Liverpool face a potentially season-defining spate of Premier League matches before the end of 2013, starting with a televised trip to White Hart Lane to play a resurgent Tottenham team.
However, they must travel to London without their vastly influential skipper, Steven Gerrard, and this means Tottenham could well be the first side to prosper from his absence.
Ladbrokes have priced the big match very evenly, with Tottenham granted marginal favourite status at 6/4 as the home side, while Liverpool are 17/10 for the win and the draw is a 12/5 shot.
But considering the circumstances, backing a third Premier League win on the spin for the Lilywhites and not the Reds, may well be the most profitable course of action.
Liverpool may be three points ahead of Andre Villas-Boas’ side at present, but after seeing Gerrard limp off just before the hour-mark of his side’s 4-1 win over West Ham with a hamstring injury, Brendan Rodgers has been dealt a crushing blow.
Having already lost another vital member of his playing squad in the form of Daniel Sturridge, the Northern Irishman could ill-afford to lose another, and least of all Gerrard, who has completed all 15 of Liverpool’s league games so far.
Against a Spurs side which have not only recouped a crate-load of confidence with two away wins, Liverpool also face a team with possibly more quality midfield options than any other top-flight team.
Where Rodgers will no doubt have to pick between Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson to replace Gerrard, his opposite number will be spoilt for central midfield options, with the marauding Moussa Dembele particularly impressive during Spurs’ win at Sunderland.
The thing that will hurt the Reds most is losing Gerrard’s creativity, as their skipper not only tops the stats for the most key passes in the Premier League this season, but his six assists so far also represent a joint league-high.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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