Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool
7 Premiership points out of 9, 10 Goals in 4 matches! And at last! Soldado on the score sheet so some momentum to carry us into a busy December schedule. Question: When you see the amount of chances we had in the 6 yard box against Sunderland, you have to ask: if Soldado had played instead of Defoe would a couple of them have gone in? Let`s face it the higher the intensity of our game the more chances we create, the more chances we provide the better Soldado will be. So let`s please play some direct football and not this sideways push and pass.
Back to reality......Liverpool or rather, Loiuse Suarez and his backing group! So who and how do we play this one especially with a reshuffled back four? Cut off the supply to Suarez for a start, Dawson will have to play so let`s pray he doesn`t get turned every five minutes otherwise Lloris will have to play as a sweeper as well as a keeper! This game will be won or lost in the midfield because that is where the supply to Suarez will be and now that Liverpool`s engine room Gerrard is out they won`t be able to spray the ball around the pitch, distribution will be more box to box rather than threaded aerial passes, which means passes in the channels will have to be cut out before they get to Suarez. One thing is for sure Liverpool will not come to park the bus, which means there will be space at WHL, a commodity that has been very scarce recently when you look at how Wet Spam, Hull and then Newcastle clogged up our midfield and crowded the last 3rd of the pitch.
To be fair without Suarez Liverpool look very ordinary. Sturridge is injured but a Coutinho/Suarez duo is still going to be a handful. Against Wet Spam the Liverpool score flattered them. Gerrard went off with a hamstring and although Wet Spam were behind Liverpool did not look that comfortable. Away from home Liverpool struggle but our home form ain`t exactly good either! What we need is the same level of intensity and concentration that we showed Manure, in fact, we could probably do with Sandro looking after Suarez whilst we put Townsend and Lennon on either wing and give Liverpool`s back four something to think about! Unfortunately, we do not have any height up front which means crosses into the box will be on the deck not in the air. Adebayour looks like a busted flush, he can`t even get in the same post code let alone in the side at the moment!!
Demebele would work in this game because of his ability to change direction and break through first and second tackles but he must release the ball earlier and he must play higher up the pitch. Given that Gerrard will not be there it will be a battle between Sandro Paulinho and Dembele vs Joe Allen, Coutinho and probably Lucas, as Henderson is a doubt.
Lennon and Townsend have to be playing because we need width. When Leighton Baines went off injured early in the second half of the Merseyside derby Martinez brought on Gerard Deulofeu to make sure Everton continued to have width and moved Gareth Barry to left-back. That is because Martinez knows that Liverpool are vulnerable to genuine speed on the flanks.
Liverpool like to get men in the box, they always crowd the 6 yard box when they get a cross in. Sterling could play but he still looks very raw and although he has pace he does not have the control yet. Victor Moses however could get the nod and he will need to be dealt with. We can`t afford to play the high line and press high up the pitch and leave all that space behind us because one lost ball in possession in midfield will be an open invitation for Suarez. Walker is going to have a busy day! We need to play if from the back and get the ball out to the wide men we cannot allow the ball to be lost in the middle of the park because Liverpool will exploit us at the breakdown.
Liverpool will start to get frustrated if they don`t get the space they want or the possession and I do not think they have the quality on the bench that we have. The game will probably be decided in the last 20 minutes as I can see this being a tight match. We can`t rely on our outfield players to supply the goals so we need to create chances in and around the box which means Lennon and Townsend have to get that ball into the 6 yard box as many times as possible for Soldado. I would prefer Soldado to Defoe for this one especially now he has his touch back.
These are the games that define our season. A win at the Lane would set us up for a real assault on the top 3. I can see scum coming unstuck at Citeh on Saturday and someone dropping points between Newcastle and Southampton and a tight one at Chavski and the Villans. We showed what we can do against Manure and we nearly took that game so let`s step it up a gear and take it to the Pool, get an early goal and make them come out to play us and leave some space for Lennon, Walker and Townsend to exploit.
Written by OyVeh Maria