Football in May really can be all or nothing. Some teams have nothing left to play for beyond pride, while others have everything on the line in the closing weeks of the season.

It is safe to say that Liverpool's clash with Tottenham at Anfield on Saturday is in the latter category.

Liverpool remain in the hunt for an astonishing quadruple having already won the EFL Cup and booked their place in both the FA Cup and Champions League finals, while sitting just a point behind Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are still in with a chance of securing Champions League football for next season with a top-four finish. They are currently in fifth place, two points behind north London rivals Arsenal.

Such is the precarious position of both teams as they chase glory, any slip-up will in all likelihood spell the end for their hopes and dreams in the league, which sets up their Anfield battle nicely.

Who will end the night with their season still on track, and who will end it wondering if there is any chance of recovering? Stats Perform takes a look at the Opta numbers heading into what should be a fascinating contest.

Reds capable of blunting Spurs

With Liverpool's home record over the years, it feels like most games at Anfield start with people explaining how few wins the visitors have in recent history.

Indeed, the same is the case with Tottenham, as Liverpool have lost only one of their last 27 Premier League home games against them, and are unbeaten in their last 10 since a 2-0 loss in May 2011.

Spurs have become a dangerous opponent for anyone in recent times, which Manchester City will attest to having been beaten 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium in February, allowing Jurgen Klopp's Reds to close the gap at the top in the first place.

However, despite having won four of their five Premier League meetings with Liverpool between November 2010 and November 2012, Spurs have won just one of their last 18 against them.

Will someone pay the penalty?

This time last year, you would have been called a fool for predicting Liverpool would be anywhere near the title race now, let alone being so while potentially winning every other trophy possible as well.

The Reds had a turbulent campaign in 2020-21, which included an unthinkable six home defeats in a row at one point, with no fans or centre-backs, leaving them flailing in their own quest for Champions League qualification, though a late run of wins saw them ultimately finish third.

Since the last of those six home defeats, the Reds are unbeaten in 21 Premier League home games, scoring 52 goals and conceding just nine. They have won each of their last 12 at Anfield, including the last five while keeping a clean sheet – only once have they had a longer run of home wins without conceding in the Premier League (eight between October 2005 and January 2006).

Ensuring another shutout will be easier said than done, though, as Liverpool against Tottenham is the second highest-scoring fixture in Premier League history (170 goals in 59 meetings), while it has seen more penalties awarded than any other match-up in the competition (23).

Kane v Mane

It was a slow start to the season for Tottenham striker Harry Kane, only managing one goal in his first 13 league games, though the England captain has bagged 12 goals in 20 games since.

He also has a good record against Saturday's opponents, having been involved in nine goals in 13 Premier League appearances against Liverpool (seven goals, two assists), with five of these goal involvements coming in seven games at Anfield (four goals, one assist).

Spurs will have to be wary of Liverpool's forward threat too, with Sadio Mane on such a run of form that he is in the early conversation for this year's Ballon d'Or.

Mane also has an impeccable record at Anfield, having scored in 49 different Premier League games at the stadium (one for Southampton and 48 for Liverpool) avoiding defeat in all 49 of those matches (W44 D5) – the most games a player has scored in at a single ground in the competition's history without ever losing.

Conte can dampen Reds title hopes

Having started the season with Nuno Espirito Santo in the dugout after Antonio Conte was among a series of coaches to turn the club down, very few Spurs fans would have been expecting to see the Italian leading their charge for a top-four spot just a few months later.

Conte has unsurprisingly been a success at Tottenham since arriving in November, with 14 wins, four draws and six defeats in his 24 Premier League games so far.

Both of former Chelsea boss Conte's Premier League visits to Liverpool have finished in 1-1 draws – only four managers have avoided defeat in each of their first three away games at Anfield in the competition: Martin O'Neill, Peter Reid, Roy Hodgson and Paul Lambert.

Arguably the most impressive player so far under Conte, Son Heung-min, has scored 19 Premier League goals this season, with none of them coming from the penalty spot. The South Korea international could become just the second Spurs player to score 20 in a Premier League campaign without any of them being penalties, after Gareth Bale in 2012-13.

Antonio Conte says Tottenham must "spend a lot of money" to compete with Premier League title contenders Liverpool ahead of facing the Reds at Anfield.

