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    Liverpool vs Tottenham Match Preview


    Liverpool will be hoping to return to winning ways on Saturday evening following a disappointing start to 2017 when they entertain an in-form Tottenham side at Anfield.

    The Reds have only won one of their last 10 games in all competitions, exiting both cup competitions in the process, and have fallen 13 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.

    By stark contrast, their opponents Spurs have enjoyed a strong start to 2017 and a rare win at Anfield this weekend would propel Mauricio Pochettino's second-place team to within six points of Chelsea at the summit.

    Liverpool

    Liverpool were installed as joint-favourites to clinch a first title in 27 years in early November after a 6-1 demolition of Watford, which sent Jurgen Klopp's side a point clear of Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table.

    Three months later, a poor run of form has seen The Reds almost certainly drop out of the title race and they now have a battle on their hands if they are to secure Champions League qualification for next season.

    Another defeat on Saturday could see Liverpool end the weekend 16 points behind leaders Chelsea, while even sixth-place Manchester United could leapfrog The Reds if they beat Watford at Old Trafford.

    Liverpool's poor form seemed to coincide with the loss of Sadio Mane, who missed seven matches to play in the African Cup Of Nations, but the Senegal international returned to his side's starting line-up in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Hull.

    The Reds have also had to cope with injuries to some of their key defenders so far this year, with Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan doubts for this weekend's clash due to a swollen knee and illness respectively.

    The club's hopes of a first league victory of 2017, however, will be boosted by an excellent record they hold against top-six opposition, which includes wins against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in a run of 10 unbeaten matches since January 2016.

    Liverpool also have an excellent record against Tottenham over the past four years with six wins and three draws from the last nine encounters, including a 2-1 victory in the EFL Cup in October.

    Tottenham

    Tottenham's run since the start of 2017 has been in stark contrast to that of Liverpool, with Mauricio Pochettino's side picking up four wins and two draws in the league as well as progressing in the FA Cup.

    Spurs, who also won their final three games on 2016, trailed The Reds by seven points at the turn of the year but now take a commanding four-point lead over their opponents into their third meeting of the season.

    The excellent form of Harry Kane and Dele Alli of late has enabled the club to climb into second place, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, and another win on Saturday would at least temporarily reduce that gap to six points.

    Kane has struck 16 times in 22 appearances for his side in 2016-17, while Alli has already scored more goals than the 11 he managed in the whole of last season having been on target 13 times in 31 appearances.

    With a squad full of attacking talent, it is perhaps Heung-Min Son who has been the club's unsung hero this campaign, with the South Korean netting 11 goals including the dramatic winner against Wycombe a fortnight ago. 

    Pochettino's men will have to overcome a poor record against Liverpool if they are to be victorious on Saturday, with The Reds remaining unbeaten for their last nine meetings including a 2-1 loss in October in the EFL Cup.

    Spurs have an even worse record at Anfield, winning just twice in the league since October 1986, although the club did pick up a creditable point there last season when a Harry Kane strike cancelled out Phillipe Coutinho's opening goal.

    Liverpool Team News

    Centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan are both doubts ahead of Saturday's encounter, with Lovren not fully-recovered from a swollen knee and Klavan suffering with illness.

    Adam Lallana's fitness will also be checked ahead of kick-off as he tries to shake-off a minor Achilles problem, which forced him to miss two days of training this week.

    Midfielders Ovie Ejaria and Marko Grujic are also absent from the squad, with youth team graduate Ejaria picking up an ankle injury and Serbian international Grujic missing out with a hamstring problem.

    Goalkeeper Adam Bogdan and striker Danny Ings are expected to miss the rest of the season after both players sustained long-term knee injuries earlier in the campaign.

    Tottenham Team News

    Spurs will still be without defenders Danny Rose and Jan Vertonghen after the duo failed to recover from their respective injuries in time for Saturday's encounter with Liverpool.

    Rose was substituted with a knee problem in the 0-0 draw against Sunderland 11 days ago, while Vertonghen has missed the club's last four matches with the ankle injury he sustained on January 14 against West Brom.

    Kieran Trippier could feature if he passes a late fitness test on a hip injury, but Erik Lamela will not make his making a comeback as he is yet to recover from a hip problem.

    French winger Georges-Kevin N'Koudou, who joined the club last summer from French club Marseille, is also absent with a knee injury.

    Head-to-head

    Tottenham have a poor record against Liverpool since the start of the Premier League, winning only 13 of their 49 meetings in the competition as well as only two out of 24 meetings at Anfield.

    The North London outfit did have the better of their North-West opponents for a four-year spell, starting in November 2008, which saw them record seven wins and a draw from 10 meetings in all competitions.

    Liverpool have reversed that trend in the past nine meetings, winning six and drawing three of those matches, although the last three league games between the sides have ended in draws.

    In a head-to-head that was first contested in 1909, it is also Jurgen Klopp's side who have the edge when it comes to overall meetings with 79 wins to Tottenham's 47, while 41 encounters have been drawn.

    Score Prediction

    Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool vs Tottenham Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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