Who is more likely to claim 4th - Tottenham or Liverpool?

With Arsenal’s calamitous 3-1 opening day defeat at home to Aston Villa, the contenders for the top four just got the clearest green signal to charge to overtake the Gunners.

North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur were unlucky last term, losing out to Arsenal on the final day of the season and missing the Champions League qualification place for the second year in a row.

Liverpool, meanwhile, endured yet another disappointing and frustrating season under Brendan Rodgers in his debut season in charge at Anfield but both the Reds and Spurs have reinforced this summer which Arsenal, of course, have not.

It is early days, as they say, but with Arsenal wholly unprepared for the new term and just over a fortnight left of the transfer window, on paper both Tottenham and Liverpool have the perfect opportunity to capitalize on their rivals’ mismanagement lack of ambition.

Both rivals for fourth spot boast a world-class top goalscorer but doubts remain over the futures of both Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez at present. If both clubs can keep their star man they will undoubtedly have the optimum conditions to kick on from last season.

Tottenham are obviously the favourites, given that they narrowly missed out finishing 5th and Liverpool placed 7th behind Merseyside rivals Everton. But Liverpool, if they can keep Suarez, have brought in some fantastic additions in Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho in January, followed by Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet and Kolo Toure this summer.

The Reds; total so far is £23.8 million with a cash injection from the sales of Jay Spearing, Stewart Downing, Jonjo Shelvey and Andy Carroll but their outlay pales into insignificance next to Tottenham’s expenditure – Spurs have spent £58.4 million to capture Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue who join.

Considering Tottenham have spent more than double what Liverpool have, they would definitely be the front-runners to overtake the Gunners this term but I wouldn’t rule the Reds out either at this stage. Suarez looks far more likely to stay at Anfield than Bale does at White Hart Lane and I suspect, either way, this will likely be both their last terms in England.

At present, on paper, you would have to say Tottenham have the edge over Liverpool but the Merseyside giants have more experience at the highest level and they’ll be no pushovers this term.

Only one thing’s for sure, the window of opportunity is wide open for both clubs as the transfer window draws to a close and Arsenal have still yet to spend any money on new players.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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