Preview: Liverpool host Tottenham in top four battle

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  • 1 win in 10 in 2017 for Liverpool
  • Tottenham unbeaten in 11 in all comps
  • Liverpool unbeaten in last 9 games v Spurs

Out-of-form Liverpool host Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) in a battle between two teams hoping to secure a top four finish.

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Over the past few years there hasn’t been much between these teams with the last three PL games all ending in draws and the high-pressing preferred by both managers somewhat canceling each other out. In terms of form, there’s nothing similar about these two teams at the moment.

Liverpool has yet to win in the Premier League in 2017, securing just one victory in their last 10 games in all competitions as they crashed out of the EFL Cup and the FA Cup to leave the focusing solely on finishing in the top four of the PL.

Jurgen Klopp has still got the backing of most of the home fans but his side have slumped from title contenders to now being 13 points behind leaders Chelsea and sitting in fifth-place. Mauricio Pochettino‘s men appear to be peaking at the right time of the season and Tottenham are in second place, nine points behind Chelsea.

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In team news Liverpool will check on center backs Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan who both missed the defeat at Hull last weekend. Adam Lallana, who is close to signing a new contract, could be a doubt after suffering an Achilles injury.

Tottenham’s Jan Vertonghen is making good progress from his ankle injury but won’t feature, meaning Eric Dier could continue in central defense. Danny Rose is still out injured but is making good progress, while Erik Lamela is definitely missing for Spurs.


What they’re saying

Klopp on ambition for the rest of the season: “In my dreams we can 14 games – again, I know how that sounds but I cannot change my dreams. That’s what I’m working for.”

Pochettino on the title race: “We are not the only realistic challengers. We are next after Chelsea and it’s a fact we are a contender today. Then there are a lot of teams who are contenders. Nine points is a massive gap but it is not decisive.”

Prediction

This seems like Spurs’ time to throw down a genuine title challenge. A win at Anfield would momentarily close the gap on leaders Chelsea to six points ahead of their trip to Burnley on Sunday. This is a great chance for Tottenham to put some pressure on Antonio Conte‘s men and I think they may sit back and look to hit Liverpool on the counter. With Harry Kane and Dele Alli in top form, Spurs will grab a vital 2-1 win away from home.