Football

Jose Mourinho plays down depleted Liverpool’s injury woes

Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has questioned Liverpool's injury crisis ahead of the sides' top-of-the-table clash at Anfield tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has been without players such as Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago Alcantara, Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and James Milner, with Diogo Jota and Kostas Tsimikas the latest names on the casualty list.

Klopp said yesterday that centre-back Joel Matip was a doubt for the clash due to back spasms but Keita may be available.

But Mourinho downplayed the extent of his counterpart's headache by listing those players who are not injured - from goalkeeper Alisson to the front trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

He added: "(Virgil) van Dijk is injured and van Dijk is a very good player, of course. But give me Liverpool's list of injuries and compare that list with what is the best Liverpool team.

"I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham. We have two kids of the Under-16s with injuries, we have two others in the Under-21s and two in the Under-23s. We have (Erik) Lamela and (Japhet) Tanganga."

The Portuguese, who is known for his mind games, went on to list his fit regulars, from captain Hugo Lloris to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

"So where are the injuries? Injuries are normal," he added. "James Milner is injured, Lamela is injured. You know, every club has injuries now and again."

Mourinho's side have the best defensive record in the league and are ahead of reigning champions Liverpool on goal difference.

Although Spurs have been accused of being a defensive, counter-attacking team, Klopp said there was more to their game than meets the eye.

Said the German: "(Mourinho) turned them into a results machine... Counter-attack is not their only strategy, they are a proper footballing side... You cannot be top of the league with only counter-attacking."

When told about Klopp's compliment, Mourinho replied: "Results machine is what Liverpool have been for the past couple of years and what my Chelsea team was in the period we won the two consecutive titles.

"We're a good team that works hard but I would say Liverpool is the result of - if I'm not wrong - 1,894 days of work with Juergen. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong by a few days.

"We're the result of work of 390 days, but these 390 days are fake. Because a lot of these days were not even days of work but of quarantine and days at home." - REUTERS

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