Can Ange Postecoglou continue his unbeaten start to life in the Premier League? Will Jürgen Klopp’s team get a statement win? Look ahead to Saturday’s match with our Tottenham vs. Liverpool prediction and preview.
Tottenham vs Liverpool: The Quick Hits
- Liverpool are favourites to win this game, with the Opta supercomputer predicting a 43.9% likelihood of victory.
- If Tottenham avoid defeat, Ange Postecoglou will be only the second Spurs manager in the Premier League era to go unbeaten in his first seven games.
- Spurs haven’t beaten Liverpool in league competition since October 2017.
The tests keep coming for new Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou. Saturday may only bring up his seventh Premier League match in charge but come Sunday he’ll have pitted his wits against Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, three of last season’s top five.
Spurs took four points from the first two of those encounters and now prepare to host a Liverpool side they have a dreadful record against, and who make the trip south having almost forgotten what it’s like to lose in the Premier League.
Jürgen Klopp’s team will arrive at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on a 17-game unbeaten run in the league, which is 10 matches longer than the current next best undefeated run in the division; coincidentally Spurs are one of those teams (with Arsenal) without a defeat in seven.
Liverpool have accumulated 41 points since their last loss, a 4-1 hammering by Manchester City in April, with Pep Guardiola’s champions the only team to have won more (43) over the same period. They finished last season very strong and then made some smart acquisitions in the transfer market that helped ensure they continue to look reinvigorated.
But they’ve not been perfect. Liverpool have developed a habit for conceding the first goal, doing so in five of their eight games across all competitions this season. Granted, they’ve won on every single occasion and, going back to last season, have been victorious in each of their past three away games despite letting in the first goal; the only team in Premier League history to better than record is Man Utd, who won seven consecutive matches on the road after conceding the opening goal between September 2020 and January 2021.
While it may be a good sign of the squad’s collective mental strength, it’s also a dangerous pattern to fall into. Tottenham will hope to buck the trend, and they’ll certainly back themselves to do what Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Wolves, LASK and Leicester City could not after also making an impressive start to the season. The fact they’ve scored two or more goals in each of their first six games in the Premier League should give them belief especially.
If they keep that up this weekend, Postecoglou will become only the second manager in Premier League history to see his side score two or more goals in each of his first seven games in the competition (after Craig Shakespeare with Leicester in April 2017); it’s worth noting, however, that Liverpool have scored three times in six of their eight games this term.
If Tottenham manage to blunt the Liverpool attack, or just score more than them, they’ll go unbeaten over the first seven games of a Premier League season for only the third time (2016-17 and 2022-23), while Postecoglou would become just the second Spurs manager to avoid defeat in his first seven games in the competition after Antonio Conte (undefeated in his first nine).
Keeping a lid on Mohamed Salah and Darwin Núñez would go a long way to helping Spurs’ cause. The Liverpool pair are creating a chance for one another on average every 29 minutes while on the pitch together in the Premier League this season, the best ratio of any duo to play 100+ minutes together in 2023-24.
Additionally, Salah has either scored (six goals) or assisted (nine assists) in each of his last 12 league appearances, including all six of Liverpool’s league games this season (three goals, four assists). If he registers a goal or assist on Saturday, he’ll become only the third player in Premier League history to record a goal involvement in each of their side’s first seven matches of a campaign (David Beckham for Man Utd in 2000-01, and Erling Haaland for Man City in 2022-23).
Spurs do have an in-form forward of their own, however, with Son Heung-min going into this game having scored five goals in his last three Premier League appearances, as many as his previous 17 beforehand. His early season form has helped Spurs fans get over the departure of all-time club record scorer Harry Kane to Bundesliga side Bayern Munich this summer.
Son’s form has undoubtedly been aided by the arrival of England international James Maddison, who Spurs are hopeful will be fit after jarring his knee in last week’s 2-2 north London derby draw. Brennan Johnson is also a doubt after sustaining a hamstring injury in the same game, while Giovani Lo Celso is close to returning. Rodrigo Bentancur, Bryan Gil, Ryan Sessegnon and Ivan Perisic remain longer-term absentees.
Liverpool could potentially welcome back Trent Alexander-Arnold after he was back in training this week. Thiago Alcântara is not expected to be fit imminently, but his absence has been softened by the fantastic early-season form of Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai following his move from RB Leipzig this summer.
Tottenham vs Liverpool Head-to-Head
As alluded to before, Spurs’ recent record in this fixture is underwhelming; they have won just one of their last 21 Premier League meeting (D6 L14), a 4-1 win at Wembley Stadium in October 2017.
That means Spurs are without a win in their last 11 league games against Liverpool (D3 L8); only against Chelsea between December 1992 and March 2006 (28 games), Man United between September 2001 and March 2012 (22 games) and Arsenal between March 2000 and October 2009 (20 games) have they endured longer winless runs in the competition.
In fact, Spurs have only lost more Premier League games to Man Utd (39) and Chelsea (33) than to Liverpool (31), who’ve scored at least once in each of their 15 most recent clashes with Tottenham.
And on that note; only Chelsea (110) have scored more Premier League goals against Spurs than Liverpool (109). They were last kept at bay during a 0-0 draw in October 2015, which was Klopp’s first game in charge of the Reds.
Ignoring that match, traditionally this fixture does include goals. Their Premier League meetings have averaged 2.94 per game, with Liverpool winning 4-3 in their most recent clash five months ago, and both have been sharp in attack so far this season.
Of course, Liverpool haven’t lost a league game since April and are unbeaten in eight on the road, averaging 2.6 goals per game in those away matches.
They’ve also only two of their last 12 league trips to London (W4 D6) and are unbeaten in the four most recent games (W1 D3) they have played in the capital.
Liverpool will be aiming to score three or more goals in four successive league matches for the first time since March 2014 under Brendan Rodgers (a run of six), having swept Aston Villa, Wolves and West Ham aside – they also put three past LASK in UEFA Europa League and Leicester in the Carabao Cup at Anfield in midweek.
Spurs, meanwhile, have won eight of their last 11 home league games, including their first two under Postecoglou, and they showed real spirit to peg Arsenal back twice at the Emirates Stadium in the 2-2 derby draw last Sunday.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Tottenham vs Liverpool Prediction
If you look past Liverpool’s recent issues with falling behind, there has been an overriding sense of positivity around their start to the season, particularly given they’re unbeaten, so it won’t be too surprising to see the supercomputer favour them here.
The Opta prediction model says they came out on top in 43.9% of match simulations ahead of the weekend.
However, Spurs still retain a 29.2% likelihood of making it three wins from three at home under Postecoglou, and the draw is rated at 26.9%.
As for their respective prospects over the whole campaign, the season predictor considers Liverpool to be the biggest threat to Man City with an 8.6% chance of winning the title, whereas Spurs’ promising start to the season has their most likely final position in the league table as fourth (18.5%), which would earn them a place back in the UEFA Champions League.
Their overall chance of finishing inside the top four of the standings (31.7%) is below Man City (99.9%), Liverpool (95.5%), Arsenal (79.1%) and Brighton (32.3%), but above other rivals for UCL qualification, Newcastle (30.2%), Aston Villa (13.8%) and Man Utd (10.9%), in the current Opta supercomputer predictions.