Sporting Life · Columnist
There’s a blockbuster start to the Premier League weekend at Wembley where Paul Higham fancies Liverpool to show their title credentials against Spurs.
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (1230 KO, Sky Sports Premier League)
The acid test for Liverpool’s title credentials comes at Wembley on Saturday lunchtime as a hurting Tottenham side will be raring to go after a sloppy defeat last time out at Watford cost them their perfect start to the season.
Mauricio Pochettino will be without Hugo Lloris and Dele Alli but is likely to send his team out with a flea in their ear after that Watford defeat, coming on the back of a superb victory at Old Trafford, could be a momentum killer for his squad.
A Saturday lunchtime after an international break is never an ideal kick-off time, but there should be two fired-up sides at Wembley as Jurgen Klopp will remember Liverpool’s calamitous 4-1 thrashing at this ground last season and will not want a repeat of that outing.
Liverpool seem a different animal these days though with Virgil van Dijk really shoring up that backline and Alisson, despite his howler at Leicester, looking a far more stable presence in goal, so they should offer more resistance this time around.
Everyone’s well aware that Liverpool have not been at their best yet this season but they’ll need to find something more to get a result from a Spurs side that only lost twice at home in the league last season.
A draw would probably do both sides, but on what we’ve seen so far this term then Liverpool have enough against a weakened Spurs to go and get what could be a real statement victory for their title chances.
Score prediction: Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: 9/1)
Best bet: Liverpool to win at 6/4
You could try and get fancy on this one and it’s such a tough game to call, but on what’s been seen so far there seems a new steel right through this Liverpool side, especially in their pace and energy in midfield which could really trouble Spurs, and there’s also more firepower up front for them to get what would be a cracking result for them.
Goalscorer bet: Virgil van Dijk anytime at 12/1
We all know the main contenders to score here and of the top men Sadio Mane is the most tempting at 2/1 anytime after scoring four in four so far in the Premier League. We’re going for a much larger return though and, after watching Watford trouble Spurs in the air and seeing Liverpool looking dangerous from set pieces, Van Dijk is an interesting runner in this one at a good price.
RequestABet: Liverpool win, Salah to score, over 2.5 goals, a goal in both halves at 4/1
Both of these teams can start fast so a first half goal is almost a certainty, but with the game on the line and some legs tiring after the international break there’s every reason to suggest a second half strike as well. Salah has missed plenty of chances this season, but he is still getting the chances and should put one away at Wembley in an away win.
Opta match facts
- Tottenham have won just one of their last 11 Premier League games against Liverpool (D4 L6), though it was a 4-1 victory in this exact fixture last season.
- Liverpool have only failed to score in one of their last 12 Premier League meetings with Spurs – a 0-0 draw in Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge of the Reds in October 2015.
- There have been 149 goals scored in Premier League meetings between Tottenham and Liverpool – Arsenal vs Everton is the only fixture to have seen more in the competition (151).
- Tottenham, who lost against Watford on matchday four, haven’t suffered consecutive Premier League losses since the final two games of the 2015-16 season.
- Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored all three of Liverpool’s goals against Tottenham in the Premier League last season.
- Tottenham forward Harry Kane has been directly involved in seven goals in seven Premier League appearances against Liverpool (five goals, two assists), including four in the last two.
- Under Jurgen Klopp, Roberto Firmino has had a hand in 60 Premier League goals (37 goals, 23 assists), 15 more than any other Liverpool player.