Pochettino and Tottenham primed and ready ahead of crucial spell
- Author: Regina Holmes Feb 04, 2018,
Feb 04, 2018, 1:06
One more change could be in the offing, with Klopp unlikely to start James Milner in back-to-back games in midfield. "We have different players, with different características".
Absent against Huddersfield in midweek due to illness, this is precisely the kind of game that Virgil van Dijk was signed for.
The prospect of missing out on Champions League football would be even more untimely with Spurs set to move into a new 61,500 capacity stadium next season and only further fuel rumours that Pochettino and Harry Kane and Dele Alli, all reportedly courted by Real Madrid, could be tempted away.
In what is a crucial game in the race to finish inside the top four, Spurs travel to Anfield full of confidence after their resounding victory over Manchester United at Wembley during the week. However, Spurs are now on a streak of four consecutive defeats in away games to Top Six rivals.
The obvious superstar is Kane, who is odds-on favourite to win the top fight's golden boot award for the third consecutive campaign, a historic achievement putting him on a par with Jimmy Greaves, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry.
The next challenge for this improving squad is to do it away from home and belief will be high after the dominating display against Jose Mourinho's United.
If Tottenham can reproduce the form they have shown at Wembley against the big clubs on the road then there is no reason why they can't take a vital three points away from Anfield.
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Seven of Liverpool's last eight games have ended with more than 2.5 goals.
So will Pochettino adapt his fabled philosophy, as he has done in this season's Champions League?
The trip to Liverpool will come only three days before the FA Cup fourth round replay with Newport and Pochettino all but confirmed that he plans to rest some of his regular players in the coming games in order to keep his players fresh for the title run-in. Without possession. In counter-attack or not in counter-attack. Together, they pull defenders apart and play around them: one drags an opponent forward, the other attacks the space he's created. Five at the back.
Contrast Pochettino's assessment of his own side's flexibility with his comments about Liverpool's fidelity to the 4-3-3 system, and it is clear that he feels his side have an edge in that respect. "We're stronger mentally and more mature".
Playing the minnow has helped Pochettino create an unrivalled team spirit, the flexibility and fluidity of the internet start-up against the traditional giants.
"Jurgen Klopp's side responded to that defeat by going 18 games unbeaten, and the signs at Huddersfield on Tuesday were of a team ready for another long run".
"But it is not only about us scoring goals, you have to play and stop them when they have the ball".