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klopp woe Liverpool's unbeaten home record is under threat - and Jose Mourinho will be smelling blood

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Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Crystal Palace's James McArthur

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Crystal Palace's James McArthur

PA

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho shakes hands with Crystal Palace's James McArthur

IF LIVERPOOL perform as badly as they did in the first half at Fulham last Sunday, Tottenham could end the Jurgen Klopp’s long unbeaten run at Anfield on Wednesday night.

The Premier League's top two are preparing to go head-to-head in a game that has the potential to point the way to what lies ahead in the title race over the next few months - and there is no doubt in my mind that Spurs have the potential to end this season as champions.

I have said from the start of this season, Jose Mourinho's side are serious title contenders and the first 12 games of this Premier League season has backed up my claim.

They were 66/1 shots before they made some shrewd signings in the last transfer window and with Mourinho at the helm, they will fancy their chances in what is an unpredictable title race.

So much of their ambition rests on the shoulders of Harry Kane and if they can keep him fit, Spurs will be in the mix to challenge for the title going into the final game of the season.

With all the top teams dropping points, I can see Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and possibly Chelsea pushing for the title right through to the last round of matches next May.

Liverpool and City may be the teams that have the pedigree to get over the line in a title race, but Spurs have the players and a manager capable of ending a long wait for silverware.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has major injury worries

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has major injury worries

PA

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has major injury worries

Kane has been magnificent this season, both as a goal scorer and creator, while his attacking partner-in-crime Son Heung-min is a threat to any defence with his intelligent runs and finishing power.

With Liverpool likely to be playing an inexperienced youngster at the heart of their defence as injuries take their toll once again, Tottenham will be sniffing a win at Anfield - and you do not want to let this team score first.

Mourinho is the master of building teams capable of snatching an early goal before shutting up shop, and the key in this game will be striking first.

To do that, Liverpool need to come out of the blocks much quicker than they did against Fulham, in a game when so many of their players underperformed.

That first half at Craven Cottage was as bad as I can remember Jurgen Klopp's team playing and on several occasions they needed the heroics of the returning Alisson Becker to keep them in the game.

Liverpool were better after the break and they deserved a point in the end, but the performance will have worried Klopp and their injury curse is threatening to derail their title defence.

Just when you think Liverpool are finding a way to overcome the loss of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago and the other key squad members who are clogging up the treatment room, more problems crop up and Diogo Jota's injury was a hammer blow.

Jota has made such a big impact since he arrived at the club from Wolves and to lose him now for a couple of months leaves Liverpool balancing on a tightrope.

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Liverpool will need their famed front three to stay fit

Liverpool will need their famed front three to stay fit

PA

Liverpool will need their famed front three to stay fit

With a hectic Christmas schedule, Klopp would have wanted to rotate Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Jota - but that option has been taken away from him and it means he needs his front three to stay fit and play as many games as possible.

It's a precarious position to be in, because a make-shift Liverpool defence cannot be relied upon to keep clean sheets every week, so they need their front three to outscore the opposition.

Jota's extended spell on the sidelines with a knee injury, along with the loss of Kostas Tsimikas, means the squad is looking thin.

I've said for some time now that Liverpool need to be bold in the transfer market and get a defender in place for January 1, with the ongoing fitness issue affecting Joel Matip adding to that need.

It's not easy to sign players in the mid-season transfer window, but Liverpool need to find the funds to back Klopp because the luck has turned against him this season.

Liverpool avoided long-term injuries to their key players as they ran away with the title Last season, but the luck has deserted them in recent months and it means Klopp does not have the players he needs to rotate over the Christmas period.

He needs to be sensible with his substitutes, to make sure his top players are available to play against the better opposition and there can be no excuses in this next game.

Tottenham are coming to Anfield level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table and the champions need to go out and make a statement against them.

That means going all out for the win, whatever the obstacles that are being thrown in front of them as they try and defend their Premier League title.

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