Tottenham Hotspur travel north to face Liverpool in the Premier League hoping to gain themselves more points to help solidify a top 4 finish and Champions League football at White Hart Lane next season.
On the other hand, the home side will be looking to finish as high as possible themselves in the hope of securing a place in European competition next season having been knocked out of both domestic cups and this season’s Europa League as well.
With what is at stake for both clubs in this game, most of the focus and attention will be on two men, the clubs two top goal scorers this season, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale. Both men are in exceptional form for their respective teams at the moment and without a doubt their performances will play a big part in how the match takes shape.
Suarez is the top league goal scorer this season having scored 21 times, his most recent additions to that tally coming in the form of a hat-trick in his last game against Wigan Athletic. The 26 year old Uruguayan has certainly had controversy follow him in recent years for different reasons, but putting that aside, he possesses immense quality on the pitch and has made himself to be someone Liverpool now rely on to help them score goals and change games for the better.
Bale had a good start to the season, but since Tottenham’s 4-0 away victory at Aston Villa on Boxing Day where he scored a hat-trick, he’s continued on a sensational run of form that has helped put Tottenham in a position where the Champions League is a real possibility for them next season. The Welshman has started to draw comparisons to players such as Cristiano Ronaldo due to their similar traits and the difference they have made to their respective teams performances in recent seasons. At only 23, Bale still has the potential to get even better as well and the more he continues to put in outstanding performances, the more the bigger teams will take a closer look at him.
While Suarez and Bale the main men to watch at Anfield, the other 20 players on the pitch certainly cannot be ignored. Every defender on the pitch for both sides will have to make sure that while they try and frustrate the key players as much as possible, they don’t lose focus on the other players who can cause a threat to their goal. Liverpool have Phillippe Coutinho and a returning Daniel Sturridge who can cause a threat to the Spurs goal and also have the inspirational Steven Gerrard at the heart of their midfield who will be driving determination into his players to make things happen and cause their visitors problems.
Tottenham themselves aren’t lacking in attacking quality. While Bale causes a serious threat down the left wing, Aaron Lennon also causes problems down the right wing. Both men have the ability to make runs into the box and make space for a shot, but both can also put balls into the danger zone for central minded players to take advantage of. With Bale on the left, Lennon on the right and players like Lewis Holtby in the centre, Tottenham have creative players spread across the whole width of the pitch that will need to be watched carefully.
The last time these two teams met was at the end of November at White Hart Lane. Tottenham won 2-1 with early first half goals from Lennon and Bale. An own goal from the latter in the second half gave Liverpool a chance to get back into the game but Tottenham held on for the 3 points. This game may well have a different story as Liverpool have had over a week to rest and prepare for this fixture while Tottenham are just days removed from beating Inter Milan 3-0 in the Europa League. Fatigue might well be a deciding factor in the end result, but I don’t think it will effect what should be a quality game of football. I predict an entertaining 2-2 draw with Suarez and Bale both scoring at least once in the match.