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Mourinho and Klopp’s role-reversal of attack vs. defence will define Anfield clash

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Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham is one of the biggest games of the season and Spurs fans believe Jose Mourinho could end the Reds’ long unbeaten home run.

This is a big one.

The Reds welcome a buoyant Spurs side to Anfield on Wednesday, with both teams level on points at the top of the Premier League.

Mourinho has the bit between his teeth, as he often does during his second season at clubs, and attacking duo Son Heung-min and Harry Kane are arguably the most in-form players in the division.

Jurgen Klopp will be demanding a response from Liverpool after their disappointing 1-1 draw at Fulham, however, and a win would be a big signal of intent.

Ahead of the match, we spoke to football.london’s Spurs reporter Rob Guest (@RobGuesty) to speak about Wednesday’s game, the title race and much more.

 

How would you assess Spurs’ start to the campaign?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 31, 2019: Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been a very good start to the season for Tottenham, and it could be a year to remember going on the team’s current form.

A number of people predicted that Spurs would struggle to finish in the top four initially, but there’s a very good chance they will contest for the title with Liverpool.

There have been a few bumps in the road along the way, notably the late draws against Newcastle, West Ham and Crystal Palace, but back in September all fans would have snapped your hand off if you had offered them to be in top spot heading into the game at Anfield.

 

What’s your stance on Jose Mourinho?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 7, 2018: Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho looks miserable before the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Manchester United FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was tough for Mourinho, given the major injuries the team suffered, but I was always confident that trophies would follow in his first full season.

Mourinho definitely divides opinion, but he is a winner and his record in the game speaks for itself.

While a number of Spurs fans may have not been keen on Daniel Levy’s choice to appoint him last season, I don’t think they will be complaining too much if he does indeed bring silverware to the club, as they have been starved of it for so long.

He most definitely could be the man to ensure the good times return to north London.

 

Who have been Spurs’ three best players so far?

ROCHDALE, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 18, 2018: Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min during the FA Cup 5th Round match between Rochdale AFC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Spotland Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A number of Tottenham players have really caught the eye this season, but there are three standout candidates.

Harry Kane has been in exceptional form and it seems bizarre that some people doubted that he would score goals in a Mourinho team.

The England captain has not only proved he is an exceptional goalscorer, but that there is also so much more to his game, such as his holdup play, vision, defensive work and his ability to register assist after assist.

Son Heung-min also deserves a big mention as he has started the campaign on fire with 13 goals and seven assists in all competitions.

He has formed a formidable partnership with Kane and they are going to be key to the club’s big aspirations come May.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - Sunday, October 11, 2015: Denmark's Pierre H¯jbjerg before friendly game against France at Parken Stadium. (Pic by Lexie Lin/Propaganda)

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has also proved to be an absolute transfer bargain since his £15 million move from Southampton.

A number of fans may have turned their nose up at the signing initially, but he has been exceptional in midfield and given Spurs a platform to go on and win games due to his ability to win the ball and get it moving forward.

He is undoubtedly the signing of the summer in the Premier League.

 

Is a Premier League title challenge on the cards?

MADRID, SPAIN - Friday, May 31, 2019: Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min during a training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mourinho may not publicly admit it, but deep down he will no doubt believe that Spurs can indeed go all the way.

The team have started the Premier League season in top form and confidence is sky high at present and that only bodes well for the coming months.

Built on a defence that doesn’t look like conceding goals at present and with some quality players in attack, such as Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso, Son and Kane, Tottenham most definitely can contest for the top prize.

The key to that will be coming out of the festive period in a strong position, however, as they have some very tough games coming up.

 

Switching our attention to Liverpool, do you still see them as the team to beat?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 13, 2020: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after the first equalising goal from a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It appears that it’s going to be that way when you look at the teams in the title race.

Liverpool have had some bad luck with injuries this term, but it says an awful lot about Jurgen Klopp‘s side that they are still joint-top, as they could have well slipped down the league table.

The Reds may not have many options at the back at present, but they still have players in attack that can put sides to the sword.

They will definitely be there or thereabouts come May.

 

Who do you fear most on Wednesday night?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, November 22, 2020: Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino (L) celebrates with team-mate Sadio Mané after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has to be Liverpool’s front three, as they have continued to score goals for fun this campaign.

Spurs did a decent job of keeping them quiet back in January, however, and they are going to have to do exactly that once again on Wednesday evening.

They have done extremely well keeping the likes of Man City and Chelsea goalless recently, so they will be confident of doing likewise at Anfield.

 

Where do you see the key battles taking place?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Joel Matip (2nd from R) celebrates with team-mates Mohamed Salah, Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' and Roberto Firmino after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The key battle for me is going to be Liverpool’s makeshift defence against the Tottenham attack.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are a huge miss for the Reds, and Kane and Co. could really give the back line a major headache over the course of the 90 minutes.

Fail to nullify the Tottenham attack and Liverpool could very well be looking at a second league defeat of the season.

 

Finally, hit us with your prediction…

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 14, 2017: Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp and Manchester United's manager Jose Mourinho before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is going to be a very tight game, but I think that Spurs will leave with the points.

I will go for Mourinho to get the better of Klopp with a 2-1 victory.

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