Liverpool - Tottenham Preview: Suarez and Bale square off in Anfield duel
With 37 league goals between them, the Uruguayan striker and Welshman will be the star attractions for their sides in a game both Spurs and the Reds will be desperate to win
By Tim Poole
Liverpool are still without Fabio Borini and Brad Jones (both shoulder), while Martin Kelly and Martin Skrtel are also expected to miss out with knee injuries.
January signing Daniel Sturridge is expected to start, however, with the striker having returned to full training earlier in the week.
The usual candidates will also be in contention for a starting berth in midfield, with Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen in with a chance of selection.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are still without Sandro and Tom Huddlestone (both knee) but welcomed Mousa Dembele back from a knee problem against Inter on Thursday.
The north London club may also be able to recall Emanuel Adebayor and Clint Dempsey up front, with the pair expected to have overcome their respective fitness issues by Sunday.
Elsewhere, Lewis Holtby may be in line for a starting role having come off the bench in the 3-0 win against Inter, while William Gallas is another defensive option manager Andre Villas-boas may well use.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale (pictured right) have 37 league goals between them this season. The Uruguayan currently tops the scorers charts with 21, while Welshman Bale has 16 to his name.
- Seventh-placed Liverpool are 12 points behind Tottenham in the Premier League with 10 games to go.
- The Reds are yet to win against a side higher than them in the league table this season. The highest-ranked side they have beaten are Swansea, who are eighth.
- Liverpool's home form in their last five league games at Anfield has been impressive. The Reds have lost once in that time but have otherwise won 3-0 once, 4-0 once and 5-0 twice.
- Tottenham are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions but, more impressively, boast an unbeaten streak of 12 games in the Premier League.
- Bale reached the landmark of having scored 50 goals for Spurs when he scored in the 3-0 win over Inter on Thursday. The Welshman scored at both ends in the reverse fixture this season when Tottenham beat Liverpool 2-1 at White Hart Lane. Bale is 11/2 to score the first goal with bet365.
- The Reds have not beaten Spurs since January 2010 when Dirk Kuyt scored twice during a 2-0 win at Anfield.
- Spurs have fared well on the road this season, having won eight away games in the Premier League, while drawing twice and losing four times.
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Top 3 Predictions
Liverpool 2-1 Tottenham
- 17.11 %
Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham
- 11.61 %
Liverpool 3-1 Tottenham
- 11.4 %
|Premier League (EPL)||10 Mar 2013||Liverpool 3 - Tottenham 2|
|Premier League (EPL)||28 Nov 2012||Tottenham 2 - Liverpool 1|
|Club Friendlies (FRC)||28 Jul 2012||Liverpool 0 - Tottenham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||6 Feb 2012||Liverpool 0 - Tottenham 0|
|Premier League (EPL)||18 Sep 2011||Tottenham 4 - Liverpool 0|
|7 Dec 2013||Liverpool 4 - West Ham 1||EPL|
|4 Dec 2013||Liverpool 5 - Norwich City 1||EPL|
|1 Dec 2013||Hull City 3 - Liverpool 1||EPL|
|23 Nov 2013||Everton 3 - Liverpool 3||EPL|
|9 Nov 2013||Liverpool 4 - Fulham 0||EPL|
|-||Moussa Sidi Yaya Dembélé||Midfielder|
Only one man truly stands out in this current Liverpool side. It used to be Steven Gerrard and for a brief while, it was Fernando Torres. Now, it is Suarez and there is no limit to what the Uruguayan can do with a football at his feet. Watch out for free kicks, running down the channels, long shots, intricate build-up play, crosses, great teamwork and clinical finishing. Basically, the 26-year-old has everything.
Just like Suarez, the Welshman seems pretty much unstoppable right now. He has been simply electric in recent weeks, scoring two-thirds of Spurs last 15 goals. If Suarez scores for Liverpool, chances are Bale will for Tottenham, too. Again, watch out for free kicks, running down the channels, long shots etc etc. The duel between these two great players is what makes this encounter just so fascinating and the 23-year-old will be determined to come out on top.
This one looks too close to call. Spurs are on a fantastic run of form at the moment and were this clash at White Hart Lane, it would be a no-brainer. However, Liverpool have been resurgent of late and the Anfield atmosphere will intimidate just about anyone.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed