Saturday, March 09, 2013

Match Preview: Liverpool vs Tottenham

High-flying Tottenham make the trip to Liverpool on Sunday looking to stretch their four-match winning run as they target a UEFA Champions League spot.

Andre Villas-Boas' men have enjoyed a hot streak of form of late to propel them into third place in the Premier League, five points behind second-placed Manchester City and two ahead of London rivals Chelsea.

Spurs' latest triumph came in Europe on Thursday night as they took control of their UEFA Europa League tie against Inter Milan with a comfortable 3-0 first-leg win at White Hart Lane, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to eight, while they have lost just one since mid-December.

That success came on the back of victory in last weekend's North London derby, when they saw off neighbours Arsenal 2-1 in a fourth straight league win.

Liverpool are likely to be wary of the in-form Londoners ahead of Sunday's showdown but can take comfort from their own resurgence, with back-to-back wins leaving them seventh in the table and within touching distance of sixth-placed rivals Everton.

Those convincing triumphs, over Swansea and Wigan, mean Brendan Rodgers' men have lost just one of their last six league encounters.

They will look to build on that run at Anfield on Sunday in an encounter which will see two of the Premier League's hottest stars pitted against each other in Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale.

Bale has stolen the headlines for Spurs with his recent scoring exploits, netting 10 in his last eight games for the club in all competitions, while his league tally stands at 16.

He will go up against the league's current top scorer in Suarez, who has grabbed 21 goals this term as Liverpool's star man, including a hat-trick in the 4-0 thumping of Wigan last weekend.

The two sides met earlier in the season at White Hart Lane, with Bale's own goal unable to derail Spurs' 2-1 win after he and Aaron Lennon had scored in the opening half.

Should the Welsh winger add to his goal rush on Merseyside he would become the first Tottenham player to score in six successive Premier League games.

Striker Daniel Sturridge and defender Martin Skrtel will both return from injury for Sunday's match at Anfield.

Sturridge has overcome a thigh problem which kept him out of last weekend's 4-0 win at Wigan and he is likely to regain his spot in the side.

Skrtel also returned to training this week after a knee injury but he will have to settle for a place on the bench.

Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon is a doubt for Sunday's game at Liverpool after suffering a hamstring injury in last night's win over Inter Milan.

Midfielder Mousa Dembele is expected to be fit despite coming off in the second half of last night's game while Emmanuel Adebayor will return to the squad after overcoming a knee injury.

Tom Huddlestone (knee) and Clint Dempsey (calf) are doubts, but Younes Kaboul and Sandro (both knee) are definitely unavailable.

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