The pivotal matches comes thick and fast and tonight at Anfield there is another one Liverpool must win. If we can beat Tottenham, one of our fiercest rivals for top four, then we have taken another step towards a happy season ending.
Right now Tottenham is four points better off than us in the Premier League table and everyone realizes what a win or defeat means. A win takes Liverpool one point behind Spurs. A defeat give the Londoners a seven point advantage over us with just 13 matches to go. The latter is a no-no if the possibility to reach top four shall remain. A draw is acceptable but there is a risk other top four candidates claims three points in this round and suddenly the gap to fourth place increases from current five points to seven. That will in all likelihood be a hill to steep to climb. So a victory is fundamental to keep a reasonable hope of a top four finish alive.
Tottenham go in to the game with self-confidence brimming after beating Arsenal a few days ago. They are in excellent form and boast seven wins in the last nine league matches. Their striker Harry Kane is banging in the goals and the one to keep a close eye on, as is playmaker and free kick specialist Christian Eriksen. Liverpool is in similar form with five wins and three draws in the last eight league fixtures. Furthermore the Reds has kept four clean sheets on the trot. Our defence has improved considerably but need to be at their very best to shut up shop once again.
I expect Liverpool to attack more than Tottenham but the visitors won´t park the bus in its true sense but perhaps be cautious since Liverpool has three straight wins against them scoring twelve and conceding nought. Last season we won 5-0 i London and 4-0 at L4. This season´s encounter at White Hart Lane ended in a 3-0 Liverpool triumph with the Reds playing great football. If the number pattern is to continue then it will be a 2-0 Liverpool win tonight. No complaints from me if that happens.
Tottenham is in good form but Reds has got the mental upper hand. We have also statistics on our side. In the last 20 league games at Anfield between the two teams Liverpool has managed 13 wins and six draws with Tottenham winning only once. They often freeze when facing the Kop. The home crowd can make them do that again. And if Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Jordon Ibe et al turn on the style and heat, as we now know they can do, then the necessary three points will stay at Merseyside.
I would put out this team (in a 3-4-3 formation):
GK: Simon Mignolet. RB: Martin Skrtel. CB: Dejan Lovren. LB: Mamadou Sakho. DM: Emre Can. RM: Jordon Ibe. CM: Jordan Henderson. LM: Alberto Moreno. RF: Adam Lallana. CF: Raheem Sterling. LM: Philippe Coutinho.
Lucas Leiva is out injured and in my opinion Emre Can is the best option to fill the hole. Dejan Lovren has been out in the cold for a long time, he ought to be out for revenge and should be able to take care of a centre back position. Jordon Ibe had a fine match versus Everton, he has earned another start. It´s time to give Steven Gerrard a rest again and up front Sterling must continue for another couple of games. Daniel Sturridge doesn´t seem ready to start yet.
A bench with Gerrard, Lazar Markovic and Sturridge gives us decent alternatives if the Tottenham defence refuse to cave. What else? Well, not much, just:
We Go Again.