Tottenham v Liverpool Preview

English Premier League | Sunday 31 August | White Hart Lane | 14:30




Sunday football kicks off with a mouth-watering tie as Mauricio Pochettino’s red hot Tottenham host Brendan Rodgers’ wounded Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Spurs will be hoping to build on their impressive 4-0 thumping of Queens Park Rangers while The Reds will look to get back to winning ways after suffering their first defeat of the 2014/15 season, losing 3-1 to Manchester City.

To Win (90mins)
Tottenham 31/20
Draw 23/10
Liverpool 16/10

TOTTENHAM

Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed a stylish first home win of the season as they routed Harry Redknapp’s QPR in a largely one-sided affair that finished 4-0 at White Hart Lane.

Nacer Chadli scored twice, while Eric Dier was on the score-sheet for the second time in as many Premier League games to seal the three points before half-time.

Emmanuel Adebayor added gloss to the score-line in the second half, but Spurs were already at the top of the table by that point.

For Tottenham to dominate a game so completely, at such an early point in the season under a new manager, is a massive contrast from last season, which saw numerous close-fought wins and only two by a four-goal margin.

Spurs now look organised and disciplined from the back and inventive and industrious from the midfield forward, a far cry from some of their performances last season, which often lacked consistency and the ability to finish teams off.

Tougher tests lie in waiting as they gear up for Liverpool on Sunday in what will be the sternest examination of Pochettino’s managerial talents since his arrival in north London, and the Reds will be out to claim victory after losing to Manchester City last Monday.

Erik Lamela proved to be the destroyer-in-chief for Tottenham with his two assists capping an excellent display for the home side.

It may be early doors but all the signs point to Lamela having the kind of second season that many expected him to have in his first.

The Argentine was superb against QPR and looked dangerous whenever he had the ball at his feet. Spurs fans may remain wary, but Lamela now looks the real deal.

Nabil Bentaleb put in another solid display against QPR and looks to have cemented his place in the holding role.

He was reliable and an efficient presence in the middle of Pochettino's midfield, allowing others to flourish around him.

The man to watch will be Chadli after his impressive show he put on last weekend. Given license to get beyond the striker, the Belgian showed great composure to chest and finish Adebayor's cross for the crucial opening goal.

His clinical header put the game beyond doubt, and his pass to release Danny Rose for the final goal gives hope that Chadli could be a key part of Tottenham's push for success.

LIVERPOOL

Liverpool suffered a 3-1 defeat by a clinical Manchester City on Monday evening, subjecting Rodgers' charges to a first loss of the campaign in their second fixture of 2014-15.

Raheem Sterling and Coutinho took up good positions in pockets of space in the final third, and Steven Gerrard sprayed the ball around nicely from deep.

Last term though, they looked like scoring every time they went forward, with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez enjoying a phenomenally vibrant striking relationship – whereas versus City, ideas in the final third were severely lacking, and it looked as though individual magic courtesy of Sturridge was the only way Liverpool would forge an opening.

Thirty-one Premier League goals and 13 Premier League assists is virtually irreplaceable. However, one player who has the potential to help fill the void left by the Uruguayan is new signing Mario Balotelli.

The Italian possesses so much talent, but the detriments he can bring on and off the pitch bring about an aura of fear. When Balotelli is on his game, nobody works harder, but when he gets frustrated, he can fade out of the match and everybody forgets he is on the pitch.

The danger with his work rate is that it could trickle down. Suarez’s tireless sprints up, down, and across the pitch led to Sturridge doing the same.

Perhaps Sturridge has grown and the sprinting is engrained in the way he plays, but he must continue to work hard regardless of what Balotelli does.

Lazar Markovic looked lively when coming on against City drifting past opponents with side steps and step overs and may have earned himself a starting berth.

The Serbian looks a quality addition and could trouble Spurs’ defence if given the chance. He may need to bulk up a bit to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League but that won’t stop him from leaving a mark on games.

His trickery will more than make up for what the Reds have lost in Suarez and his ability to breeze past players will leave the fans wanting more.

Betting Verdict: LIVERPOOL 16/10 
Tottenham are surprisingly slight favourites at 31/20 with Liverpool valued at 16/10. Liverpool have won their last three fixtures against Spurs with last season’s meetings ending in 4-0 and 5-0 wins. The Reds should bounce back strong and claim maximum points with a hard earned victory away from home. 

Written by Chadley Nagel for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

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