Liverpool vs Tottenham final LIVE Football Score 19 Dec 2021
Antonio Conte has insisted Tottenham are “ready to play” for the first time in two weeks against Liverpool – but has warned it will take time for his Covid-hit players to recover their fitness. Nine of Conte’s squad were forced into isolation after testing positive and, although he is set to have the majority available on Sunday, the Italian says they are only likely to be fit enough for a place on the bench.
Giovani Lo Celso could start for the first time under Conte after returning to training midweek following a knee injury, while Sergio Reguilon was expected to rejoin the group on Saturday although may not be deemed ready to start. “Before picking the starting XI you have to take into consideration all of this. For instance, to start with one player and after 60 or 70 minutes change him with one player who had Covid. In this situation, it’s important to have patience and take the right risk.”
Another Premier League match has been postponed after yet more positive Covid-19 cases. This weekend had already seen five fixtures called off after rising cases, and now Aston Villa’s home clash against Burnley has been called off. It had already been confirmed that Manchester United vs Brighton, Southampton vs Brentford, Watford vs Crystal Palace and West Ham vs Norwich will not go ahead this weekend. Everton’s home clash against Leicester City on Sunday had already been postponed after positive cases in the Foxes camp. Liverpool are due to take on Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, and the fixture is due to go ahead as things stand.
When announcing the postponement, Villa confirmed they have suffered more positive cases in the playing squad, and apologised to Burnley for the inconvenience. While the Premier League also released a statement that indicated the four remaining games this weekend are currently still on. The governing body said: “The remaining four Premier League matches due to be played this weekend are currently scheduled to proceed as planned. “The Board assesses applications to postpone matches on a case-by-case basis, based on existing rules and COVID-19 postponement guidance issued to all clubs.”
It will have been a strange experience for Tottenham to have two weeks off during what is usually the busiest period in the Premier League calendar, and only time will tell whether it proves to be a help or a hindrance in Sunday’s match. Games against Rennes and Brighton & Hove Albion were called off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Spurs squad, before positive cases in the Leicester City camp saw their midweek match at the King Power Stadium postponed too.
All of that means that Antonio Conte’s side have not been in action since December 5, when Lucas Moura, Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-min were on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win over Norwich City. That made it three Premier League wins in a row for Spurs, and another victory over Liverpool this weekend would see them string together four on the bounce for the first time since July 2020.
Tottenham’s inaction has seen them slip down to seventh in the Premier League table, although they have at least two games in hand over every other team in the league apart from Burnley, including three games in hand over fourth-placed Arsenal, whom them trail by four points.
A Champions League spot remains in Tottenham’s own hands this season, then, but Conte will not need telling that improvement is still needed. Spurs have scored just 16 goals so far this term – only four teams have scored fewer – while before their ongoing three-game winning streak they lost five and won just two of their previous eight outings.
Liverpool certainly represent a step up in quality from the teams they have beaten in recent games too, and history does not bode well for the hosts, who have lost each of their last six meetings with the Reds. Indeed, Spurs have only won one of their last 17 top-flight games against Liverpool, losing 12 of those, while the Merseysiders are currently enjoying their longest ever winning run away to Tottenham of three games.
Liverpool also boast a remarkable record in the month of December despite the fixture pile-up around Christmas, going unbeaten in their last 34 December league games stretching back to 2016 – the longest undefeated streak any side has ever enjoyed in a specific month of the competition. Conte will be telling his players that those past results will have no bearing on Sunday’s game, but there is plenty for Spurs to be concerned about from Liverpool’s more recent form too.
Jurgen Klopp’s side overcame an early scare to beat Newcastle United 3-1 at Anfield on Thursday night – their 2,000th top-flight triumph, an eighth consecutive win across all competitions and a sixth in a row in the Premier League.
Goals from Diogo Jota, the perpetually record-setting Mohamed Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold sealed another crucial three points which saw Liverpool keep pace with Manchester City, whom they trail by just one point at the top of the Premier League table.
Despite seeing Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones ruled out before the game due to suspected positive coronavirus tests, Klopp has questioned the logic behind a proposed ‘circuit-break’, and it is easy to see why he would want to keep Liverpool’s momentum rolling.