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White Hart White Heat White Trash: Spurs v. Liverpool Preview

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Even in still photography the dude pisses me off.
Even in still photography the dude pisses me off.
Time: Sunday, 8:30am EST (1:30pm BST)
TV: FSC Plus for the Yanks, Sky for the Brits
Tottenham Trombone: Cartilage Free Captain

Finally, we get to wash out the taste of that loss to Stoke (it's basically tasted like overcooked eggs, in my mind). However, now comes a date at a ground where we haven't had the best of success. And there's still the lingering memory of Paul Konchesky stinkfisting our efforts to get what would have been a monumental win last season. Then again, had he not, maybe things would have turned around just slightly, and we'd still be stuck with Old Roy. Fate, up against your will and all that, right?


You'd like to think that after a Europa League trip to Greece that their drunken bullhorn of a manager hasn't stopped bitching about in weeks (God, I can't wait until he nosedives as an England manager) that this would be the time to catch Spurs. However, that was a youth and reserve side run out there, with the only things even resembling regulars were Sebastien Bassong, Jake Livermore, and Roman Pavlyuchenko starting, and none of them are close to automatic first 11 choices. Even Gio Dos Santos got a runout (how can he be so devastating for Mexico and so utterly, utterly crap for whatever club he's on this week?). So tired is not something they will be.

But injured yes. Michael Dawson is out, Ledley King faces a fitness test every morning just to eat breakfast, and Aaron Lennon and Rafael Van der Vaart are all not guaranteed to make it. If VDV can't go, and Luka Modric is still in a full out sulk about not getting to have his passes wasted by Fernando Torres, then the creativity in this side isn't all that impressive. And yes, I'm fully prepared to say that about a team that includes Greatest Player In The Galaxy Gareth Bale, who somehow parlayed two Champions League performances against a disinterested and disintegrating Inter side into Player of The Year status.

And that's where the most interesting decision of this game comes. Today, Kenny Dalglish was talking up Martin Skrtel having to deal with Bale, which makes me believe that Martin Kelly is actually fit and will probably get the nod. Don't know why I think that, I just do. Even though Bale is overrated by a factor of 12, that doesn't mean he isn't dangerous. And I doubt you'd want an out of position centerback dealing with what very well may be Spurs' main source of danger. Emanuel Adebayor is a danger for the three weeks he's interested, and sadly we're in those. He always seemed to score against us when he was a Gunner. Jermaine Defoe always gives me a fright too, with Redknapp probably replicating the 4-4-2 that won at Wolves if VDV can't go.

But a central pairing of King and Kaboul would surely see King limp off after 18 minutes of trying to follow Luis Suarez around. Other than the Skrtel-Kelly debate, the rest of the lineup is pretty much locked in, one would think. If Kelly starts, I think most of us would like to see Skrtel slide inside to partner Agger and Carragher out, but that almost certainly won't happen. It is unlikely that Andy Carroll is going to get a start now, but if he does he probably comes in for either  Kuyt or Henderson. But Adam and Lucas will get the middle, Enrique the left-back, Downing wide on the left and Suarez up top with either Kuyt or Carroll. Kuyt gives you the flexibility to go either 4-2-2-2 or 4-2-3-1, shifting out right in the latter with Henderson as the most forward midfielder. We'll have to see how big of a threat Kenny thinks Spurs are. If Kuyt's on the right, he does help cover Bale as well.

Even with the loss last week, Liverpool come in better form that Spurs, who only have the one league win and two absolute tea-baggings at the hands of both sides of Manchester. There's also the unrest part, with the whole Modric thing and Defoe rarely being a happy camper as well. We don't win in North London very often, I can't even remember if we've done the double away to both Arsenal and Spurs in my short fandom time. So  let's try it.