Returns of 7/8 and 5/8 in my first two Premier League predictor previews aren’t to be sneezed at and frankly nobody saw Liverpool’s slip up against Fulham coming over the weekend. The champions are back in action on Wednesday night against table-topping, title-chasing Spurs who sit above them on goal difference and another £10,000 Match Predictor is up for grabs. A win for either side would make a big statement in the title race, whereas a draw could potentially allow the chasing pack to gain ground on both. So which way will it go? Read my thoughts on the midweek Premier League predictor and join my Syndicate.
Premier League predictor: Liverpool vs. Tottenham
What will the correct score be?
In my opinion this game has score draw written all over it. We already know Tottenham’s gameplan, sit back, cede possession and try to hurt Liverpool on the counter-attack. In their last three games against big six opposition (Arsenal are holding onto membership of that club by a thread) Spurs have finished with the following possession stats; 30% (vs. Arsenal), 39% (vs) Chelsea, 33% (vs. Man City). It will almost certainly be a similar story here.
Ordinarily I’d fancy the magnificent, swash-buckling splendour of Liverpool’s attack to eek a win from Tottenham’s miserly defence but the Reds’ injury crisis shows no signs of ending and their nine injuries are the most in the Premier League and feature some big names; Konstantinos Tsimikas, Diogo Jota, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Xherdan Shaqiri, James Milner, Virgil van Dijk, Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita. At least six of them are regular first teamers ordinarily.
The extent to which this crisis has weakened Liverpool’s defence is the most striking thing of all, after just 12 games they have conceded 18 goals, 55% of last seasons total of 33. It is for that reason that I would expect Spurs, spearheaded as ever by the phenomenal Harry Kane and Son-Heung Min, to breach Liverpool but also to concede themselves. It is a real leveller and I think makes the draw a valid runner both in terms of real likelihood but also as a value way of approaching the pool.
Spurs have drawn three of their last five games in all competitions, including Sunday’s stalemate with Crystal Palace. Liverpool have also drawn three of their last five, including the last two, and all of those draws were 1-1.
Selections: 1-1, Other Draw
Will a penalty be taken?
Liverpool have given away a remarkable ten penalties in 12 games so far and won five themselves, meaning they have seen 15 in 12 games in total. Tottenham have seen half as many with five conceded and two received. However, given Liverpool’s antics in the box so far, I have to back both options here.
Selection: Yes, No
Will a player be sent off?
Neither side have had a red card this season. There will be very few occasions on which I select yes in this leg frankly, even though I will, inevitably, occasionally be caught out by it.
Will a goal be scored in the 1st half?
Liverpool have scored 13 and conceded 12 in the first half of their 12 Premier League games so far, an average of 2.08 per game. Tottenham are top of the first half table having scored 14 in the opening period but conceded just two. That still gives them an average of 1.33 goals seen per half though so you’d have to say that another first half strike here isn’t out of the question.
How many corners will be taken by Liverpool?
If the game goes as I’d expect in term of possession and gameplan, Liverpool will spend a lot of time in Spurs’ half trying to pick the lock on their defence. They are too good to resort to potshots and will attempt to play their way through Spurs’ defence. Against superior opposition than the last opponents, Fulham, from whom they won eight corners, I’d expect that number to decrease to a degree.
Selections: 3-4, 5-6
How many corners will be taken by Tottenham?
Tottenham aren’t a side who win a lot of corners generally. The nature of their counter-attacking style means that they are often breaking out with the ball in a lot of space in the opposition half, when there are fewer opposition players to make last ditch tackles close to the goal, thus knocking the ball out of play, or causing the ball to ricochet out. Against Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea they won six combined corners at an average of just two a game so this should be a low number.
Selections: 0-2, 3-4
How many cards will be shown to Liverpool?
The two cleanest sides in the division in terms of yellow cards and Liverpool have picked up the fewest with ten, under one a game on average. It’s a shot in the dark really but I’ll go for one.
How many cards will be show to Tottenham?
Spurs have only picked up a few more cards than Liverpool with 14, which is an average of just over one a game. They’ll spend much of this game defending so could put in a rash tackle or two if things get desperate. Accordingly, I’ll use up my final two perms to give us a bit of leeway here, in this final leg of the Premier League predictor.
Selection: 1, 2
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