Brazilian midfielder Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring Liverpool’s second goal against Huddersfield Town. AFP / PAUL ELLIS
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The intensifying battle for Champions League places takes center stage in the Premier League this weekend as Liverpool host Tottenham, while Manchester United and Chelsea seek to recover from damaging defeats. Just five points now separate United in second from Spurs in fifth, with the riches and prestige of a place in the Champions League for next season fueling a record 430 million pounds ($611 million) splurge in the January transfer window.Philippe Coutinho's 160-million-euro move to Barcelona meant Liverpool ended January in the black despite splashing out a world-record 75 million pounds for a defender on Southampton's Virgil van Dijk.Despite holding their own in this season's Champions League and domestically, Liverpool and Spurs are not even in the top 10 for net spend on transfers in the Premier League this season.
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