Liverpool welcome Tottenham to Anfield on Sunday afternoon, in what represents arguably their biggest remaining test in the Premier League run-in.
Liverpool vs. Tottenham
Sunday, March 31, 2019 – 4.30pm (BST)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
For once, an international break may actually have been a blessing in disguise for Reds supporters.
It has allowed them to get their breath back and prepare for what promises to be a thrilling end to the season for Jurgen Klopp‘s men.
The ugly 2-1 win at Fulham in their last outing was never fully convincing, but three points were all that mattered.
It took Liverpool two points clear of Man City, albeit having played one game more, putting a little bit of extra pressure on the champions.
It is likely that the Reds will be the ones chasing again come Sunday, however, considering City head to Fulham first.
Spurs stand in the way at Anfield this weekend in what is a major test against the third-best side in the country.
The north Londoners have stuttered in recent weeks, seeing their title chances evaporate and no league wins recorded in their last four outings—three of those were defeats—but they remain a formidable outfit.
They have quality from back to front, whether it is the defensive brilliance of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen or the goal threat of Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.
Liverpool will need to up their level if they want to secure a priceless victory, but their superiority should get them over the finish line.
Every remaining league game feels like a final; expect Anfield to be a cauldron of noise and for Klopp and his players to deliver a big performance.
This fixture last season: Liverpool 2-2 Tottenham
Klopp has every squad member fit, which is both a first for this season and a fantastic position to be in.
Returning duo Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are both in full training again, but neither are ready to be starting games yet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri are also available, having overcome knocks of their own.
Alisson, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson pick themselves, with Alexander-Arnold also a certainty to start if Klopp believes he is 100 per cent ready.
Midfield selections are trickier, however, considering Fabinho has become a key man, Gini Wijnaldum is almost undroppable and both Jordan Henderson and James Milner are favourites of Klopp’s in big games.
Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are all raring to go—Salah is still searching for his 50th Premier League goal for Liverpool.
Spurs are without midfield duo Eric Dier (hip flexor) and Harry Winks (groin), leaving Mauricio Pochettino short of midfield options.
Serge Aurier’s hamstring injury is being assessed ahead of the game.
Last 5 at Home to Tottenham (All Competitions)
Drew 2-2 – February 2018 (Salah x2; Wanyama, Kane pen)
Won 2-0 – February 2017 (Mane x2)
Won 2-1 – October 2016 (Sturridge x2; Janssen pen)
Drew 1-1 – April 2016 (Coutinho; Kane)
Won 3-2 – February 2015 (Markovic, Gerrard pen, Balotelli; Kane, Dembele)
Did You Know?
Tottenham have only won twice at Anfield in the Premier League since its inception in 1992.
The first of those came back in the 1993/94 season, when they won 2-1 thanks to a Teddy Sheringham double.
Spurs then won 2-0 on Merseyside in May 2011, with Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric finding the net and helping them finish fifth ahead of Liverpool.
The north London side have also won just one of the last 13 meetings with the Reds—the 4-1 victory at Wembley in October 2017.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-1 vs. Fulham
Won 3-1 vs. Bayern Munich
Won 4-2 vs. Burnley
Drew 0-0 vs. Everton
Won 5-0 vs. Watford
Tottenham – Last five results (all competitions)
Lost 2-1 vs. Southampton
Won 1-0 vs. Borussia Dortmund
Drew 1-1 vs. Arsenal
Lost 2-0 vs. Chelsea
Lost 2-1 vs. Burnley
Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp played down the fact that four of Liverpool’s remaining seven league games are at home.
“Two of these opponents are Tottenham and Chelsea.
“Of course home games are an advantage for us, but it’s not an advantage that will let us win a game with 60 percent or so.
“We love playing at Anfield, it’s a wonderful place and the boys are full of joy, we go out, everything is like we want, people are on their toes, brilliant atmosphere, so that’s all good.
“But we still respect the opponents of course. It’s Tottenham, Chelsea, Huddersfield and Wolves. They all have their own reasons to fight for points and results, and that’s what we respect.”
Live Blog & TV Info
Liverpool vs. Tottenham is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4.15pm (BST), with kickoff at Anfield at 4.30pm.
Alternatively, Chris Williams is in charge of This is Anfield’s matchday live blog, keeping you entertained from 3.45pm and providing minute-by-minute updates during the game.
This Is Anfield readers can get 25% off a Sky Sports Day Pass with NOW TV to watch Liverpool vs. Tottenham. Just use promo code ANFIELD or click here.