The Anfield Wrap’s match preview before Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur in the 2022-2023 Premier League at Anfield…
THREE in a row, is it? I’ve missed this feeling.
For the first time since December, The Reds find themselves on a roll. Six scored at Elland Road before flirting with danger against Nottingham Forest and a battle in the capital on Wednesday. All three had their hurdles, but crucially Liverpool got over the line in the end.
Against West Ham there was shape, purpose, a sense of calm when 1-0 down that we’ve scarcely seen this season. It’s the type of win that’s arguably the most rewarding in that not everything goes our way, but the determination and tenacity shines through. This season has needed both.
At long last, though, it feels as though Liverpool look like they’ve remembered who they are again. They’ve remembered how to play the Liverpool way and step by step, the results are bearing fruit.
Part of that is down to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s new inverted right-back role, which has breathed new life into the side, and part is down to a side finding their confidence and rhythm again. There is a way to go yet, of course, but there are growing signs of what the future could hold, signs that make us all feel alive again.
To Sunday and Spurs, then.
I don’t expect Klopp to make any drastic changes, but if Ibrahima Konate is fit I’d slot him back in next to Virgil van Dijk to combat Spurs’ threat on the counter attack.
In midfield, Thiago Alcantara narrowly misses out given Curtis Jones’ impressive run of form. Making his fifth successive league start on Wednesday, the 22-year-old’s performances may not have created headlines but have been integral in revitalising the team, bringing a sense of calm and control to midfield.
Having regained some momentum, his displays are enough to warrant another show of faith alongside Fabinho and Jordan Henderson.
Cody Gakpo continues to grow in importance with every game, operating in the half spaces while pressing intelligently to contribute in all areas of the pitch. Having scored two goals in his last three games, he has become the man so often driving Liverpool forward and will no doubt have a huge role to play in how this season ends.
According to Klopp, Diogo Jota is also available despite a heavy knock in midweek meaning the front three should remain unchanged. Should he need it, Darwin Nunez, Harvey Elliott and Luis Diaz all offer strong calvary from the bench.
Three wins from three for Liverpool with six big ones to go.
How nice it is to enjoy ourselves a little again?
Predicted 11: Alisson; Trent, Konate, Van Dijk, Robbo; Fabinho, Hendo, Jones; Salah, Gakpo, Jota
“Gakpo is an immaculate footballer.
“He has those first two or three games where everyone’s going ‘I don’t see what he offers the team’. I did it myself saying, ‘I’m not sure what he is yet’.
“We know what he is now, he’s the absolute pivot.”
🗣 Spurs (H): Pre-Match Warmup pic.twitter.com/ue5yHkYXX9
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) April 28, 2023