions, including the 2019 Champions League final, while Spurs have taken just one victory in 18.
As mentioned, Liverpool have edged the past five league meetings by one goal, including a 2-1 win at Anfield in December thanks to a late Roberto Firmino goal.
The recent encounters suggest Liverpool will dominate possession on Thursday; they had 76% of the ball in December, 67% in the 1-0 win at Tottenham 12 months ago, and 68% in the 2-1 win prior at home in 2019.
We can also expect Liverpool to create more chances. In those past three matches, Liverpool recorded 52 shots to Spurs’ 33.
That reads for an open game, as does the fact Tottenham allowed Fulham (15), Leeds (18) and Leicester (17) to reach double-digits for shots when facing Spurs away recently.
Spurs can ill-afford to allow Liverpool to create as many chances, so Jose Mourinho may look to stifle the prospects of an entertaining affair by making it a priority to quell the visiting attack over loosening the reins on his own forwards.
But he knows even that can be a difficult task. “They scored two goals at Old Trafford where it is not easy to score and they could have scored more,” Mourinho said of Liverpool on Wednesday. “They created a lot of chances. You are right, they have top class attacking players, I am right by saying they create chances in every match a part of scoring or not scoring.”
Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho sparred on and off the pitch in Liverpool's 2-1 win over Tottenham
Image credit: Getty Images
Mourinho also dismissed that Liverpool’s current failings will be to Spurs’ gain. “No, I don't feel that at all,” he added. “To play Liverpool is to play Liverpool, independent of all the context, independent of everything. I don't feel it is an advantage and I don't feel it is a disadvantage. Simple.”
As Mourinho alluded to, even in defeat Liverpool created plenty in the 3-2 FA Cup loss at Manchester United on Sunday, matching the victors with 14 shots and six on target.
Should they be allowed to reach double figures at Tottenham, you would fancy Liverpool to take at least one opportunity. The onus is therefore on Spurs to prevent this where possible, and take their own chances when they arrive, something they failed to do at Anfield last month.
Be it goalless or a goal-fest, an intriguing tie awaits. For the victor there will be renewed hopes of catching the Manchester clubs, while for the losers the fears of reaching the top four will only deepen. Draw, anyone?
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