Phil Thompson is backing his beloved Liverpool to overcome Tottenham and complete a Premier League double over Jose Mourinho’s men in Thursday’s vital top-flight match-up.
The Paddy Power ambassador has pitted his wits against our top football trader Jason Murphy to try and extract the best value out of a game that could potentially kill off either side’s title ambitions.
However, in an unlikely turn of events, our dynamic duo are surprisingly in agreement about how things will play at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Check out our latest ‘Thommo v Trader’ face-off in the video below.
Liverpool to Win (Phil and Jason)
Phil: Liverpool will definitely be up for this, and they probably gave their best performance of the season at Anfield against Spurs. Jose Mourinho went on about their two chances, but some of the football I saw that night from Liverpool was just sensational.
Liverpool could have been three or four up that night but they are now fourth in the table and Spurs are fifth.
It’s very tight and this is a massive game.
When we play Tottenham away, I always think back to the 4-1 game when Spurs ran us ragged.
This will definitely be one they are up for.
Thursday, 8.00pm: Tottenham v Liverpool
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Jason: The fact that we have a recent game between the two sides is a great mark to use. Phil is absolutely right when he says that up until Son Heung-min scored at Anfield, Liverpool had Spurs pinned into their own box for the majority of the game.
When they last met this was a top-of-the-table clash, and when Roberto Firmino scored the winner Liverpool went eight points ahead of Manchester United and Manchester City, although those teams did have games in hand. Liverpool have only picked up six points in six league games since but we’re not swayed by that as we know how unlucky they have been in that run. They’ve drawn four blanks but the stats tell us they should have had five or six goals in that run – especially in the Newcastle game.
How they didn’t get the ball over the line is incredible.
I’m a little bit disappointed because usually when a team is having a bad run the markets can overreact and I was hoping to get a bigger price on Liverpool. But based on the game we saw at Anfield, and if Joel Matip is fit – he was rested against United with the view that he couldn’t play three games in a week – then I would be looking to side with Liverpool. That’s the bet I would be having in the Win-Draw-Win market.
Sadio Mane to Score Anytime (Phil)
Phil: It was great to see Mohamed Salah scoring against United, and his goals were really good goals. The first was excellent – a great pass by Firmino – and the second one showed how you’ve got to be alive and alert.
How will Mourinho approach this one? Even though they are at home, I expect them to sit back with a tight block of defenders and look to counter-attack. After the United game, Jurgen Klopp alluded to the fact that Liverpool had a good learning process playing against the counter-attack. We got it wrong then, but we can’t get it wrong twice. The players at the back need to be told that when we’re attacking, the opposition need to be picked up and not left free.
I think this is a game for Sadio Mane. He’s great in and around the box and he could even be the first goalscorer.
Son Heung-Min First Goalscorer (Jason)
Jason: First and foremost, based on the points total we expect Manchester City to put up this season, if one team loses this game then they are no longer in consideration for the title race.
The way Mourinho approaches this game will be interesting. Tanguy Ndombele gets in his best XI, bar maybe when he goes very attacking. If Ndombele doesn’t start, you would possibly get Steven Bergwijn coming in, but the tip I would give for Spurs would be Son Heung-Min as First Goalscorer.
Klopp referred to Spurs as a ‘counter-attacking monster’. If you think about Spurs are likely to score in this game, it will probably be on the counter-attack, started by Harry Kane and finished by Son or Bergwijn.
Kane has taken up too much of the market in this game and he is on penalties, but for me I would rather be on Son or Bergwijn, if he starts.
Salah to Score Anytime (Jason)
Jason: In terms of the Liverpool goalscorer, Klopp said that Firmino’s movement in the Anfield game was incredible because it created the space for Mane and Salah. If I was backing a Liverpool player, I would go with Salah over Mane because he is in a bit more form at the moment and he’s on penalties as well.
He took his two goals against United really well and they’re both priced the same at the moment so there is more value in Salah. He has twice as many goals as Mane in the league at the moment, so I would side with him in this game, but Mane is too good not to pick up and start scoring goals again.
Jason: I 100 per cent agree with Phil – Both Teams to Score is an attractive price and even with Matip in the back line I can’t see Liverpool not getting sucker-punched by the Spurs counter-attack.
But Liverpool’s process going forward has been very good and they dominated Spurs at Anfield so I expect them to score a couple. You’re looking at a 2-1 or 3-1 scoreline and in the goalscorer markets I would be siding with Son Heung-Min to get the Spurs goal and Mohamed Salah for Liverpool.
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