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Liverpool and Tottenham meet in top 4 battle

Liverpool host Tottenham on Sunday in a top 4 battle. Both teams are coming off of impressive midweek wins.

Liverpool defeated Huddersfield 3-0 on Tuesday night, while Spurs defeated Manchester United 2-0 at Wembley.

It was Tottenham’s commanding performance that left many Premier League experts slack jawed. Spurs opened the scoring in the opening 11 seconds which not only took Manchester United by surprise, but it completely changed Jose Mourinho’s tactics. Can Spurs do the same against Liverpool?

The Reds come into the fixture off of a commanding win away from Anfield. It was a much needed victory as Liverpool had lost back-to-back matches in all competitions. Liverpool were unable to sign any new players at the transfer deadline, and will need to make due with the pieces available. Jurgen Klopp has plenty of capable players to land the side a top 4 finish, and thanks to midweek results, Liverpool are once again just three points from second place.

Liverpool are undefeated in five of their last six matches against Tottenham. The Reds only loss came in the teams’ last meeting. Tottenham ran out 4-1 winners at Wembley as Liverpool failed to get out of first gear. It was a similar display to Tottenham’s win over Manchester United, but this time, Spurs will need to do it away from home.

The match will be between the second and third highest scoring teams in the Premier League. Liverpool are just behind Manchester City in goals thanks to Klopp’s high pressure tactics. Spurs, who are led by Harry Kane’s 21 goals, have scored 49 times in 2017-18. Spurs defence has allowed seven fewer goals than Liverpool’s rearguard, and Klopp doesn’t seem to be sure of his best defence or goalkeeper currently.

In midweek, Klopp started Loris Karius. It was the goalkeeper’s sixth appearance in the Premier League. Previously, Liverpool had designated their goalkeepers according to the competition. Simon Mignolet was the team’s Premier League starter. However, Klopp’s preference for Mignolet has gone out the window. Klopp could revert back to Mignolet on Sunday.

On the other side, Tottenham have stayed with a steady defence and goalkeeper nearly throughout the season. Hugo Lloris is one of the league’s top shot blockers, and his steady hand in goal is one reason Spurs have kept so many clean sheets this term.

While Tottenham’s defence is better than Liverpool’s back line, the biggest difference may be in the attack. Both teams’ have a three-pronged attack. Spurs have Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli. Meanwhile, Liverpool have Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. The sides are quite evenly matched, which makes another large scoreline seem impossible.

Liverpool will have their home support behind them, but Spurs should be buoyed by a win over Manchester United. Five goals were scored in the teams’ first meeting of the season, but Sunday’s match should be far closer than the last one.