Champions League need unites Liverpool and Tottenham
Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will be separated by just two points, but united in one ambition when they meet at Anfield on tomorrow with a top-four finish imperative for both
Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) and Tottenham Hotspur's English midfielder Dele Alli (R) gestures during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium in London, on January 31, 2018. Pic/AFP
Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will be separated by just two points, but united in one ambition when they meet at Anfield on tomorrow with a top-four finish imperative for both.
Failing to earn a Champions League place could stall the steady progress overseen by Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino. Klopp's men hold a marginal advantage as they sit third, two points ahead of Spurs, who are fifth, as the race to finish in the three places behind runaway leaders Manchester City intensifies with Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal also in contention.
"The situation in the table, our targets, what we want to do and where we want to finish the season, it's clear it is a very important game," Klopp said on Friday, "These are these kind of six-point games." However, while Premier League clubs splashed out a record £430 million ($612 million, 491 million euros) in the January transfer window, Liverpool and Tottenham were more discerning than their rivals for the top four. Despite making Virgil van Dijk the most expensive defender in football history through a £75 million move from Southampton, Liverpool still closed the window with a huge profit following the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142 million.
Likewise, in spite of Lucas Moura's late capture on deadline day from Paris Saint-Germain, Spurs remain in the bottom half of the Premier League table when it comes to net spend on transfers this season. That relative lack of financial muscle, in particular compared to the two Manchester clubs, explains why Klopp and Pochettino have been widely lauded for the jobs they have done despite so far failing to win any silverware in England.
The need to keep moving forward makes qualifying for the Champions League a minimum goal. "With Jurgen Klopp I think there will be pressure this time next year depending on where Liverpool are," former Liverpool captain Jamie Carragher said on Sky Sports. "But if he gets Champions League football this season I think it's a very good season for Liverpool. "You can talk about trophies and winning the Premier League, but Liverpool have got to get back to being a Champions League club. Liverpool have been in the Champions League twice in 10 years."
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