Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool are ready to rise to the challenge of facing Tottenham after stumbling against struggling sides in recent weeks.
The Reds have recovered from a slow start in the Champions League to advance, handing Napoli their first defeat of the season in midweek.
But their Premier League form has remained concerning, losing their past two matches to Nottingham Forest and Leeds United.
A clash with Spurs is more akin to the type of test Liverpool have readily faced and passed in Europe, so Klopp hopes they can step up again.
“If you want to get out of something, you first have to get through it,” he said. “That’s where we are.
“It might take time, but it’s not that we say now Tottenham is too early for us to really show up already. No, it’s not; we go there and want to be at our best, 100 per cent.
“But sitting here now, being 1,000 per cent convinced ‘yes, we will’? What I can tell you: it never was (easy) before going to Tottenham. I never thought ‘good moment to face Tottenham; let’s smash them’. That was never the case.
“It’s a difficult place to go, a really good team, extremely well coached, and a real fighting unit. There are no friendly games against them. Antonio (Conte)’s on his toes on the sidelines, the players are in challenges, all these kinds of things, so it will be a tough one.
“But that’s actually what we all want; it’s like a Champions League game in the Premier League. That’s how we will approach it.”
Liverpool may have lost their way of late, but Klopp’s opposite number Antonio Conte is taking inspiration from his Anfield reign.
“I have great respect for Jurgen because his story speaks for him,” Conte said.
“He has changed the face of Liverpool. I remember very well Liverpool didn’t win for a long period.
“He needed four years to help Liverpool win again, and for sure it shows it is important for the coach to have time. Liverpool can be a good example for us.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tottenham – Harry Kane
Spurs are without Son Heung-min and Richarlison and may also still be missing Dejan Kulusevski. Those absences create a huge pressure on the shoulders of Kane, who may have to be a one-man band in attack. He has shown himself to be up to that task in the past.
Liverpool – Fabinho
Liverpool’s difficulties this season have been heightened by Fabinho’s loss of form in the middle of midfield. Klopp appeared to acknowledge those struggles ahead of this game as he recognized an improved midweek showing against Napoli as “a good start in the right direction” – something to build on, Liverpool will hope.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Tottenham are winless in their last nine Premier League games against Liverpool (D3 L6), since a 4-1 win in October 2017. Only once in their league history have they gone 10 without a win against the Reds, doing so between 1971 and 1976 (D3 L7).
– Liverpool have only failed to score in one of their last 20 Premier League meetings with Tottenham (0-0 in October 2015), while they have lost just one of their last 19 against Spurs (W12 D6).
– This is the first time Tottenham are facing Liverpool while above them in the table since December 2020, with the Reds winning 2-1 at Anfield thanks to Roberto Firmino’s 90th-minute winner. It is the first time Spurs are hosting Liverpool while above them in the table since a 4-1 win in October 2017, which was also their last Premier League victory against them.
– Spurs have won more points from losing positions than any other side in the Premier League this season (10), coming from 2-0 down to beat Bournemouth last time out. Since Conte took charge, only Liverpool themselves (24) have gained more points from behind than Spurs (21), with this game almost a year to the day since the Italian’s first league game at the helm (0-0 vs Everton, November 7, 2021).
– Coming into this weekend’s games, only Southampton and West Ham (nine matches) have conceded the first goal more often than Liverpool (eight) in the Premier League this season, with the Reds already losing twice the amount of league games this term (four) as they did in 2021-22 (two).