Why Tottenham must break their duct against Liverpool this weekend?

Why Tottenham must break their duct against Liverpool this weekend?

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In the penultimate match of the first half of this season’s Premier League, Tottenham hosts a struggling Liverpool side in North London.

It’s been a chaotic week for Tottenham and Antonio Conte; despite being two goals down to Bournemouth, a second-half turnaround finished by a Rodrigo Bentancur winner secured three valuable points for Spurs.

Just three days later, with no Conte, Spurs were then faced with an important match at Marseille to secure Champions League progression, with yet another last-gasp winner from Pierre-Emile Hoijbjerg clinching the win.

Although a draw would have seen us advance, winning the group means Tottenham avoids some of the more traditional European heavyweights in the last 16, theoretically providing Conte with a better chance of progressing through the tournament.

However, now, with the Champions League done and dusted until post-Qatar, Spurs attention must return to the Premier League as we welcome Liverpool to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Reds have had a slow start to this campaign, entering the weekend 10 points behind Spurs in ninth.

Moreover, their form has been a mixed bag so far this season; as despite convincing wins in the Champions League over Rangers, Ajax, and Napoli, their domestic performance leaves a lot to be desired.

Defeat in their last two league games to relegation candidates Nottingham Forest and Leeds marks a low point for the Reds. Despite dominating both encounters, they failed to capitalise on good chances.

Injuries have plagued Jurgen Klopp’s side all over the pitch, with several key absentees seeing the German forced to start what might be considered more rotation option players.

However, Spurs aren’t without injury woes. With Son being forced off midweek at Marseille, Conte faces a tough decision on whether to start Kane alongside Moura in a forward two or possibly even introduce Bryan Gil to form a front three.

The return of Dejan Kulusevski will boost Tottenham, however, given the Swede has been side-lined since mid-September, if he does feature, it will likely be from the bench.

The other potential option could see Perisic start in a more advanced position with Sessegnon at LWB, although it would be surprising to see Conte make such a drastic change in an important game.

But given Liverpool’s current form, the Italian may see this as his opportunity to deliver a much-needed result against a top side and simultaneously end Spurs’ 10-match winless run against the Reds.

Yet regardless of form, a visit from Liverpool will always make for a tough 90 minutes, so Conte must ensure the side is ready to deal with the threat Mohammed Salah and co can bring.

Including this one, with just two league games until the World Cup break, it’s imperative that Spurs remain in the top four going into the winter break and finish the first half of the season on a high.

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