Spurs are locked in a battle with rivals Arsenal for a top-four finish and travel to Merseyside to face Jurgen Klopp's quadruple-chasing outfit on Saturday.

Tottenham will meet a Liverpool team unbeaten in 21 Premier League home games, while the Reds have not tasted defeat in their past 15 league games overall.

Klopp also saw his team secure the third Champions League final appearance of his seven-year reign with a 3-2 away win over Villarreal on Tuesday.

Looking back on the success Klopp has achieved since arriving at Anfield in 2015, Conte said Spurs require "a big investment" to compete for major honours as he highlighted the strength of their competitors in England.

"The time for Liverpool was easier than now," Conte said, "because when Liverpool started this work with Jurgen, they were a top team, not in a way they are now, so consolidated with an important manager, [but] always the same team, big investment, big money spent on the transfer market.

"They had also the right space to improve and reach this. Now, in my opinion, I am talking about this league, it is more difficult because the space is not so big.

"To reduce this gap, you need to spend a lot of money, because you need to buy important players. You have to know this, otherwise you cannot reduce this gap and hope always for a miracle.

"Don't forget that in England, it is more difficult because you find, in this moment, four teams that if they don't have a bad season they are there to fight for the Premier League, the EFL Cup, the FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League. 

"English teams are present in every competition, Champions League, Europa League, Europa Conference, Premier League, and the final of the EFL Cup was with Chelsea and Liverpool. Now in the FA Cup, Chelsea and Liverpool; the Premier League is a fight with Liverpool and Manchester City.

"It is not simple because you have a master in front of you; you need time. You need a big investment because you have to spend a lot of money if you want to be competitive and try to reduce this gap; otherwise you have to accept to stay in the middle."

Having drawn 1-1 on each of his two previous Premier League visits to Anfield (both as Chelsea manager), Conte is aiming to become just the fifth coach in the competition's history to avoid defeat across his first three trips to Liverpool, after Martin O'Neill, Peter Reid, Roy Hodgson, and Paul Lambert.

However, Spurs have won just one of their past 18 Premier League meetings with the Reds after winning four of the five before that.

We are in the home stretch in the Premier League, which means everything is at stake – in the fantasy leagues, that is.

It is that time of the year when fantasy managers start to go over which games matter at opposite ends of the table to maximise points hauls.

Stats Perform has you covered with some Opta-powered recommendations below, so here are our suggestions for a new goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker.

EDERSON (Manchester City v Newcastle United)

Following their dramatic Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid, there is a possibility Manchester City players might actually breathe fire on Sunday against Newcastle United.

It will likely mean sporadic and low-quality opportunities for the Toon and, ultimately, light work for Ederson in City's goal.

Another clean sheet for the Brazil international will see him record at least 20 in a Premier League season for the second time, the last being in 2018-19. The next best to Ederson's 90 clean sheets since 2017-18 is Liverpool's Alisson, with 64.

GABRIEL MAGALHAES (Arsenal v Leeds United)

Arsenal's Champions League hopes could hinge on this weekend, with nearest rivals Tottenham coming up against Liverpool. The Gunners need points against favourable opponents.

Only Chelsea's Reece James (five) has scored more Premier League goals for defenders this season than Gabriel's four for Arsenal, with all of them coming from corner situations.

With that in mind, Leeds are one of the five sides in the Premier League this season to have conceded at least 10 goals from corners.

DEJAN KULUSEVSKI (Liverpool v Tottenham)

However, Arsenal's need to pick up points against Leeds does not mean Tottenham players are off-limits, and Antonio Conte's side on the counter-attack are a tough proposition for any club in Europe.

Dejan Kulusevski has come to life at Spurs after a middling spell at Juventus, with no player in Europe's top five leagues providing more assists since his first start in the Premier League. 

On top of Kulusevski's eight assists, only Son Heung-min (15) and Harry Kane (14) have been involved in more Premier League goals than him (11) over the same period.

RICHARLISON (Leicester City v Everton)

Leicester's struggles in possession once again came to the fore on Thursday against Roma, and on Sunday they will have to back up against one of the Premier League's most dynamic players in transition.

Richarlison has almost single-handedly propelled Everton's push for Premier League survival, with six involvements in their last eight goals.

At this rate (12 goal involvements), the Brazil international is on track to match his tally of 16 from the 2019-20 season.

