Liverpool will aim to make it five wins from five as they travel to Wembley on Saturday to play a Tottenham side who can also boast an impressive start to the season themselves.
Despite having previously confirmed that this would be the first game at newly built Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, complications have meant that Spurs will carry on playing at England’s national stadium for the next couple of months.
Following the victory over Leicester, the Reds sit atop the Premier League table on twelve points, with this weekend’s opponents just four places below them in fifth on nine points.
The North Londoners have won all but one of their opening four league fixtures, with the anomaly coming in a 2-1 defeat at Watford before the international break.
Dele Alli is a slight doubt going into Saturday’s game after picking up a muscle strain injury whilst on international duty. Huge Lloris is also a doubt as he recovers from a thigh problem.
Despite his horrific error against Leicester City, Alisson has shown during his short time at Anfield how vital he is to this Liverpool side. The Brazilian has kept three clean sheets so far for the Reds since his arrival, more than any other goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Barring any late injury concerns, he is certain to start.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was targeted heavily in the game against the Foxes and I personally thought he struggled. The aid he got from his teammates was limited but the young full-back didn’t offer much going forward either. On the other hand, I thought his right-sided teammate Joe Gomez was exceptional. He looked so good on the ball and put up with anything that came his way. His centre-back partner Virgil van Dijk also refused to let anything past him. If we’re nitpicking, sometimes the Dutchman appears to be too composed on the ball and sometimes it puts himself and his teammates under unnecessary pressure. Andy Robertson was one of few who impressed for me, the Scotsman put everything into getting the assist for Sadio Mane’s opener and was a constant threat throughout the whole ninety minutes.
Gini Wijnaldum wasn’t as good as he has been this season against Leicester, as he struggled to keep hold of James Maddison and the pace and mobility of Claude Puel’s side’s attack. This is something that Tottenham may exploit on Saturday, but Wijnaldum is a player who usually steps up in big games so I can see him starting again. Jordan Henderson was another one who struggled when the Reds were under the cosh. His leadership was severely lacking when Jurgen Klopp’s side really needed someone to step up and calm the game down. To make it a hat-trick I also thought James Milner was far from his best and had similar problems to the rest of the midfield. He did however manage to claim an assist for Roberto Firmino’s header. Naby Keita surely has to come back into the side, as his creativity and energy on the ball was missing in the game.
An early sitter set the tone for Mohamed Salah’s display against Leicester. His blistering form from last season has yet to show so far this campaign, but it’s fair to say that you’d think the Egyptian is far too valuable to drop from the starting eleven just yet. Roberto Firmino is another one yet to rediscover his magic touch from last year, however he did manage to grab his first goal of the season with what proved to be the winner last time out. His work rate and movement off the ball is far too beneficial for him to be dropped. Sadio Mane was once again the best of the front three and he was the one who got the Reds underway with a thunderous finish in the tenth minute.
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
This is undoubtedly the Reds’ toughest game of the season so far and it will be the time to show everyone that they can compete for the title. The same fixture last season saw Spurs breeze past Jurgen Klopp’s side with a 4-1 victory. On that day Liverpool had huge issues at the back but since then, £150m has been splashed on the backline, so we’ll see here whether it has been money well spent.
If the Reds want to come away with the win, that famous front three really need to show up and cause problems to a very solid Tottenham defence. For me this game will be won or lost in the midfield, both sides have so much creative output and the challenge for both will be to cut down the passing lanes to stop the supply to the forwards.
Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Liverpool