Match Preview – Spurs (a)

Premier League
Sunday 16 August 2009 - 4:00 pm
White Hart Lane
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31' Mascherano
50' Skrtel
56'Gerrard ⚽️
58' Carragher
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Sunday 16th August 09 (Kick off – 16:00)

The first ‘Super Sunday’ of the new season sees Liverpool travel to White Hart Lane for a season opener against Spurs.


The transfer window has seen Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa go to Real Madrid to be replaced by Glen Johnson and Alberto Aquilani.  Voronin has returned from a successful spell on loan at Hertha Berlin and will be looking to kick-start his Liverpool career.  There is still time for a few changes before the end of the month and Liverpool have been linked with everyone from Silva and Villa to Ribery and Shawcross.  I am sure there are a few surprises left…

Spurs have had a quite pre-season (for them) as far as transfers go.  Only 4 players in and one of them went straight back out on loan.  They have, however, released or sold a total of 11 players, mainly youngsters.  Zokora was probably the best player they let go and, in my opinion, it will have weakened their team – no defence and now no holding midfielder to give them some help.  Bent has left for a lot more than he is worth but that won’t have done them any harm.


The same fixture last year saw Spurs end Liverpool’s unbeaten record with a last minute winner to take the game 2-1.  It was Harry Redknapp’s first game in charge an, despite Liverpool dominating for 70 minutes, was probably decided by fate more than any clever play Spurs.
A series of misses (and Gerrard hitting the woodwork twice) stopped Liverpool from adding to Kuyt’s 2nd minute goal.  Then, in the 69th minute, Jamie Carragher deflected a header into his own net – his 3rd own goal against Spurs!  This deflated the Reds and gave Spurs a lift that saw them score after a Bentley shot was parried by Reina, only to be slotted home by Pavlyuchenko with almost the last kick of the game.

The most recent meeting was on the last day of the 08/09 season at Anfield and marked Sami Hyypia’s 464th and last game for Liverpool.  Goals from Torres and Benayoun, with a Hutton own goal in between, answered by Reds old boy Robbie Keane, gave Liverpool a comfortable 3-1 victory.

Head to head

Liverpool – 68
Spurs – 41
Draw – 38

At White Hart Lane
Liverpool – 22
Spurs – 34
Draw – 17


Liverpool currently have several players receiving treatment although Carra, Agger, Skrtel and Riera are all expected to be fit for this game.  New boy, Aquilani (ankle), Aurelio and El Zhar (both – knee) will definitely not be ready.

Spurs are nursing a few injuries, too.  Centre halves, King, Dawson and Woodgate along with left-back Bale are all currently listed as injured.  The good news for Spurs is that Dawson and Bale are expected to be ready for Sunday’s game.  King and Woodgate are longer term injuries.

(Pre-season) Form

Liverpool have had an indifferent pre-season dominated by tabloid rumours and injuries.  A draw against St. Gallen was followed by defeat to a full-strength Rapid Vienna team.  The far-East tour was slightly better – after a 1-1 against Thailand, Liverpool beat Singapore 5-0.  Then it was off to Norway for a comfortable 2-0 win against FC Lyn.  The last game of pre-season saw a very good Atletico Madrid side run out 2-1 winners at Anfield.

Spurs started pre-season brightly, notching easy wins over Exeter, Bournemouth and Peterborough before holding Barcelona to 1-1.  They followed this up with 2-0 defeats to Celtic and South China before an impressive 3-0 against Olympiakos in their last warm up game.


Liverpool – (from) Reina, Cavalieri, Agger, Johnson, Skrtel, Carragher, Insua, Dossena, Benayoun, Babel, Mascherano, Gerrard, Riera, Kuyt, Lucas, Torres, Voronin.

Liverpool have lost Xabi Alonso, but the rise in form of Lucas Leiva will make Reds fans hope that he will not be too sorely missed (at least until Aquilani is fit) and he will slot in next to Mascherano.  Johnson is more attacking than Arbeloa was and delivers a better ball.  Insua and Dossena will fight it out for the left-back berth (until Aurelio is fit) unless Dossena has gone since I wrote this.  Ryan Babel or Yossi Benayoun may have a part to play if Riera fails to pass a fitness test, but Kuyt should start on the right.  Expect the Gerrard-Torres partnership to be reinstated and they will be expected to provide most of the goals, although Voronin has looked decent in pre-season and may come off the bench.

