Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Two form teams look to reach last eight of the EFL Cup

Liverpool face Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the EFL Cup at Anfield on Tuesday night, with both sides looking to maintain their respective unbeaten runs and progress to the last eight of the competition.

Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Two form teams look to reach last eight of the EFL Cup
(Picture: Getty Images - Jan Kruger)

Liverpool host Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night as the two teams look to take one step closer to a showpiece Wembley Stadium final.

Neither side are likely to name full-strength sides as they look to maintain nine and eight game unbeaten streaks in all competitions respectively.

Instead, they will look to use the game as an opportunity to rotate the squad and hand minutes to players on the fringes of the first-team and promising youngsters.

But they will also appreciate the importance of a positive result, both to maintain momentum and confidence but also to reach the last eight of the competition.

While the League Cup is of a higher priority to Liverpool, who have fielded strong teams against Championship opponents in their previous two fixtures this term, Spurs won't necessarily take the game lightly.

Spurs have Champions League football, in addition to their Premier League commitments, and so are likely to name a lesser strength team than the hosts but this still represents a good chance for them to end their wait for silverware.

The North London club haven't won a trophy in eight years, while Liverpool haven't enjoyed success since their last triumph in this tournament in 2012, but the draw elsewhere means their chances of winning it this term are heightened for the winner of this tie.

Manchester United take on Manchester City while West Ham United host Chelsea in all-Premier League ties on Wednesday night, while at least two Championship teams will make the last eight with a possibility for half of the fifth round to consist of second-tier teams.

While that by no means guarantees an easy progression into the two-legged semi-finals, Spurs and Liverpool would both be confident of reaching the final from there on.

Jürgen Klopp's men have lost just once in 11 games in all competitions this term, winning eight of the other 10 games, while Spurs are the only unbeaten team remaining in the Premier League.

They too have lost just once, in the Champions League, and this match-up will serve as an interesting opportunity to gauge the progress of the two since they drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane back in August.

On that day, Liverpool should arguably have come out on top as they squandered a handful of opportunities to gain the three points - but both teams have demonstrated not just their potential to battle for a top-four spot this season, but also to compete for the league title since then.

While they will name much-changed teams on L4, there will still be plenty of quality on show as they look to lay down another potential marker and move one step closer to a cup final.

Team news

Liverpool manager Klopp will make a number of changes for the visit of Spurs, starting in goal where Simon Mignolet will come back into the team over Loris Karius for the first time in over a month.

Captain Jordan Henderson is out after picking up his fifth yellow card of the campaign on Saturday, leaving him to serve a one-match suspension.

Danny Ings has only made one appearance this season but will be hopeful of featuring after impressing for the Under-23s in recent weeks, but Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge are also pushing for a start.

The Reds have only lined up with one striker in a 4-3-3 formation in recent matches, but could change to accomodate more than one here, while Alberto Moreno, Marko Grujic, Lucas Leiva and Ragnar Klavan could play.

A number of youngsters, such as Kevin Stewart, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria could be involved after also being absent from the U23s' squad on Sunday.

Similarly, Pochettino and Tottenham are expected to make a number of changes, with captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to be rested in favour of back-up shot-stopper Michel Vorm.

Vincent Janssen could lead the line, with fellow summer signing Georges-Kevin N'Koudou in the frame to feature, while the likes of Harry Winks, Kieran Trippier, Ben Davies and Joshua Onomah could also start.

Influential centre-back Toby Alderweireld, who is out after sustaining a leg injury in the draw at West Brom a week ago, remains sidelined. Kevin Wimmer could start in central defence.

Midfielder Moussa Sissoko will miss out, serving the first of a three-match ban for violent conduct after an incident Spurs' goalless draw at Bournemouth on the weekend.

Talismanic striker Harry Kane remains out with an ankle injury, although he is making good progress.

Head-to-head league record

At Anfield: Liverpool - 46 wins. Draws - 21. Tottenham Hotspur - 8 wins.
At White Hart Lane: Tottenham Hotspur - 36 wins. Draws - 18. Liverpool: 22 wins.
Overall: Liverpool - 68 wins. Draws - 39. Tottenham Hotspur - 44 wins.

Most recent meeting: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Liverpool, Premier League, 27th August 2016.
Last cup meeting: Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 Liverpool, League Cup, 12th November 2008.

Recent form

Liverpool

Form in Premier League: WWWDW
Form in all competitions: WWWDW

Tottenham Hotspur

Form in Premier League: WWWDD
Form in all competitions: WWDDD

Match facts

Liverpool have only beaten Tottenham once in seven attempts in the League Cup, their only previous win coming in the 1982 final. They did however knock Spurs out in penalties after a draw in 2004, drawing another and losing the other four meetings.

Tottenham and Liverpool are the last two runners-up of this competition, losing out to Chelsea and Manchester City in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Tottenham haven't won any of their last eight games against Liverpool in all competitions, drawing the last three successive matches after a run of five defeats.

Tuesday's hosts, Liverpool, have reached the quarter-final of the League Cup in both of the last two seasons and haven't done so for three consecutive campaigns since a five-year streak between 1979-80 and 1983-84. They won the competition in each of the last four years of that run.

Three of Spurs' last three all top-flight ties in this competition have ended in defeat, their only win a 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle United in December 2014.

Tottenham's Erik Lamela has been involved in more goals in the EFL Cup than any other, with one goal and three assists.

Only Brighton & Hove Albion (nine goals), who have played in one extra round, have scored more than Liverpool in this season's tournament. The Reds have fired eight in their two games thus far, more than any other Premier League team. 

Newcastle are the only team alongside Jürgen Klopp's men not to concede a goal in the League Cup this year having played at least two games.