Jurgen Klopp set for Liverpool’s ‘massive game’ at Tottenham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admits Sunday’s trip to Tottenham represents a “massive” game for his frustratingly inconsistent side.

The Reds have racked up almost as many points in six Champions League games (15) as they have in a dozen Premier League games (16).

In midweek they picked up a morale-boosting 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Napoli, arguably Europe’s in-form side, to add to the two wins they picked up against Manchester City in the league and the FA Community Shield this season.

Liverpool v Napoli - UEFA Champions League - Group A - Anfield

Liverpool celebrated a morale-boosting victory over Napoli in the Champions League in midweek (Nick Potts/PA)

But, domestically, they have lost their last two games to Nottingham Forest and Leeds, who were both in the bottom two at the time, and Liverpool are closer to the relegation zone than the top four.

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last nine meetings against Spurs (six wins, three draws) but, as they are already 10 points behind their opponents, the trip to London is the one they really need to win.

“Big game for us. Massive game – and tough too, Spurs away,” said Klopp.

“I haven’t counted the distance in points between us and them, but we have to go. We know it’s tough, we all know Tottenham are a well organized team, defending to an extremely high level and counter attacking is a huge thing.

“Spurs are in a good moment, reversed their last two games at the last minute and the last one was hugely important (in the Champions League) so they are confident and strong.”

Klopp isn’t a subscriber to the suggestion that his side perform better against top teams.

Although they beat City and Napoli, they lost to league leaders Arsenal and Manchester United, having also dropped points against Fulham, Brighton, Everton and Crystal Palace.

“We didn’t just do that (play against top teams). Bournemouth, we won 9-0 and against Rangers (7-1).

“Our problem, why we changed the system, one is the availability of players and the other is that we weren’t as strong defensively.

“You can always point out things you’re not doing well or give a whole new manual and that’s what we tried.

“Our problem in those moments was defending as a unit. We defended Napoli extremely well, we closed the good gaps, chasing the pack, our counter-press was good, the last line high so we could be high in the middle of the field.

“We defended in a better system than five or six weeks ago and, if we defend, we also have to attack.”

Liverpool v Leeds United – Premier League – Anfield

Darwin Nunez scored his fifth goal in seven appearances in the game against Napoli (Richard Sellers/PA)

On a positive note, the game against Napoli saw striker Darwin Nunez score his fifth goal in seven appearances, while midfielder Fabinho showed a return to form after a disappointingly poor start to the season.

“Big steps – and still room for improvement because the boy is an amazing package,” Klopp said of Nunez.

“You could see immediately that he is a real threat in the finish area, involved in a lot of things.

“You then realize a couple of big chances he missed, imagine he would have scored on them as well.

“He is involved in just about everything. There is always an option to pass or cross the ball.

Nottingham Forest v Liverpool – Premier League – City Ground

Fabinho has endured a difficult start to the season at Liverpool (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He came on, didn’t play for extremely long but was involved in both goals. It’s good, it’s big steps.

On Fabinho, he added: “It’s absolutely good. The match was a clear sign of Fabinho, how we know him.

“For him it was very important to realize that it was also possible. A good start in the right direction.

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