Match Preview: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur
Anfield, Liverpool, Merseyside (Cap: 45,276)
Wednesday 20th January 2010, Kick Off 20:00
Premier League, Match 22
Liverpool: 7th in Premier League, 34 points from 63
Tottenham Hotspur: 4th in Premier League, 38 points from 63
Referee: Howard Webb
Assistant referees: Peter Kirkup & Shaun Procter-Green
Fourth official: Martin Atkinson
Tottenham Hotspur travel to Anfield in a re-arranged fixture which was due to be played 10 days previously but was called-off due to adverse weather conditions surrounding the ground. Spurs are in the highly unusual position of being three places and four points ahead of their Merseyside hosts. Not only that, Spurs have out-scored Liverpool and conceded fewer goals too. The reverse fixture was the opening match of the 2009-10 season at White Hart Lane and Spurs won 2-1 thanks to goals from two defenders - Benoit Assou-Ekotto and the newly-signed Sebastien Bassong, who was making his Tottenham debut after his big money move from Newcastle United. Liverpool's goal came from a Steven Gerrard penalty.
The last Spurs win at Anfield was 3-1 on 10th November 1998 in the League Cup 4th Round. Spurs also beat Liverpool at Anfield on 11th March 1995 in the FA Cup 2-1. But you have to go back even further for Tottenham's last League win at Anfield to the 25th August 1993 when we won 2-1 with two goals from Teddy Sheringham.
Both clubs drew their first Premier League fixtures of 2010 with Liverpool conceding a late goal away to Stoke City after Sotirios Kyrgiakos had given them the lead while Spurs played-out a goalless draw at White Hart Lane with Hull City, who's goalkeeper Boaz Myhill played an absolute blinder.
There were mixed fortunes for both clubs in the FA Cup Third Round, with Liverpool initially drawing 1-1 away to Reading with Steven Gerrard getting the Red's equaliser, only for Reading to win the replayed game at Anfield 2-1 after extra time. Liverpool's goal was scored by Ryan Bertrand, who deflected Steven Gerrard's cross into his own net while Spurs gave a solid performance to beat Peterborough United 4-0 with a brace of goals from Niko Kranjcar and goals from Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane.
The clean sheet kept by Heurelho Gomes in the Hull match was his sixth consecutive one in all competitions and the Brazilian has now gone an impressive 598 minutes since last conceding a goal against Wolves. If Spurs can keep a clean sheet for at least 64 minutes at Anfield, a new club record will have been set.
Two of Tottenham Hotspur's current strikers were on Liverpool's books recently. Peter Crouch was at Anfield from 2005 to 2008 and he scored 40 times in 132 matches in all competitions for the Reds while Robbie Keane's time in 2008 was somewhat shorter with 7 goals in 28 appearances.
Wednesday's match promises to be an absolute cracker between two of the clubs many tip to be in the running for a Top Four finish come May and Harry Redknapp will be eager to come away from Anfield with at least a point but if Spurs do manage to grab all three, they will become the 14th team to do the "Double" over Liverpool in the Premier League era.
Liverpool have Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Yossi Benayoun, Glen Johnson & Nabil El Zhar all out injured.
Tom Huddlestone is a fresh injury doubt ahead of Wednesday's trip to Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League. The midfielder has struggled with a knee problem this week and is unlikely to be fit for the crucial clash at Anfield.
Ledley King has returned to training having sat out Saturday's visit of Hull City, but the defender faces a late fitness test ahead of Liverpool. However, Jamie O'Hara, back from his loan spell at Portsmouth, is available for selection against Rafa Benitez's side.
Alan Hutton, Aaron Lennon (both groin), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (hip), Jonathan Woodgate (groin) and Carlo Cudicini (wrist/pelvis) remain sidelined.
• Liverpool are unbeaten in 15 league games against Spurs at Anfield and have only lost one of their 22 home matches in this fixture since 1986 (W15, D6, L1).
• Spurs last earned all three points at Anfield in August 1993, when Teddy Sheringham scored twice in a 2-1 victory. Tottenham's last away win against Liverpool in any competition was a 3-1 League Cup success in November 1998.
