Jose Mourinho is trying his mind games on Liverpool once again. This is after falling short against the Reds with a similar tactic last season.
Liverpool don’t really have an injury crisis. You see, it’s only Virgil van Dijk missing. Good player, yes, but the rest of the starting XI are all there, probably.
So what is anyone worried about? There is no injury crisis. Jose Mourinho says so.
“Van Dijk is injured and Van Dijk is a very good player of course,” said Mourinho, per the BBC. “But give me Liverpool’s list of injuries and compare that list with what is the best Liverpool team.”
He kindly did that himself, actually.
“I think Alisson is not injured. [Trent] Alexander-Arnold is not injured. [Joel] Matip, I believe that he’s going to play.
“Fabinho is not injured. [Andrew] Robertson is not injured. [Jordan] Henderson is not injured. [Georginio] Wijnaldum is not injured.
“[Mohamed] Salah is not injured, [Roberto] Firmino is not injured, [Sadio] Mane is not injured.”
So there we go – don’t go painting Liverpool as the underdogs. If anything, Tottenham Hotspur are the real underdogs, or ‘little ponies’ if you’d prefer.
Actually, isn’t Thiago, the big summer signing, injured? And Joe Gomez, one of our first-choice centre-halves? And Diogo Jota, our second top scorer?
Half the squad players, too? Now we think about it, most of the first-team have been out injured at some point, putting extra strain on everybody over a remarkably busy season.
Look, there is an injury crisis at Liverpool and Mourinho knows that – he’s just playing his mind games. Spurs must be David, Liverpool must be Goliath.
He tried the same thing last season – not that it worked.
We go again
Last season, Mourinho decided to point out how Jurgen Klopp has incredible squad depth. The Liverpool boss had attacking options no one else could compete with, you see.
And honestly, we thought he was right. Liverpool, at their best and with a full squad, make everyone second-guess what they’ll do – even if they play the same way every week.
Klopp is great at using options that way.
But while it’s nice to think that Mourinho is just a nice, complimentary guy, he was trying the same thing he is this time around. Liverpool have an incredible advantage and don’t you forget it.
Now, Liverpool dominated that game but only won 1-0. They deserved the win, though, and showed complete comfort in being favourites.
That may change this time around, mind. Liverpool aren’t in a position of strength, given the strain on their team this season. We still think they’ll win but it won’t be easy against a good Spurs team.
We can’t really see Mourinho’s mind games having an effect, though. Liverpool are too mentally strong for that and have played for well over a year as favourites in virtually every game.
Mourinho will try, once again, to heap the pressure on Liverpool but we don’t think they’ll feel it.
Liverpool at their confident best win this game.