Jamie Carragher does not think Tottenham will genuinely challenge Liverpool or Manchester City for the Premier League title this season.
Spurs currently sit second in the table having gone unbeaten since an opening day defeat to Everton. They are just two points behind leaders Liverpool and three points above Manchester City, who are 11th.
Liverpool and Manchester City face each other this weekend, giving the two favourites a chance to earn crucial points, and to stop each other from doing so, before the international break.
If Liverpool drop points and second-placed Leicester City fail to beat Wolves on Sunday, Spurs could finish the weekend top of the table providing they win at West Bromwich Albion.
But Carragher cannot see Tottenham finishing above Liverpool nor Manchester City despite a promising start to the campaign.
“I still can’t envisage anyone besides Liverpool or Man City winning the league. I just can’t see that,” the former Liverpool defender said on Sky Sports’ Pitch to Post podcast (as relayed by the Independent).
“I know Tottenham have started really well and I hope they have a great season and there are more challengers, but I just can’t see anybody else lifting that league title besides the big two of the last few years.
“I’d been very strong putting Liverpool as favourites for the title, but for the injury to Virgil van Dijk – not just one of Liverpool’s top players but one of the top players in the Premier League.
“And if something similar would have happened to, say, Kevin De Bruyne for Man City, who is their top man, I think you’d say the same for City. I think it makes for an even more interesting race, no doubt about that.”
It’s far too early to tell if Spurs are genuine challengers this term, but Virgil van Dijk’s injury and Manchester City’s inconsistency will certainly boost the confidence of the division’s other potential contenders.