We’ve missed you, Premier League, but what a way to return! Saturday’s early kick-off is Tottenham vs Liverpool, 5th vs 1st, Mauricio Pochettino vs Jürgen Klopp, and Harry Kane vs Mohamed Salah. It’s a match that you won’t want to miss.
After 3 wins out of 3, Tottenham really ran out of steam against this year’s surprise package, Watford. They were beaten by a team with more hunger, more energy and, perhaps most worryingly, more strength. Pochettino wasn’t happy with his team’s set piece defending, and rightly so. Unless they respond quickly, this could turn out to be the same old season for Spurs – so close, but yet so far.
Liverpool, on the other hand, seem to have found a new solidity this season. In the past, battles with Brighton, Crystal Palace and Leicester City would have been potential banana skins. Not this year, though. Liverpool have 12 points out of 12, with 9 goals scored and only 1 conceded. The defence looks tight (despite that Alisson blunder), Naby Keïta is already bossing the midfield, and Sadio Mané is outscoring Salah.
This, however, is the first real test of Liverpool’s title credentials. Last season, they lost this fixture 4-1 at Wembley.
Tottenham’s injury list is growing. Dele Alli picked up a muscle problem in England’s game against Spain, and Hugo Lloris will be out for another few weeks. Érik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko are back in training but will probably only make the bench. The same probably goes for Son Heung-min after his Asian Games success with South Korea.
Adam Lallana is, sadly, back on the treatment table and he’ll miss Tottenham vs Liverpool. Otherwise, Liverpool are pretty much at full-strength, although both teams may look a little leggy after the international break.
Do Tottenham regret their fruitless summer yet? Trailing at Watford, their bench was hardly inspiring: Fernando Llorente, Harry Winks, Victor Wanyama. Saying that, Spurs do now have Son back in action.
Will Fabinho finally make his Premier League debut for Liverpool? He played for Brazil against the USA last Saturday and he’ll be raring to play at Wembley against Tottenham. Klopp has a midfield conundrum to solve – which three should start out of Fabinho, Keïta, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum? It’s a nice problem to have.
Player to Watch: Lucas Moura
It’s no real surprise that Kane looks sluggish after playing over 60 games since the beginning of last season. Spurs can’t afford to rely on him heavily right now. Lucas Moura was their hero at Old Trafford against Manchester United, and Pochettino will be hoping for more of the same from the tricky Brazilian forward in Tottenham vs Liverpool. In wide areas, he should prove a real handful for attacking fullbacks Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson.