Liverpool had been doing a pretty good job of convincing the world their defensive mishaps were behind them this season.
Alisson had other ideas though, and gifted Leicester a goal in comedic fashion last time out. Even worse, he torpedoed my ‘Liverpool to win to nil’ tip in my last preview, so the Brazilian is far from popular in these parts.
He’s going to face his biggest test of his fledgling Liverpool career this weekend too, as Tottenham won their first three matches in 2018/19 and will be looking to bounce back from a (surprise) defeat at Watford.
Spurs have been deceptively strong in the mini-league of the big six teams over the past two seasons too, as they won more games at home – seven – than any other side.
That’s not bad going when you’re homeless, is it, Tottenham fans?
Whatever the reason for Liverpool’s short price, I like the look of the draw, which is priced at 5/2.
Since Jürgen Klopp took charge of the Reds, four of their six league matches with Tottenham have ended in a stalemate, which is the joint-most draws they’ve had against any team during the German’s tenure.
Since August 2016, Liverpool have been the draw kings – with nine – in the mini-league of the top six clubs, and matches among the big boys end level slightly more often than other Premier League games too. I’ve made my case to sit on the fence, so it’s up to you if you wish to join me here.
While I might disagree with Paddy on the match odds, we’re in agreement on whether or not we think both teams will score or not. We think they will, thank you for asking.
Spurs have scored in their last 12 league matches at home against other members of the big six, so even though Liverpool’s backline has grown considerably tighter in recent times, they’ll do well to keep a clean sheet here.
Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings between these teams, and in eight of the Reds’ 10 away games against the big six in the last two seasons. Liverpool have found the net in 11 of their last 12 games with Spurs, so everything points towards goals in this match. A ‘Yes’ bet in the both teams to score market can be yours at 8/15, so add that to your slip and buy me a drink later.
Only one Premier League fixture has seen more goals than games between Tottenham and Liverpool too, so should we expect a few goals on Saturday lunchtime? It’s hard to say, as early kick-offs can often be sleepy affairs.
In the last two seasons there were 11 matches among the big six which kicked off at 12:30 on a Saturday, and they averaged 2.45 goals per game. Exclude Liverpool’s red card powered 5-0 defeat at Manchester City, and that figure drops to 2.2 per match. The two at Tottenham totalled just three goals between them, so I reckon there will be under 2.5 goals in this game, which is priced at 5/4.
The above predictions all point towards a 1-1 draw, and as they occur more frequently in matches among the big six than in other Premier League games, it’s certainly not the worst bet around. Paddy’s odds for that outcome are 6/1, and keep them in mind when making your selections.
Perhaps the goals will come from Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah? It won’t surprise you to hear they’re the favourites for each side in the scoring market, and both have form in this fixture.
Kane has scored five goals and assisted a further two in his seven league appearances against the Reds, while Salah scored all three of Liverpool’s goals against the White Harts in 2017/18.
The England skipper is the outright favourite, at 16/5 to score first or just 4/5 to net at any time, and he potentially has a further asset for his arsenal. No, not stealing goals off others, but penalties.
There have been more penalties awarded in matches between Tottenham and Liverpool than in any other fixture in the Premier League era.
Not only that, but the referee on Saturday is Michael Oliver, who is second in the ranking of current top flight refs for frequency of awarding spot kicks. As 63% of penalties go to home teams, fact fans, maybe this will give Kane a boost.
At the very least you should consider putting a few pennies on a penalty being awarded, at 11/5.
While Salah is 11/10 to score or 4/1 to get the opener, for better value in this market it’s worth considering the merits of Christian Eriksen.
The Dane’s odds are 9/1 to break the deadlock, or 16/5 to bag one at any time. He scored twice against Wales in his last appearance, and has had the joint-most shots in the Premier League without scoring so far this season, so will be due a league goal soon.
But whoever scores, ultimately I think it’ll be a draw.
The real winners here will therefore be Watford. Or maybe Manchester City, you never know.
* All odds correct at time of posting.