With only one day remaining until the Premier League gets underway again we run through the squads of some of the Champions League chasing clubs. Next up, is Liverpool and Tottenham.
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet vs Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris is widely thought of as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and edges this battle.
Mignolet is a credible stopper and Liverpool can feel perfectly assured that he will do a good job for them this season, but Lloris is on another level and his shot-stopping is truly remarkable – as is his ability in rushing off his line.
Right-back: Glen Johnson vs Kyle Walker
This is the same competition which Roy Hodgson generally has to pick a winner from when naming his England side.
The two right-backs are very similar in their style of play. They are both pacey players, who love to get forward, but Walker’s greater abilities give him the edge.
Centre-back: Martin Skrtel vs Michael Dawson
Not much of a competition between the pair, with Martin Skrtel comfortably the better player.
Whilst Michael Dawson is generally quite a sturdy figure in a back-line he has been exposed at the top level and is generally considered to be in need of upgrade at White Hart Lane.
Skrtel, meanwhile, is one of the most robust centre-backs in the Premier League and is one of the best defenders in England.
Centre-back: Dejan Lovren vs Jan Vertonghen
A tough choice between two excellent and capable defenders, but Vertonghen just about edges the battle.
Lovren looks to be a very astute purchase by Brendan Rodgers and should solidify the Liverpool defence, but Vertonghen is Spurs’ best defender and has shown his quality in England for slightly longer than the Croatian.
Left-back: Jon Flanagan vs Ben Davies
Arguably the positon that both sides are weakest in, Flanagan just comes out on top between these two promising youngsters.
The problems with the left-back spot plagued Spurs last season and, as such, Davies looks an excellent addition from Mauricio Pochettino, but Flanagan was one of Liverpool’s most unsung heroes last campaign.
The 21-year-old, who had played most his youth-career at right-back, was a reliable performer for the Reds as they got back into the Champions League spots and he looks a fine prospect for the future.
Defensive midfield: Steven Gerrard vs Paulinho
A no-contest between one of the Premier League’s best ever players and a man who has faltered in his first-season in England.
Much was expected when Spurs bought in Paulinho last summer, but he failed to live up to expectations and will be under pressure to have a much better campaign this time around.
Gerrard may be entering the twilight of his career, but he is one of Liverpool’s most important performers and his experience will be key for the side this season.
Defensive midfield: Lucas vs Sandro
In the battle of the Brazilians, Sandro comes out on top. Lucas recovered from a slow start to his Liverpool career to become a valued member of the team, even if his injury record of late is a little concerning, but he lacks the power of Sandro.
A hulking midfielder, the 25-year-old is one of Spurs’s finest players even if he doesn’t grab the headlines too regularly and he will key in Pochettino’s first season in charge.
Attacking midfield: Raheem Sterling vs Andros Townsend
Arguably the most exciting youngster in world football, Raheem Sterling is set for a big year at Liverpool this season.
Blessed with creativity, pace and skill Sterling emerged as one of the most exciting attacking players in the Premier League last year and his performances at the World Cup for England enhanced his reputation even further.
The 19-year-old has been described as someone who is turning into a ‘beautiful’ footballer by his manager and he is a class above Townsend, despite the Spurs man’s obvious dribbling ability.
Attacking midfield: Philippe Coutinho vs Christian Eriksen
One of the toughest selections between the two sides, Eriksen just wins the contest because of his greater goalscoring threat.
Coutinho is a real danger to defences and will undoubtedly become one of the Premier League’s finest individual talents, but Eriksen scored seven goals in only 25 appearances last season and became Spurs’s most important player.
At 22-years-old he has room to improve, too, and he is one of the players who should thrive under Pochettino’s style.
Attacking midfield: Adam Lallana vs Erik Lamela
Erik Lamela’s failure last season was one of the biggest disappointments of Spurs’s campaign.
He came to England with a big reputation after a fine year in Serie A, but never performed to his maximum capibilities.
He has been offered a reprieve by Pochettino, but he will do well to ever have as good a season as Adam Lallana did last year.
Although Lallana's move to Anfield represents a big step up for the former Southampton man, Lallana is one of the most aesthetically pleasing players to watch in the Premier League and should fit right in with his new surroundings.
He has a majestic first-touch and combines it with some fine passing ability and intelligence when in possession.
Striker: Daniel Sturridge vs Roberto Soldado
Soldado will need to reach his very best if he is ever able to claim to be anywhere near as good as Daniel Sturridge.
The Spaniard failed in his first season in England, whilst Sturridge tore apart defences and scored 21 goals across the campaign.
The England international will have added pressure on him to score this season, following the departure of Luis Suarez, but he is capable and if he can emulate a similar tally to last year he will have established himself as one of the deadliest marksmen in England.
Manager: Brendan Rodgers vs Mauricio Pochettino
Two of the most progressive and innovative tacticians in the Premier League, it is Rodgers who comes out on top for his greater achievements in the game so far.
Pochettino’s arrival at White Hart Lane is expected to breed success, but the job Rodgers has done with Liverpool is nothing short of remarkable and he is proving to be one of the finest young managers in the game.
Overall: Liverpool 7-5 Tottenham Hotspur
Although Spurs will be hoping to breach the gap to the top four they still have a little way to go if they are to catch Liverpool.
There is not too much to choose between the two defences, but The Reds’ greater attacking quality makes them a bigger threat this season and they should be able to hold off the challenge of Pochettino’s men.