(Reuters) – Tottenham Hotspur’s well-drilled attack will present Liverpool’s defence with their biggest challenge for a long time when they face off in the Premier League over the weekend, the Merseyside club’s manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.
Klopp said he expects Antonio Conte’s Spurs to sit back as they have some of the “best counter-attacking players in the world”, especially when they play away from home.
“When you think about how Tottenham wins football games, they’re a brilliant football team… Up front they have speed like crazy,” Klopp told reporters ahead of Saturday’s game at Anfield.
“Harry Kane, what a player. He obviously fits in that idea extremely well, there’s a blind understanding between them (the forwards). I’d say it’s probably the biggest challenge for protection we’ve faced for a long time.
“To win a football game, you have to create and be high up the pitch. But when you lose it (the ball), you should be immediately around all of them, that’s difficult. We have to find a way to keep them calm as often as possible.”
Champions League finalists Liverpool trail league leaders Manchester City by a point with four games left.
When asked if Pep Guardiola’s side would be more determined than ever to not let the league title slip having been knocked out of Europe by Real Madrid, Klopp said: “Yes, it was a massive blow… really harsh.
“Nights like this are not cool, next morning is not enjoyable, but now they will be ready for Newcastle (United) on Sunday.”
Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the 2018 final, and Klopp said he had wanted to face the Spanish side again the following season to get over that defeat.
In the end, they won the competition in 2019 by beating Spurs in the final.
“But we faced Tottenham in Madrid,” he said with a laugh. “Madrid seems to be our destiny.
“It was strange and unlucky for City but what Madrid did was outstanding. They got through against PSG, Chelsea and City… If you knock out these three teams, you definitely deserve to be in final.
“It will be great. We were not happy that night (in 2018) but that was a while ago. I’m happy to go there and give it a try.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)