Fan Preview: Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur

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Weather permitting Spurs travel to Anfield this Sunday afternoon for what is the first in a long line of ‘big games’ between now and the end of the season.  As the countdown to May and the shakedown for Champions (yes please) and Europa (no thanks) League places approaches the importance of each ninety minutes will be magnified and pored over until almost all perspective is discarded like an under performing ‘new David Beckham’.

Seeing as though the Scousers are battling with ourselves, Villa and Man City for the fourth to seventh spots, the significance of this match speaks for itself with no extra hype needed. Since being written off after the ten man loss to Pompey at Fratton Park, Liverpool have staged something of a mini fight back by seeing off Wolves on Boxing Day and then winning at Villa Park, so whilst we’re dealing with a wounded animal, we’re not dealing with one that’s given up by any means and Sebastien Bassong in particular should be careful about who he’s verbally poking. They’ll be viewing this game as a way they can measure themselves against one of their main competitors and I’m sure will be well and truly up for it.

Our run of defeats and draws at Anfield famously stretched back to the year of the sinking of the Titanic until Garth Crooks’ winner in 1985. After a brief hiatus that also saw league wins there in 1986 and 1993 we’ve resumed our dismal record of regular gubbings interspersed with spirited draws. Our recent away form has been better on paper than on grass (or snow); Heurelho Gomes was the major factor in us getting points at Ewood and Craven Cottage.  Whilst we had our fair share of possession in both games we made very few chances. With no Lennon we’re likely to show off a new (to the Premier League) midfield with Modric and Kranjcar playing wide of Huddlestone and Palacios. Corluka will probably return at right back meaning that all three Croatians will start for the first time. The lads in the West stand at the Wolves game with the ‘Crottenham’ flag will be well chuffed.

It’d be great if we finish this game talking about Gareth Bale’s attacking qualities, it’s more likely though that his defensive prowess will be under the spotlight as he takes his place on the left in place of the injured Assou-Ekotto. Having Kranjcar instead of Modric in front of him will work in his favour, such are the wandering tendencies of our number 14. Assuming that Ledley hasn’t done himself a mischief in the last fortnight Harry will have a choice to make at centre half. Bassong and Dawson have been performing so well together that either will feel himself unlucky if dropped but the option of having King’s experience on the field will be very tempting.

Up front we’ll have at least one striker who’ll know the home dressing room better than the away as either Robbie or Crouch will partner Defoe up front. Whichever one it is, let’s hope that they get on well enough with referee for Sunday Howard Webb to the point where he doesn’t feel too guilty when he awards us the dodgy spot kick he owes us after Old Trafford last year. If we play as well as we can though, we won’t need any help from the ref to put another nail in Rafa’s coffin and tack on another three points to our total.

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By MF

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1 COMMENT

  1. “Howard Webb to the point where he doesn’t feel too guilty when he awards us the dodgy spot kick he owes us after Old Trafford last year.”

    And Chelsea this season

  2. It's no coincidence that we have kept several clean sheets lately with the same centre backs playing and building a partnership. King did play against West Ham but that was only one match. It's very disruptive to keep changing the defence around and it's been nice to see Bassong and Dawson playing together. Spurs really need to win this game, it's been ages since Spurs last won at Liverpool, United, Chelsea and Ar5en1. This is something that has to change quickly. I really hope we get it right mentally on Sunday and don’t fold again if it’s not going our way. Harry is doing a fantastic job and I hope the players reward this with a memorable victory. Press them all over the park Spurs just like you did at the Lane against Liverpool. Our work rate that day was great. It’s a big blow that Ekotto and Lennon are not playing but they have key players out too. We must not sit back, Liverpool are there for the taking if we want it……

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