Mourinho has turned Tottenham into a 'results machine' - Klopp
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has not been surprised by Tottenham's improvement this season under Jose Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho has been praised by Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for proving his critics wrong and turning Tottenham into a "results machine" this season.
Spurs finished 40 points behind Liverpool last time out but are level with the reigning champions at the top of the Premier League ahead of Wednesday's clash at Anfield.
Mourinho's men have defeated Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United this term, the latter by a famous 6-1 scoreline, and recently held fellow title challengers Chelsea to a goalless draw.
They are also through to the last 32 of the Europa League and the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, but Klopp is not surprised Tottenham are doing so well with Mourinho in charge.
Klopp on Mourinho's "comeback"
"Jose showed obviously he can come back, if you can call it that," Klopp said at Tuesday's pre-match news conference. "It's very impressive what he has done at Spurs.
Top of the goal scoring charts— Premier League (@premierleague) December 14, 2020
11 - Dominic Calvert-Lewin
10 - Jamie Vardy
10 - Mo Salah
10 - Son Heung-min
9 - Harry Kane
8 - Patrick Bamford pic.twitter.com/LMah0LoLsS
"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. It's been impressive."
Klopp added: "Spurs play real football. Kane drops in a way [Roberto] Firmino does.
"They have quick wingers who are difficult to defend against, plus a very offensive midfielder in [Tanguy] Ndombele, then very strong midfielders behind."
Key to Tottenham's early-season form has been the partnership between Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, the pair combining for 12 goals in the Premier League this term - only Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton at Blackburn Rovers in 1994-95 have linked up for more in a single season (13).
Kane has scored and assisted a combined five goals in six away league meetings with Liverpool, meanwhile, but Klopp insists there is more to Tottenham than those two players.
"Harry Kane, of course, at all times, you have to make sure he is not involved and with Son it is the same," Klopp said. "The relationship they have has clicked properly.
"There is lot of good things to say about Tottenham, but we will still try to win the game.
"If we keep Son and Kane quiet, they have a lot of others. A proper team with threats.
"[Steven] Bergwijn is important to counters. Ndombele needed a bit longer but is now 100 per cent there. [Giovani] Lo Celso, [Moussa] Sissoko, [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg, a proper unit in midfield. It works well."
Liverpool have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League games against Tottenham (W10 D4), going down 4-1 at Wembley in October 2017. The Reds have won their last four against Spurs in the league, all by a margin of just one goal.
However, the Reds played out a disappointing 1-1 draw with Fulham on Sunday in a game that saw them lose another player to injury, Joel Matip forced off at half-time at Craven Cottage with a back problem.
Klopp will make a late decision on the centre-back's fitness for the Tottenham showdown, while midfielder Naby Keita is another who is touch-and-go.
Keita missed the Fulham game for fitness reasons and remains one short of a half-century of Premier League appearances for Liverpool.
He has endured a stop-start campaign and Klopp concedes it has been a frustrating period for the Guinea international.
"Naby has no rhythm, that's the truth, but because of different things since we started the season again and that obviously doesn't help him performance-wise," Klopp said.
"Then you play a game and we have only two days between the games and then you have to make a decision: is he ready?
"But whatever you do in the rehab process, you cannot replace the proper football training - and we don't have a lot of football training because of the number of games we have. That makes it difficult.
"Then the boys start playing again and obviously that was the case at Midtjylland; everybody who saw Naby playing in his absolute best moments knows that was obviously not his best moment, which is normal and explainable with the lack of rhythm.
"So now we had to make a little step back again with him. it's not too serious, that's why he is in training again, but we will see. Nobody is in doubt about Naby's qualities.
"But when you are injured, you need to be a little bit lucky that you don’t get kind of a re-injury because of the intensity and stuff like this.
"He didn't have that luck, so we try to be as careful as we can. We just try to consider the individual situation of the boys and make decisions if they are ready to play or not. Then sometimes it works out and sometimes not. That's it."
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