Saturday’s Premier League action caps off with a heavyweight clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in north London.
A penalty shoot-out loss to Fulham in the second round of the League Cup could prove a blessing in disguise for Spurs as it allowed them more time to prepare for this fixture.
While an early cup exit might have diminished Tottenham’s chances of halting a long-standing title drought, new manager Ange Postecoglou cannot be more proud of his start to life in England.
Heung-min’s Son double salvaged a point for the Australian’s side in last weekend’s enthralling 2-2 draw against Arsenal, maintaining their almost-perfect league start.
Postecoglou could enter the club folklore should he mastermind another positive result here, with Tottenham looking to open a new Premier League campaign on a seven-game unbeaten run for only the third time.
However, the task awaiting them on Saturday couldn’t be more daunting as high-flying Liverpool touch down in the capital after pulling off yet another come-from-behind win.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were 1-0 down at half-time against second-tier Leicester City on Wednesday but scored three unanswered second-half goals to win 3-1 and secure a place in the next League Cup round.
It was the fifth time in seven competitive matches that the Reds overhauled a deficit, a theme witnessed on their most recent league travel as they thumped Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-1 a fortnight ago.
Apart from a pair of action-packed 2-2 draws against fellow London rivals Arsenal and Brentford, Tottenham have won their remaining four Premier League games this season by an aggregate score of 11-3.
Their last outing at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was nothing short of breathtaking as Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski scored beyond the 97th minute to overturn a 1-0 deficit in a 2-1 triumph over Sheffield United.
Postecoglou wouldn’t mind another dramatic contest as long as he avoids defeat here, which would see him become the only Tottenham manager to go unbeaten in his first seven top-flight games alongside Antonio Conte.
He could also achieve what none of his predecessors had and become the first Spurs boss to see his team score two or more goals in each of his first seven league matches in charge.
Given Liverpool’s defensive leaks at the start of the new campaign, it’s hard to put it past Tottenham to maintain their free-scoring form, but the visitors are more than capable of packing a punch themselves.
Since a 2-1 turnaround at Newcastle United in late August, Klopp’s unstoppable frontline has bagged precisely three goals in five consecutive games across all competitions (W5).
Last weekend’s 3-1 home victory over West Ham United took the Reds’ formidable unbeaten streak in the Premier League to 17 matches (W12, D5), cementing their status as the most in-form side in the division.
Tottenham’s scintillating form could throw Liverpool’s stellar top-flight run in jeopardy, but Klopp has had Spurs’ number, going unbeaten in 17 of his 18 managerial encounters against them (W11, D6).
Postecoglou cannot call upon long-term absentees Bryan Gil, Ryan Sessegnon, Ivan Perisic and Rodrigo Bentancur for this fixture.
But none of those players were available for selection last weekend when Tottenham pegged Arsenal back twice to set themselves up nicely for this show.
Forgotten midfielder Thiago Alcantara is the only injured player in the Liverpool camp, while Trent Alexander-Arnold returns to the fold after a minor hamstring problem.
Klopp rested numerous key first-team figures against Leicester, including Mohamed Salah and Alexis Mac Allister, while Dominik Szoboszlai came off the bench to complete a turnaround.
Tottenham Hotspur potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Guglielmo Vicario; Pedro Porro, Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven, Destiny Udogie; Pape Matar Sarr, Yves Bissouma; Dejan Kulusevski, James Maddison, Heung-min Son; Richarlison.
Liverpool potential starting line-up:
(4-3-3): Alisson; Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Dominik Szoboszlai, Alexis Mac Allister, Curtis Jones; Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz.
We Say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Liverpool
The last time these two sides met, Diogo Jota slotted home a stoppage-time winner to inspire Liverpool to a nail-biting 4-3 win at Anfield in April.
Another goal-glutted contest could be in store this weekend, but we back Tottenham to avoid defeat this time.
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