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So far the teams have been evenly matched which can usually mean they'll cancel each other out, however I feel Tottenham will go into Sunday's game with a superior midfield, well, depending on what frame of mind Luka Modric is in. It is likely that Spurs will line up with a 4-man midfield, similar to what Liverpool may line-up with. So let's start with some direct comparisons shall we?
Personally I think Liverpool made a big mistake in selling Raul Meireles, his range of passing and ability to keep possession is far superior to his Scottish replacement Charlie Adam. Whilst Adam has the ability to pick out a brilliant Hollywood pass and of course take set pieces with power, technique and precision, he is lacking in the rest of his game. He's not great at controlling the pace of a game and was dispossessed a lot last season as Blackpool captain. Whilst I don't want to call on a friendly match alone to determine his ability, his quality was shown in the exhibition game at the Emirates stadium where Scotland played Brazil. The Brazil on show was definitely not the Brazil of recent years, with a midfield that I have no doubts in thinking that if they were Brazilian, Luka Modric and Raul Meireles would easily command a place in the midfield, or at least compete for it. However in that game Charlie Adam was completely out of his depth, too slow, not accurate enough and too clumsy. It was definitely a level too big to step into for the tenacious Scot.
I feel that if Luka Modric is in the starting eleven come Sunday then he will be the man dictating play and creating chances on goal for Spurs. His passing is immaculate, he works himself into brilliant positions when off the ball, always looking to exploit space and look for open spaces for the wingers to run into. There aren't many better play-makers than him in the league at the moment, if any, so having him in the team will be a massive bonus for Tottenham.
Lucas Leiva has come on a hell of a lot over the last few years. When he first joined Liverpool he was by most fans deemed surplus to requirements, a failure of a transfer if ever there was one. However now the 24-year old commands respect from the Anfield faithful and has made a reputation as one of the league's top defensive midfielders. He is a solid defender, strong in the tackle, yet smart, quick and agile. He's not shy on the ball and can help keep possession well if need be, as if a Brazilian wouldn't be able to do that.
However Spurs' opposite has been one of the best defensive midfielders in the league for the past two years now. Scott Parker finally managed to get a deadline day move to Tottenham and was thrown into the team straight away against Wolves. He offers good tackling ability, brilliant work-rate, can pass the ball around comfortably and can also turn defence into attack within seconds with quick runs through opposition defences. As defensive midfielders I'd say both are quite evenly matched, however I'd prefer Parker in my team as he has the ability to if need be, score goals at vital moments and offer support when going forward.
Wing play is vital to both clubs style of play, stretching opposition teams and attacking them with pace and power is key to how they break down opposing defences and inevitably win games. On the right for Tottenham is Aaron Lennon, fast, tricky and with a sweet right foot is always a danger. His ability to cut in and score the odd goal also goes in his favour as he's able to mix his game up. Three or four years ago it would have been appropriate to say that he had no end product, would run endlessly but not deliver anything, or as I like to put it, he'd act as a speedboat without a driver. However over the past two years he has improved immensely, before his long-term injury that kept him out for a few months in the 09/10 season, he was leading the Premier League assists charts as well as chipping in with his fair share of goals. Definitely a key factor into Tottenham's fourth place finish. Last season that good run in the form of statistics didn't quite make for easy reading as he only completed 3 Premier League assists, however when taking into account the lack of goals Jermaine Defoe, Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko scored, as well as the fact that Tottenham's leading goal scorer was Rafael Van der Vaart, a man whose best ability is playing with the ball at his feet rather than on his head, you can see why the ex-Leeds United wingers season record in statistics was so poor.
Whilst Spurs have an out and out winger on their right hand side, Liverpool don't. Currently the position is being competed for by Dirk Kuyt, Craig Bellamy and Jordan Henderson. I'd expect Dirk Kuyt to start this game, he's made four appearances already this season and whilst he has no real speed and isn't a conventional winger, he's extremely hard working and is able to support the strikers in a role where he is a threat to the opposition goal. With Kuyt the Liverpool formation turns into a more lopsided 4-3-3, however defensively he offers enough create the two banks of four they'll need to prevent the likes of Adebayor, Van der Vaart and Luka Modric opening them up and running riot.
On the left Spurs have the highly rated and talented, but not so consistent, Gareth Bale. Whilst he's never one for creating highly rated statistics, his speed and lightening quick acceleration make him one of the worst types of wingers to come up against. He's also got an extremely powerful and accurate cross which allows him to fizz crosses into the box with precision, something Emmanuel Adebayor will thrive on.
Despite a hefty £20m transfer fee, Stewart Downing seems to be pressure free this season, he's by far been their most impressive new signing, he's not only cemented himself into the Liverpool line-up, he's also earned himself an England call-up against Wales at Wembley. After scoring eight times last season, he proved he can not only perform out-wide, but come in and help the strikers with goals. His flexibility to swap wings and cut in if need be is going to be well needed on Sunday as King Kenny will look to have his side manipulate the Spurs defence anyway possible.