Saturday night's draw against Everton at Goodison Park might yet prove to be a decent point for Liverpool, but given the sense of momentum Brendan Rodgers' squad had built to that point with consecutive wins over West Ham and Bolton, it has been hard to view the result as anything other than disappointing. That could change depending on the results the rest of the month, but for now it looks like a missed opportunity, especially considering the fact that Everton created very little and looked content to take a point from the outset.
A win against Tottenham would certainly help shift the perspective, as it would put Liverpool just a point back from their North London rivals, who currently sit fifth. Mauricio Pochettino's side leapfrogged Arsenal with their 2-1 win on Saturday, and they're now just one point back of Manchester United in the final Champions League spot. That made for three straight Premier League wins since the loss at Crystal Palace.
Pochettino doesn't appear to have any injuries to contend with in his selections tomorrow, and they'll surely be led from the front by Harry Kane, who won the North London derby with his brace. Nabil Bentaleb was excellent in the midfield, with Ryan Mason and Moussa Dembele also earning starts along with Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen. Hugo Lloris will start in goal, while Kyle Walker, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen, and Danny Rose started against Arsenal on Saturday.
Can Skrtel Sakho
Markovic Henderson Allen Moreno
From a relatively clean bill of health to myriad questions for Liverpool, with Jon Flanagan, Brad Jones, and Lucas confirmed absences while questions linger about Philippe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, and Raheem Sterling. The crowded fixture list again begs questions about fatigue, and surely no matter what happens with anybody else, Steven Gerrard is rested after playing 180 minutes between Wednesday and Saturday.
Thankfully there are no injury problems at the back, meaning Emre Can, Martin Skrtel, and Mamadou Sakho should all retain their places along with Simon Mignolet if Rodgers sticks to the 3-4-2-1. Choices in midfield could ripple into defense, however, as Can might have to move into the midfield with Lucas out, leaving either a spot to be filled by Glen Johnson or Dejan Lovren or a change in formation. It would be nice to see Lovren's rehabilitation begin, but in such an important fixture it doesn't seem likely Rodgers restores him to the starting eleven.
If Can keeps his place in defense, it means Joe Allen joins Jordan Henderson in central midfield. Other than Gerrard there just aren't any options available, which serves as another reminder of the club's need to find further depth in the midfield. Lazar Markovic could be restored to the side in place of Jordon Ibe at right wingback, with Alberto Moreno set to continue on the left. With Sterling, Lallana, and Coutinho all surrounded by question marks about just how fit they are, though, it could mean Ibe still has a place in the starting eleven--just in a more central role.
However, at the moment it seems more likely Rodgers will play at least two of Coutinho, Lallana, and Sterling depending on who amongst them is closest to full fitness. Meanwhile, even though Daniel Sturridge wasn't in top gear on Saturday, a start seems on the cards given the diminished options Rodgers has to choose from behind him and that the manager at least hinted at it being a possibility during his pre-match press conference.
Between tired legs and fitness, a different formation is also possible, and if enough attacking players aren't fit enough to start Liverpool could completely change things. If that happens, a 4-2-3-1 that pushes Can into midfield alongside Allen and brings Javi Manquillo in at right back, allowing both Henderson and Markovic to play in the attacking band of three behind Sturridge and alongside one of Ibe, Lallana, Coutinho, or Sterling seems most likely. Or, if Rodgers is feeling nostalgic, a return to the diamond comes into the conversation with largely the same personnel. Questions about how wise it would be to change systems in such an important match are valid, but depending on who's ready to go a shift may be unavoidable.
Kickoff is set for 8:00PM GMT/3:00PM EST on Tuesday, with BT Sport airing the match live in the UK and NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra providing coverage in the US. Our coverage will continue with the overnight open thread tonight and carry into live coverage tomorrow, with team sheets an hour before kickoff, full viewing options, and post-match reaction. If you haven’t already, sign up for an SBNation account and join us for it.