Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur
| Sunday, March 31, 2019|
Premier League | Anfield
4:30PM GMT/11:30PM EST
We back! Liverpool players have flown back from the four corners of the world to return to Merseyside in time to take on Spurs at Anfield on Sunday. Jürgen Klopp has nearly a full squad to work with, as all of his players have returned from international duty unscathed. Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are likely not yet fit to make an appearance in this match, but their time is getting closer.
Liverpool will be fighting the next round of their eternal battle with Manchester City for Premier League supremacy. A win keeps the Reds on top for another week, and with the games slowly dwindling, every win will be vitally important.
Sadio Mané is in the middle of an impressive purple patch, and will likely again play an important role in Sunday’s match. He’s scored seven goals in his last five matches for the club, as well as netting one for Senegal against Mali on Tuesday.
Klopp will be hoping for a better performance from his players than in their last game, where only luck and James Milner’s nerves of steel managed to score Liverpool a victory against the Championship-bound Fulham. A more impressive and inspired performance will be required when Pochettino’s men come calling.
Speaking of, they’ll be looking to finish out the season strong, amid speculation about Mauricio Pochettino’s future and after only picking up one point from their last four matches. Astonishingly, Spurs haven’t played a game since back on March 9th, when they lost 2-1 against Sunderland. Whether the three week long break will help or hurt them remains to be seen.
Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Henderson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho; Salah, Firmino, Mané
This line-up will be particularly interesting, because Klopp finally has a nearly full team to choose from. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Xherdan Shaqiri both stayed back at Melwood to rehabilitate, and Klopp has given positive updates about their availability. Alexander-Arnold will definitely be in the starting XI so long as he’s able.
As mentioned, it’s too early for the triumphant returns of Gomez and Oxlade-Chamberlain, but perhaps we’ll see one of them on the bench to give us a bit of boost. The midfield is once again a mystery, because Klopp could choose to start last match winner James Milner, Adam Lallana, who has performed admirably in the last two matches, or even the newly fit Naby Keïta.
Pochettino is less lucky with his team’s fitness. He’ll be missing both Eric Dier and Harry Winks — easily a top two Harry for that Spurs side. Serge Aurier is also a doubt after suffering a hamstring strain during international duty.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jürgen Klopp: “We expect the strongest Tottenham you can expect because I heard nothing about any injury problems or whatever. They had a few over the season but not in the moment, so there will be a strong side here. A world-class team will be here.”
Mauricio Pochettino: On going 22 days between games: “Bad thing for me because after the defeat against Southampton it’s always tough to deal with because the last feeling is not good and of course three weeks without competing is always tough and a little bit boring but those are the circumstances that we need to accept and cannot change. Happy that we are going to compete on Sunday and we start a busy period until the end. I am happier when we are competing.”
Referee: Martin Atkinson Assistants: Stephen Child, Lee Betts Fourth official: Stuart Attwell
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.