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Jose Mourinho claims Liverpool only have one “big injury” despite at least 7 absentees

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Jose Mourinho has claimed Liverpool only have one “big injury,” despite Jurgen Klopp‘s options for Wednesday’s clash with Tottenham limited by seven senior absentees.

The Reds welcome Spurs to Anfield in midweek with a continued problem with injuries, as both Joel Matip and Naby Keita are doubts following recent issues.

They have joined Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Thiago, James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri, Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota on the treatment table, with Klopp confirming that while they could feature, “no one else” will be back.

It is symptomatic of the congested campaign, and not only affecting Liverpool, but it is hard to overlook how often the Reds have endured setbacks in terms of personnel.

Despite this, when asked about the situation in his pre-match press conference, Mourinho claimed that Klopp is only without one first-choice starter in Van Dijk.

Alisson is not injured, Alexander-Arnold is not injured, Matip I believe is going to play, Fabinho is not injured, Robertson is not injured, Henderson is not injured, Wijnaldum is not injured, Salah is not injured, Firmino is not injured, Mane is not injured,” he argued.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk walks off injured during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“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 of injuries with what is the best Liverpool team.

“I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham. We have two kids from the under-16s with injuries, we have two others in the under-21s and you have three in the under-23s. We have Lamela and Tanganga. Here you have a list of 10 players.

“But is Lloris 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.

“Every club has, now and again, injuries. Liverpool has a big injury, which is Van Dijk.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s Thiago Alcantara (L) and manager Jürgen Klopp walk back to the dressing room at full time after an injury time winning goal was disallowed following a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While the fit players that Mourinho listed do effectively make up Klopp’s go-to starting lineup, it is reductive to compare Liverpool’s absentee’s list to the academy players Spurs may or may not be missing.

In fact, the likes of Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, Caoimhin Kelleher, Jake Cain, Leighton Clarkson, Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips are among the only options to have been almost consistently fit for Klopp throughout the campaign so far.

Van Dijk’s absence may be felt the most, but Gomez, Thiago and Jota are arguably first-choice starters now, too, while the inability to rotate with the likes of Milner, Shaqiri and Keita is clearly impacting selection.

This is typical Mourinho, of course, and while it is an opinion worth flagging, it is unlikely one that Klopp will be too concerned with as he prepares Liverpool for a top-of-the-table clash at Anfield.

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