• Liverpool have won three of their last five league games.
• They have only suffered one defeat in their last eight home league games, which was against Arsenal last month (W5, D2, L1).
• Exactly one year ago Liverpool were top of the Premier League, three points ahead of Chelsea.
• The Reds have already dropped 29 points this season, compared to 28 in the whole of last season.
• Fernando Torres has scored three goals in four matches against Tottenham, including both previous games at Anfield.
• Spurs are on a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions, during which they have not conceded a goal.
• If they keep a clean sheet at Anfield it will set a new Premier League club record of six in a row.
• They are unbeaten in their last four away games in the league.
• Harry Redknapp has won 181, drawn 129 and lost 190 of his 500 Premier League matches in charge of West Ham, Portsmouth, Southampton and Tottenham.
• Robbie Keane has scored each of Tottenham's last four goals at Anfield - he scored four league goals for Liverpool at the ground during his short Reds career.
• Peter Crouch is poised to make the 300th start of his club career. He scored 42 goals in 134 games for Liverpool.
PETER CROUCH ON LIVERPOOL
Peter Crouch feels victory over his former club Liverpool on Sunday will send out a clear message in our fight for a Champions League place. We currently sit fourth in the Barclays Premier League table having suffered just one defeat in our last nine league games. The big striker, who achieved three consecutive top four finishes during his time at Anfield, knows this is the sort of form needed in order for us to maintain our lofty position.
But he is also well aware that maintaining our recent form going forward will be key - and that means going to Merseyside and proving we are a force to be reckoned with. ‘Crouchy' said: "Over the years, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United and Liverpool have dominated those top four places and that is where we need to get to. If we have a chance of getting in there then we have to show that consistency. "It is very important we come back with a good result on Sunday. Liverpool are very close to us in the league and if we have any aspirations of making the Champions League spots then you have to go to Anfield and try and get a result. If not a win then a draw at least.
"We believe we can go to Anfield and get a result. We know how difficult it will be because they are a fantastic side, but we are looking forward to a good game." ‘Crouchy' spent three seasons at Liverpool having arrived from Southampton in the summer of 2005, and went on to become something of a cult hero at Anfield with 40 goals in 132 games.
During that time, he experienced FA Cup success and helped the Club reach the final of the Champions League in 2007, so he is looking forward to returning to Merseyside. The England international added: "I had three fantastic years there. We won things and some of my best years of my career were spent at Liverpool, so I have fond memories. The fans are always good to me so I always look forward to going back."
LAST MATCH LINE-UPS:
Liverpool (D 1-1 Stoke City, A):
25 Reina yellow card
27 Degen (Maxi 78)
21 Lucas yellow card
24 Ngog (Aquilani 87)
Goal: Kyrgiakos 57
Tottenham Hotspur (D 0-0 Hull City, H):
19 Bassong yellow card
06 Huddlestone yellow card
12 Palacios yellow card (Jenas 55 yellow card)
10 Keane (Crouch 62)
MARK LAWRENSON'S PREDICTION (BBC):
Again, I'm going to go with a reversal of the opening day result and that means a Liverpool win.You know what you'll get from Tottenham - good attacking, flowing football that creates plenty of chances and yields plenty of goals.
But I just think that Liverpool are starting to get a few breaks now. They're still not playing particularly well and I don't yet think Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are 100% yet, but a couple of recent results will have built the confidence in the camp and this could be a good game for them.
Verdict: Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday's match will be the 157th meeting between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool.
The two teams contested the 1982 League Cup Final, which Liverpool won 2-1 and the 1982 Charity Shield, which Liverpool won 1-0. Both matches were held at Wembley Stadium.
