Tottenham vs Liverpool | Thursday 28th January 2021, 20:00 | BT Sport
The game of the midweek slate has been saved for Thursday night as Spurs hope to amplify the worrying form of Champions Liverpool. It doesn’t seem 2 minutes since the Reds were odds-on favourites to win back-to-back titles but with no win in five, they’ve drifted right out to 9/1 to finish top of the tree.
It has been a bit harsh on the Merseyside club when looking at the performance data for those games, they won the xG battle in all five of those winless games, mustering up a minimum of 1.4 xG per game yet only scoring a single goal. Profligate finishing from the usually reliable front three seems out of the ordinary and the absence of Diogo Jota is felt more and more each week.
Spurs have been solid if unspectacular this season when facing off with the elite. They look to contain and counter-attack and Jose Mourinho is more than happy to concede possession, Spurs are one of the best examples of teams dominating the game without having the ball.
The way Liverpool play should suit Spurs, when the pressure comes in the final third you’ll see the two holding midfielders slot seamlessly into a block of six making it hard to play through balls down the middle because of the lack of central space. It should force the hosts out wide which will be perfect for the visitors as they’ll have plenty of men in the box to clear the ball yet still have three big threats on the break.
We saw Burnley swat away cross after cross last week, this is where Liverpool may have been found out slightly. Their lack of a plan B against teams that are happy to allow the ball come into dangerous areas from out wide has shown up their lack of a diminutive link man between the lines, the last type they had was probably Phillipe Coutinho.
Seeing Liverpool hovering around even-money makes zero appeal in their current guise. Klopp has talked about focusing chiefly being solid defensively again and trying to nick a win, possibly looking to play Mourinho at his own game.
With that in mind, a low scoring encounter looks highly possible and 23/20 about Under 2.5 Goals looks too big. I couldn’t put anyone off a tickle on ‘No Goalscorer’ at 12/1, either. Liverpool have seen unders cop in their last five league games whereas Spurs have seen 61% of their games see fewer than 3 goals.
You’d still expect Liverpool possessional domination here given the way Spurs set up. They’ll be the instigators and the large majority of the game will be played in Spurs’ defensive half one would imagine. I’m surprised therefore that you can get Liverpool -1.5 on the asian corner handicap at a touch bigger than 4/5 with Marathon. Effectively this bet is Liverpool to have two or more corners than Spurs come full time.
The Reds have chalked up 133 corners this season, an average of 7 per game which is only 2nd to Manchester City. Spurs on the other hand have had just 79, an average of 4.4 per game which ranks 16thin the league. It’s understandable given they’re bottom half for possession and their clinical edge when opportunities do arise.
Liverpool have beaten this line in 13/19 games this season whereas Spurs opponents shave passed this line in half of their league games. I go back to the likelihood of Liverpool being forced to put crosses into the box which will only increase the chances of flag kicks for them.