Match Preview, Liverpool vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Tuesday 10th February 2015. 8pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Anfield.

TV: Live on BT Sport 1. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

After triumphing in the North London Derby, we almost instantly have to re-focus on what is another massive game against a really good side, wanting to continue our good form and build on the fantastic result against Arsenal. The way in which we played was admirable, and now we have to replicate that intensity and energy this Tuesday against an energetic, creative Liverpool side, who at home are very difficult to beat, and always recognised as a side with a brilliant record at Anfield, with the Kop behind them. With the form we are in, we have to look to keep this momentum going and with confidence elevated within the squad we have all the tools to succeed in Merseyside against a good side, but one that is still finding it’s feet after the sale of Luis Suarez. At the moment we sit in 5th place, just one point off Manchester United in 4th and two points away from Southampton in 3rd, and now we must be looking to break our way into that top four bracket, and have a good opportunity to keep up the pressure with a win at Anfield, as tough as the game will no doubt be. I think we go into the game without fear; we have a team functioning well, that now knows that on their day, can beat any side in the League, and the good mentality that has been grinded into their make up by Mauricio Pochettino is starting to pay off magnificently, as the side never looks like losing, and even if we do go a goal behind there isn’t panic, and we always seem to be self-assured that we will snatch a goal or two with the quality we have up top, so, heading into another big game at Anfield, I’m confident of taking at least a point, and I’m sure Pochettino and the players feel the same.

Focusing on Liverpool; after a tough start to their season, with the loss of Luis Suarez, and the failure to settle in by some of their big signings, it was a turbulent beginning, with intense media scrutiny on their performances and results, but, they have recently started to pick up their displays and showcase more energy, creativity and goal threat than previously. They have hit good form, and in their last five Premier League games they have won 4 and drawn 1, and are unbeaten in 8 League fixtures, with their last loss coming to Manchester United, 3-0, back in mid December, so there is no doubt that we are coming into a very difficult fixture, with this Liverpool side in a winning mentality, despite their Merseyside derby bore draw at Goodison Park on Saturday evening. They will be high on confidence having gone unbeaten at Anfield in 9 games in all competitions, with only Chelsea back in early November scraping a 2-1 win. In our last game against the Merseyside giants, we fell to a 3-0 defeat at White Hart Lane at the start of the season, being unlucky to lose by that scoreline, but deservedly losing the game at the very start of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign at White Hart Lane. Then, the last time we visited Anfield was under Tim Sherwood’s tenure near the end of last season, a 4-0 defeat to a devastatingly good Liverpool side who had the power of Luis Suarez at their disposal, and a very well drilled and functioning side that was threatening for the League, whereas our side was to put it lightly, dysfunctional and poorly managed. Now though, it’s a different story and we will be looking to put the record straight after our poor displays in recent times against the Reds. We both had a derby on the Saturday, and we came out on top while Liverpool couldn’t get on the scoreboard in a 0-0 draw, and now we’ll be hoping we can keep Liverpool at bay and grab another three points within three days.

