PREVIEW | Liverpool v Tottenham: Enticing top of the table clash awaits as Matip and Keïta aim to return

JAMES NOBLE looks ahead to what we can expect to see in Wednesday evenings Premier League encounter against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield.

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Jürgen Klopp’s second-placed side only trail José Mourinho’s leaders on goal difference heading into a mouth-watering midweek meeting at Anfield – a game Joël Matip and Naby Keïta will both hope to be available for after recent fitness issues. 

The compact nature of the table means this could be a battle between third and fourth by the time kick-off arrives, if Leicester and Southampton beat Everton and Arsenal respectively in the 6pm kick-offs. 

Any winner of the meeting between the Reds and Spurs, though, will be the team in first place come Thursday morning – whatever happens elsewhere. 

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It’s not only those stakes that make this such an intriguing fixture. The attacking threat posed by both – especially on the counter-attack – means the finest margins and smallest of misjudgements could make all the difference. 

The fact there’ll be 2,000 fans inside Anfield again to play their part should only add to the excitement on the evening.

Key details

Who: Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur

What: Premier League

Date: Wednesday December 16, 2020

Time: 8pm GMT

Venue: Anfield, Liverpool

Referee: Anthony Taylor

Team news

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, James Milner, Thiago Alcântara and Diogo Jota all remain side-lined for the hosts. Klopp had more positive news regarding the availability of Matip and Keïta, who have both suffered injuries before and during the draw against Fulham at the weekend. 

On whether Matip would be fit for Wednesday the German said: “Don’t know yet. Only two days ago we played. He left the pitch with a back spasm. The physios work pretty much 24 hours on him. So, we will see. Today we have another session and then we will see.” 

He displayed slightly more positivity on Keïta’s availability, explaining: “Naby maybe. Naby was, yesterday [Monday], involved in the extended warming up I would say. So, there’s another session today, we will see how he reacts and then we will have to make a decision about that. 

Spurs, meanwhile will be without Gareth Bale (illness), Érik Lamela and Japhet Tanganga. Otherwise, José Mourinho will have a full strength squad to call upon, with the in form duo of Son Heung-min and Harry Kane his main weapons heading into Wednesday evening.

Likely lineups

Liverpool (4-3-3):

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1. Alisson Becker; 66. Trent Alexander-Arnold, 32. Joël Matip, 3. Fabinho, 26. Andrew Robertson; 17. Curtis Jones, 14. Jordan Henderson (C), 5. Georginio Wijnaldum; 11. Mohamed Salah, 9. Roberto Firmino, 10. Sadio Mane


8. Naby Keïta, 15. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 18. Takumi Minamino, 27. Divock Origi, 47. Nathaniel Phillips, 62. Caoimhín Kelleher (GK), 76. Neco Williams

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1):

Embed from Getty Images

1. Hugo Lloris (C); 24. Serge Aurier, 4. Toby Alderweireld, 15. Eric Dier, 3. Sergio Reguilón; 17. Moussa Sissoko, 5. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg; 23. Steven Bergwijn, 28. Tanguy Ndombélé, 7. Son Heung-min; 10. Harry Kane


2. Matt Doherty, 12. Joe Hart (GK), 14. Joe Rodon, 18. Giovani Lo Celso, 20. Dele Alli, 27. Lucas Moura, 33. Ben Davies

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