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Premier League: Liverpool vs Tottenham; “He turned them into a results-machine”

It is the top two clash that everyone has been waiting for. 

Level on points with identical records, something has to give doesn’t it?

What team will blink first?

It looked like it was Tottenham on Sunday after drawing against Crystal Palace but obviously Liverpool wanted to add an extra bit of spice for this encounter after playing an abysmal first half against Fulham and then themselves drawing 1-1.

Injuries are killing this Liverpool side and the credit has to be given where it’s due as somehow they are still joint top, albeit second on goal difference.

But the piling injury list looked like it was finally catching up with Jurgen Klopp’s men against Fulham.

Virgil Van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota are all injured for Liverpool.

That is two players off a full eleven and the bench against Fulham really emphasised the injury list.

Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were the only players over the age of 24 with The Ox not even getting the chance to come on meaning he must not be at 100% yet.

But of course, Mr box office himself was not having any of it.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho listed the whole Liverpool line-up team in his press conference and came to the conclusion that Virgil Van Dijk is the only significant injury.

He almost definitely knows that is not the case but that is the beauty of mind games and Jose Mourinho.

Klopp will have laughed it off and was very complimentary about Jose’s side in his press conference.

The German said: “Very impressive what he has done at Spurs. The way they play this year is really good. 

“He turned them into a results-machine. Performances, if not at best, they still win, defend collectively. Impressive.”

Klopp was also giving out the compliments to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea a couple of weeks ago calling them the favourites for the title.

Since then, they have lost twice on the bounce.

Liverpool supporters will be hoping Klopp’s comments about Spurs will have the same effect.

Everyone is sweating on Joel Matip’s fitness for the game as it looks likely he may not start which means it could be a midfield partnership playing at centre back unless Klopp wants to trust one of Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips.

But their lack of experience will have Harry Kane and Heung-min Son licking their lips. 

The pair are the standout partnership in the Premier League with Kane’s goal against Palace being the 12th in which either one has assisted the other.

They are a force that need to be stopped but so are Liverpool and they have been for the past three years.

However, the famous front three this season have been massively helped by Diogo Jota’s nine goals and now with his injury they cannot escape some deserved criticism.

Mohamed Salah has been the only one who has been at his consistent goalscoring best.

Roberto Firmino looked a shadow of his former self earlier on in the seasons but has since looked better even though he was not great against Fulham and now Sadio Mane is having a poor run.

The winger has only scored five goals in all competitions this season but recently he has not been having any impact on games with no goal contributions in his past eight appearances and against Fulham he lost possession 15 times making zero key passes.

Himself and the front three need a big game with their fluid link up play coming back.

There was a must win game for Liverpool against Tottenham in 2016. 

Mane on that night scored two and Anfield was buzzing with relief.

This time it will be buzzing again with the 2,000 in attendance and they need their voices more than ever.

It is a gargantuan game for both sides. 

Liverpool need to show why they are the defending champions and Tottenham need to show how much they want to be champions.

Jose Mourinho against Liverpool.

It has been a must watch ever since the club hired Rafa Benitez instead of the special one in 2005.

He loves it and Liverpool fans hate it, now it is a top of the league battle for the first time since 2014.

We all unfortunately remember what happened then but this time it is Jurgen Klopp.

Two of the most likeable managers in the league but two of the most hated which tells you everything you need to know about how successful they are.

You would be stupid to not see them come up against one another on Wednesday night.

Written by Elliot Thompson

READ MORE: Premier League: Leicester City vs Everton; “we are not so far from the top but we are not there yet”

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