Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has dismissed Jurgen Klopp’s concerns over Liverpool’s injury problems and effectively named 10 players he expects to face at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Klopp has repeatedly called for the introduction of five substitutes in Premier League matches as he bemoans fitness issues which he claims have plagued his squad this season.
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However, Mourinho suggested the number of injuries Liverpool have suffered has not weakened their strongest starting line-up ahead of this week’s meeting between the league’s top two sides, apart from the anterior cruciate knee ligament injury Virgil van Dijk suffered in October, which leaves the centre-back facing a fight to play again this season.
When asked at a news conference about what team he expected from Liverpool, Mourinho said: “Well, I think Alisson is not injured. [Trent] Alexander-Arnold is not injured.
[Joel] Matip, I believe that he is going to play, Fabinho is not injured, [Andy] Robertson is not injured, [Jordan] Henderson is not injured, [Georginio] Wijnaldum is not injured, [Mohamed] Salah is not injured, [Roberto] Firmino is not injured, [Sadio] Mane is not injured.
“Van Dijk is injured and Van Dijk is a very good player of course but give me a Liverpool list of injuries and compare that list with what is the best Liverpool team.
Jose Mourinho’s side can go three points clear of Premier League champions Liverpool with a win on Wednesday at Anfield. Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images
“I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham. We have two kids in the U16s with injuries, we have two others in the U21s and three others in the U23s, we have [Erik] Lamela and [Japhet] Tanganga. Then you have a list of 10 players. But is [Hugo] Lloris injured? No. Is [Toby] Alderweireld injured? No. [Eric] Dier injured? No. [Sergio] Reguilon injured? No. Harry Kane injured? No. Son [Heung-Min] injured? No. Lucas [Moura] injured? No. So where are the injuries?
“There are injuries, it is normal. James Milner is injured. Lamela is injured and every club has now and again injuries. Liverpool has a big injury which is Van Dijk.”
Klopp described Spurs as a “results machine” as Mourinho has engineered an impressive revival which has taken Tottenham above defending champions Liverpool on goal difference at the top of the table.
But Mourinho said such judgement was premature, pointing out the extra time Klopp has been in charge at Liverpool having joined the club in October 2015 compared with Mourinho’s arrival in north London last November.
“Jurgen says that because if you look to our results this season, we lost one in the Premier League and we lost one in the Europa League so our results are very positive but I think it is too early,” Mourinho added.
“The period of good results is about a few months and a ‘results machine’ is much more than that. A ‘results machine’ is what Liverpool has been for the last couple of years. A results machine is what my Chelsea was in the period we won two consecutive titles.
“We are a good team that works hard. But I would say, Liverpool is the result of 1,894 days of work with Jurgen. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong for a few days. We are the result of the work of 390 days but these 390 days are fake.
“Lots of these days were not even days of work, they were days of quarantine, being at home unable to work. So from almost 2,000 to 300, for us to be able to compete at the level we are doing, I can only give credit to the players and be very happy with what they are doing.”