With his contract set to expire at the end of this season, Kylian Mbappe is reportedly going to sign a two-year extension with Paris Saint-Germain.

Mbappe, 23, has established himself as one of the world's premier players, with 24 goals and 16 assists in his 32 Ligue 1 fixtures this season, and six goals with six assists in eight Champions League games.

In his four seasons since arriving in Paris in 2018, he has won three Ligue 1 titles with one runners-up finish, but has never won the Champions League. A disappointing exit in the first knockout stage this campaign was supposed to push the young star out the door, but that may not be the case.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE ON THE BRINK OF PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN EXTENSION

Mbappe has been strongly linked with Real Madrid – often referred to as his 'dream club' – but he may snub the Champions League finalists for a deal Le Parisien reports is worth £42.5million per year, with an £85m signing bonus.

If he does opt to stay in France, it will have a significant domino effect as it would likely take PSG out of the discussion for a number of the world's most expensive players in the coming transfer window, and vastly increase Madrid's spending power if they had budgeted for his arrival.

While it appears at this stage that a deal is likely, The Mirror is reporting Mbappe's mum saying "there is no agreement in principle with Paris Saint-Germain or any other club".

 

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Star is reporting Pep Guardiola will sign a contract extension to keep him at Manchester City until at least 2025.

– Everton are prepared to sell goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to fund a rebuild, according to Talksport. Tottenham and Newcastle United are said to be monitoring the England international's situation.

– Jose Mourinho wants to bring Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Roma, per The Sun.

– The Sun is reporting Man City will compete with United for the signature of Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

– According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen would prefer to join Arsenal instead of Man United or Newcastle.

Antonio Conte has strongly hinted Tottenham will be triggering their option to purchase Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus after an encouraging start to his loan spell.

Kulusevski joined Spurs at the end of the January transfer window, with the club reportedly paying Juve €10million (£8.3m) to take him on loan until June 2023.

That deal included a purchase option, which is reportedly set at €30m (£24.9m) for the upcoming transfer window. If Spurs do not trigger that agreement, a mandatory €35m clause could come into effect next year if Kulusevski plays at least 45 minutes in 50 per cent of their Premier League games and the club qualifies for the Champions League, according to the Guardian.

And judging from Conte's response when asked about his future, Spurs are already considering Kulusevski as one of their own.

Asked if the club is taking up the purchase option on the winger, Conte told reporters: "Yeah, I think he's on loan but it's like a deal ended.

"He's a Tottenham player, 100 per cent in every aspect. Not officially, but he's 100 per cent a Tottenham player."

Kulusevski has made a strong impact after a slow first few weeks at the club, with his creativity and ability on the ball making him a valuable asset alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in Spurs' attack.

Since his Premier League debut on February 9, Kulusevski's eight assists is a Premier League high, with Kane (six) the only other player to register more than four.

The Sweden international has also scored three times over that period, making him just one of five players to reach double figures for goal involvements, alongside Son (15), Kane (14), Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo (both 10).

Kulusevski's ball-carrying ability has also been a weapon for Spurs. He has totalled 18 shot involvements (shots taken and chances created) at the end of a carry, a figure bettered by only six players.

Similarly, five of his goal involvements have come after carries, with no Premier League player managing more over the same period.

But while Kulusevski seems a certainty to stick around at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Conte insists he is not getting ahead of himself by planning transfer talks with chairman Daniel Levy and sporting director Fabio Paratici.

"No, no, no," he laughed. "We're totally focused on this season.

"Also, because I repeat, we're finishing this season with only 15 players and at the moment, it's not convenient to give them a list, because the list it would be very, very, very big!

"You understand? It's not a good moment to give them the list."

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte has urged his players to be "brave" when they take on title-chasing Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday.

Spurs travel to Merseyside with their own ambitions of qualifying for next season's Champions League still in the balance.

Conte's men sit fifth in the table, two points behind north London rivals Arsenal in fourth, with four games remaining.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are still unbeaten in the league in 2022 and have won 13 of their last 14 Premier League games.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds also remain in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple, with the EFL Cup already won and an FA Cup final to come against Chelsea. They sit just a point behind Manchester City in the league, and on Tuesday qualified for the Champions League final where they will play Real Madrid in Paris.

