Four key battles to look out for in Tottenham vs Liverpool

Liverpool take a trip to North London on Saturday as they look to extend their unbeaten run against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

Both sides head into the tie with similar records domestically. Neither side has tasted defeat yet in this new season, though Liverpool have only dropped points once, compared to Spurs’ two draws – including in last weekend's North London derby.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have enjoyed facing Tottenham of late, with their last loss against Spurs opponents coming way back in October 2017.

However, Ange Postecoglou – man who was inspired by Bill Shankly – has got his side clicking and this promises to be Liverpool's toughest test yet.

READ MORE: Liverpool's predicted starting lineup to face Tottenham

Here are four key battles that could decide the game.


Destiny Udogie vs Mohamed Salah

Season after season, Salah continues to prove all the doubters wrong, showcasing just why he is one of the very best players in the world.

But if he is to have another successful performance against Tottenham, he will have to be at his best.

Destiny Udogie has been one of Ange Postecoglou’s star players this season as his side sit in fourth, and still unbeaten, in the Premier League. The left-back made his debut against Brentford on the opening day of the season and has hardly put a foot wrong, starting every game since.

The 20-year-old, who battled Arsenal's Bukayo Saka last weekend, has also grabbed two assists, proving that he can perform at both ends of the pitch.

Salah already has eight goal contributions in all competitions this season, and will be looking to extend that on Saturday, but up against a the pacy Italy Under-21 international, expect the Liverpool right side to be fiery.

James Maddison vs Alexis Mac Allister

Another Postecoglou signing who has had a great start to the season is ex-Leicester midfielder James Maddison.

Two goals and four assists in six games has shown just why £40m for the England international was a total bargain, and it will be up to Alexis Mac Allister to help keep him quiet.

Despite it not being his natural position, the Argentine has had to fill in the 'number six' role regularly so far in 2023/24 and is expected to start there again on Saturday.

It will be the 24-year-old's job to stop Maddison from operating freely in the pockets at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

After a mixed start to the season, if Liverpool's World Cup winner stops us from seeing that darts celebration this weekend, it could be just what's needed to kickstart his Reds career.

Son Heung-min vs Virgil Van Dijk

 

Virgil van Dijk will face his first big test since his return from suspension, with Son expected to line up in the central striker position for Tottenham.

With the selling of Harry Kane and the misfiring Richarlison, Son has found himself as the first-choice forward and has certainly performed, scoring five times already this season.

It’s clear that Liverpool have a habit of conceding first this season. Four of the last five games have seen the Reds concede first and in those four games, they all ended 3-1 in favour of Klopp’s side.

Liverpool have found a way to win after the break – in the first half of games this season, the Reds have scored six and conceded seven goals, compared to conceding none in the second half and scoring a further 15 goals. However, against a team as strong as Tottenham, Van Dijk will be key in organising the defence and preventing another early goal.

He may need to be at his imperious best.

Micky Van de Ven vs Darwin Nuñez

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 24, 2023: Liverpool's goal-scorer Darwin Núñez celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After labelling Van Dijk as ‘one of the best defender in the Premier League’, Mick Van de Ven will be hoping to emulate his Dutch compatriot's success in England.

Linked to Liverpool over the summer – adding further attention to his performance from the away fans on Saturday – the 22-year-old former Wolfsburg star taken to life in London well. But he hasn't come up against a striker like Darwin Nuñez yet...

The Uruguayan has had a great start to the 2023/24 season for Liverpool, scoring three and grabbing one assist in the league, and will be looking to bring a little bit of that Darwin Chaos to Tottenham.

Both players are big, strong and very fast. Out of the four key battles on this list, expect this one to be the most entertaining. Mainly because Darwin is involved.

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