Kevin Kilbane: "You always know in these top games, Liverpool turn up"

They welcome title chasing Spurs to Anfield on Saturday

BY Kevin Kilbane 15:25 Friday 10 February 2017, 15:25 10 Feb 2017

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. Picture by: Andrew Matthews / EMPICS Sport

The standout game from the weekend is definitely the Liverpool-Tottenham game at the top end of the Premier League.

There are a few others knocking about when you look at the bottom of the league as well such as Swansea against Leicester.

But if you look at it from Liverpool's point of view, their record against the Top Six sides is exceptional. It's the best among the Top Six.

You always know in these top games, Liverpool turn up. You know they’re going to make it difficult for a side that actually comes to beat them. But it's different when a side comes to let Liverpool do the coming forward - just look at the defeat last week against Hull. We got another dreadful performance from Jurgen Klopp's side. They were lacking any real creativity in the game which was pretty much the same as happened against Swansea.

Liverpool were brilliant going forward at the start of the season and we’re just not seeing that now. That is why I get so disappointed with Liverpool when I’m watching them now. Whereas we see the opposite effect with Tottenham. Tottenham started the season relatively slowly. They were drawing a lot of games and I felt a couple of the games I was at, they probably didn’t deserve to win.

The win that’s in my head is the West Ham match – they probably didn’t deserve to win that game yet they managed to get three points.

That's a total contrast to Liverpool in that if Spurs not playing well, you still fancy them to get a result because defensively they’re sound. They’re not going to let teams score easily against them. So off the back of that, you just think of Liverpool this weekend – if they don’t pick up three points this weekend, the chance of winning the league is gone anyway. But I also think Top Four is in serious jeopardy.

I know they could go on a run. But Liverpool are just not performing now to the level they were at the start of the season when they were creating seven, eight chances a game. Tottenham are like an ultimate machine. They have very few chinks in their armour and that’s why I can’t see Tottenham losing at Liverpool. I’m not saying they’re going to go on and win it, I just don’t think they’ll lose it.

But the onus is on them. Tottenham need to win it because the way that Chelsea are going, you’d fancy Chelsea to beat Burnley even though Burnley’s home form is excellent.

On Saturday, I’m at the Arsenal-Hull game at the Emirates. The home fans are key. With Arsenal, the atmosphere at the Emirates hasn’t been great when I’ve been over there for the last couple of years. It's not the same atmosphere that I witness if I go to a Burnley or an Everton or all these sort of grounds.

The one stand-out thing from Arsenal is if things aren’t going well, if a few bad passes go astray they get on the players' backs. That’s largely down to the anger that’s felt towards the manager. That split in the camp seems to come about quickly again. So, this is a must win game for Arsenal, particularly with the week they’ve got coming up with Champions League games.

They can’t be going into that Bayern Munich game off the back of the form they’ve been showing. The performance against Watford was just awful. Then that followed with a poor showing at Chelsea. They just didn’t turn up and they didn’t perform at all. So the Hull match is a big one for them.

As for Hull, they look excellent. The defensive structure of the side is excellent. Going forward they’ve improved. The reason why they’ve improved defensively is down to what the new manager Marco Silva has brought to them. They don’t look like they’re going to concede as readily as they did maybe six, seven weeks ago. And it is down to him and that’s what makes it so difficult for Arsenal in this game.


I think Liverpool-Tottenham will be a draw. I don’t see Tottenham losing it. If anyone is going to win it, I’d tip Tottenham.

I think Arsenal will have too much for Hull but again that could turn badly against Arsenal if they don’t start well. But I’ll go with Arsenal to win.


Chris Eubank Jr wins super-middleweight title

15:16 Sunday 5 February 2017 1 Minute Read

As it happened: Leicester City vs. Manchester United

18:11 Sunday 5 February 2017 0 Minute Read

Pep Guardiola wary of "physical" Monaco threat

13:15 Tuesday 7 February 2017 2 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week