Here are the results of the previous 156 matches with Spurs' score shown first:
26-Dec-1894 Friendly - H W 3 - 0 Hunter, Payne jnr, Payne snr 12-Apr-95Friendly - H W 6 - 0 Wilkinson, Laycock, Hunter (2), McElhaney (2) 13-Nov-1909Division 1 22,000H W 1 - 0 Middlemiss 26-Mar-10Division 1 15,000A L 0 - 2 29-Oct-10Division 1 12,000A W 2 - 1 Minter, Humphreys 04-Mar-11Division 1 25,000H W 1 - 0 Minter 11-Nov-11Division 1 23,000H W 2 - 0 Minter, Middlemiss 16-Mar-12Division 1 15,000A W 2 - 1 Newman, Mason 02-Nov-12Division 1 15,000A L 1 - 4 Minter 08-Mar-13Division 1 20,000H W 1 - 0 Middlemiss 29-Nov-13Division 1 21,000A L 1 - 2 Cantrell 04-Apr-14Division 1 19,800H D 0 - 0 31-Oct-14Division 1 12,000A L 2 - 7 Clay (pen), Bliss 06-Mar-15Division 1 12,000H D 1 - 1 Minter 25-Mar-21Division 1 40,000A D 1 - 1 Bliss 28-Mar-21Division 1 35,000H W 1 - 0 Smith 22-Oct-21Division 1 31,593H L 0 - 1 29-Oct-21Division 1 25,000A D 1 - 1 Dimmock 04-Nov-22Division 1 35,068H L 2 - 4 Clay (pen), Grimsdell 11-Nov-22Division 1 29,000A D 0 - 0 29-Mar-24Division 1 22,000A L 0 - 1 05-Apr-24Division 1 22,470H D 1 - 1 Grimsdell 13-Dec-24Division 1 25,604H D 1 - 1 Hargreaves 18-Apr-25Division 1 12,000A L 0 - 1 24-Oct-25Division 1 29,952H W 3 - 1 Osborne (3) 06-Mar-26Division 1 26,355A D 0 - 0 11-Dec-26Division 1 26,640H L 1 - 2 Blair 30-Apr-27Division 1 15,756A L 0 - 1 17-Dec-27Division 1 21,234H W 3 - 1 Osborne, Elkes (2) 28-Apr-28Division 1 31,780A L 0 - 2 23-Sep-33Division 1 33,080H L 0 - 3 03-Feb-34Division 1 30,809A L 1 - 3 Hunt GS 15-Dec-34Division 1 24,688A L 1 - 4 O'Callaghan 27-Apr-35Division 1 15,613H W 5 - 1 Bolan, Hunt DA, Evans W (3) 06-Sep-50Division 1 39,015A L 1 - 2 Medley 05-May-51Division 1 49,072H W 3 - 1 Walters, Murphy (2) 01-Dec-51Division 1 51,342H L 2 - 3 Walters, Bennett 19-Apr-52Division 1 36,898A D 1 - 1 Duquemin 10-Sep-52Division 1 49,869A L 1 - 2 Baily 15-Sep-52Division 1 37,319H W 3 - 1 Groves (2), Harmer 12-Sep-53Division 1 47,535H W 2 - 1 Ramsay, Walters 23-Jan-54Division 1 43,592A D 2 - 2 Walters, Lock og 12-Apr-63Division 1 54,463A L 2 - 5 Jones, Dyson 15-Apr-63Division 1 53,727H W 7 - 2 Jones (2), Saul, Greaves (4, 1pen) 27-Mar-64Division 1 57,022H L 1 - 3 Norman 30-Mar-64Division 1 52,904A L 1 - 3 Mullery 28-Nov-64Division 1 41,198A D 1 - 1 Greaves 12-Mar-65Division 1 50,760A L 0 - 1 09-Apr-65Division 1 28,441H W 3 - 0 Saul, Low, Gilzean 18-Sep-65Division 1 46,925H W 2 - 1 Clayton, Gilzean, Greaves (2) 01-Apr-67Division 1 53,135H W 2 - 1 Greaves (2) 06-May-67Division 1 40,845A D 0 - 0 04-Nov-67Division 1 47,682H D 1 - 1 Jones 09-Mar-68F.A. Cup 5 54,005H D 1 - 1 Greaves 12-Mar-68F.A. Cup 5 Replay 53,658A L 1 - 2 Jones 29-Apr-68Division 1 41,688A D 1 - 1 Greaves 19-Oct-68Division 1 44,122H W 2 - 1 Greaves (2) 21-Dec-68Division 1 43,843A L 0 - 1 16-Aug-69Division 1 50,474H L 0 - 2 07-Oct-69Division 1 46,518A D 0 - 0 10-Oct-70Division 1 44,547H W 1 - 0 Peters 06-Mar-71F.A. Cup 6 54,731A D 0 - 0 16-Mar-71F.A. Cup 6 Replay 56,283H L 0 - 1 17-Apr-71Division 1 46,363A D 0 - 0 04-Sep-71Division 1 50,124H W 2 - 0 Chivers, Peters 18-Dec-71Division 1 43,409A D 0 - 0 25-Nov-72Division 1 45,497H L 1 - 2 Chivers 06-Dec-72League Cup 5 Replay 34,565H W 3 - 1 Pratt, Chivers (2) 25-Mar-73UEFA SF (2L) 46,919H W 2 - 1 Peters (2) 31-Mar-73Division 1 48,477A D 1 - 1 Gilzean 10-Apr-73UEFA SF (1L) 42,174A L 0 - 1 22-Sep-73Division 1 42,901A L 2 - 3 Chivers, Peters 04-Dec-73League Cup 5 48,677A D 1 - 1 Peters 08-May-74Division 1 24,618H D 1 - 1 McGrath 07-Sep-74Division 1 47,538A L 2 - 5 Perryman, Chivers 22-Mar-75Division 1 34,331H L 0 - 2 23-Aug-75Division 1 42,729A L 2 - 3 Jones, Duncan 13-Dec-75Division 1 29,891H L 0 - 4 18-Sep-76Division 1 47,421A L 0 - 2 09-Mar-77Division 1 32,098H W 1 - 0 Coates 02-Sep-78Division 1 50,705A L 0 - 7 22-Nov-78Division 1 50,393H D 0 - 0 17-Nov-79Division 1 51,092A L 1 - 2 Jones 08-Mar-80F.A. Cup 6 48,033H L 0 - 1 29-Mar-80Division 1 32,114H W 2 - 0 Pratt, Hoddle (pen) 06-Dec-80Division 1 39,545A L 1 - 2 Archibald 25-Apr-81Division 1 35,334H D 1 - 1 Hoddle 13-Mar-82League Cup Final 100,000WemL 1 - 3 (a.e.t) Archibald 03-May-82Division 1 38,091H D 2 - 2 Perryman, Archibald 15-May-82Division 1 48,122A L 1 - 3 Hoddle 21-Aug-82Charity Shield 82,500WemL 0 - 1 27-Nov-82Division 1 40,691A L 0 - 3 30-Apr-83Division 1 44,907H W 2 - 0 Archibald (2) 12-Nov-83Division 1 44,348H D 2 - 2 Archibald, Hoddle (pen) 10-Mar-84Division 1 36,718A L 1 - 3 Stevens 02-Jun-84Tour/RSSC - A L 2 - 5 Thomas, Falco (Royal Swazi Sun Challenge in Swaziland) 09-Jun-84Tour/RSSC - A D 1 - 1 Brazil (Royal Swazi Sun Challenge in Swaziland) 12-Oct-84Division 1 28,599H W 1 - 0 Crooks 31-Oct-84League Cup 3 38,690H W 1 - 0 Allen C 27-Jan-85F.A. Cup 4 27,905A L 0 - 1 16-Mar-85Division 1 43,852A W 1 - 0 Crooks 28-Sep-85Division 1 41,521A L 1 - 4 Chiedozie 03-Dec-85SSS Cup Gp. 14,855A L 0 - 2 (Screen Sport Super Cup) 14-Jan-86SSS Cup Gp. 10,078H L 0 - 2 (Screen Sport Super Cup) 02-Mar-86Division 1 16,436H L 1 - 2 Waddle 11-Oct-86Division 1 43,139A W 1 - 0 Allen C 22-Mar-87Division 1 32,763H W 1 - 0 Waddle 28-Nov-87Division 1 47,362H L 0 - 2 23-Apr-88Division 1 44,798A L 0 - 1 17-Sep-88Division 1 40,929A D 1 - 1 Fenwick 26-Mar-89Division 1 30,012H L 1 - 2 Fenwick (pen) 29-Oct-89Division 1 26,550A L 0 - 1 21-Mar-90Division 1 25,656H W 1 - 0 Stewart 04-Nov-90Division 1 35,003H L 1 - 3 