Possible starting 11 – Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Dossena, Mascherano, Lucas, Kuyt, Riera, Gerrard, Torres.

Spurs – (from) Cudicini, Gomes, Hutton, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Bale, Chimbonda, Corluka, Dawson, Jenas, Huddlestone, Bentley, Lennon, O’Hara, Pavlyuchenko, Palacios, Modric, Keane, Defoe, Geovani, Crouch

Spurs have defensive frailties but an embarrassment of riches up front.  They may have to rely on youngsters if Dawson and Bale are not fit, but can call on Keane, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Modric, Geovani and Crouch to score the goals.  Bassong might turn out to be a good buy for them given the propensity of their other defenders to break.  Gomes (if he plays) is an enigma in goal; sometimes decent – often worse than useless.  Cudicini was wasted at Chelsea and will be looking to find his pre-Cech form.  The Spurs midfield is another hit-and-miss affair – O’Hara is an exciting prospect, Lennon, Bentley and Palacios can be superb on their day.  Less impressive are Huddlestone and Jenas who run all day but achieve little.

Possible starting 11 – Cudicini, Hutton, Dawson, Corluka, Bale, Lennon, Jenas, Modric, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Crouch


Broadcast live on Sky Sports 1. Coverage starts at 15:30

My prediction

Spurs 0-1 Liverpool

Liverpool should have too much in midfield and attack for Spurs and unless Cudicini has a blinder I can’t see past a Reds victory.

25 comments on
Match Preview – Spurs (a)

  1. Shay

    Thanks for the comments.

    Bale will be our future but BAE is for right now a more solid left back. Palacios was one of the main reasons that we improved so dramatically in the second half of last season – trust me when I say that most Spurs fans are not bothered by the departure of Zokora. In fact at times he unbalanced us so much it like playing with 10 men.

  2. Thanks for all the feedback Spurs fans. I was informed (obviously wrongly) that Dawson was fit and King was a definite non-starter. If he plays on Sunday that will be a boost for you – he is your best centre-half, imo. I don’t know too much about Assou-Ekotto but didn’t think he would start ahead of Bale (another one I heard would be fit). Gomes being better than Cudicini is another shock.

    As for Palacios being miles ahead of Zokora – he looked pretty ordinary the times I’ve seen him – albeit, relatively few.

    Unlike Billy Green, I agree that Crouch and Defoe will start on Sunday, I’m not even sure Keane will be there this season – isn’t he heavily linked with Villa?.

    To all the Spurs fans – I wish you good luck for the forthcoming season, just not when we’re the opposition.

  3. i am a masive armchair red ive ben to a handful of games in my life so i think that makes me qualified to say what i like.come on you red men.

  4. rafa, and all team of lfc is confusing… well, never change a winning team!. key is in miedfield. gerrard, yossi, lucas, kuyt.
    yossi gets well with torres and gerrard! lets see what happens my prediction 0:3

  5. King might not make it to half time, let alone the full 90 Billy so add him to your list 😉

    Going to be a real interesting battle.

  6. cant wait to watch the match sunday ive got my sky tv sorted and ive dusted off my armchair for the new season.come on you red you.

  7. I’m surprised at the amount of Spurs fans picking Defoe and Crouchy up top instead of Keane, I thought the Irishman was like your god.

    I still think we’ll do Spurs on Sunday. Should be a good game with both sides looking very short in defence. We’ve got Agger, Skrtel and Carra as doubts as well as Aurelio definitely out. Spurs have Dawson, Bale and Woodgate all very likely to miss out.

    3-1 for the Reds.

  8. Spot on with your comments mate, to the build up to this game and lets hope your rite.
    Cummon RED MEN

  9. Dawson’s injured, King will play after a run out against Olympiakos. So will Bassong. And Bale’s injured, however even when fit he couldn’t get in the side ahead of BAE last season. So your looking at Corluka, King, Bassong, BAE across the back – our defence, btw, only conceded 10 goals at home last season, the best record in the Prem.

    There’s is no way we’ll play three up front – not from the start anyway!

    Our star buy from last year was Palacious and that’s why we sold Zokora, he didn’t play against you last May because he was in Hondurous after his brother was murdered. So midfield of Lennon, Palacious, JJ and Modric.

