Liverpool host Tottenham at Anfield this Sunday as they resume their push for a maiden Premier League title.
The Reds reclaimed top spot in their last fixture, edging past Fulham to open up a two point lead over second-placed Manchester City. However, the champions have a game in hand and have been in scintillating form since the turn of the year.
Jürgen Klopp's men will know they must be flawless for the remainder of the campaign if they are to deliver that elusive championship to their supporters, with this weekend's clash with Spurs likely to set the tone for their run-in.
The visitors had been a genuine contender for the title mere weeks ago before a torrid sequence of results left them looking nervously over their shoulders. A single draw and three defeats from their last four league games has seen Spurs' points cushion drastically cut, the North Londoners now just three above Manchester United in fifth.
Check out 90min's preview of the encounter below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 31 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||16:30 (BST)|
|Where Is it Played?||Anfield|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Sky Sports Premier League|
The visitors have a handful of injury concerns, with Serge Aurier and Eric Dier both expected to miss the match at Anfield. The full-back is struggling with a pulled hamstring whilst his counterpart has a thigh problem.
Mauricio Pochettino could also be without Harry Winks, the 23-year-old a slight doubt as he nurses a strained hip flexor. Heung-min Son could be rested after his exhausting travel schedule over the international break.
Midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita could return to the Liverpool side. The pair missed the 2-1 win at Craven Cottage last time out, though Henderson did feature for the Three Lions in the week.
The match comes too soon for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joe Gomez, both of whom are recovering from serious injuries. The former Arsenal man damaged knee ligaments last season, whilst Gomez suffered a broken ankle in December. Nevertheless, both recently returned to training and should be available for selection soon.
Full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson pulled out of their respective countries' European qualifiers with a back complaint and a dental problem, though they are both expected to be fit for Sunday's clash.
|Liverpool||Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, van Dijk, Matip, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner; Salah, Mane, Firmino.|
|Tottenham||Lloris; Trippier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Davies; Wanyama, Sissoko, Alli, Eriksen; Son, Kane.|
Head to Head Record
Tottenham have won just one of the previous 13 meetings between the sides, securing four draws in that time. That 4-1 triumph came early last season, with a Harry Kane double and one apiece for Son and Dele Alli being enough for the Lilywhites to snatch all three points.
However, it was Liverpool who came out on top in their most recent encounter, Klopp's team leaving Wembley with a slender 2-1 victory courtesy of strikes by Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino either side of half-time. A stoppage-time Erik Lamela effort came too late in the day for Spurs to take anything from the game.
The Merseysiders have had much the better of it over the course of history, amassing 81 wins since their first match-up in 1909. They actually lost 1-0 that day before falling to four defeats in the next five encounters.
Unfortunately for Spurs, they soon bucked that trend. The Lillywhites have recorded just 42 victories from their 171 meetings overall, the late twentieth-century seeing Liverpool assert their dominance.
It has been a testing time of late for Pochettino, who has witnessed his side drop 11 points in their last four Premier League games. In that time they suffered unexpected defeats at sides battling relegation; both Burnley and Southampton beating Spurs 2-1.
Those poor performances were compounded by an insipid 2-0 defeat to Chelsea and a fortuitous draw at home to fierce rivals Arsenal. That string of results has seen Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United close the gap to Spurs to a mere three points.
The Reds have won four of their last five matches in all competitions, including a sensational 3-1 triumph away to Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the Champions League. That ensured their progression to the quarter-finals of the competition, keeping alive hopes of a remarkable double.
In their last home league fixture they saw off Burnley 4-2, before the following week's victory over Fulham lifted Liverpool back to the top of the table.
Senegalese forward Sadio Mane has hit a purple patch in recent weeks, netting seven goals in his last five appearances for the club. He will be vital in helping his side overcome a well-organised Tottenham outfit.
Here's how the pair got on in their previous five fixtures:
|Fulham 1-2 Liverpool (17/3)||Southampton 2-1 Tottenham (09/3)|
|Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool (13/3)||Borussia Dortmund 0-1 Tottenham (05/3)|
|Liverpool 4-2 Burnley (10/3)||Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal (02/3)|
|Everton 0-0 Liverpool (03/3)||Chelsea 2-0 Tottenham (27/2)|
|Liverpool 5-0 Watford (27/2)||Burnley 2-1 Tottenham (23/2)|
The hosts could find themselves back in second place come kick-off, with City's game against Fulham taking place the day before. If that is the case, they will be eager to regain their position at the summit and could come out all guns blazing.
Tottenham's mentality has been questioned incessantly during Pochettino's reign, as numerous pundits and fans labelling them as 'bottlers'. There is no smoke without fire and the team do have a tendency to wilt in away fixtures at top sides; in a hostile atmosphere like Anfield, the likelihood of them collapsing only increases.
Home advantage, the unstoppable form of Mane and their opponents' lack of confidence should see Liverpool to a straightforward victory and a crucial three points.
Prediction Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham