Luka will have to put his dancing shoes on
Harry Redknapp will be a free man for at least one more day and he will spend the evening of that day at Anfield, where Tottenham Hotspur get to play Seventhpool...excuses me, Liverpool. After spending the day in court, Harry will fly on a spinny, flying bird (helicopter) from London to Liverpool to manage Spurs for maybe (unlikely) one last time before the verdict in his tax evasion case is announced on Tuesday.
When Harry does finally get to Anfield, he'll probably just be finding out who will be available for selection because seemingly the entire Spurs team is facing some sort of injury. Tom Huddlestone and William Gallas are out, while Ledley King, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon, Jermain Defoe, Rafael van der Vaart and Emmanuel Adebayor are all listed as "doubts." The listing isn't all-knowing though. Kevin Bond has said that he expects Walker play and few expect King or Lennon to be available, while Adebayor is expected to play. Got all that? Well good because this is Spurs so if that's what is expected, the exact opposite is likely to happen.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have that Luis Suarez guy back and he's supposedly not going to start, but who really believes that? Tracking him and his never-ending movement will be a gigantic challenge for a Spurs defense that has been less than organized when Ledley can't play and no one thinks he's going to play so this could get interesting. With the rest of the Reds being made up of the likes of Andy Carroll and Stewart Downing, Suarez could very well end up the only source of Liverpool attack. Stop Suarez, stop Liverpool.
Or not. I don't really know how it happened, but Craig Bellamy and Dirk Kuyt started making goals happen and things. All of a sudden, Liverpool can score goals, which is a bit of a worry. Suarez might not be their only source of goals now. Oh, wait? This whole Liverpool scoring thing has only been happening for two weeks? Nevermind.
Liverpool might be goal challenged, but with all of Spurs' injuries, it could also be a problem for them. It looks highly, highly unlikely that Aaron Lennon will play, making it likely that Jake Livermore gets the nod along with Scott Parker and Luka Modric in the center of the midfield. Then, Harry will tell Gareth Bale and van der Vaart to run around wherever they feel like it, putting Spurs in that 4-3-3, Christmas tree, whatever you'd like to call it formation.
If Spurs do go Christmas tree, Modric will become even more important than usual. Livermore is not going to contribute a ton to the attack and Parker will be busy buzzing around the pitch like he's in his propeller plane over Paris in 1943 so all eyes are on Luka. He'll be charged with pushing up a little bit higher than usual and keying the attack for the more central Bale and roaming van der Vaart. If he cannot do his bit to open up space, it will be an uneventful day in the Liverpool half.
Luckily for Spurs, they can lean upon a 4-0 thrashing over the Reds at White Hart Lane earlier this season. That was aided by a couple Liverpool red card, but Spurs were bossing that match even when it was 11 v 11. Also lucky for Tottenham is that six point lead they have on fourth place Chelsea and six point lead on fifth place Newcastle (guess where Arsenal is?!?). Even a loss won't damage Spurs' Champions League hopes too badly, while a Liverpool loss would be very Seventhpool of them.
- No Premier League team has hit the post more times this season than Liverpool
- Stewart Downing leads the Premier League in shots on target without a goal with 45
- Gareth Bale will be making his 100th Premier League appearance
- Jose Enrique has shielded the ball out of play 16 times for the Premier League lead in the all-important statistic
- Liverpool will miss out on as much as £40 million when they fail to qualify for the Champions League...again