Spurs to make hay against porous Liverpool backline

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As he has done for much of his short reign at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has endured a topsy-turvy couple of games at the start of this Premier League campaign.

A thrilling 4-3 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates was followed by the frustratingly dominant 2-0 defeat to newly-promoted Burnley last time out.

Defensive weakness has been the theme of discussions ever since, with rumours of more new faces and fringe-trimming exercises doing the rounds.

Unsurprisingly, much of the transfer talk has focussed on bolstering the backline and another unwanted result against Tottenham this weekend will only dial that chatter up further.

The Reds have conceded goals from 71 per cent of the shots on target they’ve faced this season. That is a league-high figure and almost nine per cent more than their closest rival.

It isn’t a new phenomenon either. Last season, only three clubs shipped goals from a higher proportion of shots on target. Two of them, Norwich and Aston Villa, were relegated. The other was 16th-place Bournemouth.

The worry over a soft backline is exacerbated further by their next opposition. Spurs hit the target with more shots than any other team in 2015/16, and by some distance. The 250 they registered bettered Manchester City and Arsenal by 40.

In two games this season the Lilywhites have only managed two goals from nine shots on target, but they fired five of those in the last outing against Crystal Palace while trying to incorporate new striker Vincent Janssen.

As the north Londoners slowly work themselves into peak form, the concern at Anfield should be that the Reds help them get there far quicker than expected.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men are the 7/5 favourites for victory at White Hart Lane. Liverpool can be backed at 2/1, while the draw is a 5/2 chance.

However 1/1 that the hosts score over 1.5 goals looks a peach of a price considering the visitors’ vulnerability at the back and their own dead-eye form in front of goal.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.