Andre Villas-Boas believes Liverpool have been carried by Luis Suarez this season.
The Tottenham Hotspur manager knows the chances of extending Spurs' run of 12 unbeaten Premier League matches will largely depend on whether they can shackle Liverpool's prolific striker when the teams meet at Anfield today.
Liverpool are 10 points off the Uefa Champions League places, but they would be far worse off had they been without their Uruguayan frontman, who has 28 goals in 38 games in all competitions.
Although Villas-Boas has his own prolific talisman in Gareth Bale, the Portuguese knows how important Suarez will be to the outcome at Anfield.
"He is a tremendous player. He is making the difference," said Villas-Boas. "[He is] a top player and is taking almost the team on his shoulders with his goal-scoring ability.
"He is someone we must be wary of. He had a tremendous game at White Hart Lane [a 2-1 Tottenham win] and we have to be careful with his strengths."
Along with Manchester United's Robin van Persie, Bale and Suarez are the leading contenders for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award, which is announced next month.
As has been the case with Liverpool and Suarez, Bale's superb efforts this year have led to claims that Spurs are overly-reliant on their star forward, who has scored 21 goals in all. Tottenham's former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Friedel denies that is the case, though.
"That's ridiculous. That's a poor comment," said Friedel, who spent three years at Liverpool when he first came to England in 1997. "Gareth is an exceptional player and we have a lot of exceptional players.
"These comments about one-man teams ... I mean, people talk about if Barcelona didn't have Lionel Messi they wouldn't have 40 goals, but they do have Messi and they get the 40 goals.
"Real Madrid have Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Gareth Bale.
"If Chicago Bulls didn't have Michael Jordan they wouldn't have won all those championships, but they did so they won.
"Every good team has their star players. Gareth is playing well for us. We are a better team for it, but we have some exceptional players that can step in and do the job."
Despite most of the pre-match talk focusing on Suarez and Bale, Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, took time to praise the form of goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Rodgers thinks the Spain international, 30, whose form has been inconsistent in the last 18 months, is now reaping the benefits of the hard work he has put in.
"Pepe has made comments himself that, at times, he can be better but what I know I get from Pepe is he always gives his best," said Rodgers. ""His preparation has been spot on, he's training well and working very hard - he's now starting to get the rewards for that.
"He's still a young man: at 30 years of age, you can still improve. Look at the likes of Edwin van der Sar, who played until he was 40 at the top level."
Liverpool's 11 clean sheets this season is bettered only by Manchester City and veteran defender Jamie Carragher, who has started the last seven league matches as he edges towards retirement at the end of the season, has been key to that that.
Today he will become only the second Liverpool player after Ian Callaghan to make his 500th league appearance - and 729th of his 16-year Liverpool career.
"It's a remarkable effort to play that number of games at this level - huge applause to him and great credit to his professionalism," Rodgers said.
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