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Bet over 3.5 goals when Tottenham Hotspur face Liverpool in the final Premier League game on Saturday. This promises to be an entertaining encounter in north London.
The feelgood factor at Tottenham Hotspur is back. Since Mauricio Pochettino departed in 2019, Spurs have struggled. None of Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo, nor Antonio Conte were a good fit for a club that prides itself on playing with a flourish and doing things in style.
By contrast, Ange Postecoglou, the current manager of Tottenham, has already won over the supporters. Of course, that has partly to do with results. His side has won four and drawn two of their first six Premier League games this term. They have outperformed expectations so far.
But the main reason for the restored connection between fans and staff is the style of play. Postecoglou likes his teams to play on the front foot. Tottenham have become more attack-minded and more proactive. They value possession but pass the ball with purpose.
It's to Postecoglou’s great credit that he has been able to implement his favored approach so quickly. And don't forget, Tottenham lost their greatest ever player, Harry Kane, over the summer. Many expected them to start the season relatively slowly.
Of course, there is still a long way to go in the 2023/24 campaign. Spurs might be fine right now but qualifying for the Champions League will still be tough. In the shorter term, this weekend’s meeting with Liverpool will be a stern examination of their credentials.
But Spurs will take heart from the way they performed in the north London derby last time out. They more than held their own in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal. Playing away from home, Tottenham came from behind not once but twice.
Postecoglou will have been delighted with the character his players showed at the Emirates Stadium. A similar showing here would make life difficult for Liverpool.
At the start of the season, there were fears that Liverpool would struggle to mount a challenge for the Premier League title. Chelsea were the superior side when they drew with the Reds on the opening weekend.
In the days that followed that match, they beat Liverpool off the pitch too. Both clubs were determined to sign Moises Caicedo from Brighton & Hove Albion and Romeo Lavia from Southampton. Chelsea won both races, forcing Liverpool to look elsewhere.
By the end of the transfer window, the club’s midfield rebuild was complete. Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch were the alternatives to Caicedo and Lavia, joining Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai as the new options in the middle of the park.
That helped the mood at Anfield, but the main reason for the newfound optimism is on-field results. Since that draw with Chelsea on the opening weekend, Liverpool have won each of their five Premier League fixtures.
Manchester City are the only team in the division with a 100 percent record, but the Reds are just two points behind the champions. City, to the surprise of no one, is the favorite to win the title with the best online sportsbooks.
But Liverpool have kept pace with them in the past and finished above them in 2019/20. Jurgen Klopp is striving to do the same this time around.
That will not be easy, given how relentlessly consistent City is. But Liverpool have been impressive, especially going forward. Only Brighton, Newcastle United, and Manchester City have put the ball in the back of the net more often up to now, while Liverpool have scored three goals in each of their last three outings in the Premier League, significantly increasing their odds of winning the Premier League.
Both Postecoglou and Klopp will be going for a win in this match. There is little chance of either manager settling for a point, at least not at the first whistle. That is good news for the neutrals, who are looking forward to tuning in.
Tottenham have made a terrific start to the season, but they cannot match Liverpool for individual quality. The attacking options at Klopp’s disposal must be the envy of his Premier League peers: Liverpool can choose three options from Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota, and Cody Gakpo.
But Tottenham went toe to toe with Arsenal, a team that finished above Liverpool last season. They have already beaten Manchester United this season too. Spurs have shown that they do not fear any other team in this league.
Son Heung-min has hit his stride playing through the middle, while James Maddison has been a revelation as a creative midfielder. The England international picked up an injury against Arsenal, but Tottenham are hoping he will be fit.
We reckon attacks will get the better of defenses here, so over 3.5 goals is the way to go.
Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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