After 12 rounds of matches in the English topflight, the difference between the first and 10th-placed teams is just five points. The 2020-21 Premier League season is set to go down as one of the most competitive in recent years due to its unpredictability.
We’ve already seen Tottenham humiliate Manchester United with a 6-1 scoreline and Aston Villa take Liverpool to the cleaners by thrashing them 7-2. There have been many more unpredictable results in the Premier League this season.
But if there’s one thing that cannot be contested, it’s the fact that Tottenham and Liverpool are genuine title contenders. In a season already catching the eye for its inconsistency, these two teams are the standout performers.
Liverpool and Tottenham locked in early title race
Since suffering defeat to Everton on the opening day of the season, Tottenham have gone unbeaten in the Premier League.
Liverpool, on the other hand, have had to contend with several injuries but are yet to lose in the league since the infamous 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa early in October.
That is why, as the Reds prepare to welcome Spurs to Anfield on Wednesday, the game will be a six-pointer. With both teams currently level on 25 points, it is winner takes all encounter.
It is worth noting that this fixture is even more important after the two Manchester clubs' stale 0-0 draw last week. A win here would allow one of Tottenham and Liverpool to open up a gap between the chasing teams.
While the winner is not guaranteed to win the Premier League, opening a three-point gap will prove crucial at the end of the season. It’s a 'top of the table' clash and the kind of game where three points are almost worth six.
The managerial battle between Mourinho and Klopp
As defending champions, Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his side are among the favourites for the title. And while Jose Mourinho has refused to regard Spurs as title favourites, their form suggests they actually are.
“Tottenham has the quality of the top teams, and when they have the ball they show that. But on top of that they defend like a top team, and at the moment have probably the best counter-attacking movements out there. They have a lot of situations where they needed only three passes to be one-on-one with the goalie,” Klopp said ahead of the game, as quoted by Goal.
“They are a proper package in the moment, and that’s what we know. But that doesn’t cost me confidence when I think about my team,” said the Liverpool manager.
Mourinho also understands what is at stake, Although he hasn’t publicly acknowledged it, the Portuguese would relish winning the Premier League with Tottenham.
Until now, he has labeled Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City as sides ahead of Tottenham when it comes to the league's title contenders.
However, Mourinho’s cheekiness in his pre-game press conference shows he’s proud of what he has achieved so far with Spurs.
“We are a good team that works hard but Liverpool is the result of, if I’m not wrong, 1,894 days of work with Jürgen,” Jose Mourinho said, as quoted by the Guardian.
“And we are the work of 390 days. But these 390 days are fake because lots of these days were not even days of work – they were days of quarantine, being at home unable to work. So from almost 2,000 to 300, for us to be able to compete at the level we are doing, I can only give credit to the players,” the Spurs manager concluded.
There are many games to be played in this Premier League season but this particular fixture is currently worth six points, as it pitches the top two sides in the division.Published 16 Dec 2020, 18:03 IST