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Premier League Matchweek 13 preview: Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur (20:00h. GMT; 21:00h. CET) - Team news, possible lineups

Christmas will come early for Premier League fans when the champions host the leaders in a mouth-watering midweek showdown as Liverpool welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield on Wednesday night.

The two sides are separated by only goal difference heading into the contest, but both will be looking to bounce back from underwhelming 1-1 draws at the weekend.

Match preview

The scene could hardly be set more enticingly for this Christmas cracker of a fixture as the league's top two sides go head to head under the Anfield lights while level on points.

Liverpool and Spurs have an identical record of seven wins, four draws and one defeat so far this season, and also have identical form of two home wins and two away draws from their last four league games.

Wednesday's contest also pits the league's best attack against the league's best defence, and the best home form against one of the best away records in the division this season.

There are plenty of perfectly-poised elements to this game, then, but despite being so well matched in so many areas, it is Liverpool who will go into it as favourites due largely to their home form.

Comfortable victories over Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers in their last two league games at Anfield mean that they have now won 31 of their last 32 such outings, taking a staggering 94 points from the 96 on offer in that time, and scoring 93 goals too.

The unbeaten run now stretches back to 65 games, although on Wednesday they will face a Tottenham Hotspur side full of confidence that they could be the team to end that run.

However imperious that home record is, Liverpool do still have their problems this season - not least in the injury stakes with as many as nine first-team players in danger of missing this game.

Sunday's 1-1 draw at Fulham was also a fifth consecutive Premier League away game which Liverpool have failed to win, meaning that they have already dropped 11 points this season.

It took the Reds until the 35th game last season to drop their 11th point, going on to drop just 15 all term, while at the same stage of 2019-20 they were nine points better off and already eight points clear at the top of the table.

There is no doubt that their form has dropped off since clinching the title, but this is a season like no other and, considering their injury problems, Jurgen Klopp will be satisfied to still be sitting joint-top of the table.

Liverpool were always expected to sit in and around the upper echelons of the table this season after cruising to the title so convincingly last term, but fewer people backed Spurs to be right up there with them at this stage of the campaign.

A 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace on Sunday dented their title hopes somewhat, but there is nonetheless growing belief amongst the supporters that this could be the year they end a 60-year wait to be crowned champions.

There is good reason for that too; Spurs have already beaten Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal this season, in addition to picking up a good point away to Chelsea.

Ending Liverpool's long home unbeaten record would be the biggest statement of their title credentials yet, while they also face Leicester and Wolves in their next two league games after Wednesday to cap off a testing festive schedule.

If, at the end of all of that, Spurs still lead the way then it will be hard for anyone to dismiss the chances of Jose Mourinho winning a fourth Premier League title as a manager, although the flip side of that is that a slump in form could suddenly see them fall away, such is the tight nature of the table this season.

Spurs are now unbeaten in their last nine away league games - their longest such run since April 2018 - and, while four of those have been draws, they would probably regard another stalemate as a good result on Wednesday night.

Tottenham have also won three of their last seven away league games against the reigning top-flight champions, which is as many as they had managed in their previous 40 such matches.

Add to that the Mourinho factor and his ability to grind out results when visiting fellow 'big six' opposition and Spurs have every reason to believe that they can achieve the rare feat of coming away from Anfield with something as a visiting team.

That said, Mourinho has never won in five previous away meetings with Klopp, which is his worst such record against any manager in his career.

Whether he can end that hoodoo - and Tottenham can end their poor recent record against Liverpool - remains to be seen, but it is a very finely poised encounter which could prove to be pivotal at the end of the season.

Liverpool Premier League form: WDWDWD
Liverpool form (all competitions): LDWWDD

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form: WWWDWD
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions): WDDWWD

Source: Sports Mole / Barney Corkhill

 

 

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