Speaking at a media conference on Thursday, Conte praised Klopp's stars, in particular the way they overcame Villarreal in their semi-final.

The Reds took a 2-0 lead into the second leg at El Madrigal but were 2-0 down to Unai Emery's team and reeling at half-time, before coming back to win 3-2 on the night and 5-2 on aggregate.

"We know in this moment it is very difficult to play against Liverpool, because they are in really good form," Conte said.

"I watched the game against Villarreal and it was incredible the calm that the team showed in a difficult situation, because after the first half they were 2-0 down and the atmosphere was very, very difficult for Liverpool.

"I have seen great composure, great calm of the team, and now they know that the team is strong, the team is I think one of the best teams in the world with Manchester City."

The former Juventus, Chelsea and Inter boss, who was appointed by Spurs in November, was respectful of Liverpool but insisted he wants his players to play with belief and confidence on Saturday.

Spurs have won five of their last seven in the league, and drew 2-2 with the Reds at home in December.

"We have prepared for the game very well, and I think we need to be very good without the ball, to be good defensively, but if we want to win we have to be very good with the ball," Conte said.

"I said to my players, we need to play a good game and be brave when we have the ball.

"Don't be scared of the pressure and to find a solution because I think we improved a lot, and we can go there to play and to try to get three points."

Barcelona's financial volatility has necessitated a cut of overall wage spend, and Philippe Coutinho has long been viewed as dispensable.

Since his big-money signing from Liverpool, the incompatibility the Brazil international has represented has only been reinforced with loan spells at Bayern Munich and Aston Villa.

However, in need of funds, the Blaugrana have reportedly set the Birmingham club a timeframe for confirming his permanent signing.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA GIVE ASTON VILLA COUTINHO ULTIMATUM

Barcelona have given Aston Villa until the end of the month to confirm whether they will sign Coutinho on a permanent deal, Sport is reporting.

The cash-strapped Catalan giants loaned Coutinho to Villa in January with a €40million (£33.7m) purchase option, but Villa have now been given until the end of May to finalise the deal.

Barcelona have reportedly insisted that the finances be resolved by the end of June, as it would help balance their accounts for the season. 

The 29-year-old has played erratically despite four goals and three assists in 14 appearances, not directly contributing to a league goal since early March against Leeds.

ROUND-UP

- Romelu Lukaku has no intention of joining Milan or Newcastle United despite frustration over a lack of opportunities, according to the Evening Standard.

- Chelsea want to sign 20-year-old Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, Goal reports.

- Football Insider reports Inter Milan are looking to sell Stefan de Vrij, with Tottenham and Aston Villa among the clubs interested.

- Lazio are willing to lower their asking price for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to around €80million, per Calciomercato.

Thomas Frank believes Brentford have a "very good chance" of keeping midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Former Tottenham playmaker Eriksen resumed his career by making a sensational return to the Premier League in January, joining the Bees on a deal until the end of the season.

It is only last June that the 30-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest during Denmark's Euro 2020 game against Finland and was brought back to life on the pitch.

Eriksen was released by Inter, as he would have been unable to play in Italy after having a cardioverter defibrillator fitted.

Inter's loss has been very much Brentford's gain, as the former Ajax midfield maestro has pulled the strings for the London club and also scored two goals in as many games against Serbia and the Netherlands back on the international stage.

Eriksen has been linked with a return to Spurs, while other clubs are reportedly keen to sign him as a free agent at the end of the season, but Brentford boss Frank is hopeful he will sign a new deal with the Bees.

When asked about keeping his compatriot, Frank told BBC Sport: "I am always positive. I always believe we have a very good chance.

"I know he is happy here, he is enjoying his football. It is a decision that will be taken at the end of the season."

He added on Sky Sports: "The key is he performs consistently at a high level ... It's no secret we would like to do everything we can to keep him."

Brentford have won five of the eight league games Eriksen has featured in, while he has provided two assists and scored a goal himself. The Dane has created 16 chances, with 11 of those coming from set-pieces.

Mikel Arteta maintains hope of pipping Chelsea to third, although he expects Arsenal's bid for Champions League qualification to go to the wire after an "ugly" win at West Ham.

Arsenal played in Sunday's late Premier League game after third-placed Chelsea and fifth-placed Tottenham played earlier in the day.

