Spurs Host Liverpool at Wembley as Heavy Favorites

Photo credit: Brad Tutterow (Flickr) CC License

Tottenham (+115) vs Liverpool (+270), Draw (+275)

Tottenham (5-2-1, 17 points) hosts Liverpool (3-4-1, 13 points) at Wembley stadium this Sunday (October 22nd) for the ninth round of the 2017-18 Premier League season. Liverpool currently sit in eighth place after a rocky start but a win next weekend could see them leap as high as fourth. Meanwhile, Tottenham are in third place behind the Manchester clubs and enter this weekend as heavy favorites, despite some early struggles at their new home.  

The Spurs finally secured their first win at Wembley last weekend with a morale-saving 1-0 win over Bournemouth. A lot has been said about the “Wembley curse” and most of it is completely overblown, but it’s clear that the Spurs still don’t quite feel at ease at their makeshift home-ground.

The Spurs have a perfect record playing away (4-0-0) this season and a dismal record at Wembley (1-2-1). It’s still very early in the season, though, and the team will grow into the 90,000-seat mega-stadium.

Liverpool will be looking to capitalize on Tottenham’s lack of home-field advantage while it exists. After two rounds of draws, the Reds risk getting left behind by the top-table sides if they don’t pick up the pace. The Manchester clubs have established a decent lead over the league, but below them the table is compact. Just two points separate fourth and eighth place.

Their most recent league match against Manchester United wasn’t great to watch, but the 0-0 scoreline was an encouraging outcome in some ways. After a slew of interesting Man United games (they’ve scored an average of 3.5 goals per game this season), Red Devil boss Jose Mourinho reverted to his old ways, slowing the game to a crawl. Banking on the strength of his backline, he allowed Liverpool to control possession and force the attack.

It almost backfired. If it weren’t for a superhuman reflex save by David de Gea, Liverpool would have issued Manchester United their first loss of the season.

The Reds felt the absence of injured Sadio Mane, the team’s top goalscorer last season, against United, and Mane will not recover in time for the upcoming clash, but Liverpool now have Mohamed Salah to pick up the slack. It shouldn’t be like last season when they completely collapsed without their star striker.

Despite their lackluster performance, Tottenham managed to beat Bournemouth last weekend to continue a five-game win streak across all competitions. 

Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen have saved the Spurs time and time again, and Tottenham’s fate will likely be in their hands this weekend. Dele Alli has had his moments of brilliance this season but the temperamental youngster can’t always be relied upon.

Both sides will be traveling for a midweek Champions League match. The Spurs face champions Real Madrid while Liverpool takes on Slovenian side Maribor, which should be less taxing than what Tottenham has to deal with. While Tottenham have been more consistent so far, we haven’t seen anything truly special yet. Liverpool are atrocious at their worst but spectacular at their best. They tend to do well against the top teams (barring a recent 5-0 implosion against Man City) and present better value as +270 underdogs.

Pick: Liverpool (+270)