Lineker 11-May-91Division 1 36,192A L 0 - 2 18-Dec-91Division 1 27,434H L 1 - 2 Walsh 21-Mar-92Division 1 39,968A L 1 - 2 Stewart 31-Oct-92FA Prem 32,917H W 2 - 0 Nayim, Ruddock 08-May-93FA Prem 43,385A L 2 - 6 Sedgley, Sheringham 25-Aug-93FA Prem 42,456A W 2 - 1 Sheringham (2, 1pen) 18-Dec-93FA Prem 31,394H D 3 - 3 Samways, Hazard (pen), Caskey 26-Nov-94FA Prem 35,007A D 1 - 1 Ruddock og 11-Mar-95F.A. Cup 6 39,582A W 2 - 1 Sheringham, Klinsmann 22-Mar-95FA Prem 31,988H D 0 - 0 26-Aug-95FA Prem 31,254H L 1 - 3 Barnes og 03-Feb-96FA Prem 40,628A D 0 - 0 02-Dec-96FA Prem 32,899H L 0 - 2 03-May-97FA Prem 40,003A L 1 - 2 Anderton 08-Nov-97FA Prem 38,006A L 0 - 4 14-Mar-98FA Prem 30,245H D 3 - 3 Klinsmann, Ginola, Vega 10-Nov-98League Cup 4 20,772A W 3 - 1 Iversen, Scales, Nielsen 05-Dec-98FA Prem 36,125H W 2 - 1 Fox, Carragher o.g. 01-May-99FA Prem 44,007A L 2 - 3 Carragher o.g., Iversen 03-Jan-2000FA Prem 36,044H W 1 - 0 Armstrong 09-Apr-00FA Prem 44,536A L 0 - 2 19-Nov-00FA Prem 36,036H W 2 - 1 Ferdinand, Sherwood 22-Apr-01FA Prem 43,547A L 1 - 3 Korsten 22-Sep-01FA Prem 44,116A L 0 - 1 27-Apr-02FA Prem 36,017H W 1 - 0 Poyet 26-Oct-02FA Prem 44,084A L 1 - 2 Richards 15-Mar-03FA Prem 36,077H L 2 - 3 Taricco, Sheringham 27-Aug-03FA Prem 43,778A D 0 - 0 17-Jan-04FA Prem 36,104H W 2 - 1 Keane (pen), Postiga 14-Aug-04FA Prem 35,105H D 1 - 1 Defoe 01-Dec-04League Cup 5 36,100H D 1 - 1 (a.e.t) Defoe (Spurs lost 4-3 on pens) 16-Apr-05FA Prem 44,029A D 2 - 2 Edman, Keane 10-Sep-05FA Prem 36,148H D 0 - 0 14-Jan-06FA Prem 44,983A L 0 - 1 23-Sep-06FA Prem 44,330A L 0 - 3 30-Dec-06FA Prem 36,170H L 0 - 1 07-Oct-07FA Prem 43,986A D 2 - 2 Keane (2) 11-May-08FA Prem 36,063H L 0 - 2 01-Nov-08FA Prem 36,183H W 2 - 1 Carragher o.g., Pavlyuchenko 12-Nov-08League Cup 4 33,242H W 4 - 2 Pavlyuchenko (2),Campbell (2) 24-May-09FA Prem 43,937A L 1 - 3 Keane 16-Aug-09FA Prem HW 2 - 1 Assou-Ekotto, Bassong
LAST TIME WE MET...
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 2-1 LIVERPOOL
Premier League, Opening Game of the 2009-10 Season, 16th August 2009
Liverpool's quest to end a 20-year wait to win the title started with the disappointment of an opening-day defeat against Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Rafael Benitez can have few complaints as Liverpool - heavily tipped to end Manchester United's run of three successive Premier League titles - delivered a lame display which lacked attacking invention and genuine quality. Spurs, in contrast, showed the greater ambition and the scenes of delight at the final whistle reflected the renewed optimism felt by Harry Redknapp and his players at claiming one of the top flight's prized scalps.
