THE fixture list determines that at Anfield this Sunday afternoon, Liverpool FC will take on Tottenham Hotspur in a Premier League match.
But, for many, the encounter will be decided by the battle within the battle.
Luis Suarez v Gareth Bale.
While Robin van Persie’s backers would claim otherwise, the Premier League’s two finest players of the season go head-to-head in a mouthwatering clash likely to have far-reaching consequences both for the players and their clubs alike.
For Tottenham, it is an opportunity to strengthen their grip on a Champions League berth and claims of being the top club in London.
For Liverpool, victory would put them, albeit temporarily, ahead of Everton in the race for the Merseyside accolade and increase hope of Europa League qualification.
And, for Suarez and Bale, it could land a decisive blow in the fight for the accolades of PFA Player of the Year and Footballer of the Year.
Suarez’s hat-trick at Wigan Athletic last weekend was his second of the campaign, moved him on to 28 goals for the season and made him the first Liverpool player to reach 20 in a Premier League campaign since Fernando Torres.
And former Liverpool striker Paul Walsh, who won the league and appeared in a European Cup final and League Cup final during a four-year spell at Anfield before moving to Tottenham in 1988, is a fully-fledged member of the Suarez fan club.
“He is one of the few players who gets me really excited,” says Walsh. “I often find myself watching a game simply because he is playing.
“I love what he does. I love his appetite. I love his ability. Yes, sometimes he has let himself down with a dive – there’s a fine line between playing for a free-kick and blatant cheating.
“But, really, I don’t mind him getting into trouble. I like the edge he has. Sometimes players make mistakes but I can forgive him those misgivings because he is such a good footballer.
“I don’t really care about all the controversy about him, to be honest. I just look at him as a footballer.”
Suarez’s achievements are made all the more laudable given he spent much of the first half of the campaign ploughing a lone furrow up front.
But with help having arrived in the form of Daniel Sturridge in January, the Uruguayan has elevated to another level with 10 goals since the New Year.
“When Sturridge came in, I did wonder how it would work,” says Walsh (right). “Because Suarez is such a one-man band, I didn’t know how he’d be in a partnership. I didn’t see much of a partnership with Andy Carroll, for example.
“Maybe Brendan Rodgers highlighted to Suarez that he’d benefit from a link-up with another player up top, and while it’s early days it seems as though he is working a partnership with Sturridge. Certainly, the goals would say that.”