It would seem that there is very little that much-criticised Tottenham boss George Graham can do right at the moment. Despite his team remaining unbeaten at home in the Premiership, the former Arsenal boss has been the centre of the Spurs' travelling contingent's wrath as the Lilywhites have lost six out of seven on the road.
Arguably, Gerard Houllier is also feeling the burden of expectation. But at least his side have managed to move up to third in the table relatively smoothly. Aside from a 3-0 stuffing at Chelsea and losing a three-goal lead to Southampton, the Liverpool supremo must feel everything is going to plan at the moment.
Much of the Reds' success has stemmed from the effectiveness of their front-line. Unlike Sunday's opponents, Liverpool have thrived in attack with first Michael Owen and then Emile Heskey smashing in a combined total of 15 goals. The fact that the two would almost certainly have partnered each other in England's friendly in Turin had it not been for Owen's injury, speaks volumes for their quality. Unfortunately for Liverpool, Heskey is suspended for this game at White Hart Lane after being sent off against Chelsea in the Worthington Cup.
Conversely, one of Tottenham's major downfalls this season has been their lack of firepower. Liverpool have hit 10 more goals than Spurs' total of 17, and the fact that 12 of the Londoners' strikes have come in just four matches, gives an indication to where Graham's problems lie.
Indeed, take away summer signing Sergei Rebrov's and the recently injured Oyvind Leonhardsen's contribution, and Tottenham are struggling for goals from other areas of the pitch. They hold the lowest goals-to-shots ratio (10%) in the Premiership bar Bradford City, and also the second-lowest shooting accuracy in the division of 41%. The odds on Spurs failing to score on Sunday, however, are still 2/1 .
It's a frustrating period for fans of the north London club, perhaps exacerbated by some of Graham's comments in the papers regarding the recent vocal dissatisfaction. The Scot stated: "I cannot accept....the five per cent who take it on themselves to boo the team. To boo the team even when they've won is below the belt."
Houllier, by contrast, has fended off the initial cynicism surrounding his appointment as the first non-British manager of Liverpool, and now appears to be a firm favourite at Anfield. The Reds may have lost three games this season, but appear to be genuine title contenders. They enjoy well above average passing and tackling ratios, although they have already conceded 19 goals - nearly two-thirds of the total they conceded all through last term.
Honours were even between these two sides last season, with Spurs winning 1-0 at White Hart Lane back in January and Liverpool gaining revenge four months later with a 2-0 victory. With Heskey out suspended and Owen a doubt with injury, Tottenham's chances of winning are at least augmented, although you get the feeling that they will need to be on top of their game to earn all three points.