First of all I don’t want to put us under any pressure but this is a big game a 6 pointer in my opinion. We are in direct competition with them for the holy grail that is a top 4 finish, and I would put that as a higher priority than both cups to be honest, It doesn’t seem right for Liverpool to not be in the Champions League, and with Newcastle and Arsenal getting wins and Chelsea dropping over the weekend, there’s no doubt an added spice to the fixture.
Spurs are an exceptional side, they’ve been very strong in the past but this season they have been outstanding, and deserve to be where they are at the moment. However at the moment they are going through a wobble results wise and have dropped some in key games, most notably against Man City. But you can’t win them all, and we would be stupid to assume that they will be off their game at Anfield, after all it’s a big game for them too, a 6 pointer. And with them above us already a loss today would be catastrophic.
I admire Spurs style of play, they are quick, ruthless and they just play good looking attacking football, particularly on the wings with Lennon and the deserved January player of the month, Bale. This will be a key area for the game, and Johnson/Kelly and Enrique will have to be switched on if we are to come out of this with anything.
Spurs have deservedly accumulated more points than us so far in the campaign, but there is more than enough time to make a comeback and get that 4th spot, we are not in a bad situation, a loss and maybe a draw would put us in one which is why I’m saying this is such a big game. We have been poor at home this season, we may not have lost yet but we have so many draws the we may as well have with the amount of points dropped, and it has to stop and this is the game to put an end to that.
The lineup I would play if I was manager would be this-
I won’t go into the obvious choices, but I think Kelly should start ahead of Johnson because he has played well lately and is more defensive than Glen and I think we’ll need that to negate spurs wingers with Enrique, also Glen hasnt been playing well lately and I just think Kelly is just a better option on the day. I’d have Adam and Gerrard bossing the midfield with their presence, not giving van der Vaart and Modric a chance to breathe.
I’d start with Bellers and Carroll as they have both played well recently and deserve it, however Suarez will be raring to go and that’s why I would personally wouldn’t start him, I’d wait till second half until he’s bursting to go on and hopefully create and instant impact as well as getting the crowd going at what this point would be at a crucial time in the game.
As for tactics I’d tell the players to go for it right from the whistle, attack, attack, attack. Bomb crosses in for Carroll, Bellamy run straight at their defence. No one seems to try to get at Spurs all that often and just get out played by them, parking the bus doesn’t seem to be very effective against this offensive Tottenham side.
My prediction for the game would be tight, I think there will be a lot of expectation and a lot of nerves around, I’d probably at a push go for a Liverpool 2-1 win or a 1-1 draw. Either way I would predict a thoroughly enjoyable game for both sets of fans and neutrals.
I also have the pleasure and luck to have tickets to go tonight, so I should be able to see the game better and be able to make a decent match report afterwards.