Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino admitted that Spurs cannot compete with the two Manchester clubs, who are level on points at the top of the Premier League, in the transfer market.
Pochettino’s side face struggling Bournemouth at Wembley on Saturday, hoping to close the five-point gap to leaders Manchester City and second-placed Manchester United.
The top two both spent heavily during the recent transfer window and Pochettino concedes the financial strength of City and United means teams like Tottenham are forced to adopt a different strategy in the market as they attempt to keep pace.
The Argentinian told beIN Sports: “The difference these days between clubs in the Premier League is that there are clubs, like City and United, who sign who they want and when they want.
“Then there are big teams, like us, who sign when we can and who we can. It’s the big difference today.”
Tottenham headed into the international break having maintained their perfect league record on the road with a win at Huddersfield Town.
At their temporary home of Wembley, however, Pochettino’s men have continued to struggle, claiming just two points from their three home games in the Premier League so far.
Anything less than victory over a Bournemouth side currently lying second-bottom will be viewed as a major disappointment.
Pochettino will be hoping Harry Kane can extend his prolific scoring run.
The striker – nominated for the Ballon d’Or this week – has scored 15 goals in his last ten games for club and country, including the winning goals in England’s back-to-back 1-0 World Cup qualifying victories over Slovenia and Lithuania last week.
Kane was joined on England duty by club team-mate Harry Winks, who will hope the experience of his first international call-up can help boost his chances of more regular action for his club.
— Jan Vertonghen (@JanVertonghen) October 10, 2017
And defender Jan Vertonghen returns to club duty having become the most-capped Belgium player of all time when he made his 97th appearance in the 4-0 defeat of Cyprus.
Mousa Dembele, Vertonghen’s team-mate for club and country, said: “If you look at him when he arrived at Spurs he was doing well but if you compare it to now, obviously he’s played a lot of games in the Premier League and this translates to playing in the national team as well.
“It’s an unbelievable achievement. If you see all the times he’s played for Belgium, I can’t remember him having a bad game.”
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe believed his side deserved more than a point from the scoreless draw with Leicester City last time out.
The Cherries paid the price for their failure to make more of a number of chances and the sight of Callum Wilson scoring twice for the club’s under-21 side this week will have been welcomed by Howe.
Wilson is recovering from a long-term knee injury and while he is still some way off a first-team return, the striker is confident his recovery is going to plan.
“It’s always good to score as it builds confidence and since the injury it’s good to get back on the scoresheet,” he said.
“I was never in doubt over my abilities and I feel I’m striking the ball probably better than I was before to be honest.
“Two goals, both different goals today, and now I’m looking forward to scoring these goals in the first team.
“I’m feeling fine, the knee feels strong and I feel ready to go now. I’m going to carry on working hard in training and waiting for my chance.”
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) October 11, 2017
Liverpool host Manchester United on Saturday, pitting two of the world’s top managers in Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho against each other again.
The German has the upper hand in their personal battle, with just one defeat in seven meetings, although their two matches as north-west rivals last season both ended in draws.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the encounters.
Played – 7
Won – 3
Drawn – 3
Lost – 1
Goals For – 12
Goals Against – 8
Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Madrid 1 (Champions League, October 2012)
Klopp established an early advantage in their first meeting during his successful spell at Dortmund. Robert Lewandowski’s opener was quickly cancelled out by Cristiano Ronaldo, only for defender Marcel Schmelzer to score the winner just after half-time.
Real Madrid 2 Borussia Dortmund 2 (Champions League, November 2012)
The return fixture came a fortnight later when Real twice had to come from behind to draw. Pepe equalised Marco Reus’ opener but it required Mesut Ozil’s 89th-minute free-kick to cancel out Alvaro Arbeloa’s own goal.
Borussia Dortmund 4 Real Madrid 1 (Champions League semi-final first leg, April 2013)
Five months later the two coaches were reunited with the stakes much higher in the last four of the Champions League. A Lewandowski-led Dortmund blew away the visitors with the striker scoring all four to render Ronaldo’s equaliser just before half-time meaningless.
Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Champions League semi-final second leg, April 2013)
Mourinho finally secured his first win over Klopp but it was a hollow victory as late goals from Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos were not enough as Madrid lost 4-3 on aggregate, which contributed to Mourinho’s departure at the end of the season.
Chelsea 1 Liverpool 3 (Premier League, October 2015)
Klopp’s first win as new Liverpool manager came at the expense of a struggling Chelsea side were struggling near the bottom of the Premier League. Having lost five of their opening 10 matches, Klopp increased the pressure on Mourinho as, after Ramires scored, two goals from Philippe Coutinho and one from Christian Benteke turned things around.
Liverpool 0 Manchester United 0 (Premier League, October 2016)
Mourinho arrived at Anfield knowing he had to contain a free-scoring Liverpool side who were sweeping aside teams with some scintillating attacking football. The United boss succeeded in strangling the life out of the game with a well-drilled defensive gameplan which saw him frustrate Klopp and his players.
Manchester United 1 Liverpool 1 (Premier League, January 2017)
In a more entertaining affair than the previous encounter, James Milner put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot and Klopp looked on course for another win over Mourinho until Zlatan Ibrahimovic popped up with an 84th-minute header.
Manchester United travel to Liverpool on Saturday in a resumption of one of the world’s biggest derbies, as England’s two most successful clubs share a rivalry that spans more than the short distance between Old Trafford and Anfield.
Here’s a look at five classic matches between the two fierce rivals.
Over 20 years before United became the first team to complete the treble, Liverpool had the chance to pull off the feat. They came into the FA Cup final having sealed the league title, and would go on to win the European Cup four days later. But at Wembley, United had other ideas.
Lou Macari’s deflected winner won the FA Cup for the Red Devils as they ruined their rivals’ chances of winning the treble.
The 80s was virtually a lost decade for United, while Liverpool reigned supreme in both England and Europe. It was a painful time for Red Devils fans, and Liverpool punctuated their misery at the old Wembley Stadium in 1983.
Ronnie Whelan’s delightful curled winner sealed the Reds’ third consecutive League Cup in Bob Paisley’s last season in charge.
If the 80s was United’s lost decade, the 90s ended up on a similar note for Liverpool. An immensely talented team always seemed to fall short in their challenges for trophies, a fact made harder to bear by United’s resurgence and subsequent dominance. The decade threw up some classic encounters between the two rivals, with this one of the best of the lot.
United raced into a 3-0 lead after just 25 minutes at Anfield, but Nigel Clough scored two before Neil Ruddock’s equaliser.
This was United’s fairytale season, but the treble talk could have been nipped in the bud by their fiercest rivals. Liverpool took an early lead at Old Trafford thanks to a 2nd-minute goal from Michael Owen, then held on and looked set for victory.
United’s treble dream looked sunk but late Dwight Yorke and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer goals sealed an FA Cup 4th round win.
The last time these two sides were pitted against each other in a title race, and this clash was set to be a pivotal one. United fans won’t ever forget this Old Trafford humiliation, which included goals from Fabio Aurelio and Andrea Dossena.
However, they had the last laugh as after a slight wobble, United held on to win the league. Liverpool wouldn’t come this close for another five years.