The last time these sides met, it was the biggest match in club football. Hell, it was probably the biggest game in Tottenham’s history. Liverpool won with a minimum of fuss, and it’s hard not to think they’ll do likewise on Sunday.
Spurs’ march to last season’s Champions League final began with a 3-0 home win over Dortmund in the last 16. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s team have taken just 23 points from their 21 league games since that match.
It was understandable to focus upon Europe towards the end of last season, but what’s your excuse now, Poch?
Their terrible run includes taking just two points from their last 10 league games away from home, and Tottenham also have a wretched record at Anfield, last winning there in 2011.
Liverpool’s 17 game winning run was ended last weekend at Old Trafford. But even then it took a man of the match performance from referee Martin Atkinson – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s words, not mine, before you tweet me. Relying on the ref was such a tactical masterclass from Ole that Pochettino has replaced him as second favourite in the sack race market.
The Reds are unbeaten in their last 44 league games at Anfield, and have only lost one match against a fellow big six side there during Jürgen Klopp’s time in charge. Their great home record will end eventually, just as Spurs’ abysmal streak on the road will cease to be at some point. But I can’t make a case that Sunday will be the day.
Not only have Tottenham failed to win any of their last nine visits to the red half of Merseyside in all competitions, they’ve also been unable to open the scoring.
This issue isn’t exclusive to Anfield either. Spurs broke the deadlock at the Emirates in their last away league game against a big club, but that was only the second time they’d done so in their previous 15 ‘big six’ matches on the road in the Premier League.
Liverpool haven’t conceded first in a match against another top team for almost three-and-a-half years at home. A big part of why they’ll win is they look nailed on to take the lead.
However, Tottenham might get on the score sheet. Klopp’s team may have conceded the joint-fewest Premier League goals in 2019/20, but they’ve also only kept two clean sheets in their nine games. Coincidentally, they’ve only kept the opposition to nil in two of their last nine ‘big six’ league matches at Anfield too.
Spurs might be winless in 10 away league games, but they’ve scored in six of them and had at least one clear-cut chance in nine. Whether they win or more likely lose, the Lilywhites will make a game of it.
England’s Harry Kane, to give him his full title, would be the obvious choice for a scorer bet for the visitors. He has scored eight goals in his last 10 appearances for club and country, picking up four assists along the way too.
But for Tottenham, he’s been doing his best work on home turf; exclude penalties, and he has just one goal on the road this season. He has the same tally in league trips to face other teams from the big six since the start of 2018/19, and his one non-penalty was over a year ago at Old Trafford.
While we can’t be certain Lucas Moura will feature, he has much better form in massive away matches. Since the start of last season, his total of four away goals in the big six mini league is the most by any player from any team, and that includes scoring in this fixture too. If he’s in the team, he might be worth a bet.
Liverpool’s front three have taken it in turns to dominate Spurs at Anfield. In 2017 Sadio Mané scored twice, Mohamed Salah bagged a brace the following year, and Roberto Firmino opened the scoring when they last met on Merseyside. At least one of the trio has netted in Liverpool’s last 16 league games at home too.
Salah has been their tormentor in chief though. The Egyptian king has bagged four goals versus Spurs for Liverpool, and also scored against them for Basel and Fiorentina. He got back on the goal trail against Genk, so looks primed to strike again here.