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Tottenham are Premier League contenders, but caveats remain

Can Mauricio Pochettino's men pose a serious title challenge? Are Manchester United's defenders channeling Martin Škrtel?
Tottenham aim to extend their league unbeaten run against Chelsea, while a resurgent Liverpool take on Swansea.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop believe Tottenham have to focus on their encounter against Chelsea.
Anthony Richardson previews Tottenham's clash against Chelsea, where Spurs sport a 12-match league unbeaten run.

Are Tottenham Hotspur title contenders?

If you'd asked that question at almost any point in the Premier League's history, and indeed for many of its preceding years, you'd have been gently ushered out of the room and advised to take some time off. But after an unbeaten run that stretches back to the second game of the season, more and more people are beginning to wonder if something extraordinary is happening at White Hart Lane. It is, of course, far too early to draw any solid conclusions, but...

 By Nick Miller

Will Chelsea's mini-revival continue against Spurs?

The ESPN FC panel discuss Diego Costa's poor goal-scoring form this season.

Tottenham and Chelsea could not have started their 2015-16 Premier League campaigns any differently. ESPN FC takes a look at the five biggest questions ahead of Saturday's crunch match.

1. Will Chelsea's mini-revival continue?

It has been a calamitous season for Chelsea, but the last couple of games have offered a hint of hope. Their performances in the past two games, wins against Norwich and Maccabi Tel Aviv, while still not exactly being entirely convincing, suggest Jose Mourinho might be able...

 By Ben Pearce

Tottenham team effort validates Pochettino's Europa League gamble

Harry Kane scored his 10th goal in all competitions as Tottenham advanced to the Europa League knockout stages.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Shaka Hislop believe Tottenham have to focus on their encounter against Chelsea.

Eyebrows were raised when Mauricio Pochettino took an almost full-strength squad to Azerbaijan and then picked most of his senior players against Qarabag less than three days before a crucial Premier League showdown with Chelsea at midday on Sunday.

It remains to be seen how those decisions will affect Spurs, and the top-four battle, at the weekend -- but the Argentine will feel justified in his decisions for now, after this mature 1-0 victory which ensured Tottenham qualified for the knockout stages...

Tottenham vs. Chelsea shows differing fortunes of Harry Kane, Diego Costa

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Alexis Nunes debate who will finish higher this season - Tottenham or Chelsea?

They represented the odd couple in an imaginary team. When the PFA polled its members to determine who figured in their team of last season, two strikers secured the most votes: Harry Kane and Diego Costa. They can be portrayed as opposites in almost every respect, bringing the smile and the snarl respectively. It is just as well they are rivals when Tottenham host Chelsea on Sunday; it is hard to imagine two such diametrically different characters in harness.

They are also players whose fortunes...

 By John Crace

Mauricio Pochettino must exercise caution against Qarabag

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol tips Tottenham to be season-long contenders for the top four following their recent run of results.

Anyone fancy an 11-hour round trip to Baku on the Caspian sea for a midweek game of football? Thought not. To say that Thursday night's Europa League tie against Qarabag of Azerbaijan presents Spurs' manager Mauricio Pochettino with a headache is an understatement. Migraine is more like it. A win would guarantee qualification for the knockout stages with a game to spare, but with so little time for recovery, putting out a first team would make it tougher to beat Chelsea in Sunday's Premier League...

 By John Crace

Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld superb for Spurs in 4-1 rout of West Ham

Tottenham extended their unbeaten run to 12 straight games with a comprehensive 4-1 thumping of West Ham.
Former Arsenal man Paul Mariner reacts to Tottenham's 4-1 thrashing of West Ham.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane and midfielder Eric Dier express their delight following their 4-1 thrashing of West Ham.

It may be too early to start talking of titles, but Spurs players are certainly starting to believe they are genuine contenders. Other Tottenham teams might have had more "galacticos" but this one has almost no weak links. Better still, the players are clearly on message with each other and their manager. They know what is being asked of them and they are learning how to execute it perfectly. Sunday's 4-1 win over West Ham was both clinical and stylish. The "Spurs Way" has now added precision...