Liverpool will be aiming to stay top of the table against Spurs
By Joe Harker
The Premier League returns at the weekend and the first fixture is an early kick off at Wembley between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. Two of the Premier League's top six facing off against each other is the perfect way for club football to resume after an international break.
Spurs are fifth in the table and need a win to pull level with the three clubs that have enjoyed perfect starts to the season, albeit briefly. If they lose they will be six points off the top of the Premier League after just five games.
Liverpool are top of the league after winning all four of their games so far and having a better goal difference than Chelsea and Watford. They will be looking to get a good start to a hellish run of fixtures that sees them follow their trip to Wembley with games against PSG, Southampton, two fixtures against Chelsea, Napoli and Manchester City.
A win against Spurs could give them the momentum after the international break to make the most of a tricky fixture list. However, Spurs were one of the few teams that Liverpool couldn't beat last season, losing 4-1 to them at Wembley and drawing 2-2 in a thrilling game at Anfield.
Most could guess what the majority of Liverpool's starting lineup will look like. Jurgen Klopp has named the same goalkeeper, defence and forward line in all four Premier League games this season so most of the speculation will come in midfield.
Conversely, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has not yet named the same starting XI and has been experimenting with formations. Spurs could spring a surprise on a Liverpool team that will set out their stall at Wembley and challenge the hosts to beat their best team.
Both teams have scored nine goals so far this season, but Liverpool's defensive record is better. Spurs have shipped four goals in four games while Klopp's team have only conceded once so far. When Spurs beat Liverpool 4-1 last season it was before the arrival of centre back Virgil Van Dijk, who has been a defensive rock ever since joining. With Van Dijk and new keeper Alisson shoring up the defence Liverpool are a much tougher nut to crack now.
Another concern for Spurs is the form and fitness of star striker Harry Kane. Although Kane finally broke his duck of not scoring in August this season he has not yet fully recovered from an ankle injury sustained last season. He is having far fewer shots and is slower off the mark than before the injury suggesting he is not yet back to his best. There are also concerns of burnout after the World Cup.