Tottenham have only played two Premier League games this season, so will not be up to full speed just yet. However, their European exploits has meant that they have avoided mid-week cup duties, so they will have fresher players. Spurs struggled in the opening hour against Everton and managed to breakdown Crystal Palace until later in the game, so they will need huge improvement against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
Liverpool on the other hand started their season in style, scoring four goals at the Emirates in a 4-3 win over Arsenal. They showed defensive frailties in the game in London, frailties which showed in their shock loss to Burnley. Two defensive errors from Nathaniel Clyne and Ragnar Klavan cost Liverpool an embarrassing loss. An easy cup win over Burton will have restored some pride, but Tottenham will no doubt provide tougher opposition.
Klopp indeed believes this weekend’s trip to White Hart Lane will see Liverpool face a Tottenham Hotspur side stronger than that which finished third in the Premier League last term. The Reds’ season-opening run of three straight league away games comes to an end in the capital today as they take on a Spurs team who have made a solid start in their bid to improve on 2015-16’s title push.
Mauricio Pochettino’s squad was bolstered by a number of high-profile signings ahead of the new campaign, and Klopp knows his charges will be in for a tough test in north London.But the German insists he is focused on ensuring his players can impose their own strengths upon Tottenham when the two teams meet.
Speaking at a press conference to preview the clash, he told reporters: “They are absolutely convinced about their way and their style of play. They didn’t change too much and they have high individual quality. They can even leave Dele Alli out, that’s a big difference from last year, with Vincent Janssen they have a really skilled striker. Harry Kane can play from a No.10 position too and did it well.
“Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier in the centre is a little bit different to Dier and Mousa Dembele. The rest of the team is very experienced and has played together one-and-a-half or two years nearly but they are still young so there’s still space for development. That’s what you need to know but at the end they need to play against us and this game can be completely different to the last two games we played.
“The whole situation on the pitch will be different. They are a pressing team, a high-pressure team, so we need to know about this. They don’t give away a lot of spaces but there are spaces, of course. They need to play against us and that’s the thing, so I’m not too interested in where they develop but, of course, we know they are strong, that’s the only thing we need to know. We can be strong too and should show this on Saturday.”
Liverpool have had the best of the last six meetings between the two sides, winning four of the last six and only drawing the other two games. On trips to White Hart Lane, Liverpool have won 3-0 and 5-0 on visits to London in the last three seasons.
However, Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pocchetino remains without his number one goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who remains ruled out with the hamstring injury he suffered on the opening day against Everton. Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembele will be the only other absentee as he continues to serve his suspension, continuing over from last season, while Klopp continues to be without a number of first team stars, whilst German midfielder Emre Can picked up a knock against Burton in the cup, so will be doubtful for the weekend. Loris Karius, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva will certainly be ruled out for today’s clash.
Chelsea will be gunning for a perfect three-of-three as they host newly-promoted club Burnley at the Stamford Bridge today. The Blues opened the season with two straight victories, outlasting contending team West Ham United, 2-1, at home on and pulling off a similar win over Watford at the Vicarage Road last Saturday.
Both wins came from Diego Costa’s late-game winners as the Spanish striker feels empowered under new head coach Antonio Conte at the start of this term.
Chelsea certainly haven’t been at their assured and ruthless best so far this season. But one of the Alex Ferguson traits that impressed us most over the years was his ability to win matches when his team wasn’t performing that well.
It’s an absolutely crucial quality for Premier League title pretenders and Chelsea seem able to grind out results when it matters.
Because the other title favourites, Manchester City and Manchester United, have taken full points so far and Antonio Conte will be delighted that he has overseen two wins with so much improvement so patently still to come.
Conte will also be desperate for more new faces before September but, in truth, he has enough quality in this squad to mount a serious title challenge. With Costa scoring goals, Edin Hazard looking like a proper player again and Willian flying, few teams will be able to cope with Chelsea in full flight.But they still look disjointed and will be pleased for a home game against Burnley to get their collective eye in.
After Burnley stunned early favorites Liverpool last Saturday,
the team is expected to face more difficulty against the Blues at the Stamford Bridge this weekend, though, as Conte’s club tries to arrest their issues on defense early in the season.
Meanwhile, Arsenal travel to Watford this weekend and the Gunners are still looking for their first win of the season, after they were held to a 0-0 draw at the King Power Stadium by Leicester City after losing 4-3 against Liverpool on the opening day.
Arsene Wenger has been criticised for the lack of transfers once again and it remains to be seen whether the Frenchman adds another striker and a centre-back before the window closes.
Arsenal have been plagued with injuries at the back and will be without Per Mertesacker and Gabriel for their trip to Vicarage road. Despite their obvious talent, the likes of Chambers and Holding are simply not ready to start in the Premier League now.
Meanwhile, Watford have lost their last two games including the Capital One cup loss against Gillingham. The Hornets are still adapting to Mazzarri’s philosophies and are vulnerable at the moment.
Also today Leicester City will be craving for their first Premier League as they ramped preparations ahead of their game against Swansea City. The champions have failed to win either of their opening two games, although they did manage to get a point on the board against Arsenal last weekend.
Manager Claudio Ranieri will be keen to see the Premier League winners finally secure a first victory of the season when Swansea travel to the King Power.
The Foxes fell to a surprise defeat on the opening day of the season as they lost 2-1 to Hull City, who were expected to struggle badly according to most pre-season predictions. Leicester also lost in the Community Shield
After a disappointing run of results, Leicester were handed a boost after Danny Drinkwater committed his future to the club, which ties him to the Foxes for the next five years.