Key Battle: Spurs Vs Liverpool – Alderweireld Vs Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho is on form and Liverpool have an impressive recent record at Tottenham. Toby Alderweireld will be out to stop them. We check the stats ahead of the key battle between the Spurs defender and Reds attacker…

Liverpool travel to Tottenham live on Sky Sports this Saturday lunchtime hoping to bounce back from their surprise Premier League defeat at Burnley last weekend.

Philippe Coutinho will be a key player for the Reds if they are to get another positive result at White Hart Lane, a ground on which they haven’t lost or conceded a goal at since November 2012.

The 24-year-old Brazilian is growing as a player and has developed a confidence fitting of somebody who opposition fans fear most in this Liverpool team. He has a determination to impose himself on games and as a result he has had increasing success at taking on opponents, which is illustrated by an increase in his dribble success from 46 per cent when he first joined to approaching 70 per cent now.

This in turn has led to him becoming the main creative force for his team and he is providing more opportunities per game (2.5) than ever before.

Image 1


Jurgen Klopp has clearly encouraged him to shoot more than he did under Brendan Rodgers and that has resulted in two goals from a Premier League high 11 attempts so far this season.

Indeed, since the start of the 2014/15 season, no Premier League player has taken more shots from outside the area and the fact is that an impressive 13 of his 30 Liverpool goals across all competitions have been scored from beyond the 18-yard line.

Coutinho has hit 144 shots from since August 2014, the most in the Premier League.  Second place is Spurs Christian Eriksen with 141.  The nearest to them both is on 105.

Aiming to nullify the threat of Coutinho will be Tottenham defender Alderweireld. The Belgian defender made five appearances for his country at Euro 2016 and was instrumental in his nation reaching the quarter-finals, making more clearances (24) than any of his compatriots during the tournament.

That statistic came as no surprise given that only Bournemouth’s Steve Cook and Ashley Williams at Swansea made more clearances last season in the Premier League.

Alderweireld helped Tottenham have the joint best defence in the Premier League last season, conceding 18 fewer goals than in 2014/15.

His no-nonsense approach has given Mauricio Pochettino’s team a solid spine but it is easy to forget that his composure on the ball is also a key element of a Spurs side that likes to dominate possession and, of all Premier League defenders, only Daley Blind could better his 1,671 successful passes in the last campaign.

Image 2

Alderweireld believes that his experiences at Euro 2016 have helped him “mature” as a player and he will need to draw on the lessons learnt if he is to help prevent Liverpool leaving north London with a third victory in four visits.

But Coutinho has shown he is the man for the big occasion with his opening weekend brace in the win at Arsenal, following on from goals in games against Chelsea, Everton, Man City and Manchester United over the past 12 months.

He also scored the opening goal of the game when Liverpool drew 1-1 against Tottenham at Anfield in their last meeting on April 2 and will be hoping to add to his tally of six goals in his last 11 away Premier League appearances on Saturday.


Share the Post:

Related Posts