Match Preview. Tottenham v Liverpool - Weds 28 Nov 19.45

Posted by Yorkykopite on November 26, 2012, 11:16:22 AM

Spurs v Liverpool

There’s four points between the teams and, like us, Tottenham are making heavy weather of Europe. They have a new manager trying to impose his ‘philosophy’ on the team, like us, and also like us they have a long-term injury to their key central midfield player. This will be a tight one.

Last year it wasn’t. At the Lane we were undone by pace – specifically Charlie Adam’s utter lack of it. On two occasions he was slow to get to the ball and took the man himself. When Skrtel followed him down the tunnel before half time the rest of the match turned into a joke. But even in the brief period of it being 11 v 11, Spurs showed enough pace and movement to suggest we were in for a long afternoon.

We’ve got better since then.

And since then they have lost their second best player but, against expectations, managed to hang on to their best one. If Liverpool fans needed any reminding of the extraordinary talent that is Gareth Bale yesterday’s romp v West Ham came as a nasty jolt. It’s rare to see such impeccable balance at such terrific speed or such an ability to improvise when options are narrowing. Liverpool will do well to restrict him. With a premium on speed there’ll be no place for Sahin in our side and once again it’s likely that Joe Allen will be asked to man the midfield ramparts single-handedly, as he has done for most of the season. Don't worry Joe, Lucas will be back soon. Then we'll have two players who can turn on the ball in the first third.

The Defoe shot, possibly the most lethal in the league over the last 3 years, was also given an airing v West Ham. (It’s a safe bet he’ll be given at least once chance to unwind on Wednesday. Fortunately for us Pepe is looking agile and full of belief.) And Lennon proved, again, that he’s a more competent player than many are willing to give him credit for. It’s clear to see that they have a strong and experienced squad. Missing not just Parker but Dembele too, Tottenham are able to field replacements of the quality of Huddlestone and Dempsey – while still leaving the once coveted Gylfi Siggurdson on the bench. Having said all that it was West Ham yesterday. Flying high, but only like a bubble flies high.

Tottenham’s weak spot is clearly their defence. There’s no armour-plating there. Caulker is error prone and nervous, Gallas is trading off his accomplishments at Chelsea all those years ago and Kyle Walker is yet to produce his first tackle in the Premier League. Will Suarez and Sterling capitalise? Much will depend on who plays at the point of the midfield triangle (in the absence of Parker there’s some scope for us there) and whether Enrique continues his vein of form on the left wing.

This will be our third match in 6 days. Sensibly a key number of players were rested for the Young Boys game so we shouldn’t be quite as jaded as we definitely would have been if Brendan had gone all out v Berne. I’m slightly more confident of a win than I was for the Swansea match, but will admit that a draw is more likely. Our lads keep saying that the wins are coming and that team confidence is high. I’m glad to hear it.  Now let's see less of the mouth and more of the money. A win on Wednesday would mean a decent month being turned into an excellent one. Come of Redmen!

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