Tottenham sets sights on top 2 in Premier League
LONDON (AP) — After enhancing its status as the new power in London, Tottenham can set about disrupting the hegemony of the two big guns from Manchester by beating Liverpool in the English Premier League's standout match this weekend.
The Tottenham of recent years would be starting to fade at this stage of the season but the class of 2013, led by Gareth Bale, has a tougher look to it.
The team is on the brink of the Europa League quarterfinals after a convincing 3-0 win over Inter Milan in the first leg of the last 16 on Thursday, while a 12-match unbeaten run has lifted Spurs to third place in the Premier League, above London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.
With second-place Manchester City in FA Cup action this weekend, Tottenham can move within two points of the champions with a win at Anfield on Sunday.
"It is a great time to be at the club, we are playing with great players and the sky is the limit," Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe said. "It is the winning mentality that I think we have got now. In games when things aren't going great, everyone gets stuck in and just keeps going, it is a good thing to have.
"We've not just got a great team now, but a great squad."
The match will see the two in-form forwards in the Premier League — Bale and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez — go head-to-head.
By scoring against Inter, Bale took his haul to 11 goals in his past nine games in all competitions. Suarez's hat trick in the 4-0 win at Wigan last weekend put him at the top of the league's scoring chart with 21 and saw him become only the third Liverpool player, after Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres, to pass 20 goals in a Premier League campaign.
British media reported Friday that Suarez's exploits have earned him a pay raise, allegedly doubling his weekly salary from 40,000 pounds ($60,000) a week to 80,000 pounds ($120,000) a week.
"I don't know if I am in the very best scoring form of my life, but certainly I am enjoying a bit of what every striker needs and that is a little bit of luck," Suarez said. "Last season, chances weren't going in, whereas this year they are."
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