Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool: Five Key Battles

Liverpool head to White Hart Lane for a midweek fixture than can be seen as an assessment of the new young managers at each club, with both of their sides starting to find some form.

Here are the key clashes which will shape the game...

Gareth Bale vs Glen Johnson

Bale was irrepressible at the weekend against West Ham, bursting on runs down his flank and through the heart of the opposition defence. He is clearly a key part of Spurs attacking threat, and Glen Johnson will need to rein in his attacking instincts to stop Bale running riot. By a similar token, Johnson is an important force for Liverpool going forward, and Bale will have to track back to ensure the England right back does not overload Spurs’ left flank. Whoever comes out on top of these two will be vital for the fixture as a whole.

Sandro vs Steven Gerrard

Sandro has been immense for Spurs this season, making more interceptions than any other player in the league. He was taken off late in the day against West Ham with an injury, but should make the match against Liverpool. Spurs will certainly need him against Liverpool's talented central midfield, and Sandro will be important in blocking off Gerrard's forays forward in particular, as the England man can be deadly if given space near the opposition box.

Kyle Walker vs Jose Enrique

Jose Enrique has become an integral part of Rodger's side in recent games, sporting a terrifying new look and raiding down the left side to great effect. Walker had perhaps his best game of the season against West Ham at the weekend, with Dawson's presence seeming to compose the right back. Whether Enrique plays as a wing back or as an out and out winger, stopping him from supplying Suarez is vital to Spurs' hopes of three points. As with Johnson, Walker is an important part of Spurs' attack himself, so Enrique's defensive work must be up to scratch too.

Steven Caulker vs Luis Suarez

Caulker has come on leaps and bounds over the past two years, with his development at Swansea being continued at Spurs, where he has been a regular in the first team in Kaboul’s absence. Caulker has faced some of the best in the Premiership already, performing well at Manchester City against Aguero and Tevez, and Suarez will pose another major challenge to Caulker, as one of the outstanding performers of the league so far. With his ability, there's every chance Suarez will get the better of Caulker on occasion no matter how well the defender plays, the key for Caulker will be to limit those occasions, and not commit too many fouls on the Uruguayan.

Clint Dempsey vs Joe Allen

Clint Dempsey finally gave Spurs fans a taste of his true ability at the weekend, with a second half performance that was more in keeping with his outings for Fulham last season. If he is in similar form on Wednesday night Allen will have a job to do to ensure the American does not become too influential in the final third for Spurs. Dempsey still doesn't look entirely comfortable playing as a number ten, but delivered a couple of great passes to set up goals on Sunday, and Allen will have to monitor him carefully to stop that happening to his side this midweek.

image: © Viking-

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