    Upfront could be any two from four but I suspect it will be Crouch and Defoe.

  10. just a small thing but you made two mistakes:
    1) redknapps game against us was his 3rd game after a win and a 4-4 draw against Arsenal.
    2) We also lost 3-0 against Espanyol!

    Otherwise great review!

  11. spurs fan here. Our defence is very strong now, look at our home record towards the end of last season. Anyway, the team should be something like Gomes, Corluka, King, Bassong, Assou Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Huddlestone, Modric, Keane, Crouch. To suggest we have no defensive midfielder is nonsense as that is exactly what Palacios does and is a massive massive upgrade on Zokora. King will be fit to partner Bassong in defence. Bale will not start as he will not be match fit. Only open positions are the two up front any two from four, Palacios’s midfield partner and right back as we have about 50 of them. Not having a go as i would not have much of a clue about other teams either.

  12. you got the spurs starting 11 all wrong mucker. id say GOMES HUTTON BASSONG KING ASSOU-EKOTTO MODRIC JENAS PALACIOS LENNON DEFOE CROUCH and u will know all about it on Sunday

  13. Greetings Scousers, Spurs fan here…


    That was a good read but I’d just like to mention a couple of things:

    Firstly, King is injured in the sense that he was injured last season – his knee is irredeemably knackered but he’s still able to play, its just that every time he does his knee swells up & he can’t play or train more than once a week. It was the same last season but he still managed 29 games & ‘Arry has said he expects King to partner Bassong on Sunday. Dawson, however is out for at least another 3 weeks (achilles) so won’t take part.

    Secondly, I’m pretty certain Gomes will start, rather than Cudicini. Although he was very error prone early on he improved dramatically under Tony Parkes’ tutelage & was mostly excellent towards the season’s end. We only conceded 10 goals at home last season with him in goal which suggests he’s better than you think.

    My Spurs XI (4-4-2) prediction is: Gomes, Corluka, King, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas, Modric, Defoe, Crouch.

    I fear your prediction may be correct – I think you’ll be weaker without Alonso or his replacement Aquilani but your forward line is pretty special & Mascherano is always tough to play. Still, we got two results against you last season so there’s certainly the possibility of another, who knows…

    Anyway, best of luck for the season ahead & I hope you stuff the Mancs! 🙂

  14. our starting 11 ismore likely to be
    gomes, naughton/corluka, king, bassong, assou-ekotto, lennon, jenas, palacios, modric, crouch, defoe

    with introductions of both keane and pavlyuchenko during the game

  15. Dawson and Bale are definately out but they are the youngsters and would not be starting anyway. Geovani Dos Santos is a kid who rarely sees first team action and has been with Mexico all summer. Gomes is much better nowadays and is first choice. The only exciting thing about O’Hara is his WAG Danielle Lloyd, as he’s a hardworking DM. If Bentley is superb on any day its not one we’ve seen yet. Best of all is the thought of Huddlestone running all day! LOL! Only if the ice cream van is getting away from him…

    Try Gomes, Corluka, Bassong, King, Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas, Modric, Crouch and Defoe as your suggested starters.

    I’d agree a Liverpool win, but then I thought that both times last season too.

  16. Not sure where you get your spurs info mate – Bale is (a) injured, and (b) not even first choice anyway. Dawson is injured and will probably not play for a couple of weeks. King is fit and will start barring anything happening between now and Sunday.

    Our starting 11 will almost certainly be: Gomes, Hutton, Bassong, King, Ekotto, Modric, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas (if fit, otherwise probably Huddlestone), Crouch and Defoe.

    As for Zokora – he wasn’t even playing by the end of the season and most Spurs fans were not happy to get the £8m for him rather than watch him run around in circles for 90 minutes like a wind up toy.

    Anyway – good luck for the coming season… starting from your second match, anyway.

  17. Gomes will be in goal for Spurs. King will play. I expect Bassong to play. Assou-Ekotto will play. No defensive midfielder? How about Palacios? Pavlyuchenko, Defoe and Crouch all starting for Spurs? No chance. Not sure who Harry will pick up front.

    My guess

    Gomes, Corluka, King, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon, Palacios, Jenas, Modric, Crouch, Defoe

    subs – Cudicini, Hutton, Huddlestone, O’Hara, Bentley, Keane, Pavlyuchenko

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