Banyana are wary of Botswana
Liverpool, on the other hand, splashed out in the region of £160million on the likes of Naby Keita, versatile Brazilian Fabinho, Brazil keeper Alisson and Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri.
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 equaliser.
There is an edge between the clubs and Klopp knows three points tomorrow 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 morale-boosting 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 United.
The London club bolstered their squad with nearly £100-million 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. BANYANA Banyana coach Desiree Ellis is wary of the danger that Botswana pose ahead of their Cosafa Cup tie at Isaac Wolfson Stadium this afternoon (kick-off at 3:30pm).
Both sides are on three points after bagging wins in their openers against Madagascar and Malawi respectively. But it is Botswana who occupy the summit of group A on a goal difference advantage.
The host nation and regional tournament defending champions’ coach Ellis says they cannot risk taking their neighbours for granted as they know each other too well.
“We are neighbours and when we play each other it’s always a tough battle,”Ellis said. “They know about us as much as we know about them. We have to prepare very well, and ensure that we execute that plan. We won’t take anything for granted, hence we have to thoroughly see how the opposition plays and make sure that we prepare to the best of our abilities, because this is the most vital game of them all.”
The US-based trio Janine van Wyk, Linda Motlhalo and Thembi Kgatlana all made the bench against Madagascar but they didn’t feature due to a jet-lag.
Van Wyk and Motlhalo were not part of the team during last year’s triumph in Bulawayo, while Kgatlana was voted Player of the Tournament. However, the 55-year-old coach is adamant that she won’t rush them onto the field if they are not ready as she’s got enough personnel to compete.
“The trio from the US were not available against Madagascar but we worked a little bit with them on the side and yesterday in training,” Ellis explained.
“We would like to play them but we have to look at the well-being of the player. We’ve got enough personnel who are able to go out there and play.
“When you bring players to a tournament, you want to make sure that you give them an opportunity to show what they can do. This will be the only way they can prove that they are ready for a higher level.”
At some stages against Madagascar, Banyana took their foot off the pedal, thus allowing the opposition back into the game after taking an early 2-0 lead. As a result, they ended the game player down. However, Ellis was pleased with her team’s resilience that saw them get a couple of shots on target.
“We created a lot of opportunities in the second half, and since the goalkeeper (Verosantatra Diana Andrianandrasana ) was the Lady of the Match that shows how much we got the balls on target,” she insisted. “I am happy with the result but I still believe that we can improve our performance going forward.”
Tottenham’s Harry Kane put a brace past Liverpool last year when Spurs dominated the Reds in a 4-1 victory. Here he can be seen celebrating one of those goals on that fateful matchday. |