Most Spurs fans will be looking forward to Sunday’s game at Anfield with the same enthusiasm that James Corden approaches a salad bar. Arguably the only ones who won’t be trepidacious are those who elected to miss the first course of last weekend’s Sunday lunchtime offering where the standard of organisation and cohesiveness in defence we showed before half-time was not very close to that will be required against the free scoring Scousers. That Southampton weren’t out of sight by the time the oranges were doled out was more down to their profligacy than anything we contributed.
Things were much improved after half time when we defended deeper and it’s that period we’ll be drawing inspiration from and trying to emulate. The Saints barely mustered a shot after Tim’s tea cup throwing/tactical reorg and whilst we can barely hope for a similar scenario this Sunday, we will be giving ourselves a much better chance by defending deeper and not pressing so high.
Our team will look very similar to last weekend’s I suspect though hopefully Sandro will be fit and Dembele match fitter. If ready, Adebayor will replace Soldado; his prediction that he’d end the season as our number one striker has come true in spades. If he’s struggling then the Spaniard will have a chance to build on his burgeoning understanding with Eriksen and Chadli. Opposition teams do get chances against Liverpool; you’ve got to take them though as we won’t get as many as they will and that hasn’t been a strength of Soldado so far.
Three of Bentaleb, Sandro, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Paulinho and Lennon will make up the remainder of the midfield with the back four the same as last week assuming they’re all fit, a big leap of faith when you’re talking about Kaboul of course.
Liverpool have recently found the consistency to go with the goals and it’s propelled them, somewhat surprisingly into title contenders. Not qualifying for Europe and getting knocked out of the cups early was a cunning strategy.
A big danger is that with 7 games to go and nothing obvious to play for our players will decide that they’ve had enough – there’s Brazil and/or a beach to think about. A good result here and a decent run through to the end of May though and we’ll gather enough points to take advantage of any slip-ups due to distractions or poor form ahead of us.
A sign of the times – very probably only two players that started the equivalent game for us last season, Lloris and Vertonghen, will begin on Sunday.
Fatty Dowd will be ref. COYS.
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