Spurs vs. Liverpool Preview
Liverpool head off to White Hart Lane for their next Premier League encounter, three points separating them from ‘Arry’s Boys in the table where they sit ninth and sixth respectively behind a top four that are starting to pull away from the chasing pack.
The Reds haven’t travelled well under the guidance of Roy Hodgson, whose away statistics throughout his career are best left to one side and looked at only when your optimism is at its highest.
Liverpool take advantage of no midweek fixture to tire them in the run up to this game, while Spurs 3-0 home win in the Champions League over Werder Bremen may keep confidence levels at a premium, but previous league fixtures after European jaunts have seen his side look both jaded and disorganised at times.
Roy Hodgson takes his side to London minus influential captain Steven Gerrard, still missing following a hamstring tear on England duty, he misses out along with young midfielder Jay Spearing (ankle) and Daniel Agger who is still troubled by a long-term calf injury.
The added week of rest has seen the Liverpool manager once again be able to call upon the services of Joe Cole, who continues to search for a run of form following his free transfer arrival in the summer and he maybe provided with the opportunity from the bench to trouble his former West Ham mentor Harry Redknapp.
Lucas Leiva also returns to the squad after seeing out his one match ban following a late sending off against Stoke and the Brazillian will hope that he secures a place alongside Raul Meireles in central midfield at the expense of Christian Poulsen who came back in to the side to face West Ham.
The injury front is a little more unkind to Spurs though as they are still troubled by the longer term absences of Dawson (knee), Huddlestone (ankle), O’Hara (Back), King (groin) and Woodgate (Groin/Pelvis).
They also have minor complications with Jenas (calf) and Dos Santos (abdominal strain) but despite the ankle injury sustained by heavily influential Dutchman Van Der Vaart, he is expected to be available to face fellow countryman Dirk Kuyt.
The last two clashes of the sides at the Lane have seen Spurs come away with all three points and 2-1 victories, a statistic Hodgson will be hoping for a third time luck can rectify.
Despite conceding the first goal in eight of their last 11 Premier League outings, Tottenham look for their third victory in a row for the first time this season after emerging triumphant over both Blackburn and local rivals Arsenal in recent encounters.
Liverpool have seen four wins, a draw and a defeat from their last six ventures in the Premier League and despite the heavy criticism that seems to be never than more than a step behind Roy Hodgson, it is form that is only surpassed by league leaders Manchester United leading up to this weekend's fixtures.
Liverpool will also take some heart from the fact that Spurs have only once managed to keep a clean sheet against them in the last 15 clashes between the sides in all competitions.
The subject of clean sheets is one also on the agenda of Liverpool’s Spanish keeper Pepe Reina, who is just one more shutout away from 100 clean sheets for the club in just 196 appearances. A record that he will take from another player with an allegiance to both sides in the form of Ray Clemence, who took 217 matches to meet the same milestone in his time in L4.
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