Chelsea lost at Everton, but Spurs beat Leicester City to briefly move ahead of their rivals into the top four.

Arsenal came up with a vital response, however, edging West Ham 2-1 at London Stadium to reclaim fourth place and close to within three points of Chelsea, with Thomas Tuchel acknowledging concern regarding his side's Champions League hopes.

Manager Arteta was not impressed with the Gunners' performance but recognised the importance of the victory.

"We didn't concede goals, but we didn't play so well," he told Sky Sports. "If I had to analyse the game, I would use a word that is to win ugly. Today we won ugly.

"Big teams have to find a way to win ugly when they don't play at their best, and today with the ball we were really poor."

In his news conference, Arteta was asked if this below-par display might have been linked to the pressure of Tottenham playing – and winning – first, but he dismissed that suggestion as "just an excuse".

Arteta is attempting to own that pressure, insisting he could not keep the Spurs score from his players.

"I think I would be wasting my time," he said. "If it's not the players, it's the staff, because everybody is with their phones, and they all know.

"So, we all knew the result beforehand, and the next week I don't think that is going to change; until the last day of the season we will probably be connected."

But Arsenal could yet climb further up the table, with Arteta asked if third place was now the aim.

"Mathematically, everything is open," he replied, "so we're going to have to go to Leeds and win again, because everybody's going to put pressure because everybody wants to play in the position we are in now.

"We have to handle that. It's a great opportunity, and that willingness and motivation that we have is what is driving us to continue to do so."

Arteta was without Ben White, who is to be assessed following a hamstring injury sustained against Manchester United, while Takehiro Tomiyasu and Bukayo Saka both had to be substituted.

The Arsenal boss assured Saka was simply "really fatigued", and Tomiyasu could not last the 90 minutes in his first start since New Year's Day, but Arteta was not concerned.

Thomas Tuchel acknowledged Chelsea are in danger of dropping out of the top four altogether after losing 1-0 to struggling Everton on Sunday.

Frank Lampard's Toffees snatched a potentially vital victory in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League for the first time, with Richarlison getting the decisive goal just after half-time.

Chelsea created several presentable chances but were denied by three wonderful Jordan Pickford saves as Everton held out under pressure at Goodison Park.

It was not so long ago that Chelsea appeared certain to finish in the top four, but they have won only once in their past four league matches, putting their position under pressure from Arsenal and Tottenham.

Tuchel insists he never felt completely safe, though.

“Of course, it was always like this," he told reporters when asked if they now face a battle to qualify for the Champions League.

"I said it many weeks ago that I didn't ever feel safe. We are never safe. By the way, if we are in a race for top one, top two, or top four, no matter what the race, the last four games to only have four points will never be enough, no matter which race we are in.

"We have to take care of ourselves. At the moment we don't get the points when we play well and deserve more and we lose when we play okay, this is a bad mixture."

Cesar Azpilicueta's dawdling on the ball ultimately led to Everton's winner, with individual mistakes becoming something of a theme in recent weeks for Chelsea.

Such errors, and how to eradicate them, have Tuchel at a loss.

"What can I do? The ball is free, then give a goal away. It is the worst thing that can happen to you in this atmosphere and situation. It happens too often, we struggle to play without big mistakes. That's why we struggle to have results.

"If there is something I can do I will try it but if I knew about it I would have done it before. I think, for me, the key is to have a clean sheet. Manchester United was a different game, more open, fluid, more spaces, and we finally scored late and conceded straight away.

"For me, this is more like the game against West Ham. The opponent defends deep, we struggle to find space in the first half, but against West Ham we had a clean sheet and played without any big mistakes.

"That gives us the chance to score late. If you run behind against an opponent like this, in this atmosphere and install emotion and belief in a stadium like this and the opponent's team, you struggle."

It was a bruising encounter, with referee Kevin Friend producing eight yellow cards in total.

The aggression displayed by Everton did not trouble Tuchel specifically, though he was critical of how the game was refereed.

"No, no, we expected [Everton to be aggressive]," he added. "It would have been nice to have a referee who was in charge of it – they got away with a lot. He decided to manage the game the way he did and I was not too happy with it, but it's his way.

"That is why it's important to not do any mistakes, instil belief, and to keep doing what we do on the highest level of focus. We struggled."

