By Neil Leverett and Niall Clarke
- The Premier League resumes after the international break, as Liverpool host Tottenham Hotspur in Game of the Week
- In an extended Gameweek 32, ten teams play twice during a second midweek meeting
- Wolverhampton Wanderers play Manchester United for the second time in a fortnight on Tuesday evening
PREMIER LEAGUE, UK – It’s double duty for many as the Premier League resumes, with Liverpool hosting Tottenham Hotspur in Game of the Week at Anfield.
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Game of the Week: Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday, 16:30)
Neil: With just six or seven games left to play this season, the Premier League resumes with double duty for many, however Liverpool will line up just the once this week, whilst title rivals and leaders Manchester City play both home and away in the space of a matter of days.
For the Reds, Tottenham Hotspur roll into Merseyside in what looks like a difficult game especially, despite the Lilywhites’ poor run of form before the international hiatus a fortnight ago.
Jurgen Klopp‘s men have fully regained their title push having lost their lusty Premier League advantage, and as they return home after a nervy 2-1 win against Fulham last time out, the Reds have not dropped league points on Stanley Park in two months. Whilst Mohamed Salah has been waiting what has seemed to be a exhaustive period to notch his 50th top flight goal, Sadio Mane continues to be the man up front with five goals in his last four.
With Spurs playing their first game at their new stadium later next week, Mauricio Pochettino‘s men arrive having lost three of their last four league outings and in desperate need of solace in their battle to stay in the battle for the top four. On the positive side however, Harry Kane is showing signs of life in front of goal and his strikes during the international break will be of promise to the away band of fans here.
That is unlikely to be enough however and with the Reds looking to stay neck-and-neck with the Citizens, I can’t see the hosts slipping up here. Defensively Liverpool are creaking slightly which could see Spurs grab a goal, but that surely will be only a consolation.
Prediction: Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Niall: It is fair to say gameweek 32 is potentially big one for both these sides as neither side can afford to drop points in their respective battles. It was only a few months ago that Spurs were considered title challengers alongside their opponents on Sunday, but a dip in form saw them drop 13 points off the pace and right into the top four battle. A defeat on Sunday could see them overtaken by Arsenal and draw level with Manchester United, and that is not a position Pochettino would like to be in with the Champions League quarter final against Manchester City on the horizon.
Liverpool have their own battle with the Citizens to think about as we reach the final leg of the season. The Reds sit two points ahead of the second placed City, but they have played one game more than Pep Guardiola’s side, meaning a loss here could see them overtaken by their rivals who have a game in hand.
The importance of this match for both sides can not be understated, which may make for a cagier game than you expect given the talent on the field. Last season this fixture finished 2-2, but this time around the form suggests that we will be in for a home victory. Liverpool are unbeaten at Anfield this season whilst Spurs have lost their last three away Premier League games.
When you also factor in than Liverpool won the reverse fixture 2-1, Klopp can be reasonably confident that his side will grab the three points here. His side are more defensively compact than last year, so a repeat of last season’s fixture is unlikely. Liverpool may prove to be too solid on the day and edge out a narrow win.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Neil and Niall’s One to Watch: Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United (Tuesday April 2, 19:45)
Ole is now permanently at the wheel at Old Trafford and whilst it has certainly felt good so far, we will see how the Norwegian can respond when things are down. Back to back defeats in all competitions is something United fans have not faced since Jose Mourinho’s departure, and three losses in a row could see a turn in mood at the club.
Wolves showed twice this season they know how to get the better of this Manchester United side, and I expect this to be another tough away trip for the Red Devils. Wolves up their game against the top six and their counter attack will give the visitors consistent problems throughout the 90 minutes. However I expect a response from United too, and whilst it could be enough to avoid defeat, I – like Neil – cannot see Wolves coming away from this game with nothing.
Prediction: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 Manchester United
Premier League Game of the Week sees Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur clash at Anfield
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