Liverpool vs. Tottenham: 10 key things to know ahead of penultimate Anfield clash

Jurgen Klopp faces his penultimate home game as Liverpool manager this weekend, as his side host a beleaguered Tottenham in the Premier League.

Liverpool vs. Tottenham

Premier League (36) | Anfield
April 5, 2024 | 4.30pm (BST)

Things have gone flat for the Reds this season, with their title challenge withering away, and there are now only three matches left in 2023/24.

On Sunday, Liverpool take on a Spurs side whose top-four hopes have gone up in smoke, so neither team are exactly brimming with confidence.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.


1. Liverpool in need of a response

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 27, 2024: Liverpool players before the FA Premier League match between West Ham United FC and Liverpool FC at the London Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The manner in which Liverpool’s campaign has unravelled is something few saw coming, with last weekend’s 2-2 draw at West Ham another below-par showing.

With their title chances effectively done, the Reds now have to finish as strong as possible, ensuring Klopp’s goodbye doesn’t end on a sour note.

Liverpool’s legendary manager deserves more than that, and the hope is that his players provide a big response at Anfield.

They are aided by the fact that their weekend opponents are in even worse spirits…


2. Spurs have run out of steam

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 26, 2023: Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Chelsea FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Tottenham won 2-0. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Losing to your two biggest rivals in the space of four days is not something anyone wants to happen – that’s what Spurs have just experienced.

First came the 3-2 defeat at home to Arsenal last Sunday, having trailed 3-0 at half-time, before being downed 2-0 at Chelsea on Thursday evening.

It’s now three losses in a row for Spurs, who were thumped 4-0 at Newcastle before the two all-London clashes – results which have guaranteed Liverpool’s top-four spot.

A season that promised so much at the start has petered out, and with seven points separating themselves and fourth-place Aston Villa, their Champions League dream could be over.

Ange Postecoglou’s men do at least have a game in hand, but a win at Anfield is essential.


3. Absentee Reds?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 24, 2024: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk applauds the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 244th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. Everton won 2-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have been boosted by the news that Conor Bradley is back after returning from an ankle injury suffered against Crystal Palace.

Virgil van Dijk is a doubt, however, having not trained with his teammates all week, so a late call will be made with the Reds skipper, Klopp revealed on Friday.

Diogo Jota and Bobby Clark are both out, with the latter’s season over because of a back issue.

Joel Matip, Thiago and Ben Doak, meanwhile, are all long-term absentees.


4. Predicted Liverpool XI

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, December 20, 2023: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) celebrates with team-mate Darwin Núñez after scoring the fourth goal during the Football League Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool will have had eight days off by the time the Spurs game arrives, meaning Klopp’s squad should be well-rested.

It will be interesting to see how many changes the manager makes from the West Ham match, where a number of key players were left out.

Ibrahima Konate could come back in for Jarell Quansah at centre-back, though both could be needed if Van Dijk is not fit, while Ryan Gravenberch arguably did enough to keep his place in midfield.

Wataru Endo has cut a jaded figure the more the season has gone on, so he could be left out for Dominik Szoboszlai or Curtis Jones, with Alexis Mac Allister anchoring the midfield.

Mohamed Salah and Klopp’s touchline argument has been much-publicised (and overblown!) and it will be interesting to see if the Egyptian returns to the starting lineup.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Mac Allister, Szoboszlai, Gravenberch; Salah, Diaz, Gakpo


5. Who’s missing for Spurs?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 30, 2023: Tottenham Hotspur's James Maddison (L) is challenged by Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Spurs only played on Thursday, so their legs could be tired, meaning Postecoglou may have to shuffle his pack.

One player who was left out at Chelsea was James Maddison, whose form has dipped significantly, but he could return to the starting lineup at Anfield.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur were also on the bench at Stamford Bridge, and both are options to come back in to the midfield, too.

Ben Davies, Destiny Udogie and Timo Werner are among those to miss out against Liverpool.

Predicted Tottenham XI: Vicario; Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Emerson; Bissouma, Sarr; Johnson, Kuluzevski, Son; Richarlison.


6. Salah storm “completely resolved”

Speaking to the media on Friday, Klopp played down any rumours of a rift with Salah:

“Completely resolved. It’s no problem. If we wouldn’t know each other for that long I’m not sure how we would deal with it, but we know each other, respect each other, so it’s no problem.

“I think we have the right to deal with these things completely independent of any expectation from the outside. We’re absolutely fine, it’s a non-story.

“In general, the best situation would be everybody is in the best possible place, we win the games, we score loads of goals.

“And then, yes, the situation would probably not have been like that, because Mo would not have been on the bench in the first place.”


7. Spurs’ woeful record at Anfield

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 30, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota scores the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Anfield is a tough place to go historically, but Spurs’ record there still leaves a lot to be desired.

Last year’s aforementioned 4-3 win for Liverpool saw Jota score a last-gasp winner, which sums up the north Londoners’ struggles on Merseyside.

Spurs have only actually won once at Anfield since 2011, with a 2-0 victory coming their way in May of that year, courtesy of goals from Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric (penalty).

Their only other Premier League triumph there came all the way back in 1993 – they have beaten Liverpool away in the FA Cup and League Cup since then – so the odds are stacked against them.


8. Did you know?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 7, 2024: Manchester United supporters celebrate their side's equalising goal during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have only picked up nine points from as many league games against the other ‘big six’ clubs this season, which is a poor return.

Their only win in that time was at home to a Chelsea side who have been below-par for much of the campaign, with Anfield draws coming against Man City, Arsenal and Man United.

Liverpool didn’t win any of the five games away to their rivals, which is damning, losing at Spurs and Arsenal.

There are many reasons why the Reds have ultimately fallen short in the Premier League title race, but not beating their adversaries has played a part.


9. One last dance for Klopp and Tierney

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 2, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) speaks with referee Paul Tierney during the FA Premier League match between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC at the City Ground. Liverpool won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has made it perfectly clear what he thinks of Paul Tierney as a referee, with plenty of run-ins down the years, including after last season’s 4-3 win at home to Spurs.

It is, therefore, fitting that the Liverpool manager has one more game refereed by the 43-year-old before he departs.

This is Tierney’s fifth Reds match of 2023/24 – only five referees (Michael Oliver (41), Anthony Taylor (40), Craig Pawson (34), Andre Marriner (32) and Martin Atkinson (30) have taken charge of more games since Klopp arrived in 2015.

His assistants are Scott Ledger and Mat Wilkes, Tom Bramall is the fourth official and John Brooks is on VAR.


10. Follow the game with TIA

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 10, 2024: Liverpool's A general view of Anfield Stadium seen before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda) This image is a digital composite of several images.

Liverpool vs. Tottenham is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 4pm (BST) on Sunday, with the game getting underway at 4.30pm.

Harry McMullen is in charge of TIA’s matchday live blog, keeping you company from 3.45pm and hopefully talking you through a home win.

Come on you Reds!