Two league wins, scoring five goals and conceding zero in the process have seen Tottenham Hotspur at the top of the table, although it is very early days. They entertain Liverpool on Sunday the 31st of August. The Merseyside team were beaten 3-1 by the Champions Manchester City away from home and with key players missing through injury it gives Rodgers a selection dilemma.
After the 4-0 victory over QPR last Sunday, Spurs manager Pochettino will want to continue with the same line up as he tries to maintain a winning formula. The Spurs convincingly beat AEL Limassol 3-0 (5-1 on aggregate) and players such as Harry Kane, Paulinho and Ben Davies all had strong games and will have mounted a strong case to play a part against last season’s runners-up.
They played a 4-2-3-1 formation against QPR, giving Erik Lamela the freedom to drift around the field, causing problems at all times. Nacer Chadli will be the wide outlet that hugs the touch line and his brace last week would have built a great deal of confidence. Nabil Bentaleb and Etienne Capoue will be used more defensively in the match looking to close off any attacking threat Liverpool has to offer.
With Liverpool it is a much different story. Playing Manchester City at the Etihad last Monday was always going to be a tall order. They controlled the first 40 minutes of play, before a mistake from debutant left back Moreno led to the opening goal. The second half was a procession for City, only for a mere consolation goal from Pablo Zabaleta to tarnish a professional performance from the reigning champions.
In the closing stages defenders Glen Johnson, Martin Skrtel and Alberto Moreno all picked up injuries. Johnson looks set to miss the match, which could mean Javier Manquillo will be restored at right-back after the young Spaniard missed out against City.
Mario Balotelli was unable to play against Manchester City and he will be desperate to start. The former AC Milan and City striker could play centrally with Daniel Sturridge in the right wing position.
Joe Allen may be forced out of the team if Balotelli comes into the side. In midfield Philippe Coutinho, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson will form a three-pronged setup. Gerrard will play that deep-lying role, whilst Henderson and Coutinho will be expected to make advanced runs and provide creativity from the middle of the park. Summer signing Adam Lallana will be back from a recent injury, but expect him to make his debut for the club from the bench.
Liverpool will be looking to use the 4-3-3 formation as they did against City and have Sturridge to link up with Balotelli at any chance.