The Lilywhites took a point away from the Emirates in a 2-2 draw with bitter adversaries Arsenal last weekend, while the Reds most recently overcame Leicester City 3-1 in the EFL Cup.
Achieving a feat that none of Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho or Nuno Espirito Santo managed during their ill-fated spells in the Tottenham hotseat, Ange Postecoglou left enemy territory having navigated Tottenham to a hard-earned point against Arsenal, who twice took the lead through a Cristian Romero own goal and Bukayo Saka penalty.
Romero’s second-half handball also gifted Arsenal the early second-half penalty for Saka to convert, but his blushes were spared on both occasions by Son Heung-min, who bagged a brace from a pair of James Maddison assists to end Spurs’ three-game losing streak at the Emirates.
There was certainly an element of luck to Tottenham’s draw, as a daydreaming Jorginho was robbed of the ball by Maddison for Son’s second goal, but few could argue that Postecoglou’s men deserved at least a slice of the spoils in a typically chaotic derby, one which also saw them maintain their hot streak of scoring at least twice in every Premier League game under Postecoglou.
Only three previous Premier League managers had seen their side score twice in their first six games in charge – Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare – but with Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion both prevailing last weekend, Spurs have slipped from second to fourth in the rankings.
Owing to their penalty-shootout disappointment at Fulham, Tottenham did not have to concern themselves with EFL Cup matters over the past few days, but while the elongated recuperation period might do them the world of good against an in-form Liverpool, conceding five goals in their last three games will not.
In quintessential 2023-24 Liverpool fashion, the Reds subjected their fans to an early sense of doom and gloom before turning the tide in their favour, prevailing 3-1 for the fourth game running when Leicester visited Anfield for the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday.
With three minutes on the clock, Kostas Tsimikas was left in a heap, but the Foxes were allowed to bomb forward and drew first blood through Kasey McAteer, before somehow getting to the break with their unforeseen one-goal lead intact.
However, Cody Gakpo’s low strike, Dominik Szoboszlai’s thunderbolt and a fancy Diogo Jota finish sealed yet another come-from-behind triumph for Liverpool, who have also beaten LASK Linz and Wolverhampton Wanderers in identical circumstances since the international break, as well as coming up trumps by the same scoreline in last weekend’s Premier League battle with West Ham United.
Revelling in a seven-game winning run across all tournaments, Liverpool have dethroned Tottenham in the runners-up spot in the Premier League table – only behind the unblemished Manchester City – and Jurgen Klopp’s side travel south with an eight-game unbeaten run to protect in Premier League away matches, as well as a 19-game streak without defeat overall.
Furthermore, Liverpool have not been bested by Spurs since a 4-1 pummelling in October 2017 – navigating 12 subsequent fixtures without defeat and doing the double over the Lilywhites last term – but this will be the Reds’ first taste of the bouncing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium atmosphere with Postecoglou barking orders from the touchline.
Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:
Tottenham Hotspur form (all competitions):
Liverpool Premier League form:
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We say: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Liverpool
A tie that should almost certainly live up to the billing, both Spurs and Liverpool have recently made up for defensive shortcomings with a glut of goals at the correct end of the field – especially when conceding the opener – and Saturday’s highly-anticipated encounter should be no different.
Maddison’s fitness will be imperative to Spurs’ chances of success in the capital, but Klopp’s side are proving an incredibly tough nut to crack once again, and we can envisage Postecoglou overseeing a second four-goal draw in succession as both sides walk away with their unbeaten records still intact.