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Liverpool vs. Tottenham Hotspur preview: Bale/Suarez in a Player of the Year-off

The two Player of the Year favorites, Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez, will be locked in a cage. Only one will leave alive.

Michael Regan

Gareth Bale is the Premier League Player of the Year.

Luis Suarez is the Premier League Player of the Year.





How do we settle this debate? Throw both in a cage and see who comes out alive.

Unfortunately, that isn't possible so instead we will settle for Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool at Anfield. Bale vs. Suarez. Winner gets a shiny trophy.

That shiny trophy will go to one of the players, of course. Neither Spurs nor Liverpool have a chance to win the league this year, but Tottenham do have a good chance at a decent consolation prize -- the Champions League.

A top four, top three or even top two finish is still in play for Spurs. That isn't true of Liverpool, who were out of the race for a Champions League place before the New Year, and realistically, were done in August.

This has been the situation for years now. Ever since Spurs nipped fourth place in 2010, they have been the top four contenders, if not favorites, while Liverpool haven't challenged for a Champions League place four years running now. Even so, it is odd. Liverpool have the history, worldwide support and most importantly, money that Tottenham do not. They were the presumption top four finishers for years, not Spurs. And not only have they failed to finish in a Champions League place, they haven't come close.

Liverpool's struggles are beyond reason. But reason is foolish anyways.

Still, Liverpool enter this match in fantastic form. They have won their last three matches by a combined score of 12-1 and have only lost once in the league since January 13.

Liverpool's surge has come thanks to Suarez, who is in absolutely brilliant form, which just brings out the best in his haters. Suarez has six goals in his last three matches, a seemingly unbeatable number. But of course, Bale has done his part to answer.

With seven goals in his last five league contests and 14 in 14 overall, Bale has taken Spurs out of the fourth, fifth and sixth place muck and pushed them into third place. That's hardly clear of danger, but it is miles ahead of where they could be and that is solely thanks to Bale.

Suarez on one end, Bale on the other. One man enters, only one will exit alive.

Fun fact: Jamie Carragher will make his 500th Premier League appearance in this match. He has always been one of Tottenham's best scorers in this fixture,