In our current form, Tuesday’s emphatic Moneybags League win over Red Star notwithstanding, the last thing we need is for our next fixture to be away to the runaway league leaders.
There’s no caveat here, it really is the last thing we need. If we conveniently forget Leicester for the moment, our record against our fellow Top Six competitors this season is played two, drawn two. Not bad. The truth is though, anything other than an emphatic home win would be a surprise.
Various sides have proven of late that there are ways tactically to combat Liverpool. All of Sheffield United, Salzburg and Man Utd made the scousers struggle for rhythm and form. It appears that putting pressure on Trent-Arnold and Robertson has been key. We have the players to execute this part of a plan, Lamela and Dele for example, what we don’t have currently is a defence that can be relied upon to not commit hara-Kiri at frequent intervals.
The initial Pochettino inspired surge to prominence of 4-5 years ago was based on a solid back five and a free-scoring Kane. Whilst Harry is still a vital cog in the machine, the back five are an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle surrounded by a slow-moving mystery that gets in to trouble when it’s asked to turn. I’m not sure what the answer is but persisting with a flat four of Aurier, Jan, Toby and Rose with no proper protection in front of them is definitely not it.
The end of Tuesday’s game saw Ndombele, Lo Celso and Foyth on the field all at once. It’s a partial glimpse in to what Poch sees is our future. You can add in Son, Dele, Kane and Sessegnon – that leaves a lot of places up for grabs though.
Liverpool have swept everyone aside who’s come to Anfield thus far. They, as ever, are reliant on Firmino, Salah and Mané for goals. Our problem is that they all know that they can get the better of our defence.
Still, nothing ventured nothing gained and if we’ve learnt one thing from the Pochettino era it should be to never count us out. A surprise is always around the corner; a massive improvement on Watford is required though if that surprise is to be this weekend.
Anthony Taylor is the ref.
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