WILLIE Duncan (@Willie_Duncan) takes the reins for Saturday’s clash between Spurs and Liverpool. What’s he backing?
Tottenham v Liverpool | Saturday 12:45 | Sky Sports 1
Another fascinating weekend of Premier League action gets underway when Tottenham Hotspur welcome Liverpool to White Hart Lane.
Both sides have designs on, at least, a top four finish this season and Saturday’s showdown has the potential to be a cracker – but I’ve got a feeling that neutrals tuning in will be left wanting more.
There was plenty of anticipation the last time that Liverpool faced Spurs in North London as Jurgen Klopp’s tenure as Reds boss began at White Hart Lane.
The match itself, though, turned out to be pretty forgettable as the two teams played out a turgid 0-0 draw – a result that, in truth, satisfied neither party.
When the rivalry was renewed, Tottenham had the title on their minds, but the Londoners left Liverpool with just one point after coming from behind to earn a 1-1 draw at Anfield.
Tottenham started the new season in Merseyside earlier this month – against Everton – and Pochettino’s men were again forced to fight back for a share of the spoils before claiming a hard-fought win against Crystal Palace on home turf last time out.
Spurs’ squad is packed with players who represented their respective countries at the European Championships this summer and that, perhaps, explains why Pochettino’s men have seemed a little flat thus far this season.
One positive that Pochettino will have certainly taken from the 1-0 win against the Eagles, however, was that Spurs’ defensive discipline – so pivotal in their push for the Premier League title last term – was clear to see and the former Southampton manager will be hoping that his side show their resilience again this weekend when the Reds come calling.
Liverpool will be relishing a return to North London, for they scored four there on the opening weekend of the season – against Arsenal – before battering Burton Albion in the EFL Cup in midweek.
The 5-0 win against the Championship side was welcome, but it would have been a major surprise had Liverpool not run riot against a team that has shipped nine goals in their opening four fixtures in the second tier of English football this season.
A further concern ahead of this match is that Liverpool are not a side that I can ever back with confidence and the inconsistency that derailed their hopes of a top four finish last term was evident again last week when they crashed to a 2-0 defeat against Burnley at Turf Moor.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were well on top for long spells against the Clarets but it is goals – and not possession – that wins football matches and, while the Reds certainly have players who are more than capable of putting the ball in the net, they were wasteful in the extreme last weekend and that must have given the former Borussia Dortmund boss plenty of cause for concern.
With Spurs sluggish and Liverpool less than convincing, I’ve got a feeling that this match will be tight, tense and will not live up to the high expectations of many punters who will tune in this weekend.
The 11/10 quote, therefore, for fewer than three goals to be scored looks like a solid selection to me – and, at odds against, the price certainly carries considerable appeal.
The selection would have paid dividends in both of Spurs’ Premier League matches thus far this season as well as in both of the top-flight tussles between the teams last season and, so, at 11/10 the value lies in backing fewer than three goals again ahead of Saturday’s crunch clash at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham v Liverpool – Under 2.5 Goals (11/10 Marathon Bet)