Weblog: The football punter
Tottenham v Liverpool preview
Sky Sports Premier League, 5.30pm Saturday
Jose Mourinho’s muddling start to his Tottenham career continued at the weekend as his side failed to see off Championship outfit Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round.
A strong Tottenham team had 14 attempts on goal and 72 per cent possession but could still only draw 1-1 at the Riverside and now they face a big task against runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp took a different approach to the Reds’ cup tie against Merseyside rivals Everton. Opting for a youthful side, Klopp rested nine starters from the 2-0 victory over Sheffield United just three days prior.
The outcome, however, was business as usual for the Reds, as a fine strike from 18-year-old Curtis Jones saw Liverpool into the last 16.
Mourinho’s woes were heightened last week with news that Harry Kane’s hamstring injury is as serious as feared with the England captain likely to be sidelined for several weeks.
With an already busy festive schedule taking its toll, and no like-for-like replacement for Kane, Spurs look certain to struggle for goals in the coming weeks.
Liverpool’s win over Sheffield United saw them extend their unbeaten league run to 37 matches – of which they’ve won a remarkable 32 – and that streak should continue against the wounded hosts.
Despite winning eight of their nine away league fixtures, Liverpool tend to be much more conservative away from Anfield. At home, they have averaged 3.5 goals per game but that figure decreases to 2.8 on the road.
Another controlled performance can see them record a fifth victory in a row against Spurs.
Liverpool & under 4.5 goals