|DATE||Sunday 15th December 2013|
|VENUE||White Hart Lane|
With Liverpool riding unexpectedly high in the table, it will be a
tough test of Tottenham's credentials for a top four finish, but the
key may be in stopping supply of chances to Luis Suarez. The
controversial striker has been scoring at will of late and it will
take a lot to stop him, although Spurs have the players, if they are
fit, to do so.
The last few games have seen Tottenham adopt a more high tempo game, with the ball being moved through the midfield much quicker, although Liverpool tend to operate at a slower pace, preferring to hold onto the ball. But they can also play more directly to feed Suarez and Spurs must be aware of the ability to change the pace of an attack. With Soldado scoring in midweek, he might be preferred to Defoe, as the chances might be harder to come by on Sunday, because it is at the back that Liverpool are a little vulnerable.
Without their talisman skipper Gerrard, it will fall upon Lucas to try and galvanise the midfield, although Jordan Henderson might be fit. Despite the former Sunderland man's return to some sort of form, his presence might help Spurs, as he can be by-passed and with Phillipe Coutinho not the most defensive midfielder, it will heap a lot of work on Lucas and maybe Joe Allen or Victor Moses. Both of these players are more used to having the ball rather than winning it, so there might be joy in numbers there for Tottenham, but the midfielders will need to eb keen to get up and support our lone striker to then pressure the Liverpool back four.
While they have pretty sound at home, Liverpool have looked a different side away from Anfield and while Agger and Skertl are tough central defenders, they do sometimes lose their composure and then they get pulled out of position. This could leave holes for Spurs to exploit and both of them are a little rash in the tackle, which could provide dead ball opportunities around the box, which we might have to make the most of. It could be that Rodgers prefers Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure at the back to strength the middle with experience and strength, but Toure is on old legs and might not be able to keep up with the pace of the game if Spurs employ a high tempo style. At full back, the Reds will be missing Jose Enrique, so the pairing will most probably be Glen Johnson and Aly Cissokho, giving them a bit of attacking threat from there, but Johnson is not the greatest at realising the space he leaves in behind him and our wingers could make hay there.
The singing of Simon Mingolet is an inspired move, as he is less prone to mistake than his predecessor, Pepe Reina and is a fins shot stopper. Not great on crosses, he can make misjudgements in coming out, so there might be scope to get players running through from deep and Townsend and Lennon might benefit from that most..
I think that the two teams will be looking to get something out of this game. Spurs to improve their dodgy home form and Liverpool to make their away from look a bit better. Rodgers will set up to try and hold the ball and frustrate Spurs, but with a good home performance against Manchester United behind us, the thought of that should give the team confidence. However, I can see the game ending in a draw with both teams relatively happy with a point apiece.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 1 Liverpool 1|
|Click here for more info on opponents - stats v thfc , an alternative history, etc.|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Spurs have Danny Rose and Christian Eriksen back in contention in the squad after playing a part of Thursday's Europa League win over Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham will hope Jan Vertonghen has recovered sufficiently to play in the match. Younes Kaboul's quadriceps injury keeps him out and Harry Kane's back still rules him out, while Emmanuel Adebayor has an injury that keeps him out of AVB's thoughts. Vlad Chiriches will face a late test on his knee.
LIVERPOOL TEAM NEWS :
Steven Gerrard will be missing with a hamstring pull, but there is better news in that Jordan Henderson will be fit for the game. Daniel Sturridge is sidelined with the injury he aggravated playing for England and Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates are both out long term with knee injuries. Daniel Agger should be fit again for consideration.
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
0 (0) Liverpool
Sunday 15th December 2013 Kick off 16:00
White Hart Lane
Dawson (foul on Henderson) 27
Walker (foul on Flanagan) 43
Holtby (foul on Allen) 66
|Crowd : 36,069||Weather : Rainy, but mild|
|Referee : Jon Moss (Leeds)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Bennett; Mr. S. Child|
|Fourth Official : Andre Marriner||-|
|Liverpool kicked off and played towards the Paxton Road end in the first half.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||Liverpool :||kit|
Mousa DEMBELE (17
9 Roberto SOLDADO
24 Joe ALLEN
|Manager : Andre Villas-Boas||Manager : Brendan Rodgers|
|Sponsor : Hewlett Packard||Shirt sponsor : Chartered Standard|
|Kit Supplier : Under Armour||Kit Supplier : Warrior|
Liverpool gave Spurs a real footballing lesson in beating them 5-0 and while the calls for AVB's head and the boos rang around White Hart Lane, perhaps the more balanced view would have seen Spurs fans applauding Liverpool for their performance. Even in their pomp on the 1970s and 1980s, they rarely played that well here. I remember Keegan and Toshack tearing us apart early one season in the 70s, but this was a different class.
