Spurs and Liverpool clash in top four Premier League six-pointer
Arsenal’s heavy defeat at Manchester City has presented both Spurs and Liverpool with a great opportunity to close the gap on the Premiership leaders this Sunday tea-time.
But more realistically, both camps are probably looking at this game as a big chance to further claims for a place in the top four. And what better way than to beat one of your chief rivals? In terms of a Champions League spot come the end of the season, this is a six-pointer.
City, Arsenal and Chelsea are favourites to fill the top three Premier League places with the race for fourth seemingly a three-way fight between Liverpool, Manchester United and Spurs, although Everton might have plenty to say about that analysis.
Whatever, this is a very big game that both sides will be desperate not to lose, which is why a draw (Coral go 23/10) makes more appeal than a win for either Tottenham (6/4) or the visitors (9/5).
Spurs are back on track after a distinctly dodgy spell (including a 6-0 thrashing at Man City and home defeats to West Ham and Newcastle) with two 2-1 away victories at struggling Fulham and Sunderland. They are also safely through to the knock-out stages of the Europa League.
But in general this campaign their problem has been putting the ball in the net. Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping that expensive signing Roberto Soldado’s midweek hat-trick will open the floodgates (Coral go 7/4 he nets again) because a return of just 15 goals from 15 League games this season is simply not good enough for a side so brimful of creative talent.
Lack of European distractions should help Liverpool, both this weekend and in the long run, but they have problems of their own with injuries to two of their England internationals, captain Steve Gerrard and striker Daniel Sturridge.
Fortunately for the Reds, Luis Suarez seems to be on a one-man mission with 15 goals from just ten games since returning from his lengthy suspension. Coral go evens that he scores again at White Hart Lane (4/1 first or last), but it is worth noting that all but three of his goals have come at Anfield, where the Kop gets right behind him.
Liverpool do look far more vulnerable on their travels than in front of their home fans and they will need to fight and scrape to keep the momentum going while two such important players are sidelined.