The big players for Liverpool haven’t performed at that level. Many of these players have the World Cup coming up, but I believe the fear factor may have diminished for many of them as well, and I include Virgil van Dijk in that. Although he is a fantastic player—not just good—when he concedes a penalty to Aleksandar Mitrovic of Fulham in the opening match of the year, strikers all around the nation could have wondered If Mitrovic can get past him and win a penalty, why can’t I?
I believe that players used to simply ignore Van Dijk while facing him and instead spin around and play the ball wide. They are now trying. It’s challenging to regain that terror factor once it’s gone. I don’t believe the back four have had adequate protection. Gomez, Konate, and Matip have all been injured while on the field. Trent’s form hasn’t been the same. Robertson has had intermittent injuries.
is vulnerable. They traveled to Forest and fell short. Now they travel to Tottenham, where the atmosphere will be genuine. You get that excitement whenever a last-minute winner is announced. And what a victory for the Spurs this would be. Three points would significantly distance them from Liverpool and bring them closer to Manchester City. Although they can certainly make it up, Liverpool would find it tough to make up their Champions League hopes for the next season.
For Spurs, Rodrigo Bentancur has been the team’s unsung hero. Kane receives all the praise, but in my opinion, Bentancur has been their finest player. That was Fabinho’s job when he initially joined Liverpool, but for whatever reason—possibly playing in many games last year while injured, who knows—he now appears to be unable to go close to anyone. However, in this match, you do believe that is where the Spurs may succeed.
Calling is quite difficult. Even though Heung-Min Son is a significant miss, I’d feel more secure in the Spurs locker room and I don’t see the Spurs losing this game. Liverpool must generate some sort of output. For Darwin Nunez, it’s a crucial game. I predict a tie, but it will be a very open game with lots of goals.
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