Liverpool FC status Frånvaroläge: Elliot(långtidsskadad), Jones(covid?), Philips(skadad), Origi(skadad), van Dijk(covid?), Fabinho(covid?) Trolig startelva (4-3-3): Alisson Alexander-Arnold, Matip Konate, Robertson – Milner, Keita, Thiago – Salah, Jota, Mané Tankar om elvan: Att tippa startelvan till den här matchen är verkligen ingen enkel uppgift. Hur är det med spelarna som missade senaste matchen pga covid? Har det tillkommit några nya spelare på frånvarolistan? Kommer matchen ens att spelas? Som det ser ut nu blir det i alla fall match, men vilka spelare som finns tillgängliga är oklart. Det har florerat rykten om att Henderson är nästa spelare att drabbas av covid, eftersom negativa rykten har haft en tendens att stämma den senaste tiden tror jag det gör så även den här gången. Utan både Fabinho och Henderson måste vi ha in Milner på mittfältet, för att få någon slags stadga. Thiago behåller sin plats i laget, trots en blek insats senast. Den tredje platsen på mitten hoppas jag vi ger till Keita, hans inhopp senaste lovade gott, han var dessutom bra igång redan innan skadan. Övriga laget ska det inte vara några diskussioner kring, om det inte kommit in fler sjukdomsfall såklart. Kanske får Firmino en chans från start, men med tanke på att han precis kommit tillbaka från skada känns det mer rimligt att han återigen får göra ett inhopp. – Kevin DeVries(@kevrov) Tottenham status 1. You haven’t played in a while because of COVID, Will all your players be back for the game? Having reviewed the training footage from yesterday, the only senior players not in training were Romero (injured), Hojbjerg, and Reguilon. That said, Conte said that we have to be careful with the returning players and that they may be on the bench. We don’t know yet which players tested positive over the past couple of weeks, but I would expect us to be without at least 3 regular starting players. 2. We never had the chance to play Spurs under Espirito Santo, what went wrong with that appointment? He was hired to be a different manager than he was. If we had let him play with a back three, committed to the counter-attack, etc. it might have still worked out. The issue was, that Levy promised us a young, attack-minded manager and then had to settle for Nuno when they all (Naglesmann, Potter, Ten Hag, etc.) turned us down. So, we tried to have Nuno play a 4-2-3-1, which he hadn’t used in years, the players weren’t comfortable in it, and he did very little in-match management. The job was probably always too big for him, but asking him to play a completely different style to the one he’d had success with at Wolves was why his stint at the club was so incredibly brief. 3. Now Conte is your new manager, how has his start been? Conte has already been brilliant. The Mura loss is the one early stain on his Tottenham record, but I think that was more of him falling for the same trick that Tottenham has played on our last 4ish managers: that our secondary players can do a job. The great thing about Conte though, is that he is such a known entity and such a consistent character. You see Tottenham building up, shifting, moving, attacking, etc. mostly in the same way he approached games at Inter, Chelsea, and as the Italy manager. Players are still settling into their new roles and patterns (COVID obviously didn’t help with that), but the hope is that we’ll continue to improve throughout the season with more minutes on the pitch and in training under Conte. 4. How would you describe the way he wants you to play? As I say, we aren’t really seeing anything “new” from him per se. He wants us to repeat patterns of play that have worked for him at his previous jobs, and the more players attempt those patterns, the better they understand them, and the more likely they are to work. The most interesting tactical thing that I’ve noticed has been how Reguilon and Davies operate. Reguilon frequently flies forward into the attacking third with Davies covering both his own left-sided centre back role *and* Reguilon’s spot on the left. If Reguilon stays back though, and sometimes even if he doesn’t, Davies will make a lung-busting underlapping run that splits Reguilon and Son which, against a traditional back four, means he’s often unmarked. See Son’s goal against Norwich for a great visual example of this move in practice. 5. Harry Kane was on his way out this summer, but stayed and now has only scored once so far this season, do you think he will perform better and stay at Spurs long term now that Conte has signed? If not, how do you think the start of this season has affected his value and the interest from other clubs? To be clear, we always knew that Kane’s highest value was never going to be higher than it was this summer… but City still weren’t able to pay it. I do think there’s a chance that Kane stays longer now that one of the best managers in the world is at the club, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he left in the summer for like £80m. As for his performances, they’re starting to pick up and I’d expect the goals to start flowing soon (assuming the football continues). If I had to guess, I’d say he still falls somewhere between 10-15 goals on the season despite his horrid start. 6. Do you think Conte Will sign any new players in january? Yes. He’s just had his first meeting with the higher-ups regarding the January window and it sounds like there will be movement, despite there not being loads of money. The departure of Dele Alli has never felt more likely, and there are reports that Ndombele and others could be on the move as early as January as well. Our squad is quite large, but not as filled with quality as we’d hope, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we moved 2-4 players and only brought in 1-2 of a higher quality. Vlahovic has done us no favours by being as dominant as he has been in the first half of the Serie A season, but I’d guess the first two positions Conte will want to address will be striker and centre back. 7. What are your thoughts on the game against Liverpool? It might happen! It’s been a very long time since we’ve gotten to see Tottenham Hotspur play a match of football and, even though this would be a very difficult one to return to, I think most fans would just be delighted with the match taking place. Assuming it does, we will likely struggle due to all of the recent disruptions at the club, but I don’t think (fingers crossed) that we would be victim to too horrible a scoreline under Conte. I think we’ll catch you on the counter once through Sonny, but that you’ll score at least twice to win it. Hopefully I’m wrong, though! Totaal reflektion: Det vilar en stor ovisshet över dagens match, det verkar som att den kommer att spelas, men vilka spelare som är tillgängliga känns lika osäkert som vilken status Spurs spelare kommer att vara i efter sin covid-vila. En normal dag ska vi slå Tottenham, vi har bra statistik mot dem de senaste säsongerna, men situationen i ligan är allt annat än normal nu och att förutspå matchens utseende och utgång känns svårt innan man vet vilka spelare som finns tillgängliga. Blir det mittfältet jag förutspådde ovan hänger mycket på att Keita och Thiago också kan ta ett defensivt ansvar, så att inte Milner lämnas ensam allt för ofta. Kan vi hålla koll på Son är mycket vunnet, där är det också viktigt att Thiago inte slår bort bollen lika ofta som mot Newcastle.