The team news for Liverpool is that key man Phillipe Coutinho have recovered from knock in the game against Everton to be fit for this game, but Lucas Leiva (groin), Brad Jones (hip), Raheem Sterling (foot) and John Flanagan (knee) are out, while Adam Lallana is in line to return to contention after a groin injury, which will be a big plus for the Reds. There is no doubting that having Phillipe Coutinho fit for the Reds will be a God send for Liverpool, who rely on him for creativity, goals and their overall ability to impact games and change them in Liverpool’s favour. Coutinho, recently, has been brilliant, and has 3 goals and 5 assists so far this season, which isn’t spectacular, but recently he has upped his game and become a more integral part of the Liverpool side, and has a similar effect on the side that Christian Eriksen has to our side, with his ability to see passes and gaps, as well as spread the play and contribute with goals and assists. Unfortunately for Liverpool, England and Daniel Sturridge, the striker has been side lined for a long period of time, but is now starting to get back into his stride, and returned against West Ham with a goal, and made an appearance from the bench against Everton at the week-end and will be hoping he can get back into the starting line up as soon as possible, but youngster Jordan Ibe may have something to say about that! The 21-year-old attacker was electric in the Merseyside derby and will be hoping he can get a sustained period of time in the side, and have his effect on Liverpool’s fortunes, he has pace, good technique and can cause problems for defenders. He is certainly one to watch out for in a dangerous Liverpool attacking group.
Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 23.09.11
The team news for Tottenham is that DeAndre Yedlin is the only absentee from the squad due to international duty with the USMNT, but other than that our side is 100% fit, healthy and raring to go, and long may it continue! Nabil Bentaleb returned to fantastic effect against Arsenal, but it was Andros Townsend who missed out on the 18 man squad who will be looking to fight his way back in, along with Younes Kaboul, Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue and Emmanuel Adebayor, who’s futures don’t look bright at Tottenham at this moment in time.

There seems to be only one man who I can talk about at the moment and that man is Harry Kane. He is beyond unbelievable and is in nothing short of World Class form, hitting the 22-goal mark against Arsenal and continuing to silence any doubters he has left. Now, another big game is looming large and we are looking to the 21-year-old man in form to deliver once again and outshine the other English firepower in the ranks of Liverpool. You can see that he is enjoying himself on the field, and is relaxed about his chances, as he knows that when he gets one, he will take it, and he is being brilliantly clinical in front of the two posts. His all round game is the best in the Premier League at the moment, and every pundit across the land is running out of superlatives for the man who performs beyond disbelief. Now, after dismantling Arsenal and Chelsea, I am sure Harry Kane’s eyes are lighting up at the prospect of adding another side to his collection of goals. I don’t think anyone would put it past him! Mousa Dembele is along with the rest of the side who have been overshadowed by Kane’s greatness, as quietly in the background the powerful Belgian has been performing admirably just behind the striker, holding the ball and moving it beautifully, and really making the side tick over nicely, and against Liverpool, with the absence of Lucas Leiva, the grit in midfield, I think Mousa could have a big impact on the outcome of this game, and if he can get into his stride and effect the game in a similar way that he did against Arsenal, then I think along with Harry Kane, Mousa could be a vital part of any success. In the engine, it’s Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason who are putting in the work, and we will need them to be at the top of their games, to harass the creative spark of Liverpool’s midfield and take control of the game with their energetic and positive way of playing the game, and Nabil Bentaleb’s more offensive nature could be key as well, being the player who provided the inch perfect cross for Harry Kane’s winning header in the North London Derby. He really is a bright prospect for the future, and I look forward to seeing him develop even further. In defence, the partnership of Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen is looking very fruitful, with the defenders not only building a good understanding between themselves, but also their fullbacks, with Dier and Walker interchanging and helping each other well, and the same for Vertonghen and Rose. Dier has really showed his maturity in that centre back position, and showed how much better suited to that role he is than at right back.

Match stats provided by Opta:

– The Reds have lost just one of their last 20 Premier League home matches against Spurs (W13 D6 L1).

– Spurs managed just one shot on target when they entertained Liverpool at White Hart Lane earlier in the season.

– Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur in the fixture with the most own goals in Premier League history (9), with three of them being netted by Jamie Carragher.

– The Reds have scored 15 goals in the last four Premier League meetings with Spurs, while the Lilywhites have failed to register on the score sheet in any of the last three.

– Liverpool have won just four of their last 11 Premier League home matches (W4 D5 L2).

– Liverpool scored their 10th Premier League penalty against Tottenham in the reverse fixture last August. This took them clear of Manchester City against Aston Villa as the team with most penalties against a single opponent.

– Spurs have won five of their last seven Premier League away games.

– All seven matches in that run have seen exactly three goals scored and finished either 2-1 or 3-0.

– Jordan Henderson has scored in two of his last three Premier League games against Spurs.