Having said that, the task was made considerably easier by some frankly League Two refereeing by the lardy man in yellow with the whistle. He seemed keen enough to use it when Liverpool players hit the turf, with some like Jordan Henderson squealing before he had even been tackled, but when Spurs players were blatantly pushed over, he waved play on. His piece de resistance came when Brazilian Coutinho kicked the floor with nobody around him in the box and sprawled face down. There was no real decision to make, but Moss (perhaps so named after the hapless worker in "The IT crowd") swept his hands across each other in front of him to indicate that it was not a penalty. Well, no shit Sherlock !! A yellow card for diving might have been more appropriate and more in keeping with the ref's erratic whistling. When Henderson back-heeled a free kick straight to Soldado on the half way line, the referee (who must have eyes in the back of his head) demanded it be taken again, for what reason I do not know ... and I am not sure he would, as he was facing the other way at the time.
Another match following a
Europa League game and another loss. That is 50% of our games
following Thursday night action ending in no points. With all the
talk about us not even finishing in Europe this season, perhaps it
will be better for next season's campaign, looking at our experience
this time out.
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|Match programme sponsors||-|
|Match shirt sponsors||-|
|What you thought|
A.V.B. = B.Y.E. NO MORE EXCUSES ... was it the crowd too quiet ?
Maybe the wind blew to hard in our players faces ?
The blame lies with A.V.B. Its like going back to the bad old days of Gross and Shreeves and Ramos - this is nothing short of a disgrace.
No goals at home again. Soldado may as well get the lawn mower out and save the groundsman a job as he is not getting the service and change his name to SOLOado.
Scraping a win at Sunderland
(thanks to a blind ref) and Fulham is not good enough.
|Benny The Ball||
Did anyone notice that Liverpool played probably better than they
have in the last ten years and that we didn't ?
A bit like Man City, but that was when AVB had eleven men at his disposal.
Let's not get carried away by one result (or two if you include the City match).
We have other things to worry about, as we failed to create a decent chance and didn't hold onto the ball. Mainly because Liverpool were pressing us all over the field and not allowing us to play. Imagine them as a Stoke who can pass the ball to their own players. The sort of team we don't like to play against and one who were facing a back four who were not that used to playing together.
Not that theses are excuses, but the defeat is one which can be linked to thee things, as well as our midfield having a massive off day.
AVB has said that he is responsible and in trying to take the heat of the players, he is heaping it on himself.
Don't let us be like Chelsea and ditch someone for a few bad results. With the injuries we have and the players still taking time to settle in, we have not found a pattern or method that suits us yet. Yes, that is the manager's job, but he can only do so much and when they cross that white line ... it's down to them. Sandro's departure meant a re-organisation of the side and then, at 0-2 down and looking like we might get back in the game, Paulinho got sent off. I am sure that wouldn't have been in AVB's plan. Three goals after that were the least that a side playing like Liverpool were should have scored ... and frankly, they should have had more.
They were well worth their
win. No doubt. But needs to be addressed is the way we
are failing to play like them. The incisive passing is
missing, leaving Soldado stranded with no supply.
|Wyart Lane||I'm looking forward to having Neil Warnock as our next manager ... or maybe we can get Redknapp back.|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Cardiff City||1||West Bromwich Albion||0||Saturday|
|Hull City||0||Stoke City||0||Saturday|
|West Ham United||0||Sunderland||0||Saturday|
|Norwich City||1||Swansea City||1||Sunday|
|Aston Villa||0||Manchester United||3||Sunday|
|16||West Bromwich Albion||16||3||6||7||17||22||15||-5|
|17||West Ham United||16||3||5||8||13||19||14||-6|
Position before match : 7th
Position after match : 7th
Position after the weekend : 7th
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