Antonio Conte hailed Tottenham's fighting spirit after a "vital" win against Leicester City kept them in contention for Champions League qualification, which "no one could have imagined" when he was appointed.

Former Chelsea boss Conte returned to the Premier League with Spurs at the start of November when Tottenham were ninth, five points off the top four after just 10 matches.

However, since then, only Manchester City (63) and Liverpool (60) have earned more points than Conte's men (46).

A 3-1 victory at home to Leicester moved Spurs into fourth place ahead of rivals Arsenal, at least prior to the Gunners' trip to West Ham later on Sunday.

"It was a good performance against a really good team and not an easy game," Conte told BBC Sport, "But you know in England there are never any easy games – especially against Leicester, who have a good squad.

"Despite making [nine] changes, the Leicester team was good and strong, so for this reason we have to be delighted we got three points. It was of vital importance to us to stay in this race.

"No one could have imagined when I arrived in November we could be in this race still, but these players are deserving to fight for such an important place.

"It is not easy to qualify for the Champions League in England."

Harry Kane scored the first goal – his 17th in 14 Premier League games against Leicester – before Son Heung-min, having created the opener, netted twice.

Son's second was a superb, curling effort from outside the box with his weaker left foot. He now has 11 left-footed goals this season, with only Robin van Persie (12 with his right foot in 2011-12) ever scoring more goals with his weaker foot in a single campaign.

It is now 19 league goals for the season for Son, his career high, but team success remain his primary focus.

"It's not important, because I want to play Champions League for next season," Son said. "Scoring 19 goals, 30 goals, 25 goals, it's not important for me; the team is more important than myself.

"I do my best for the team, I try my best for the team, and if I get a chance, I try to score. But the numbers are not important.

"I want to finish with these guys, with this team [in the top four] to play Champions League next season. This is more important than anything else at the moment."

Tottenham at least temporarily leapfrogged Arsenal into fourth place in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Leicester City.

With Arsenal in action at West Ham in the late game on Sunday, Spurs were able to apply pressure to their rivals thanks to their first win in three.

Harry Kane predictably opened the scoring – his 17th goal in 14 Premier League matches against former loan club Leicester – but Son Heung-min stole the show, grabbing a brace.

Tottenham were far more accomplished in the second half than they had been in a shaky opening period, although only the result really matters at this stage of the season with a trip to Liverpool to come next week ahead of a huge north London derby.

The Leicester team showed nine changes from Thursday's 1-1 draw with Roma, yet they enjoyed by far the better of the play prior to Kane's opener, with Patson Daka seeing a low shot from a precise Boubakary Soumare cross touched onto the post by Hugo Lloris.

Brendan Rodgers' side were far too accommodating at the other end, though, when Son swung over a right-wing corner in the 22nd minute and Kane was granted a clear run to head down and past Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester were similarly generous 11 minutes later, as Nampalys Mendy's underhit backpass set Kane through, forcing Schmeichel to block bravely.

The introduction of Dejan Kulusevski early in the second half then led to the second goal after Cristian Romero won a pair of crunching tackles to tee up the winger, who in turn picked out Son to steer a left-footed finish beyond Schmeichel on the turn.

And Kulusevski and Son combined again for number three, albeit that goal was all about the quality of the scorer, taking a square pass on the edge of the box and curling into the top-left corner.

Kelechi Iheanacho gave Leicester some belated cheer with a fine stoppage-time consolation, fired in off the post from outside the area.

What does it mean? Three precious points in top-four fight

Unlike Europa Conference League semi-finalists Leicester, Tottenham's sole focus is on league points – and goals from Kane and Son delivered three to move Spurs one clear of Arsenal ahead of their trip to West Ham.

After two games without a shot on target, Conte's men mustered seven and netted with three, perhaps profiting from Leicester's ambition, which left gaping holes at the back after the opening goal. It was not an approach that worked for the Foxes in attack either, unable to attempt a single shot between the 39th and 89th minutes.

Kane keeps scoring

Even following an improved second half to the season, Kane's sluggish start in 2021-22 means he is set for his lowest scoring campaign as a Tottenham regular. Among his 13 goals, though, are strikes against Leicester both at home and away.

Only Alan Shearer, with 20 against Leeds United, has scored more Premier League goals against a specific opponent.

