Tottenham v Liverpool preview

The Premier League returns with a cracking clash on Saturday, with the early kick-off seeing Tottenham host top-of-the-table Liverpool at Wembley.

Both clubs have serious designs on competing for the title this season and this eagerly-anticipated showdown should offer plenty of clues as to which of the two teams is best equipped to challenge champions Manchester City over the course of the campaign.

Liverpool, who are slight favourites at 2.40 to win, have started impressively with four wins out of four and, due to a marginally better goal difference, sit ahead of Chelsea at the top of the pile. But they will approach Saturday’s game knowing it is their first significant test – and one Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to pass after the Reds were humbled 4-1 in the corresponding fixture last season.

Liverpool recovered remarkably well from that heavy defeat and the visitors should be confident stepping out at Wembley this weekend, after wins so far over West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brighton and Leicester. The Reds have even managed to pick up maximum points without being at their best – a sign that they are mastering the art of winning ugly, which is a pre-requisite for any title winner to have in their armoury.

Defensively, it is a very different backline Spurs will have to try and break down with Joe Gomez the only player who featured in the aforementioned defeat set to start again. Splashing huge sums of money on centre-back Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson Becker seems to have paid off and Liverpool are vastly improved at the back, conceding just one goal so far this term.

Klopp has made just one change to his line-up, fielding the exact same XI in the first three games and could retain the same side that won at Leicester, although Naby Keita will hope to return in midfield. Adam Lallana has been ruled out for at least a fortnight, while Dejan Lovren remains unavailable and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for most of the season.

Tottenham had begun the campaign well themselves with three wins, before an unexpected 2-1 defeat at Watford prior to the international break and boss Mauricio Pochettino will be looking for a response from his side.

Harry Kane is the obvious goal threat even if he looks jaded from his summer exploits for England, while Heung-min Son is available again after missing the last three games helping South Korea win the Asia Cup. His return is timely as Pochettino has confirmed Dele Alli will miss the game with a minor muscle strain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is absent again, with a thigh injury, so Michel Vorm will continue to deputise.

Pochettino may opt to try and sit back to begin with in an attempt to stem a fast start from Liverpool before hitting them on the break. Backing both teams to score at 1.52 would be wise, with Kane (4.75) or Mohamed Salah (4.35) to score first predictable options.

Both sides know losing this fixture would bring on inevitable questions over if they’re good enough to sustain a title challenge so with that in mind it may be a case of them cancelling each other out and it ending all square. A draw is on offer at 3.75 with 1-1 in the correct score market available at an appealing 7.25.