Postecoglou's £58m Tottenham duo set for crucial test in Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez battle


No less than one week on from Ange Postecoglou's biggest test as Tottenham manager, another serious challenge is scheduled for this weekend. The Lilywhites welcome Liverpool to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday just six days on from their thrilling 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the North London Derby.

Spurs headed into the clash against their bitter rivals as the underdogs and that statement was proven further by the opening 30 minutes. The Gunners dominated the early stages and deservedly went ahead when Cristian Romero inadvertently diverted Bukayo Saka's effort into the back of the net.

Despite Romero scoring an own goal, it was Destiny Udogie who endured the nightmare start in the back four with Saka terrorising his marker to the point he was booked after just 15 minutes. Surviving the remaining 75 against one of the Premier League's best wingers appeared unlikely, but the 20-year-old passed the test with flying colours.

In the second half, Saka barely got a sniff in his individual battle with Udogie, who Spurs signed for £15million last summer from Udinese, before he eventually limped off late into the game, with Postecoglou left particularly impressed. In his post-match press conference, he said: "Destiny getting booked early, it could have made it difficult. But the way he dealt with it, in the end I thought he was the dominant player on that side of the pitch.

"He finished really strong and had to contend with having a yellow card. It’s a great learning experience for him and for all the guys. They’ve come through that, going toe to toe with a top side." Despite making just five Premier League appearances prior to that clash, Udogie stood up to the test and proved his worth, but now perhaps an even more challenging battle awaits.

The reason Saka wasn't described as the best Premier League winger is because Liverpool's Mohamed Salah still holds that mantle. The 31-year-old already has four goals and four assists from seven games in all competitions this season and he absolutely loves playing against Spurs.

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From 18 games against the north Londoners, Salah has scored 11 league goals and he will be hoping to improve that tally this weekend. Udogie winning his 1-on-1 battle against Salah will certainly improve Spurs' chances of winning but perhaps the more crucial dual sees Micky van de Ven take on Darwin Nunez.

With so many attacking options at his disposal, Jurgen Klopp did not look set on a first-choice front three in the early weeks of the season, but it now looks as though his decision has been made. Luis Diaz, Nunez and Salah have been the most common attacking trio used and with Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota being deployed against Leicester in the Carabao Cup it seems to have confirmed the designated preferred three.

Udogie and van de Ven play next to each other, while Nunez and Salah have already shown superb link-up play that the Spurs duo will hope to nullify on Saturday. Since his summer transfer from Wolfsburg, which could rise to £43million, van de Ven has barely put a foot wrong but this will likely the biggest test of his Spurs career thus far up against an in-form striker and arguably the best Premier League player of the last five years.

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