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Liverpool-Tottenham Hotspur Preview

AP - Sports

Displaying flash, flair and explosive offensive play, Tottenham Hotspur own an unblemished record after two matches for the second straight season.

It would appear to be in serious jeopardy against Liverpool and their new mercurial forward - Mario Balotelli.

Spurs will be looking for their best start to a season in five years when they attempt to avoid losing to the Reds for a fourth straight time when they welcome Liverpool to North London on Sunday.

Tottenham (2-0-0) have outscored opponents 5-0 in league play so far, and much of that success came in last weekend's 4-0 demolition of newly promoted Queens Park Rangers in North London.

"It was a fantastic performance," manager Mauricio Pochettino told the team's official website. "We all enjoyed it and we are very pleased because we deserved the win.

"We played like a team. This is the most important thing. It was an unbelievable performance - not only one player, but all the players."

Pochettino was undoubtedly thrilled with Spurs improving their perfect record to 4-0 in all competitions on Thursday, beating AEL Limassol of Cyprus 3-0 to take the two-legged series 5-1 and advance to the group stage of the Europa League.

A win on Sunday would give the Lilywhites their best league start since winning the first four games of 2009-10, but Liverpool (1-0-1) should provide an ample test as they try to rebound from last weekend's 3-1 away defeat to Manchester City.

The Reds have won their last three matches against Spurs by a combined score of 12-2, including a 5-0 drubbing at White Hart Lane last season.

Captain Steven Gerrard, however, is expecting this visit to be a lot tougher.

"We'll have to perform at our maximum to get the result we want, but we're going to go there for three points and we're confident we can get them," he told the team's official website.

That confidence may be boosted with the addition of Balotelli, who is expected to be available to manager Brendan Rodgers for his club debut.

"He's a player with massive quality," midfielder Joe Allen said. "He has that spontaneous edge to him. He's going to give us a massive threat."

Those reasons are particularly why 'Super Mario's' acquisition is drawing comparisons to Luis Suarez, the player he's expected to replace after being sold to Barcelona last month.

Balotelli had 18 goals in all competitions for Milan last season, but scored just once in three World Cup matches this summer as Italy bowed out in the group stage.

He scored in his only match against Tottenham during his last stint in the Premier League, netting a penalty in the final seconds of a 3-2 win for Man City - a game where he should have seen a red card for stamping on the head of midfielder Scott Parker.

Rodgers could opt to partner Balotelli with Daniel Sturridge, who has one goal through two games after getting 22 last term.

The Reds will get their first look at Erik Lamela and Harry Kane. Lamela had two assists against QPR, doubling his total from all of last season when injuries limited the midfielder to nine league matches - three starts.

Kane, meanwhile, scored in both legs against AEL Limassol and could be poised to start his first league match of 2014-15.

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