Jurgen Klopp was once heralded as the saviour of Liverpool but he’s fallen from his perch so far in 2017, with the Reds yet to win in the Premier League since the turn of the year, exiting the FA Cup at the hands of Wolves and losing to Southampton in the League Cup.
Liverpool’s only win in 2017 was an unconvincing victory over League Two outfit Plymouth Argyle, even needing a replay to overcome the minnows, and the task of facing high-flying Tottenham Hotspur this weekend is a daunting one.
Under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs have gone from top-four hopefuls to Premier League contenders but this weekend could be the defining point in their season. A victory would increase their advantage over Liverpool in the race for a top-four finish and keep them in the title race.
On the flip side, a defeat and positive results for the rest of the rivals would put Spurs in a real battle to secure a Champions League spot. Defining the importance of the match, Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson expects the outcome to be level.
“This is a big game for both these sides’ respective seasons. Liverpool are out of the title race now and they’ve done an Arsenal, going out of everything in the space of two weeks. If they’re not careful they could be out of the race for the top four – they have to win!”
“A Tottenham defeat would more or less hand the title to Chelsea but could put Spurs’ own aspirations at risk. If they lose and the other teams win, all of a sudden they’re in a battle for the top four. It can change that quickly. Liverpool have to win and Tottenham have to make sure they don’t lose, with that in mind I see Spurs denting Liverpool’s season further.”
With Anfield no longer the fortress it once was and Spurs travelling well in recent seasons, predicting a winner from this match is difficult and a draw seems to be the most likely outcome.