The Wingman has predicted correctly six of his recent seven Premier League picks and he looks to continue the momentum into Match Day 27, where he chooses a tasty two-game parlay.
But first, if you haven’t seen the Liverpool vs. Tottenham match, do yourself a favour and watch the highlights.
It was one of the wildest finishes to a Premier League game you’ll ever have the joy of witnessing. You won’t get much joy watching the highlights if you’re a Spurs or Reds supporter, though, as it was as unnerving as it was suspenseful.
The Wingman discusses some perplexing moments from the grand finale, including the contentious first penalty decision.
Harry Kane, while in an offside position, was played onside when Reds’ centre back Dejan Lovren touched the ball on his attempted clearance.
Wingman picks Tottenham and Stoke
The first comes from Wembley, where Tottenham host Arsenal in another highly anticipated North London Derby. Pick the home side to win this match, particularly due to Arsenal’s woeful away form this season. Contrastingly, Spurs are firing on all cylinders after bossing Manchester United and Liverpool off the pitch.
In the second game, the Wingman backs Stoke to take all three points in their home match against Brighton.
Paul Lambert recently took the helm at Stoke, and has somewhat steadied the ship. He has a lot of work to do for Stoke to climb out of the perilous situation they currently find themselves in.
It was by no means a perfect away performance but Mauricio Pochettino can be proud of his side for the way they refused to capitulate in unsavoury conditions.
Firstly, I’ll talk about the elephant in the room, getting the negative aspects of the draw off my chest.
Spurs have won a single match at Anfield in their last 24 visits; that win came back in May 2011.
Tottenham haven’t kept a clean sheet against a top-six side in 30 matches on their travels and have a single win to show from 21 away contests versus the élite six.
Some disconcerting trends from the match also reared their ugly head. Eric Dier and Davinson Sánchez endured miserable matches, akin to the weather on Merseyside. But Sánchez is still only 21 and is bound to have uncomfortable outings, while Dier’s performance can be considered a mere blip for the time being.
On to the positive for Tottenham
But overall, Mauricio Pochettino is probably walking some extra pep in his step today after watching his side thoroughly outplay one of only two teams in England who remain unbeaten at home.
Speaking of Pep, Manchester City is the only other unbeaten home side.
Jurgen Klopp’s game plan was effective in the first half. Liverpool’s relentless high press disturbed Tottenham’s flow, stifling their ability to play enterprising football for which they’re renowned. But Spurs didn’t bat an eyelid, steadfast and defiant in their approach.
While the first half was fairly evenly played, the exact opposite is true of the second 45 minutes. Tottenham bossed proceedings, knocking the ball around like they were in a Sunday training session.
It’s one thing to enjoy the lion’s share of possession against Liverpool, but it’s altogether different to accomplish that feat at Anfield, one of the most difficult places to play in Europe. Overall, Spurs enjoyed 66 percent of possession. Those numbers underpin just how comprehensively the away side outshined their Merseyside counterparts.
Spurs received their just deserts when Victor Wanyama scored what will certainly be the goal of the season to level the score.
Harry Kane then had a chance to put Spurs ahead, but the marksman, usually a sure thing from the spot, missed his penalty.
And then the unthinkable happened: against the run of play, Mohamad Salah came up with a genius moment, scoring to put the Reds up late in injury time.
My nerves totally shot, I was consigned to defeat.
But then Tottenham displayed in a few minutes how far they’ve come as a unified collective. A never-say-die attitude, combined with the skill, gumption and bit of good fortune, pulled off the grandest escape against all odds.
I’m not going to analyze whether it was a penalty. That matters little at this point. What does matter is how Tottenham reacted to Salah’s goal, a moment that would have killed off permanently most other sides.
But Tottenham are not most other sides.
They have a fortified togetherness other teams can only dream of. While the point Spurs left Anfield with is invaluable, the resilience the team showed is far more important in the long-term.
Wanyama’s wonder goal and Erik Lamela’s contribution on the second penalty also mark the first time all season Pochettino’s substitutes have affected decisively the outcome of a match. It’s yet another good omen to take away from Merseyside.
It was exactly the type of away performance that should spur Tottenham on, and, with Juventus beckoning in the Champions League, it came at the most opportune time.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pochettino’s side use this result as a springboard, lofting the team to eminent heights on all three remaining fronts.
(This piece originally featured on Tottenham HQ. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
The Wingman is on a roll, as he lets loose on West Ham, lambasting the Premier League side for their latest managerial appointment.
David Moyes, the Wingman asserts, is going to drive the Hammers straight off the Premier League cliff. Or very close to it!
Moyes is still looking for his first Premier League victory as West Ham manager. This will most likely be the dour Scotsman’s last chance at a Premier League management job, and rightly so.
The Wingman believes Tottenham will get back to winning ways against Stoke this weekend. They haven’t won a league match in four and should rebound at Wembley.
In the surprise pick of the week, the Wingman goes with a draw in the Merseyside Derby. Everton are massive underdogs, but have played inspired football since Sam Allardyce arrived on the scene. He is known for inspiring struggling teams, while keeping an organized and disciplined defence. Everton will travel to Anfield and pull off a shocking result, walking away from Anfield with a share of the spoils.
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(Script and character idea creation by Newagejourno. Video production and editing by LTD EDN Productions.)