Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool preview: Jurgen Klopp eyes Reds lift-off at the Lane
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 27/08/16 12:29pm
Jurgen Klopp returns to the scene of his first game as Liverpool manager at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday - live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 11.30am - still searching for an effective winning formula.
Liverpool won 4-3 at Arsenal in their opening league game, but lost 2-0 at promoted Burnley last weekend before bouncing back to beat Championship side Burton Albion 5-0 in the League Cup.
Spurs drew at Everton before edging Crystal Palace last weekend and Klopp believes the two teams have evolved in similar ways since the goalless draw on his last trip to White Hart Lane last October.
"Both teams have consistency in the squad. There are of course new players, but not too many changes," said the German, whose side lost at Burnley despite having over 80 per cent of possession.
"It will be exciting what will happen there. They are still strong, of course. They've brought a few very good players in with the basis of their former squad.
"For us, everything could have been better, but it could have been worse. We're still on the way. My team gave me a lot of really good signs to work with."
Klopp's line-up is unlikely to be radically different from the team he selected at Spurs on his Liverpool bow, with Martin Skrtel the only starting player to have left the club in the 10 months since.
The Liverpool boss did his best to douse any controversy, asserting that he did not want Daniel Sturridge taking up a "fixed position" on the flank and saying that there was "absolutely no problem".
Another England international striker adapting to a slightly different position is Tottenham's Harry Kane.
The 23-year-old played in a withdrawn role behind new Dutch striker Vincent Janssen in last weekend's 1-0 win at home to Palace and set up the only goal with a flick-on for Victor Wanyama.
"Vincent took some big hits for the team with all the hustle and bustle up front, which I think made it a bit easier for Harry because normally it's him that's doing all the battling," Spurs playmaker Christian Eriksen told the club website.
"I think there was a good connection between them and especially with Vincent, he's something different.
"Even though he's from Holland, he's proper English! He loves to tackle, he loves to battle and he loves to play football."
Kane's next goal will be his 50th in the Premier League and in Liverpool he faces a team who have kept only two clean sheets in 13 league games.
He is yet to score this season, but took seven games to get off the mark last term and ended the campaign with the Golden Boot as Mauricio Pochettino's men finished third behind Leicester City and Arsenal.
Dele Alli could return to the Spurs side having overcome an illness. The midfielder was deemed only fit enough for the bench in last weekend's win over Palace, but has now recovered and could be recalled for the lunch-time kick-off.
Captain Hugo Lloris (hamstring) is still out, so Michel Vorm will again deputise in goal while Mousa Dembele is suspended.
Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho is a doubt with a minor hamstring issue.
Fellow midfielder Emre Can sustained an ankle injury in the EFL Cup win at Burton and may not be risked.
Striker Divock Origi suffered cramp in midweek and will be assessed, while defender Joel Matip is pushing for his first league start.
Tottenham are without a win in their last seven Premier League meetings with Liverpool, losing five and drawing the last two.
Liverpool are unbeaten in three league visits to White Hart Lane (W2 D1), scoring eight goals and conceding none.
There have been more own goals scored in Premier League matches between Tottenham and Liverpool than any other fixture (9).
Liverpool (31 games) and Spurs (26 games) have gone longer without a goalless draw in the Premier League than any other clubs currently in the competition.
Kane has never scored a Premier League goal in the month of August, despite playing nine games and 545 minutes on the pitch in this month.
Liverpool are the first team to play their opening three top-flight league games away from home since Chelsea and Bolton Wanderers in 1997-98.
I fancy Tottenham. Take away the Coutinho goal against Arsenal on the opening day and Liverpool were terrible in the first half. I think Spurs will have too much for them going forward.
I have been impressed with Spurs. They had a hard start at Everton, dug in and got the draw. They didn't play great against Palace last weekend, but they were solid and got the late goal. That's what you have to do.
Kane hasn't got going yet but he will.
Both sides are marginally odds-against to secure a top-four finish at 11/10 and 6/5 respectively, while they're 14/1 and 12/1 apiece for the title.