Former Liverpool striker Robbie Keane wasted three glorious openings before Benoit Assou-Ekotto's thunderous drive gave Spurs a deserved lead a minute before the interval. Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes' rush of blood threw Liverpool a lifeline they barely merited after 56 minutes when he dashed from goal and brought down Glen Johnson, allowing Steven Gerrard to level from the spot. But Spurs were swiftly back in front when defender Sebastien Bassong marked a hugely promising debut following his £8m switch from Newcastle by heading Luka Modric's free-kick past Pepe Reina.
Liverpool finally sparked into life and were infuriated when referee Phil Dowd dismissed late claims for a penalty after substitute Andriy Voronin tumbled under a challenge from Assou-Ekotto. It capped Liverpool's intense frustration and assistant manager Sammy Lee was sent from the dug-out after an exchange with the fourth official. Liverpool also have an injury worry over defender Martin Skrtel, who struggled throughout with a jaw injury after a clash of heads with Jamie Carragher.
Benitez 's side failed to make a serious attacking impact on Spurs, with Fernando Torres well-shackled by Bassong and Ledley King, and their midfield lacking cohesion without the departed Xabi Alonso. Spurs were comfortably the more accomplished side, with Wilson Palacios and the gifted Modric dovetailing well in midfield and their reshaped defence looking assured throughout. White Hart Lane proved a bogey ground for Liverpool last season, with one of only two Premier League defeats at Spurs - and boss Benitez will be hoping this represents little more than a false start.
Redknapp gave Keane the nod ahead of new boy Peter Crouch in attack - and he was not short of opportunities in a first half that started slowly but ended with Spurs in command. The first incident of note came with a nasty clash of heads between Liverpool's central defensive duo Carragher and Skrtel that left both players needing lengthy treatment. Carragher was forced off to be patched up, and while Skrtel stayed on he was clearly troubled by the heavy blow to his jaw and needed further attention as the game progressed.
Gerrard provided Liverpool's only moment of danger in the opening exchanges with a low drive from 25 yards that was always drifting wide of Gomes' goal. Spurs showed the greater attacking invention, but Keane could find his touch in front of goal and wasted three presentable chances to punish the club where he had a short and unfulfilling spell last season. He should have given Spurs the lead after 33 minutes when he had the goal at his mercy after a clever delivery by Modric, but he allowed Reina to scramble across his goal and save.
Keane then failed to chip over the onrushing Reina before blazing another wasteful finish well over when unmarked in the area. Spurs deserved something for their superiority - and they got it in the most spectacular fashion a minute before the interval, with Assou-Ekotto lashing a rising 25-yard drive beyond Reina after Tom Huddlestone's free-kick rebounded back off Emiliano Insua. Reina had been Liverpool's star performer, and he emphasised his quality again seven minutes after the break when he dived acrobatically to turn over a powerful effort from Palacios.
The importance of the save was underscored seconds later when Liverpool drew level from the penalty spot. Spurs' keeper Gomes needlessly hauled down Johnson as he dashed from his goal and Gerrard slammed home the spot-kick. Liverpool's spell of equality was brief as Spurs restored their advantage three minutes later when debutant Bassong rose high to meet Modric's free-kick and beat Reina.
Johnson had shown glimpses of the attacking dimension Benitez hopes he will give Liverpool after his £17m move from Portsmouth when he delivered an inviting cross that Torres could only direct wide at the far post. Liverpool pressed in the final moments but could not break through - they could not fashion an equaliser and it would have been cruel on Spurs had they done so.
01 Gomes yellow card
19 Bassong Goal 59
32 Assou-Ekotto yellow card Goal 44
07 Lennon yellow card
14 Modric (O'Hara 83)
10 Keane (Crouch 68)
18 Defoe (Pavlyuchenko 90+2)
23 Carragher yellow card
37 Skrtelyellow card (Ayala 75)
08 Gerrard Goal 56 pen
20 Mascherano yellow card
18 Kuyt (Voronin 79)
19 Babel (Benayoun 67)