Football

Mourinho downplays Liverpool’s injury list ahead of top-of-the-table showdown

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Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has played down Liverpool’s injury problems ahead of Wednesday’s meeting at Anfield, saying the Reds’ only “big” absentee is Virgil Van Dijk.

The champions will be without Van Dijk for the remainder of the season following knee surgery, while Joe Gomez is also sidelined long-term and Diego Jota and Kostas Tsimikas are both facing at least six weeks out.

James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri are also expected to miss Tottenham’s visit, while Joel Matip is a major doubt.

Jurgen Klopp has described his squad’s injury list as “unbelievable” but Mourinho claimed the German’s best XI is relatively unaffected and said Spurs had absentees of their own. 

“I think Alisson is not injured; Alexander-Arnold is not injured; Matip, I believe that he’s going to play,” the Spurs manager said.

“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 ten 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 Lamela and Tanganga. And here is a list of ten players.

“But is Loris injured? No. Alderweireld injured? No. Dier injured? No. Reguilon injured? No. Harry Kane injured? No. Son injured? No. Lucas injured? No. 

“So where are the injuries? Injuries are normal. James Milner is injured, Lamela is injured. You know. Every club has injuries now and again. Liverpool has a big injury. Which is Van Dijk.”

Spurs will be without Erik Lamela (achilles) and Japhet Tanganga (shoulder) on Wednesday, while Gareth Bale is a doubt after illness and will be assessed after training on Tuesday.

Mourinho’s side visit Anfield level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table but the Portuguese insisted there is no comparison between the two teams given the length of time he and Klopp have been in charge.

©Evening Standard

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