Will Reilly previews the big Premier League clash of the weekend, Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur, which is due to kick off at 4:30pm
Liverpool have been strong at home this season, winning 16 games, drawing three and losing just once, 2-1 to Chelsea in the EFL Cup.
They appear to have addressed a wobble: they drew five of their seven matches between January 30th and March 3rd (in three of those games they failed to score) but have followed this run with three straight wins – 4-2, 1-3 and 1-2. They are back in form and, just for good measure, they have made it safely through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Their main recent goal threat has come from Sadio Mané, with seven in his last five appearances for the Reds. He also came off the bench for Senegal with 15 minutes remaining in their game against Mali on Tuesday and scored the equaliser in a game Senegal eventually won 2-1.
Sadio Mané has been in fine goal-scoring form for Liverpool
PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE going into the weekend action:
1. Liverpool – played 31, 76 points, goal difference, 52
2. Man City – 30, 74, 58
3. Spurs – 30, 61, 25
4. Arsenal – 30, 60, 24
5. Man Utd – 30, 58, 18
6. Chelsea – 30, 57, 17
For all that they have made it into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Tottenham haven’t won in four league games, losing three and drawing one, with the three defeats all coming away from home.
In fact, you have to go back to January 20th to find the last time that they won away from home this season in England (2-1 at Fulham), although they beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in Germany on March 5th in the Champions League.
On the upside is the fact that Harry Kane has scored four goals in five games for Spurs since he returned from injury.
Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t managed to beat Liverpool at Anfield in four tries with Spurs – three losses and one draw.
The pressure is on now as, going into the weekend, Man City have eight league games left to play and Liverpool have seven.
By the time of this match, Man City will have played bottom club Fulham (Sat 12:30pm). If they win at Craven Cottage, they will go back to the top of the table by one point. If City win, then a draw against Spurs would keep Liverpool in second place on goal difference, although they will have played a game more.
Going into the weekend (see table above), Tottenham sat third in the table on 61 points, followed by Arsenal (60), who play at home to Newcastle on Monday night (8pm), Man Utd (58), home to Watford on Saturday (3pm), and Chelsea (57), away to Cardiff on Sunday (2:05pm).
Liverpool have won seven, drawn two and lost one of the last 10 league meetings between these sides at Anfield, the scores in the matches being 2-2, 2-0, 1-1, 3-2, 4-0, 3-2, 0-0, 0-2, 2-0 and 3-1.
Based on those figures, there’s 70% chance that Liverpool will win and a 70% chance that they will score 2-or-more goals in the game.
We are at a crucial point of the season.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is struggling with a back injury and may miss out. Jordan Henderson (ankle) is doubtful. Naby Keïta is nursing a “slight knock” but could be available. Xherdan Shaqiri is expected to be available despite a groin injury that kept him out of the latest Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Joe Gomez has now returned to training – he’s been out for three-and-a-half months after sustaining a lower-leg fracture – but will not be available on Sunday. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may be able to take part in full training from next week following a long-term knee injury but will not be available on Sunday.
For Spurs, Serge Aurier (hamstring) will be missing, as will Eric Dier (thigh). Harry Winks (hips) might be available.
The stats and recent form both point to Liverpool and their price of 8/13 looks fair
It is a ‘Double The Odds On First Goalscorer Bets’ match with us.