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Tottenham vs Liverpool: Substance over style for Spurs but it's time for changes at Liverpool, says Jamie Redknapp

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp joins the latest podcast episode of Essential Football to analyse his former clubs ahead of their Super Sunday showdown. Watch Tottenham vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm

Jamie Redknapp assesses Tottenham vs Liverpool on the Essential Football podcast
Image: Jamie Redknapp assesses Tottenham vs Liverpool on the Essential Football podcast

There was big drama in the Premier League last weekend for Tottenham and Liverpool, with Spurs fighting back to beat Bournemouth with a late winner before Liverpool were stunned at Anfield by Leeds.

And Antonio Conte's side will be bouncing into their Super Sunday clash with Liverpool - live on Sky Sports - after backing up that Bournemouth victory with a last-gasp triumph over Marseille to win their Champions League group.

Liverpool won in midweek as well, beating Napoli in an effective dead-rubber, but will hope that victory can help them shake off their recent struggles that has left them nearer in points to the bottom of the table than the top four.

Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp joined the latest podcast episode of Essential Football to assess the two teams' seasons so far - and how they'll match up in north London on Sunday…

Substance matters more than style for Spurs right now

Third in the Premier League and winners of their Champions League group is where Tottenham want to be - and exactly what we expect from an Antonio Conte team.

The flip side is maybe some fans are not too happy with the performances, the style of football, but right now you can't complain too much. There are improvements to be made but when you score last-minute winners in games that breeds confidence and there have been some good individual performances as well, with a few injuries along the way.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham’s win against Bournemouth in the Premier League.

There are details you'd love to improve. Conte has alluded to it - he'd love to get some more players in. You can see the areas where he'd like to strengthen, certainly in the wide areas, the wing-back areas and in that midfield area. But the two results this week have been fantastic for the club.

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Arsenal's impressive start has put focus on Spurs' style

Tottenham's biggest rivals, Arsenal, are playing lovely football, They're playing football that is the closest to Man City. If you're a neutral and want to go and watch two teams right now, you want to watch Arsenal and Man City, they're playing the best football in the league, they're free-flowing.

They are playing football how I think Spurs fans would like their team to play. Unfortunately, that's not Conte's style. They will be a little disgruntled with that but I'm sure if they finish above Arsenal and get that trophy they're crying out for I'm sure they'll be happy with the situation.

Lenglet celebrates after scoring at Marseille
Image: Tottenham celebrate in Marseille

As long as they get the players in they want, Harry Kane signs again, Conte commits for the foreseeable future… they're the things that have to happen for this club to be successful again and make sure they go in the right direction.

I'm sure the players want to be known as a side playing good football and there have been moments where they've hit teams on the counter and it's been fantastic. There have been other games where it's been a struggle, hard to watch. When Jose Mourinho was there they were getting results but the performances weren't as good and it feels like a hybrid between Mauricio Pochettino's team and Jose Mourinho's one. They're finding their way at the moment.

Live Super Sunday

Changes needed at Liverpool - and patience

What's gone wrong for Liverpool? That's the million-dollar question! I interviewed Virgil van Dijk the other day and threw a few theories at him but I do think it's a number of factors. Of course this team has climbed so many mountains before and last year what they did was pretty incredible - to be in every single competition up until the last minute. It didn't end the way they wanted and maybe there's a little bit of a hangover from that. That's understandable.

But when you look at the team right now there needs to be changes. That's not a dig at the players that have been there, because they have been incredible for the team. But every great team goes in cycles. If you go back to Man Utd under Sir Alex Ferguson, every time things weren't going the way he liked, he was given a year or two to build a new team.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Leeds’ win against Liverpool in the Premier League.

That's what you have to figure out with Jurgen Klopp, has he - as he said this week - got that energy to go and build again and be given that time? It might take another two, three, four players - but it doesn't take a lot for things to start to look better. Look at Man Utd now, there's something happening there because the manager has been given time, patience and a few transfer windows to get that team right.

Liverpool's midfield needs a refresh - and Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice would be ideal

James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Thiago… they're not young men in the engine room. I think they may need to add one or two to take the burden off them. Of course, they've had injuries as well, that hasn't helped.

The dream for all Liverpool fans, and the Premier League to some extent, would be for Jude Bellingham to come. He'd be the person who would fit into that midfield. He's a generational player, an incredible footballer. Jurgen Klopp, I'd imagine, has his heart set on him. He can do everything in that area.

But if you can't get him, who is the other one? Declan Rice in the summer may be an option. They've got to be in the market for someone like him as well. That area is definitely getting tired. The legs aren't there, which we've been so used to seeing.

We have all got so much respect for the manager but he's searching for the right recipe. The right areas in midfield to make things happen again.

Liverpool's fear factor has gone - and it's not easy to get that back

Liverpool's key players have not been at that level. There's a World Cup coming up for a lot of these players but I think the fear factor might have gone for a lot of these players as well, and I include Virgil van Dijk in that.

He's a great player - not good, great - but when he gives away a penalty to Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic in the first game of the season, strikers all around the country would have thought, 'if Mitrovic can go past him and win a penalty, why can't I?'

Crysencio Summerville scores Leeds' winner at Anfield in the 89th minute
Image: Crysencio Summerville scored Leeds' winner at Anfield in the 89th minute

I do think players in the last few years would face up Van Dijk and wouldn't even bother, they'd turn back and play it out wide. Now they're having a go. Once that fear factor has gone, it's difficult to get it back.

I don't think the protection has been there for the back four. Matip has been playing, Gomez, Konate has been injured as well. Trent hasn't been in the same form. Robertson has been in and out with injury.

It's the collective, so it's hard to put it on 'that's the reason'… I don't think they press as well from the front and that's certainly where they miss Mane.

Liverpool are fragile… but I think it'll be an entertaining draw at Spurs

Liverpool are fragile. They went to Forest and lost. Now they go to Tottenham where there will be a real feeling about the place. Any time there's a last-minute winner, it gives you that buzz.

And what a scalp this would be for Spurs. Three points would get them closer to Man City and put a massive gap between them and Liverpool. Those Champions League aspirations for next year… it would make it difficult for Liverpool to make up - although of course they can get it back.

Rodrigo Bentancur for Spurs has been their unsung hero. Kane gets all the plaudits but Bentancur has been their best player for me. When Fabinho first came into Liverpool, that was his role but now he looks like he can't get near anyone, for whatever reason - maybe lots of games last year, carrying an injury, who knows - but in this game, you do think that is where Spurs can get some success.

It's really hard to call. I'd be more confident in the Spurs dressing room and I don't see Spurs losing this game, even if Heung-Min Son is a huge miss. Liverpool have to produce something. It's a big game for Darwin Nunez.

I've got a feeling for a draw - but a wide-open game and plenty of goals.

Watch Tottenham vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3.30pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm

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