– Harry Kane has now scored 22 goals in all competitions this season; more than any other Premier League player.

– Kane has scored 11 goals in his last 14 appearances for Spurs in all competitions.

Another massive game looming large! A trip to Anfield after a North London Derby, and we have to put the win to the back of our minds and focus fully on gaining another big win against a fellow top 4 competitor. It’s another chance for the players to show that this side is one that can compete for the Champions League positions this season, and hopefully we are able to complete what would be a brilliant couple of weeks, securing our place at Wembley, triumphing in the North London Derby, and then winning at Anfield is what dreams are made of for Spurs fans! The game is being shown live on BT Sport 1, but you can follow me on twitter, here: @AddictedToSpurs, for all the match updates including goals, videos, photos and much more. Give us a follow and let’s get three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred side to face Liverpool at Anfield:
Walker – Dier – Vertonghen – Rose
Mason – Bentaleb
Lamela – Dembele – Eriksen

Mauricio Pochettino previews the trip to Merseyside:

Match Review, Tottenham vs Liverpool.

Match: Sunday 31st August 2014.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

Result: Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool.

Liverpool GoalScorers: Sterling 8′, Gerrard (pen) 49′ & Moreno 60′.

Not what we wanted, at all. If we were going to lose, we wanted it to be with dignity, to show fight, ambition against a brilliant footballing side who have incredible fire-power, but we didn’t, we seemed off the pace, we didn’t show anywhere near the sort of fluidity and pace as we did against QPR. Pushing, pressing and creating chances is exactly what we wanted from the team but it seemed the mere sight of a top team forced the players to drop deeper, make stupid irrational decisions and play with fear instead of freedom. I don’t think we can blame Pochettino for that; I’m sure he set the team out to push forward and take the initiative, but the players didn’t do it as they seem set in their ways to always act as the underdogs instead of taking momentum into the game and playing good football. It’s very disappointing and being serious, the players might need psychological help to get over what seems to be a mental block of playing with freedom against big teams. Very early days for Pochettino and his staff, but a lot of work to be done. I believe we will improve and I believe Pochettino will be a massive success at Tottenham, but he needs time and he needs support, from Daniel Levy, the players, and the fans. Mauricio has already labeled it a project – and we are only at the start, so keep faith and let’s hope for a better result next time out.

The goals conceded were sloppy, individual mistakes, which is something we are used to from last season. The penalty simply wasn’t a penalty – and should have been a booking for diving for Joe Allen, who funnily enough would have then been sent off for his second bookable offence, but it wasn’t Tottenham’s day and we have to move on, not dwell on what is a very disappointing result that seems to take everyone straight back down to earth. Liverpool played very well – what we saw from them was the result of a project paying off – giving time to a very talented and tactically astute manager and after a full season in charge, a phenomenal second and then what could be an even better third season if they continue to play like they did against us. Their front 3/4 was untouchable, Sturridge, Balotelli and Sterling moved, and ran all over our back 4, they played with fluidity and an understanding, which is what our front 4 lacked, but I’m sure will improve as the season goes on. Liverpool are at a stage that we have to strive for – players playing as one, fighting as one and winning as one. Despite how poor we were, Liverpool were delightful (absolutely sickeningly so) to watch.

The players didn’t perform in this game, there was no stand out player and certainly no Tottenham man of the match. Every single player has to improve from this display and that starts against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light after the international break. It’s also a big deadline day, where I’m sure we’ll see a few outs, and hopefully 1 or 2 players come in. Younes Kaboul captained the side, and he did not lead by example, which is what you want from a captain. He may bark orders but when you’re making so many mistakes and forcing so many groans out of the fans’ and possibly his team-mate’s mouths, something isn’t right. He’s not been the same since a massive injury and it breaks my heart that that is the case, but the sooner Federico Fazio comes in to replace him alongside Jan Vertonghen the better, as Jan is seemingly trying to second guess the liability that is now Kaboul. It is harsh for me to single out Kaboul, as he certainly wasn’t the only one – Danny Rose didn’t have a good game, neither did Christian Eriksen or Andros Townsend. There is a lot of room for improvement and we’ve got time on the training pitch with the international break to put right some wrongs.

It is hard to take, but we have to move on from it. A difficult game against a superior opposition, as much as it pains me to say it, it is the truth. Now we have a break, before returning to action against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday 13th September. Let’s hope we can get a win. Follow my twitter for all the updates throughout deadline day and the international break here: @AddictedToSpurs. Up the Spurs! COYS!

My player ratings for the team that faced Liverpool at the Lane:
Lloris – 6
Dier – 7.5
Kaboul – 3.5
Vertonghen – 5
Rose – 4
Bentaleb – 6
Capoue – 5.5
Lamela – 6
Eriksen – 5
Chadli – 6
Adebayor – 6.

Townsend – 2
Dembele – 5
Davies – 6.

Pochettino’s post match interview:

Match Preview, Liverpool vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Sunday 30th March 2014. Kick off at 4pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Anfield.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1.

Our last game against one of the ‘big teams’ this season. Our form against the big teams has been nothing short of appalling, under AVB and Tim Sherwood, we have been unable to muster a big performance on the big stage and that is beyond disappointing, and it’s the reason we will most likely miss out on Champions League football once again. We now have our final chance to make a statement, and make the best out of what has been a distinctly average season. A win at Anfield would be a massive lift to the club, and you never know, could turn this season into a spectacular one. 7 games to go, and we have to win every one. Let’s get behind the boys.

Our recent form against the Scousers doesn’t give us much hope going into this game! We haven’t beaten Liverpool since 2012, a 2-1 win at the Lane with Lennon and Bale scoring, since then a lot has changed, and in the last two fixtures we have lost with 8 goals conceded in those two games, so defensively we have to be at our very, very best to deal with the free flowing, creative and clinical attack that Liverpool possess. Our 5-0 loss at the Lane is something we need to avenge. That was difficult; for me the worst defeat of the season because of how emphatic it was, and how our players gave up in front of the home fans. We’ve got to be mentally strong for this one as well as physically capable. A thrashing would be absolutely terrible, not that it’s ever good, but it would just be kick you in the bollocks and spit in your face terrible.

Liverpool are a top team in incredible form at this point in time, they are fighting for the title, as sad as it is to admit. They sit 2nd in the Premier League, although Manchester City have two games in hand on the reds as they sit in third. 68 points, 12 points ahead of ourselves in 6th. It’s obvious the extra training days and lack of Europe has helped, but the main difference between Spurs and Liverpool is that Liverpool kept Luis Suarez and we sold Gareth Bale. I think they play flowing football and Brendan Rodgers has done a brilliant job; but there are weaknesses, for sure, they are not unbeatable and they showed that in their shaky 2-1 win over Sunderland on Wednesday. Defensively they have loads of gaps; but obviously their attack makes up for it. We need to be defensively strong and take our chances, because there will definitely be chances for us!

The team news for Liverpool shows another factor in why they have overtaken us this season; only Enrique is out for the game on Sunday; other than that, they have a full squad. The danger players are obvious. They are Liverpool’s attacking partnership of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge; Suarez being the leading goalscorer in the Premier League with 28 goals, and Sturridge second with 20 goals. In midfield, it’s obviously Steven Gerrard who gives Liverpool that fight, grit and experience which stands them in good stead for the title race.

20140329-172313.jpg The team news for Spurs is that Erik Lamela (thigh/back), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Kyle Walker (pelvis) have been ruled out of the game with Liverpool, while Vlad Chiriches is a doubt after playing 90 minutes for the U21 team on Friday, and Emmanuel Adebayor is also a doubt with a knee injury, but Tim Sherwood is hopeful he will make the squad. The good news is that Mousa Dembele has trained all week and is at full fitness, with Michael Dawson returning from a hamstring injury, Paulinho fully recovered from his calf injury and Sandro returning to the team after missing the Southampton game.

