Two of the potential English Premier League soccer title challengers knock heads when Tottenham Hotspur host Liverpool at Wembley (7.30am ET Saturday).
Both teams finished in the top four last season and both have begun the new campaign well. Liverpool have won four out of four, while Tottenham started the season with three wins in a row for the first time in nearly a decade before defeat away to Watford last time out.
Mauricio Pochettino afterwards admitted his frustration after seeing Spurs give up an early second half lead, achieved through a Watford own goal, by conceding twice from set-pieces in the final twenty minutes or so to fall to a 1-2 defeat. He and his side failed to react sufficiently to Watford’s ever increasing pressure and were eventually punished.
It was the sort of result Spurs cannot afford if they hope for this to be a season in which they genuinely compete for the title. Manchester City were so far ahead of all the other teams last time around that it is vitally important for all their would-be challengers to be as consistent as possible. Points will inevitably be dropped but to do so sloppily is unforgivable.
Tottenham were the only Premier League side not to sign a single player during the summer transfer window. With Lucas Moura, this week named the Premier League’s player of the month for August, starting the campaign in excellent form, and the likes of Danny Rose and Harry Winks back in the picture after injuries and other problems last season, Pochettino nevertheless has a good squad to work with.
Some uncharacteristic defensive issues during the opening weeks of the season are a reason for concern, but Spurs are otherwise again profiling as one of the top teams in the English Premier League. After three consecutive top-three finishes under Pochettino, they again look well-placed to be there or thereabouts come the end of the campaign. Victory on Saturday would very much put them in the title discussion.
Given the additional quantity of press coverage they receive, and their unquestionable international appeal, it may be surprising for some to note that Liverpool have actually only finished ahead of Spurs twice in last decade, and just once in the last nine years. After consecutive fourth-place finishes, improvements to the squad over the summer have certainly given them a good chance of doing so this time around.
Liverpool acted quickly to strengthen some problem areas by signing the goalkeeper Alisson from Roma and midfielders Fabinho and Naby Keita from Monaco and RB Leipzig respectively. In addition to the January signing of Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk, a world record for a defender, they now have an impressive squad.
There will be nowhere to hide for Jurgen Klopp if his side aren’t able at least to significantly close the gap to Man City, who finished a full 25 points ahead of them last season. First impressions are good. Liverpool’s four consecutive victories have come whilst scoring nine and conceding just once. Away wins at Crystal Palace and Leicester have showed strength.
They now face a very tough run of fixtures which should act as a good barometer of their level. Spurs and Chelsea away and Man City at home await them in three of their next four league encounters, while their attempt to replicate their run to the final of last season’s Champions League begins with a home match against Paris Saint-Germain and then Napoli away. By mid-October, we should have a decent idea of where Liverpool stand.
Both teams have obviously had their preparations for this match hampered by the international break, with assessments to be made as to the fitness of key players as they return from all over the world. Tottenham’s Dele Alli pulled out of the England squad after the first of their two matches, while others may come back with minor knocks and grievances.
Our Preview’s Spurs vs. Liverpool Picks & Betting Predictions Conclusion
Tottenham were 4-1 winners in last year’s equivalent fixture, and while that match came during Liverpool’s early-season defensive struggles, they also earned a credible 2-2 draw against a more developed Liverpool side at Anfield later in the campaign.
Pochettino’s side will be keen to make up for their loss to Watford and have a solid chance of securing all three points on Saturday.
So our Tottenham vs Liverpool prediction and betting pick, highlighting the best odds available from a choice of top USA bookmakers’ odds, is: