Premier League Tactical Preview: Spurs to beat Liverpool at Anfield

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool's record is under threat on Wednesday

For Premier League Gameweek 13 Alex Keble picks out four key tactical battles and says Tottenham have what it takes to beat Liverpool and end their unbeaten Anfield run...

"I'm predicting a Tottenham win at Anfield, ending Jurgen Klopp's incredible home record. Injuries and tiredness are really taking their toll, and as the press drops off Harry Kane should be able to pop up in the number 10 space and dictate the game."

Back Spurs to beat Liverpool at 7/2

Compact Wolves to produce stalemate

Wolves v Chelsea
Tuesday, 18:00
Live on Amazon Prime

Wolves and Chelsea both failed to score at the weekend, and their respective performances against Aston Villa and Everton point to a dull, low-scoring game at Molineux on Tuesday. Without Raul Jimenez, and in Nuno Esperito Santo's new 4-2-3-1, Wolves play too much in front of the opposition, struggle to make runs in behind and lack an instinctive forward in the box.

Villa kept them at arms' length relatively easily, and Frank Lampard's much-improved defence should do the same. Reece James may be slightly vulnerable to the movement of Pedro Neto, but overall we can expect Thiago Silva to track Fabio Silva and for Wolves' neat interplay to lead them down a cul-de-sac.

Chelsea were flat against Everton, looking disconnected in their attacking patterns without Hakim Ziyech or Christian Pulisic. Kai Havertz was clumsy on the right and Timo Werner went missing on the left, leaving Chelsea to pass aimlessly through the middle as Everton's deep-lying back four batted away crosses. Since Wolves will sit back, and since Chelsea will again press conservatively to conserve energy, a tame 0-0 draw is the most likely outcome.

Forced rotation suggests goals at both ends

Arsenal v Southampton
Wednesday, 18:00
Live on Amazon Prime

The intensity and organisation of Ralph Hasenhuttl's 4-4-2 should harass Arsenal into making mistakes and losing their fifth consecutive home game; Southampton's pressing traps, not to mention their confidence, is bad news for an Arsenal team looking demotivated and completely out of ideas. When a team is as lost as Arsenal, the last thing you want to face is Southampton's tactical sophistication.

But there is a twist. Mikel Arteta should rotate significantly for this fixture, meaning starts for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Eddie Nketiah, Dani Ceballos, and Joe Willock. As in the Europa League, in which a fresh young Arsenal team have won five out of five, these players could shake Arteta's side out of their slumber and inject some energy and confidence into their performances.

Having played with each other relatively infrequently, the rotated Arsenal side will probably be exposed at the back (just imagine the damage Danny Ings can do on the counter-press should Shkodran Mustafi start, for example), but the four fringe players listed above are more dynamic, assertive, and progressive in possession than the Arsenal players who took to the field against Burnley. There should be goals at both ends.

Arteta Clapping 1280.jpg

Justin versus Godfrey the game's key battle

Leicester v Everton
Wednesday, 18:00
Live on Amazon Prime

Leicester's 3-4-3 formation is working wonders for Brendan Rodgers, and in the first half against Brighton on Saturday the merits of the system peaked as James Justin ran riot from right wing-back. Having struggled for form when first integrated into the team, Justin is flourishing these days in a more advanced position, and his surprise shift from the left side to the right caught Brighton off guard.

His direct opponent on Wednesday is Ben Godfrey, a new signing from Norwich City who has settled very quickly at Everton. Godfrey is a more defensive player than Lucas Digne and was excellent against Havertz at the weekend, but Justin presents a very different challenge. As Godfrey tries to contend with Harvey Barnes or Ayoze Perez, Justin will arrive on the overlap.

Richarlison got back very effectively against Chelsea, but Carlo Ancelotti's game plan will be more attacking in this contest, which means there will be occasions when the Brazilian is caught high up the pitch and Godfrey is left with two players to mark. In these moments, Justin's crosses can unlock the Everton defence. The hosts should get a narrow win.

Kane & Son can dominate a weary Liverpool defence

Liverpool v Spurs
Wednesday, 20:00
Live on Amazon Prime

Liverpool were very lucky to escape from Craven Cottage with a point after the visitors created numerous big chances in the first half, carving open a makeshift back four that is looking increasingly exposed as fatigue sets in. Liverpool's pressing has deteriorated, and with it they are vulnerable to quick counters.

When pressing drops, opposition midfielders get the chance to look up and slip passes between the lines, which is how Fulham so consistently managed to set Ademola Lookman away around Fabinho. Once that ball is allowed to be played, Liverpool's high full-backs, and unfamiliarity in the Joel Matip-Fabinho partnership, gets easily exposed.

That's why I'm predicting a Tottenham win at Anfield, ending Jurgen Klopp's incredible home record. Injuries and tiredness are really taking their toll, and as the press drops off Harry Kane should be able to pop up in the number 10 space and dictate the game. Meanwhile, Tanguy Ndombele can win the midfield battle and wriggle through, releasing Heung-Min Son in behind Andrew Robertson to attack Fabinho.

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