Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - Five key battles

White Hart Lane 6

Tottenham host Liverpool in a huge Premier League clash this Sunday at White Hart Lane.

It’s a big match for both sides as Tottenham look to move level with Liverpool while the visitors will be determined to close the gap on Arsenal at the top of the table.

Both Andre Villas-Boas and Brendan Rodgers have selection issues ahead of the game but both should name strong sides, where the individual battles around the pitch prove to be decisive.

Here are five key battles to keep an eye on.

Hugo Lloris v Simon Mignolet

In big matches that are likely to be decided by the odd goal such as this one, the goalkeeper becomes arguably the most important player.

Both Lloris and Mignolet have been in good form for their sides so far this season. Whoever has the better day at the office is likely to help his side edge the three points.

It should be a great battle to watch because they are both top class and very proactive goalkeepers.

Michael Dawson v Luis Suarez

Suarez will bear the burden of Liverpool’s attack with Daniel Sturridge out injured for this game.

Michael Dawson is likely to play in the heart of the Tottenham back four and he has to be disciplined and focused throughout.

Suarez will try every trick in the book when it comes to trying to pull Dawson out of position or generally when he tries to get a slight advantage for himself.

Paulinho v Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho will play at the top of Liverpool’s midfield while Paulinho is likely to do more box-to-box work for Tottenham.

The pair will find themselves frequently up against each other around the pitch and the decisive battle will be whether Paulinho can keep Coutinho quiet from a defensive point of view.

This could be the most important individual battle on the pitch because of Coutinho’s ability to pick a pass and create a chance out of nothing.

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Andros Townsend v Mamadou Sakho

It would take a very brave Brendan Rodgers to task John Flanagan with keeping Andros Townsend in his pocket.

Townsend has grown into a very competent winger so far this season and he stands a good chance of starting on the right wing for Spurs.

He’ll look to try and exploit that side of the pitch and Sakho is a very imposing defender for any midfield or front man to go up against and he’ll try and make the battle a physical one.

Roberto Soldado v Martin Skrtel

Soldado will be unlucky not to start the game after impressing with a Europa League hat-trick.

If he does play then he’s likely to find himself in direct competition with Martin Skrtel who will press and hurry the Spaniard at all times, looking to stop him from picking up possession and laying the ball off.

image: © StartAgain

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