"But the gap is only two points".
Only five focuses now isolate United in second from Spurs in fifth, with the wealth and notoriety of a place in the Champions League for next season fuelling a record £430 million spend too much in the January exchange window. The Spurs striker ended 2017 with a flourish, and has continued that fine form into the New Year, netting twice in the 4-0 win over Everton and once more in the 1-1 draw with Southampton - 21 goals this season makes him the league's top scorer, two ahead of Salah.
Stylistically, Tottenham are a good fit for Liverpool: they keep a high line with plenty of space in behind, and if you can move the ball forward as quickly as Jurgen Klopp wants his teams to do, there are ample opportunities for the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to spring the offside trap.
This is the 150th league meeting between the two clubs and rarely have they both been on such level standing - with failure to acquire a top-four finish a huge disappointment for either.
The last encounter between the two sides saw Liverpool struggle to cope with the threat of Tottenham, with Spurs running out 4-1 winners at home.
Klopp said he was pleased with new signing Virgil van Dijk's progress in his first month at Merseyside.
Nathaniel Clyne is stepping up his recovery from a long-term back injury but will be sidelined for the next few weeks at least, with Liverpool otherwise having a fully-fit squad to choose from.
Harry Winks is back in full training.
Nathan Dyer of Swansea City tackles Andy Robertson of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium.
Last week, Klopp revealed that Lallana was dealing with a "little issue" but could be available for the important Premier League encounter at Anfield. This is a six-point game.
Sterling, himself hit by a bad tackle from Tottenham's Harry Kane in December, said: "I find it a bit unfair at times".
Seven of Liverpool's last eight games have ended with more than 2.5 goals. The Egyptian has 19 goals from 24 games, with Daniel Sturridge and Fernando Torres now holding the record (27 games each).