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Mar 10, 2013

Spurs out to ruin Reds' top-four hopes

Andre Villas-Boas is hoping to end Liverpool's hopes of a top-four finish when Tottenham travel to Anfield on Sunday, insisting his side will not be weakened following their midweek Europa League fixture.

• Preview: Liverpool v Tottenham
• Fitch: Few teams can match Spurs

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez urged his team-mates to make the most of their clash with third-placed Spurs and move closer to Champions League football next season, but Villas-Boas believes that dream will be ended if the Reds do not claim three points.

"They are 10 points off fourth place," he said. "Will we end their chances if we beat them? You never really know but I think so, yes."

Spurs easily despatched of Inter Milan 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie on Thursday, giving them only two days rest ahead of the trip north.

Liverpool were given an extra period of rest after being knocked out of Europe last round, although the Tottenham boss does not expect that to give his opponents the upper hand.

"I'm not sure it will. Liverpool wanted to win the Europa League too," Villas-Boas said. "The fact they are out and have to see other teams doing so well will be despairing. Our legs may be a little bit more tired but we can respond because we have done it in the past.

"We wanted to use it as an example for the Champions League in the future. So players get used to having to put in the effort in midweek and then again the following weekend.

"At the moment we have had success after most Europa League matches. The only negative results we've were at Manchester City and another I can't remember."

Tottenham have experienced a change in fortunes during the second half of this season and will move five points clear of Chelsea in third place if they can overcome Liverpool.

"Most of the players look at each other with pride and that's what makes a real difference," Villas-Boas said. All of them see they are going in the same direction, towards achieving success.

"That is what Jermain Defoe meant when he said everybody is on the same wavelength. All of the players are working for - and inspiring - each other."

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