The wrong ref and a Mother’s Day omen – Five reasons for Spurs to be fearful against Liverpool

Tottenham Hotspur need to break a run of poor form as they take on Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

After a lengthy international break, Spurs have the perfect opportunity to bounce back from four disappointing results in a row.

Prior to the Euro 2020 qualifiers, Spurs lost to Burnley, Chelsea and Southampton and eked out a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Wembley.

With the new stadium now open, and Premier League football back at Tottenham, there are plenty of reasons for optimism in north London.

But their record against Liverpool at Anfield is patchy at best and there are five key facts that should worry every Spurs fan ahead of Sunday’s showdown…

Football FanCast breaks them down below!

A woeful history

Spurs last won at Anfield in 2011.

On that day, goals from Rafael van der Vaart, now retired, and Luka Modric, now a Ballon d’Or winner and Real Madrid star, gave Harry Redknapp’s side a deserved 2-0 win over Kenny Dalglish’s side.

Since then, Spurs have failed to win any of their last seven trips, drawing three and losing four.

With the Reds in imperious form this season and top of the league, having suffered just one defeat all campaign, the signs do not point to a Spurs win.

Atkinson and Liverpool

Liverpool tend not to lose when Martin Atkinson is in charge.

In the Premier League, they last tasted defeat with Atkinson in the middle in the 2014-15 season, when they fell to a 2-1 loss to Manchester United.

Since then, Liverpool have won eight and drawn six of the 14 games he has been assigned to.

Spurs, by comparison, lost to Chelsea in the most recent match they played with Atkinson in charge, as they bowed out of the Carabao Cup on penalties in the semi-final.

This is exactly the wrong referee for Spurs to have as they look to overturn a nine-year drought.

Mother’s Day omen

Spurs will face Liverpool on Mothering Sunday.

That quirk of the calendar has happened before, in the 2013-14 season. Liverpool won 4-0.

Under the management of Tim Sherwood, Spurs fell behind to a ridiculous Younes Kaboul own goal in the second minute and promptly collapsed. Luis Suarez doubled his side’s lead before half-time and Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Henderson rounded off a decisive victory.

With Sherwood deciding to watch the game from the stands, he was the subject of chants asking: “Where is our manager?”

The result left Spurs sixth, eight points behind Arsenal. It is not a good omen.

Mane’s form and Firmino’s return

Sadio Mane has been in electric form in recent weeks. Since January, Mane has scored nine goals in as many games, and scored one and assisted one against Fulham last time out.

Roberto Firmino, too, was in exceptional form while on international duty with Brazil, scoring a superb goal in the 3-1 win over the Czech Republic.

With Mohamed Salah surely due to hit form again soon – he has not scored in five games – Spurs’ defence had better watch out.

Pochettino’s record against Klopp

Mauricio Pochettino has won one game against Jurgen Klopp in eight meetings.

That victory came in October 2017, when Spurs won 4-1 at Wembley.

Four of the games have been drawn, while three have been lost.

At Anfield this weekend, he has a chance to chalk up his second ever victory as Spurs boss over Klopp – his record against the German is his worst against any manager he has faced seven or more times.