Liverpool Host Spurs as Top Four Battle Heats Up

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Two of the Premier Leagues contenders to finish in the Champions League places battle for points at Anfield today. Both Liverpool and Tottenham play exciting football and are in good form, separated by two points and Chelsea in the league table with Liverpool third and Spurs fifth.

Tottenham could welcome back Serge Aurier but are likely to be without new signing Lucas Moura. Moura signed from Paris St-Germain on Deadline Day and was at Wembley to see Spurs beat Manchester United 2-0 on Wednesday. However, he only joined training yesterday so may not be involved today.

Spurs’ victory over United saw them maintain their top-four push, and they are just two points behind both Liverpool and Chelsea. Spurs also beat Liverpool 4-1 in the reverse fixture in November, with two goals inside the opening 12 minutes.

Liverpool were unbeaten since that defeat until losing back-to-back games to Swansea and West Brom in late January. But they responded with a 3-0 midweek win over Huddersfield, and manager Jurgen Klopp said: “Spurs are in a good moment, but our moment is not too bad as well. It’ll be interesting.”

Centre-back Virgil van Dijk is set to return to Liverpool’s starting line-up after being rested for the midweek win at Huddersfield. Midfielder Adam Lallana has returned to training after a recurrence of a thigh problem but is unlikely to be ready.

Defender Nathaniel Clyne, who has not featured this season because of a back injury, is close to returning to training and has been named in the club’s Champions League squad for the knockout stages.

Aurier (calf) and Harry Winks (ankle) have returned to full training for Spurs and should be available, but Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose are doubts.

Liverpool have lost just one of their last 23 home Premier League games against Spurs (W15 D7). Spurs have won seven points from their last nine available on the road in the Premier League (W2 D1 L0), after collecting just one point from the previous 15 up for grabs (W0 D1 L4).

Jurgen Klopp is unbeaten in his last 12 home Premier League meetings against the ‘big six’ (W6 D6) since a 1-0 defeat to Man Utd in January 2016.

Harry Kane has had a hand in six goals in six Premier League appearances against Liverpool (four goals, two assists), including three in the reverse fixture this season (two goals, one assist).

Mohamed Salah has scored 19 Premier League goals in 24 games this season – the quickest a player has got to 20 goals in the competition for Liverpool is 27 games (Fernando Torres and Daniel Sturridge).

Since the start of December, Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in 11 goals in 11 Premier League appearances (8 goals, 3 assists).

Indeed, overall the Brazilian has scored 11 goals in 24 games this season, equalling his best scoring season in the competition (11 in 35 in 2016-17).