Moura misses the mark

Kulusevski dropped to the bench following Tottenham's recent struggles in attack, with Lucas Moura brought in. But that change was reversed after just 55 minutes in which Moura failed to hit the target with either of his two shots and did not create a single chance for his team-mates.

Spurs suddenly posed a greater threat with the introduction of Kulusevski, who finished with a pair of assists. His incredible close control infuriated Luke Thomas, who was booked for hacking down the substitute following one of three completed dribbles from four attempts.

What's next?

It does not get much tougher than Tottenham's next task, away at Liverpool on Saturday. Leicester go to Roma for their semi-final second leg on Thursday, then host Everton three days later.

As the 2021-22 Premier League season enters its final weeks, plenty remains for the taking – not least the thrilling title race between Liverpool and reigning champions Manchester City.

Both teams are in imperious form and, while City lead the way by a single point heading into the weekend, one slip might be all it takes.

Chelsea seem relatively secure in third place, but behind them the battle for the final Champions League spot is raging on. Just two points separate north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, who meet in a potentially decisive derby in mid-May. 

Manchester United have played two games more than those two sides and look like they will have to settle for sixth, assuming they can fend off West Ham.

At the bottom, Everton are in real danger of losing their Premier League status for the first time but will hold out hope in their dogfight against Burnley and Leeds United, though Watford and Norwich City appear destined for the drop.

But just how will it all unfold? Well, using the Stats Perform League Prediction Model, we can try and forecast the final standings.

Created by Stats Perform AI using Opta data, the model has analysed the division to assign percentages to potential outcomes for each club.

The model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) based on teams' attacking and defensive qualities, which considers four years' worth of results, with weighting based on recency and the quality of opposition. The rest of the matches are then simulated 10,000 times to calculate the likelihood of each outcome.

Let's take a look...

PEP PIPS KLOPP TO THE POST... AGAIN

City won the Premier League title by a margin of just one point in the 2018-19 campaign. The gap has been much wider over the past two seasons, with Liverpool triumphing in 2020 and City winning last year.

But just like in 2019, the model suggests Liverpool will fall just short once again, with City predicted to stay on top. It gives Pep Guardiola's team a 66 per cent chance of winning their fourth title in five seasons, with the Reds given a 34 per cent chance.

Neither side are predicted to drop out of the top two – that seems a safe bet. Liverpool have a tough trip to in-form Newcastle United on Saturday, while City face Leeds United.

Newcastle will then have the chance to have another say in the title race when they visit City on May 8, with trips to Wolves and West Ham coming for the leaders before they round off their domestic season against Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa. 

Liverpool, who also face Villa along with Spurs, Southampton and Wolves, will be wanting a favour from their club great on the last day of the season if they are to prove the model wrong.

GUNNERS CLINCH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLACE

Chelsea, according to the model, have a 98.7 chance of staying in third place, and are certain to be playing in UEFA's elite competition next season.

Below them, it is predicted that Arsenal will just nip into the top four rather than Spurs. Mikel Arteta's team have a 75.2 per cent chance of qualifying for the Champions League, and just 24.8 of finishing in a Europa League place.

While Stats Perform AI only gives Arsenal a minuscule opportunity of taking third off Chelsea, they have a 73.9 per cent chance of securing fourth place and featuring in the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17.

It seems likely that much will be decided on May 12, when Spurs welcome Arsenal to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Antonio Conte's team are predicted to finish fifth (72.4 per cent), and only have a 24.7 per cent likelihood of clinching fourth.

United are forecast to finish sixth (65 per cent), albeit there is the possibility they could even end 2021-22 in seventh. That position, however, seems set to be filled by West Ham, who have to win against Eintracht Frankfurt next week to keep their hopes of a Europa League triumph alive – success in that competition would take them into the Champions League, regardless of where they finish domestically.

TOFFEES CHAMPIONSHIP-BOUND

It has been a dismal season for Everton, who head into Sunday's clash with Frank Lampard's former club Chelsea sitting in the bottom three for the first time since 2019 (when, ironically, they beat a Chelsea side managed by Lampard).

Lampard has taken 10 points from his 12 games in charge, and they are now predicted to finish in 18th place. The model gives them a 29.8 per cent chance of escaping the drop and finishing 17th and just a 17.4 per cent likelihood of coming 16th. Their run-in includes three away games, and Everton have the worst away record in the competition – 12 of their 19 defeats coming on the road and they have taken just six points on their travels all season.

