Tottenham Hotspur head to Anfield for the biggest match of the Premier League weekend, as Mauricio Pochettino's men try to mount the final challenge to Chelsea for the title. But Liverpool also have plenty on the line as they try to end a skid and stay in the top four.
What should you know going into the match?
Liverpool are slumping
Liverpool entered 2017 looking like real title challengers, with an opportunity to do some damage in both the FA and League Cups. Instead, they've won just one of 10 matches on the year and have gone out of both cups. To say that Liverpool are struggling is a massive understatement. Not only are they now on their way to a trophy-less season, but they're down to fifth in the Premier League. They may not even make next season's Champions League. Their attack has been poor, but so has their midfield and defense, while they continue to search for a reliable keeper. It's all gone south.
The Reds may just need to play a good team
As bad as Liverpool have been, it's felt even worse because they've struggled against awful teams. They needed a replay against lowly Plymouth in the FA Cup, then lost to Wolves. They've also lost matches to Swansea and Hull. That would normally indicate an impending shellacking at the hands of Tottenham, but not so fast.
Oddly, Liverpool are much better against good teams than bad ones. They haven't lost a match to a top six team all season, including a win over Spurs in the League Cup and a draw at White Hart Lane. Playing a good team might be what Liverpool need to right the ship.
Where have all the goals gone?
It was only a few weeks ago that Tottenham were rolling, but they slumped to a scoreless draw against Sunderland and only managed a goal on a penalty kick to beat Middlesbrough. They've struggled for chances, too. Their once-fearsome attack has gone quiet, but not as quiet as Liverpool's. The Reds have only scored more than one goal in one of their last nine matches and have been held scoreless in four of those. Getting Sadio Mane back from the Africa Cup of Nations will help, but that alone isn't enough to fix the Liverpool attack.
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Spurs have some injury problems
Tottenham played their best matches of the season when they switched to a three-man backline, allowing Danny Rose and Kyle Walker to fly forward on the flanks, while giving Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Moussa Dembele freedom in the center. Injuries to Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose (as well as lack of faith in Kevin Wimmer and Cameron Carter-Vickers) has pushed Spurs to a more conventional four-man defense, though. Ben Davies especially doesn't offer nearly the same threat as Rose at left back and while he's steady, Pochettino will need a great showing from him at Anfield.
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Chelsea could put the league out of reach
The Blues already lead the league by nine points and if Spurs drop points at Anfield, Chelsea can stretch their lead to double digits. With Chelsea already looking like the class of the league and not having to worry about European soccer -- Spurs are in the Europa League -- catching the Blues is going to be exceedingly difficult. Nobody in the league can afford to spot them a 10-point lead this late in the season.