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Harry Kane v Dejan Lovren: The key battle in Tottenham v Liverpool
Last Updated: 22/10/17 2:11pm
Tottenham face Liverpool live on Sky Sports on Sunday. Will Dejan Lovren be able to stop Harry Kane? We take a look at the stats.
Tottenham recorded their first Premier League win at Wembley last Saturday, beating Bournemouth 1-0 in what must have been a relief for Mauricio Pochettino.
But just as the Spurs manager puts one jinx to rest, he faces another test in this week's Super Sunday: Liverpool are the only team Pochettino has failed to beat in the league since he joined Tottenham in 2014.
Pochettino's least favourite PL opponents as Spurs manager
Without wanting to restart the 'Harry Kane team' argument, it's fair to say that Pochettino will look to his number 10 on Sunday. Kane has scored six of Tottenham's 15 league goals this season. In all competitions, he has scored 11 of their 23 goals.
Most goals for club and country in 2017
|R Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||45|
|C Ronaldo||Real Madrid||44|
Spurs are not a one-man team but it is hard to argue Kane will not be centre of attention on Sunday, especially given Liverpool's defensive struggles.
Liverpool have conceded from 18.5 per cent of shots faced in the Premier League this season - the worst record in the division. They have faced as many shots as Tottenham (65) but have conceded seven more goals.
Percentage of shots conceded - PL 2017/18
|Team||% of shots conceded|
Kane has taken 50 shots this season, 18 more than any player in the division. He averages roughly 6.4 shots per 90 minutes played. Liverpool therefore have to formulate a plan to stop him.
Dejan Lovren has started Liverpool's last three league games in place of Ragnar Klavan. Stats suggest that Liverpool are better when Lovren is part of their back four - they face more shots per 90 minutes but concede from a much lower percentage of those shots.
Liverpool centre-backs - PL 2017/18
|Stat||Joel Matip||Ragnar Klavan||Dejan Lovren|
|Conceded per 90||1.5||2.0||1.12|
|Shots faced per 90||8.1||7.3||8.6|
|% of shots conceded||18.5%||27.3%||13.9%|
Spurs have struggled to score at Wembley so far, but that's been due in part to some resolute defending. Despite scoring at Wembley in the Champions League and for England this season, Harry Kane is still awaiting his first Premier League goal at the stadium - despite taking 28 shots, 10 of which were blocked.
When Swansea kept a clean sheet at Wembley, Federico Fernandez cleared the ball 19 times - no player has made more clearances in a Premier League game this season.
When Burnley held Spurs to a draw, centre-backs James Tarkowski and Ben Mee blocked 10 shots between them. In four away games this season, Liverpool have made a total of six blocks.
Liverpool away defending vs away teams at Tottenham - PL 2017/18
|Stat||Liverpool away from home||Spurs home opponents|
Tuesday was the second anniversary of Jurgen Klopp's first game as Liverpool manager - a goalless draw at Tottenham. Both of Liverpool's starting centre-backs that day, Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel, have since left the club as Klopp searches for a stable defence.
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Lovren, who missed that game with an ankle injury, is the only remaining senior centre-back Klopp inherited from Brendan Rodgers.
Given Liverpool's struggles at the back, it seems likely Klopp will try to address the defence in upcoming transfer windows. A performance on Sunday at the national stadium, against the country's form striker, would be a great way for Lovren to show what he can do.