By Richard Parks
Alan Shearer has insisted that Liverpool have the edge over Tottenham in the top-four race because they have more options in attack.
The Premier League record goalscorer and Newcastle legend has highlighted Fernando Llorente as a weakness in the Spurs squad due to the fact he is an inadequate deputy for Harry Kane.
By contrast, Shearer believes Liverpool are capable of scoring goals from multiple sources, with Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane providing cutting edge in addition to player-of-the-season contender Mohamed Salah.
“One of the reasons I fancy Liverpool in the top four is because someone can get injured at any stage of the season,” Shearer said, as quoted by the official Premier League Twitter account. “If Mane, Salah or Firmino get injured, they’ve still got the others to do.
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 5, 2018
“If you look at Tottenham, if you look at Chelsea…if they lose Harry Kane, obviously, they haven’t got anyone to replace him. I know Llorente, but he’s not in the same league as Kane.
“The same with Hazard at Chelsea. If he were to get injured, you’d have to say Chelsea would miss out. That why I think Liverpool are firm favourites to take one of these Champions League place. If one of these guys gets injured, then Firmino will step up or Mane will step up.”
Liverpool climbed to second in the league after the weekend’s result with 60 points, whole fourth-placed Tottenham have 58, five more than Chelsea in fifth.
Football Insider verdict:
Liverpool and Spurs are both well constructed teams with devastating attacks, but the Merseysiders are not as reliant upon man-of-the-moment Salah as the Londoners are on Kane. Son Heung-Min is a regular source of goals but he is not always a nailed-on starter and Tottenham never look as effective when Kane is absent, particularly against strong opponents. If the brilliant Salah got injured, Liverpool would cope better than if Tottenham suffered the doomsday scenario of losing their talisman and goal king.