TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR VS. LIVERPOOL
| Sunday, December 19th |
Premier League | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST
Despite rising cases and concerns, Liverpool’s game against Tottenham Hotspur looks set to be one of the few to go ahead as planned in this COVID-devastated matchweek. With six games canceled so far, the Premier League released the following statement regarding Sunday’s matches:
“The remaining four Premier League matches due to be played this weekend are currently scheduled to proceed as planned. The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and COVID-19 postponement guidance issued to all clubs.”
That’s big news for Spurs, who have until now missed two weeks worth of games due to a massive outbreak of COVID at the club. Nine first team players, seven staff members, and an undisclosed amount of U23 players all tested positive for the virus. Making things more difficult, the North London team had just recently hired on Antonio Conte to turn the team around. All of his efforts were postponed along with their matches only weeks after he joined.
Of the nine Tottenham players who missed time due to COVID, only two remain in isolation — among them reportedly is Son Heung-min, one of Spurs’ best players.
Liverpool have their own, thankfully less dire so far, COVID situation to deal with. Virgil van Dijk, Curtis Jones, and Fabinho all received suspected positive tests before the match against Newcastle. All three remain in isolation, and it’s still unclear if any could be cleared to take part in Sunday’s match — though it seems highly unlikely any would be involved.
Liverpool have momentum and fitness on their side as they head to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. They’ve won their last eight matches in all competitions, following a shocking defeat to West Ham on November 20th. In that time, they’ve scored 21 goals and conceded only three to their opponents, picking up five clean sheets along the way.
Spurs, meanwhile, started off December with two league wins, but have been sidelined ever since. While this could translate to rested legs and eager players on Sunday, it could also just as easily mean players who have lost their momentum and are still recovering from illness.
At TLO, we will keep you updated with the newest information regarding the status of the match over the next 24 hours.
Predicted Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Jota, Mané
It’s hard to guess who we’ll see on Sunday when (if) the players take the pitch, because of how fluid and rapidly changing this situation continues to be. Right now, van Dijk, Fabinho, and Jones are the three players we know have COVID concerns. Additionally, Harvey Elliott, Nat Phillips, Divock Origi, and Adrian are all out through injury.
For Spurs, the situation is even more up in the air. As mentioned, Son remains in isolation right now, and Lucas, Emerson Royal, Oliver Skipp, Bryan Gil and Dane Scarlett have all tested positive and will need to be assessed. Cristian Romero, Sergio Reguilon, and Giovani Lo Celso are out through injury.
One more who is available is Harry Kane, who will lead the line for Spurs.
What the Managers Had to Say
Jurgen Klopp: “In this moment, nobody else [is] positive but it’s pretty early still and the players come a bit later, so we will see.”
Antonio Conte: “It’s been very difficult, especially because we didn’t play, our last game was two weeks ago, and it’s important to play, especially for me.”
Referee: Paul Tierney. Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Dan Cook. Fourth official: Andre Marriner. VAR: Chris Kavanagh. Assistant VAR: Dan Robathan.
Kickoff is set for 4:30PM GMT/11:30AM EST tomorrow. In the meantime, The Liverpool Offside team will keep you updated with all of the team news and match buildup as it becomes available, along with providing a matchday liveblog and post-match recaps and reaction. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account and have your say on the action as it happens.