Liverpool vs Tottenham |Saturday 7th May 2022, 19:45 | BT Sport
The race for the title and top-four spots heats up as Liverpool welcome Tottenham for what could be another famous night under the Anfield lights.
All eyes will be on Merseyside as Jurgen Klopp’s side look to overtake Man City in the race for the Premier League title. But first, they must beat Antonio Conte’s Spurs.
The Reds survived a first-half scare against Villarreal to reach their tenth Champions League final, which keeps their hopes of a historic quadruple alive.
That 3-2 victory (5-2 on aggregate) saw Liverpool become the first English club to reach the final of the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup in the same season.
Spurs have a battle of their own. They sit in fifth and could climb above their north London rivals Arsenal if they pick up three points. However, everything points to a home win with the Lilywhites winning just one of their last 18 against the Reds (D5, L12).
Luis Diaz shone as a second-half sub in Spain on Tuesday and the January signing is likely to have done enough to earn a starting berth.
In 10 league appearances, the Colombian has three goals and two assists, showing he’s settled quite well into English football after having 18 goal involvements at Porto.
He’ll have an important say in the first bet I’m playing in this huge clash. It’s over 1 Liverpool goal and over 4 Liverpool corners at 10/11 using the Bet365 Bet Builder.
Klopp’s side are the league’s top scorers (86) and have netted two or more goals in 14 of their 17 Premier League games.
They create plenty of chances and should be able to find the space to pick off a Spurs team who have conceded three goals in visits to Man Utd (6th) and Arsenal (4th), as well as twice at Man City (1st) and Chelsea (3rd).
That highlights how Spurs have struggled on the road against the bigger clubs. Plus, Conte’s side have conceded a fair few chances.
In eight of their last nine away games, their opponents have recorded an expected goals (xG) of 1.20+, including struggling Burnley (1.71xG) and Leeds (1.87xG). It’s a run that has also seen Leicester’s 1.94xG, Chelsea’s 1.25xG, Man City’s 2.62xG and Aston Villa’s 1.79xG.
The visitors can’t afford to concede too many clear-cut chances to this Liverpool front line, or they’ll get punished. And that’s why the hosts should be netting 2+ goals.
On corners, Liverpool ranks second in the league (254) with only Man City ahead of them. We saw the Reds pile on the pressure against Everton in the Merseyside derby to finish with 13 corners.
They’ve hit 5+ corners in 14 of their 17 league games at Anfield. Overall, that figure is 27 of 34. Those corners should fly in with the width the Reds play with. Plus, the longer this remains level, the more Liverpool will attack, racking them up just like they did against Everton.
The Reds average just shy of eight corners per game at Anfield, so as they go for an important three points, you can see them hitting a big number of flag kicks once more.
Returning to the theme of new recruits, I’ll roll the dice with two more bets, which feature Spurs’ January signings. I wasn’t going to tip Rodrigo Bentancur for a card but seeing the 15/4 quotes (Bet365) make it feel worthy of a play.
The Uruguayan has been an excellent acquisition for Spurs to play alongside Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. The pair add some steel into the heart of the midfield.
But the Uruguayan does like to walk a disciplinary tightrope. He’s picked up five yellows in 12 Premier League starts, including four in his last five.
So, this is where the implied probability is of interest. The 15/4 price gives this a 21% chance of landing. Yet Bentancur has been booked in 42% of his league games for Spurs, making it feel like a bit of value.
Plenty of central midfielders have seen a card against the Reds this season. More recently, Etienne Capoue was sent off in that position on Tuesday, while Everton pair Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré, Man Utd’s Hannibal Mejbri and Man City’s Fernandinho have all been cautioned over the last few weeks.
Given his record and the nature of this fixture, there could be some legs in the 14/1 on Bentancur being the first name taken by Michael Oliver. I’ll just be happy for him to see yellow.
Dejan Kulusevski was the other player who arrived with Bentancur and the Swede has made a big impression at the north London club.
In 1,031 minutes of Premier League football, he’s been involved in 11 goals, scoring three, and assisting eight. That’s a goal involvement every 93 minutes.
Liverpool do like to play with a high line, and Kulusevski is someone who could exploit the space vacated by Andy Robertson. And the Reds have shown a few chinks in their armour against some of the bigger sides this season.
The fact that the Swede joined in January and sits joint-top for assists at Spurs (8) with Harry Kane shows the impact he’s had. The 22-year-old is 6/1 (Ladbrokes) to record another assist and it’s worth a small go.
Those who like a bigger price might point out that five of Kulusevski’s eight assists have been for Son Heung-min, including two in 35 minutes against Leicester on Sunday. Sky Bet are offering 8/1 on the Swede to assist a Son goal.
I’m happy to just play the 6/1, especially if Kulusevski is getting to the by-line and pulling it back into dangerous areas, especially with Spurs having Kane lurking as he looks to add to his tally of 13 league goals.