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Roy plotting Spurs 'surprise'

Image: Hodgson: Spurs are not 'mugs'

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson thinks Fernando Torres and David Ngog are the key to upsetting Tottenham.

Carragher admits Gerrard absence is a setback

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson thinks that Fernando Torres and David Ngog are the key to causing an upset at Tottenham on Sunday. The Reds travel to White Hart Lane this weekend in the unusual role as underdogs, having been usurped by Spurs as one of the Premier League's top four clubs last season before making a terrible start to the current campaign. But Hodgson, who will again be without injured captain Steven Gerrard, saw his side defeat rock-bottom West Ham with ease last Saturday evening to ensure they have now lost only one game in eight matches in all competitions. After an apparent lack of fitness and confidence, Fernando Torres has rediscovered his goalscoring form in that period, while Ngog impressed against the Hammers when starting in Gerrard's absence. And Hodgson thinks the strike pair could have an important part to play in North London, as he said: "We've had a very good run now and one defeat in eight is a good run at any stage of the season.


"We have to be happy with that but we are not stupid. We know that if you go to Tottenham it could be two defeats in nine but if we play like we did against West Ham we can make sure Tottenham don't have a cake-walk. "And if we can keep Fernando Torres and David Ngog firing we may spring a surprise. "Wins are hard to come by against the top teams and we have got to admit that Tottenham are no longer the Tottenham of old. "They are a top team and have recently beaten the European champions (Inter Milan) in the Champions League. It is an expensively assembled team and we are not playing against mugs anymore." But Hodgson, who succeeded Rafa Benitez in the summer, acknowledges that Liverpool's record of only six wins in 26 matches on the road in the Premier League is a concern.
"The away form has been bad for a long time," he added. "I'm afraid in this league away victories are hard to come by. "I believe if we continue to play the way we did against West Ham we may get one or two but it is the level of performance which counts." Meanwhile, deputy-skipper Jamie Carragher admits that the absence of Gerrard, who damaged his hamstring in England's friendly defeat to France last week, is a setback. The centre-back said: "There's no doubt Steven will be missed whether we win, lose or draw because he is such an important player."

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