Klopp: ‘With smaller squads we cannot play that schedule.’
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has been speaking about his opinion on stopping the league ahead of the game against Tottenham and the challenges that might come up if more players will get infected.
Tottenham vs Liverpool: Line-ups
Well-Rested Spurs May Not Deter Reds
It will have been a strange experience for Tottenham to have two weeks off during what is usually the busiest period in the Premier League calendar, and only time will tell whether it proves to be a help or a hindrance in Sunday’s match. Games against Rennes and Brighton & Hove Albion were called off due to a coronavirus outbreak in the Spurs squad, before positive cases in the Leicester City camp saw their midweek match at the King Power Stadium postponed too.
All of that means that Antonio Conte’s side have not been in action since December 5, when Lucas Moura, Davinson Sanchez and Son Heung-min were on the scoresheet in a 3-0 win over Norwich City. That made it three Premier League wins in a row for Spurs, and another victory over Liverpool this weekend would see them string together four on the bounce for the first time since July 2020.
Tottenham’s inaction has seen them slip down to seventh in the Premier League table, although they have at least two games in hand over every other team in the league apart from Burnley, including three games in hand over fourth-placed Arsenal, whom them trail by four points.
Liverpool certainly represent a step up in quality from the teams they have beaten in recent games too, and history does not bode well for the hosts, who have lost each of their last six meetings with the Reds. Indeed, Spurs have only won one of their last 17 top-flight games against Liverpool, losing 12 of those, while the Merseysiders are currently enjoying their longest ever winning run away to Tottenham of three games.
Klopp’s men have not lost back-to-back games in the capital since April 2015 and will be favourites to keep that run going this weekend, although Tottenham’s rested legs could give them more of an upper hand than expected. Both clubs face a hectic end to the year should the fixture schedule continue as planned, with four games still to play before now and New Year’s Eve, and victory on Sunday would be the perfect springboard for either to go into that run of games full of confidence.
The big question mark hanging over this fixture will be what state Tottenham are in – will their two-week break leave them fresh or rusty? If the latter, they could be caught cold against a free-scoring Liverpool side looking sharper than ever in front of goal, although Klopp’s men will not be at full strength either due to their own coronavirus issues. Even so, it is hard to back against the Reds at the moment and, given their formidable record against Tottenham in recent years as well, we are backing them to march on with another victory on Sunday.