Can Liverpool and Spurs crash the top 4 party?
Every year at the beginning of the Premier League the top six teams are always linked to the title despite most knowing it will only come down to two or three in the end. However this year is proving to be very different, with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all failing to pull away and Chelsea languishing in the bottom half.
It maybe early into the season, but as we reach the December fixtures a resurgent Liverpool under Jürgen Klopp have come right into contention with a good period of form. Furthermore, Spurs have had one of their most consistent starts to a season in years and with still their only defeat having come on the opening day at Old Trafford they might sneakily fancy their chances on a top four finish.
Jürgen Klopp’s appointment was met with fear by other clubs. Even Sir Alex Ferguson predicted Liverpool to once again become a major force in English football under the German. After a wobbly start the reds have hit form, beating Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, teaching Manchester City a footballing lesson at the Eithad in a 4-1 romp and hitting Southampton for six in the Capital One Cup. After away performances like that it would be unwise to rule out a title challenge, despite it remaining a very slim possibility. However, a top four finish is a very realistic aim at this point, if Liverpool were to continue this great run of form through December then the rest of the Premier League should be scared. If this is what Klopp can do in a few weeks, imagine Liverpool in a years’ time.
The former Borussia Dortmund manager has a great record of unearthing cheap talent, with the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Matt Hummels both signed for less than £4 million. There has also been a lot of talk linking current Borussia players to Anfield. It is fair to say the addition of someone like Marco Reus, Matt Hummels or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would make Liverpool a major force in the league. January has been a busy time in the past for Liverpool, most notably Fernando Torres’ big move to Chelsea a few years ago. Whether Klopp will be anxious to spend in January remains to be seen; but a major influence in the German’s move to Anfield was the promise of complete control over transfers. Expect to see a few new faces at Anfield in a month’s time.
Spurs’ successful start can be put down to a sense of stability around the club, Mauricio Pochettino is in his second season, and has the players playing in a similar style to when he was at Southampton. Almost every season we reach a stage where Spurs are still in the title hunt but have always began to fade away. This period in December will be a good measure of how far this Spurs side can go. There is a good feeling amongst Spurs fans as positive results continue to come and with a stadium move in the next few years it’s an exciting time to be involved with the club.
The youth system is being used to its full potential and there is no better man than Pochettino to bring through players with a record of bringing through youth academy players to the first team with success. Eric Dier and Dele Alli are prime examples with both only recently breaking into the 1st team and being rewarded with England call ups. The future looks bright for these Spurs stars.
With Chelsea languishing down in the bottom half of the table, this is the best chance for Liverpool and Spurs to get a top four spot. If Chelsea fail to climb back into contention it will be a straight fight between Merseyside and the North-London club for the last Champions League spot. However, Leicester City may have something to say about that. The Foxes are still in second as we enter December so who says they cannot mount a challenge of their own. However, logic will dictates they will fall off the pace as the season goes on. Whatever happens, it should be an exciting battle for the top 4 this season.
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