Match points: Liverpool v Tottenham

Dejan Lovren (above )
Dejan Lovren (above )PHOTOS: ACTION IMAGES, REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Key battles

Dejan Lovren (left ) v Harry Kane

Lovren is one of many who has improved under Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp. Liverpool conceded three times at Southampton after the German removed the Croat, fearing he would be sent off. Now his task will be to subdue the irrepressible Englishman Kane, who has scored doubles in his last two club games and is closing in on the Golden Boot.

Emre Can (left) v Dele Alli

Alli is the one that got away for Liverpool, a Reds fan who idolised Steven Gerrard but still rebuffed their advances to sign for Spurs. He may have suited Klopp. Instead, one German is likely to deploy another, Can, against the English teenager. If Liverpool push up, it will limit space between the lines for Alli, but he can break beyond them.

Philippe Coutinho (left ) v Kyle Walker

Coutinho has scored in his last two games and has a habit of reserving his goals for elite opponents. He tends to cut in from the left whereas right-back Walker would prefer to overlap. Yet if he goes forward, he could leave room for the Brazilian. A sub-plot is Walker's battle for the England right-back spot with Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2016, with the headline 'Match points: Liverpool v Tottenham Key battles'. Print Edition | Subscribe