Liverpool will be looking to make up ground in the top-four race when they visit Wembley to take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Both teams enjoyed good away results in the Champions League on Tuesday, but four points separate them in the Premier League table heading into this weekend.
So ahead of this tie, I got hold of a couple of Tottenham Hotspur fan Auro Raman and Finley Black (from glory glory Tottenham forum) for us to understand what to expect from this week’s opponents:
Q: Finally, a Wembley win for Spurs last weekend against Bournemouth. How would you rate that performance though?
AR: It wasn’t our best by any means, but was important to get the win. Solid job done and meant we could kick on into the CL week. Most other results went our way as well which was a bonus.
FIB: Reasonable…. We had many more chances that the opposition and should’ve won by more goals.
Q: Spurs Wembley hoodoo has been very well documented. What is your opinion on why the side has had some relatively average performances?
FIB: We have been the better team in every game that we have played at Wembley this season, just haven’t necessarily got the results that our play has deserved.
AR: I wouldn’t say we had average performances so much, but teams like Swansea and Burnley were very effective in letting us dominate possession and keeping solid at the back. We were the better side against Chelsea.
Q: Liverpool and Spurs both play the pressing game. Will the Wembley factor damage the way Liverpool play as well?
FIB:You tend to play it long up to your forwards, looking to get the ball over the top for your pacy players to run onto. We don’t have the pacey players up front and tend to have a slower build up to our play. We both play a pressing game, although I think yours is more manic and constant, whereas ours is more targeted to certain players or situations.
Q: How has Pochetinno changed his tactics when playing at home and what can Liverpool expect on Sunday?
FIB: He hasn’t changed the tactics at all really. Every team we have played at home (bar Dortmund, but including Chelsea) have played very defensive, getting a lot of players behind the ball). I am hoping that Poch changes his tactics against you though and looks for Spurs to sit deep and play on the break as we did against Real Madrid on Tuesday. That tactic will counter your ball over the top and negate the way that you get a lot of your chances and also allows you to be exposed on the break as you typically over commit forward.
Q: Are Spurs fans worried about Harry Kane’s Wembley performances. Cause as per stats, he has been getting more chances at home but not able to convert them.
FIB: No. He is the best centre forward in the league. I expect him to start scoring there soon, probably as early as this Sunday.
AR: No. He is the best centre forward in the league. I expect him to start scoring there soon, probably as early as this Sunday.
Q: Talking about another Harry, Winks has been tagged as “Little Iniesta”. What is it about him that Liverpool should be worried about?
FIB: As Gazza Dazzla mentioned, it’s the stuff he does that goes unnoticed that Liverpool should be wary of. Retaining possession, playing quick forward passes to set up an attack, interceptions etc. Exactly what Modric does so so well (although appreciate Winks has a huge task to get to Modric’s level).
Q: I have heard a lot of Spurs fan calling Liverpool as their Bogie team as Tottenham has not won against Liverpool in the last 9 PL attempts. If you were Pochetino, what would you do differently?
AR: As mentioned previously, we need to set ourselves up to allow you to have the ball and hit on the counter, much like we did against Dortmund. We aren’t able to go toe-to-toe with teams who set-up like Liverpool. I think Poch has learned from previous games and will set us up accordingly (I hope!)
FIB: Not sure that many of those matches are relevant to be honest – just as how 7 wins for spurs, 1 draw and 2 defeats in the 10 games prior to those 9 isn’t at all relevant either. Most of the last 9 games were played out under different managers. I think the Pochettino vs Klopp matches have resulted in 3 draws and one 2-1 win for Liverpool. As I said before, if I were Pochettino I would sit back to negate your pace over the top and then play on the break to expose the way that you over commit forward.
Q: Predicted Line ups and formation?
Q: Score Predictions?
FIB: 2-0 Spurs
Q: Season’s Expectations for Spurs?
FIB: PL. 3rd Place, Champions League last 16, FA Cup winners.
AR: I’d expect us to be competing for Top 4 (ideally staying in the title-race past Christmas), getting out of our group in the CL but losing to a decent team in the next round and a strong showing in both cups (perhaps winning the League Cup).