Ryan Mason takes charge of his second game as Tottenham Hotspur’s interim manager and it doesn’t get any easier as they face Liverpool at Anfield this afternoon.
The north London outfit may harbour slim top-four aspirations but will be at risk of dropping to sixth place with a defeat as that would see the home side leapfrog them in the standings.
There is certainly some cause for optimism under the 31-year-old after he inspired a two-goal comeback against Manchester United in midweek, though with few players back from injury, it will be interesting to see what sort of side he selects today.
How will Spurs lineup vs Liverpool?
Fraser Forster is set to resume his duties between the sticks with usual no.1 and captain Hugo Lloris still absent through injury. However, there could be alterations to the backline in front of him.
Eric Dier has struggled for form and consistency in recent outings and is one candidate that could be taken out of the firing line, especially as he’d be set to come up against players like Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez.
Instead, Japhet Tanganga – who was once hailed as a “huge talent” by podcaster Chris Miller – could come into the fray for only his third league start of the season as he’d offer far more pace and dynamism than his fellow Englishman.
The 24-year-old made his Premier League debut against the Reds back in January 2020 and his performance saw Jurgen Klopp claim that he was “very impressive,” so perhaps he could look to repeat such exploits once again.
Cristian Romero and Clement Lenglet both keep their place, with the latter taking up Dier’s central role as the ball-playing quarterback. Pedro Porro should also continue on the right flank, with Emerson Royal absent through injury, whilst Ben Davies may be preferred to Ivan Perisic due to his defensive qualities.
In midfield, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could be joined by Pape Matar Sarr, instead of Oliver Skipp in the third and final change, as the young Senegalese gem can provide more box-to-box qualities than the Hotspur Way graduate.
He has also impressed in big matches with what little game time he’s seen. Sarr was arguably the ‘best player on the pitch’ against AC Milan at the San Siro, so starting at Anfield shouldn’t bother him one bit.
Meanwhile, further up the pitch, Mason is left with a tough dilemma – does he stick with Richarlison or opt for Dejan Kulusevski?
The Brazilian forward was hooked after just an hour but he could keep his place alongside Heung-min Son and Harry Kane. The former Everton star will know more than most what it’s like to play against Liverpool, so he could well be very motivated to score his first league goal for the club back in Merseyside.
Predicted Spurs XI (3-4-3): Forster; Tanganga, Lenglet, Romero; Davies, Hojbjerg, Sarr, Porro; Son, Richarlison, Kane
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