Im­pres­sive Liver­pool seek re­demp­tion

Klopp’s Reds travel to Wem­b­ley Sta­dium to face Spurs

Global Times - - Sports -

Liver­pool will not have happy mem­o­ries of their last visit to Wem­b­ley Sta­dium and will head south with a point to prove against Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur on Satur­day.

Eleven months ago Juer­gen Klopp’s side were swept aside 4-1 by a ram­pant Tot­ten­ham lead­ing to a bout of navel­gaz­ing that, as it tran­spired, helped trans­form Liver­pool’s sea­son.

The de­fen­sive lapses that un­der­mined them that day were soon erad­i­cated, the goals be­gan to flow and with the ad­di­tion of cen­tral de­fender Vir­gil van Dijk from Southamp­ton in Jan­uary, Liver­pool be­came a force to be reck­oned with.

The dam­age had al­ready been done though and, just like ev­ery other con­tender, they never got any­where near a Manch­ester City side that strolled to the Premier League ti­tle.

They did reach the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal and have con­tin­ued the mo­men­tum into the new cam­paign, top­ping the ta­ble with four wins from four, scor­ing nine goals and con­ced­ing one.

Tot­ten­ham be­gan with three wins but slipped up in their last game be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break, los­ing 2-1 at Wat­ford who are sur­prise joint-lead­ers.

Early in the sea­son it may be, but the lunchtime clash will of­fer a poin­ter as to which club can push on and make a cred­i­ble chal­lenge to a City side who host Ful­ham.

Tot­ten­ham’s start­ing lineup will be sim­i­lar to the one that started last year’s fix­ture af­ter the Lon­don club bucked the trend by spend­ing noth­ing in the trans­fer win­dow.

Liver­pool, on the other hand, splashed out in the re­gion of 160 mil­lion pounds ($209 mil­lion) on the likes of Naby Keita, ver­sa­tile Brazil­ian Fabinho, Brazil keeper Alisson and Swiss play­maker Xherdan Shaqiri from rel­e­gated Stoke City.

The Merseysiders have lost only one of their last 11 Premier League meet­ings against Tot­ten­ham but were also frus­trated by them in a 2-2 draw at An­field last sea­son when Harry Kane scored a last-gasp penalty equal­izer.

There is an edge be­tween the clubs and Klopp knows three points on Satur­day would send out a mes­sage of in­tent.

De­feat for Tot­ten­ham in a fix­ture that was sup­posed to be the chris­ten­ing of their new sta­dium will lead to fur­ther scru­tiny of the de­ci­sion to trust the same play­ers that have achieved three suc­ces­sive top-three fin­ishes but no sil­ver­ware.

Wat­ford’s best-ever start to a top-flight sea­son will be put to the test as they take on a Manch­ester United side with­out striker Mar­cus Rash­ford, who was sent off in their win against Burn­ley.

Chelsea, who have qui­etly gone about their busi­ness un­der new man­ager Mau­r­izio Sarri, are also 100 per­cent af­ter four games and will rel­ish a home clash against Cardiff City.

While Liver­pool’s out­lay on new play­ers has, so far, proved ben­e­fi­cial, the same can­not be said of West Ham.

The Lon­don club bol­stered their squad with nearly 100 mil­lion pounds worth of new sign­ings for in­com­ing man­ager Manuel Pel­le­grini, but are point­less af­ter four games. Things do not get any eas­ier ei­ther with West Ham away to Ever­ton on Sun­day.

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