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Played
November 28, 2010 4:00 PM GMT
White Hart Lane — London
Referee:‬ M. Atkinson‎
Attendance:‬ 36310‎
 
66′ (OG) Martin Skrtel
90+2′ Aaron Lennon
 

Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool

Harry Redknapp looking to build on impressive Arsenal result, possibly without Rafael van der Vaart

By George Watts

EPL : Younes Kaboul - Gareth Bale and Jermaine Jenas , Arsenal vs Tottenham (Getty Images)
Title Challengers?

Tottenham will be expected to showcase their title credentials following last week’s 3-2 derby day victory against Arsenal.

With the Premier League as unpredictable as ever, manager Harry Redknapp believes that Spurs have as good a chance as anybody to claim the ultimate prize, and given Chelsea and Manchester United’s far from convincing form of late, who could argue with him?

Up until last Saturday’s victory at the Emirates, their first win at Arsenal in 17 years,  Spurs had notoriously failed to achieve a result against any of the traditional top four away from home, but the result against their North London neighbours is a perfect example of how Harry Redknapp’s team has progressed under his guidance.

The destruction of European Champions Inter at White Hart Lane in the Champions League, just two weeks prior to that derby day victory,  pinpoints the fact that this Tottenham team have to be taken seriously as the season enters its crucial stage.

Road To Recovery

Liverpool have embarked on a small road to recovery in recent games following a dismal start to the season under Roy Hodgson.

The highlight of their campaign thus far was a recent victory over Chelsea at Anfield. However, they then dropped four points on their travels to Wigan and Stoke City, before a convincing victory over West Ham United at home provided three much needed points. 

Consequently, they are now just six points off fourth place, and victory over Spurs could inspire the kind off run that is needed if the team are to live up to the expectations of their supporters, who have endured a torrid 18 months. The key, clearly, is to improve their hitherto tepid away form.

TEAM NEWS

Tottenham

Rafael van der Vaart is rated at 50-50 in his bid to regain match fitness in time to face Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.  The Dutch international, who has arguably been the signing of the season so far since his £8 million switch from Real Madrid, did not play on Wednesday night as Spurs eased their way into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Fellow midfielder Jermaine Jenas is considered a major doubt for Harry Redknapp’s high flyers after limping off in the 3-0 victory over Werder Bremen. 

Jermain Defoe is vying for a return to the team after impressing as a second half substitute in the remarkable comeback win against fierce rivals Arsenal at the Emirates.

Harry Redknapp also welcomes back Michael Dawson but is still without long term injury victims Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Jamie O’Hara.

Probable starting XI: Gomes; Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto; Lennon, Palacios, Modric, Bale; Defoe, Crouch.

Liverpool

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is contemplating whether to reinstate Joe Cole into his starting line-up. The former Chelsea man has missed the last five games for the gradually improving Reds.

Captain Steven Gerrard is still injured after damaging his hamstring during England’s defeat by France last week, but Fabio Aurelio is back and Brazilian midfielder Lucas returns to the fold after serving his suspension.

Jamie Carragher will make his 450th appearance in the Premier League when he captains Liverpool in Gerrard’s absence.

Probable starting XI: Reina; Konchesky, Carragher, Skrtl, Johnson; Maxi, Meireles, Poulsen, Cole, Kuyt; Torres.

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Field Report
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1GomesGoalkeeper
6Alan HuttonDefender
4Younes KaboulDefender
13William GallasDefender
32Benoit Assou-EkottoDefender
7Aaron LennonMidfielder
8W. PalaciosMidfielder
19Luka ModricMidfielder
11Gareth BaleMidfielder
23Rafael van der VaartMidfielder
25Peter CrouchStriker
23Carlo CudiciniGoalkeeper
22Vedran CorlukaDefender
5S. BassongDefender
21Niko KranjcarMidfielder
30SandroMidfielder
9Roman PavlyuchenkoStriker
18Jermain DefoeStriker
25Pepe ReinaGoalkeeper
2Glen JohnsonDefender
37Martin SkrtelDefender
23Jamie CarragherDefender
3Paul KoncheskyDefender
11Dirk KuytStriker
21Lucas LeivaMidfielder
14Raúl MeirelesMidfielder
11Maxi RodríguezMidfielder
54David NgogStriker
9Fernando TorresStriker
1Bradley JonesGoalkeeper
16Sotirios KyrgiakosDefender
6Fabio AurelioDefender
8Jonjo ShelveyMidfielder
14Milan JovanovićStriker
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
-Ryan BabelStriker
Players to Watch
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Gareth Bale is a man on a hot streak at the moment and is certainly a player who is likely to give Liverpool full-back Glen Johnson plenty to think about throughout the 90 minutes on Sunday. Bale’s sheer pace and energy combined with the sweetest of left feet make him virtually unplayable at present; Inter’s world class right-back Maicon would testify to that.
Raúl Meireles
Raúl Meireles
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 14
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Raul Meireles is finally beginning to show glimpses of what he is capable of following his switch from FC Porto. The central midfielder had initially struggled to settle into the fast-paced English game, but in recent matches the Portuguese international has begun to dominate the midfield as Liverpool’s form has gradually improved - and in the absence of Gerrard on Sunday he will need to play well again if Liverpool are to get a result.
Probable Lineups
Gomes 1
Alan Hutton 6
Younes Kaboul 4
William Gallas 13
Benoit Assou-Ekotto 32
Aaron Lennon 7
W. Palacios 8
Luka Modric 19
Gareth Bale 11
Rafael van der Vaart 23
Peter Crouch 25
Pepe Reina 25
Glen Johnson 2
Martin Skrtel 37
Jamie Carragher 23
Paul Konchesky 3
Dirk Kuyt 11
Lucas Leiva 21
Raúl Meireles 14
Maxi Rodríguez 11
David Ngog 54
Fernando Torres 9
Prediction
Tottenham haven’t always demonstrated the ability to play well after midweek Champions League games. Liverpool have improved of late and will do enough to get a hard earned point at White Hart Lane.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Manchester City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man Utd.
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
15 0