Burnley sit two points clear of Everton in 17th after two successive victories and are given a 39.4 per cent chance of staying put, although the likelihood of the Clarets' finishing 18th is not dissimilar (36.5 per cent).

Leeds have tough fixtures against City, Arsenal and Chelsea coming up before they host Brighton and Hove Albion and visit Brentford, though Stats Perform AI gives them only a 12.9 per cent chance of relegation.

Watford are heavily predicted to stay put in 19th too, with Norwich given a 67.4 per cent probability of finishing bottom – the model reckons they have a 0.1 per cent chance of avoiding the drop.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte said supporters should ignore "fake news" after he was touted as a possible successor to Paris Saint-German coach Mauricio Pochettino.

Although PSG secured their 10th Ligue 1 title last week, rumours have circulated that former Spurs boss Pochettino could be relieved of his duties in the French capital after an underwhelming Champions League campaign, with Conte suggested as a potential successor. 

With Conte winning five league titles throughout his career (four in Serie A, one in the Premier League) and overseeing a dramatic revival of Spurs' fortunes since his November appointment, reports have suggested he could be tempted to swap North London for Paris at the end of the season. 

However, ahead of Tottenham's Premier League clash with Leicester on Sunday, Conte hit out at people who "invent" such rumours, calling on his team to ignore any possible distractions as they bid for a top-four finish.

"Obviously I think it's good that other clubs appreciate my work, but this is one thing. The truth is I don't like when people try to invent news, only to speak, only to create problems," Conte said in a news conference.

"This is not right, this is not fair for the clubs involved or for my players, also because I feel we're really focused on these five games and getting results.

"This type of situation makes me smile, but I think that the people that want to say something about this have to show respect for all the people involved in the situation, and not invent fake news and tell a lot of lies.

"In this moment, we need to be focused, we need to be concentrated on an important target. We have a big opportunity to try and get a place in the Champions League.

"Now, don't listen to fake news. People for sure want to create problems for the environment. We have five games and then at the end of the season, in a private way, I will speak with my club and I will see the best solution."

Sunday's match will represent Conte's 100th as a Premier League manager – he will become the fourth boss to reach the milestone this season, with each of the previous three losing on their landmark outing (Ralph Hasenhuttl, Graham Potter, and Dean Smith).

However, each of the previous three Italian managers to reach the milestone – Claudio Ranieri, Roberto Mancini, and Carlo Ancelotti – have won when bringing up their century in the competition.

Spurs are rivalling Arsenal for Champions League qualification as the end of the campaign approaches, and Conte has called on his players to relish the top-four battle, saying they "deserve" to be in with a chance of facing Europe's elite.

"We are working very hard, my players know very well that we are really focused, we are speaking a lot about this opportunity," he added. "We have to live this situation with passion, enthusiasm and joy.

"We deserve to fight for a place in the Champions League. To stay there, we need to enjoy this situation. Our fans have to stay close to us in every moment, in every negative moment."

Tottenham have gone without a win in two Premier League matches, drawing 0-0 with Brentford last time out after falling to a 1-0 home defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion. Prior to those two outings, Spurs had plundered 25 goals in their previous seven Premier League games.

Tottenham have announced that midfielder Oliver Skipp has undergone surgery on his groin and will play no further part in their Premier League top-four battle this season.

The 21-year-old featured regularly for Spurs prior to sustaining an injury in January that has kept him out of action ever since.

Skipp's form saw him tipped with a first senior England cap and rewarded with a new long-term deal by Tottenham last week that runs through until July 2027.

Antonio Conte recently revealed that the youngster was "very close" to returning to action, but his comeback has been delayed after it was decided he required an operation.

Spurs confirmed the news of their official website on Tuesday, adding that Skipp is expected to be back training for the pre-season period.

Skipp's most recent appearance for Tottenham came in the 2-0 loss to Chelsea on January 23, with that his 18th Premier League outing of the campaign.

Up to that point, only Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Eric Dier, Harry Kane and Lucas Moura (all 19) had featured more regularly in the competition among Spurs' outfield players.

The England Under-21 international's 90 per cent pass accuracy is the highest of any Tottenham player to have played more than once in the top flight this campaign.

Conte's side are two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, who they still have to face, with five league games left to play.

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