Even if Emmanuel Adebayor does make it; it’s likely he won’t be 100% fit, and I think after his performance against Southampton, Roberto Soldado does not deserve to be dropped, and neither does Nacer Chadli, or certainly Christian Eriksen, so I don’t think we’ll see Adebayor start, but it’d be great to see him involved on the bench as another option if things don’t work out for Roberto Soldado. Gylfi Sigurdsson changed the game up against Southampton with Mousa Dembele not having the best of game with his fitness being low, but even though he did, I don’t think he’ll start ahead of Mousa Dembele, and with Sandro back it is also a big boost to our midfield and makes it much more solid. Defensively, even after his two mistakes against Southampton, Kyle Naughton is set to continue at right back, and he performed well in the second half against the Saints, so he needs to pick himself up and play like he has in his recent games and we have no concerns over him.

Match stats provided by Opta.

– Liverpool v Tottenham has seen more own goals than any other fixture in Barclays Premier League history (8).

– Tottenham haven’t lost three Barclays Premier League away games in a row since January 2009.

– Liverpool have had win/win results in their last 10 home wins.

– Tottenham against Liverpool has seen the joint-most penalties in Premier League history (17 along with Everton v Newcastle), with 11 of them coming at Anfield.

– Spurs didn’t manage a single shot on target in their 0-5 defeat to the Reds in December at White Hart Lane; the only game they haven’t managed one this season. This result marked the end of Andre Villas-Boas’ stint as Tottenham manager.

– Liverpool have had Over 1.5 1st half goals in their last five matches against top-six teams.

– Liverpool have won 11 and lost none of their last 12 Premier League games at Anfield.

– Daniel Sturridge has scored 11 goals in 11 Premier League appearances at Anfield this season.

– Spurs have had Over 2.5 goals in their last five away matches against top-six teams.

– Liverpool have only failed to score in one of their last 16 Premier League games at Anfield.

– Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez are only the third pair to both score 20+ goals in a single season each (+ Andrew Cole and Peter Beardsley in 1993-94 and Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard in 2009-10).

– Liverpool have scored first in their last four home matches.

– Steven Gerrard has scored a league-high 10 goals from dead ball situations this season (eight penalties, two free kicks), while he also has the most assists from set pieces (7).

– Liverpool have scored before half-time in their last 21 Premier League games, an all-time record.

I’m strangely looking forward to the game; the pressure is all on Liverpool and we go into the game as definite underdogs, and hopefully that status will suit us and we can perform a shock! The game is live on Sky Sports, but I will be giving live updates on Sunday from my twitter account – @AddictedToSpurs, with photos, videos, goal updates and vines! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Liverpool at Anfield:
Naughton – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Dembele – Sandro
Lennon – Eriksen – Chadli

Tim Sherwood previews our trip to Anfield:

Steven Caulker, the new Ledley King?

Today I’m going to ask the question, is Steven Caulker the new Ledley King. Caulker has the potential it seems to replace the King, and be one of the best centre backs in the Premier League. Caulker is already competent in the main areas of his position, his main skill at the moment is his passing and distribution, he learnt this trade under Brendan Rodgers last season at Swansea, the loan he had there was extremely profitable for Steven and for Tottenham. He is quick off the mark, the same as Ledley before his knee problems and this could suit our new style of defending under AVB. He looks as if he is a true sportsman, and a very modest person. This was the same with the King.

I have been very impressed with Caulker so far, this season and last season with Swansea. It might not be fair to compare him to King but he is somebody with tremendous talent and a very bright future at the lane. He needs a little bit more experience of playing games in the Premier League, and playing next to the likes of Gallas and Dawson will help him come on leaps and bounds. We have a very good young squad coming through, Caulker is just one of the many future stars coming through the Tottenham Academy, this says a lot of very good things about our amazing club. COYS!!