Analysis

EPL Preview: One Big Game to Watch out for in Matchday 5

English Premier League will return on the weekend after a short international break. Which is the must-watch game on matchday five?

Watford will look to continue their winning streak against struggling Manchester United. Chelsea will look to do the same against Cardiff City. But the most exciting game of the weekend has to be Liverpool vs Tottenham as the attacking minded players and managers face each other on Saturday.

When and where to watch the game:

The Reds will travel to the Wembley Stadium, Tottenham’s temporary home ground in the fifth game of the season. The kick-off is scheduled for 5 PM IST on 15th September. Indian fans can watch the game on Star Sports and Hotstar.

Preview:

Liverpool is currently at the top of the table with a perfect record of 4 wins in 4 games. The Reds have conceded just one goal so far with three clean sheets. In their last game against Leicester city, Klopp’s men secured a 2-1 win courtesy Mane and Firmino goals despite a howler from Alisson in the box.

Tottenham also had a flying start to the season with wins in all three games including the 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United at the Old Trafford. But the Lilywhites struggles against Watford just before the international break as they suffered a 2-1 defeat.

Champions League also returns this week and both the teams have difficult fixtures in the first group games. Liverpool will host PSG while Tottenham will travel to Italy for a game against Inter Milan. But expect no manager to think about midweek games as the clash at Wembley can go a long way in deciding the Premier League title race.

Team News:

Mauricio Pochettino will be more worried than Klopp when it comes to team selection as the Argentine is without Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris for the important game. The midfielder was injured during England’s game against Spain in UEFA Nations League while the Frenchman missed Tottenham’s game against Watford and both of France’s fixtures.

Harry Kane played full 90 minutes against Spain and came on in the second half against Switzerland and there have been calls for resting the striker having played continuously since the start of last season. But Poch cannot afford that against the Reds. The return of Son Heung-min is a great news for the Londoners, but it will be interesting to see if he starts the game immediately after the energy-sapping Asian Games.

Liverpool will be without Dejan Lovren as the Croatian continues to recover from his World Cup injury. But the Reds have hardly missed the defender due to Joe Gomez’s quality performances in the heart of the defense. Adam Lallana will also miss the game after an injury which forced him to withdraw from England’s squad against Spain.

Predicted Line-Ups and Formation:

Tottenham:

“Fatigue is an excuse,” said Son when asked about his fitness level for the game against Liverpool. But given Lucas Moura’s current form the South Korean international is likely to start on the bench. Eriksen will have to lead the midfield all by himself in Alli’s absence. Eric Dier is likely to start the game in the midfield as well. Trippier and Ben Davies will be looking to move forward when Spurs have the ball, making it 3-5-2 in the attack.

Vorm (GK); Vertonghen, Sanchez, Alderweireld; Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Trippier; Moura, Kane

Liverpool:

Naby Keita was on the bench against Leicester as Jurgen Klopp tried something different than the first three games and handed the first start of the season to Jorden Henderson. But the German will be back to his preferred playing XI in an important clash with the midfield of Keita, Milner, and Wijnaldum. (4-3-3)

Alisson (GK); Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Milner, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane,

Predictions:

Expect both the managers to come out all guns blazing as they firmly believe in high pressing and attacking football. We have a mouth-watering goal-fest on the cards. But Liverpool’s defense looks much better this season compared to Tottenham which gives Klopp an edge to continue his winning streak. Three points for the Reds!

 

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