Jurgen Klopp says he has sympathy for Chelsea’s Covid situation but believes Thomas Tuchel was still able to play a full-strength team for their 0-0 draw with Wolves on Sunday.
Chelsea saw their request for their match against Wolves to be postponed turned down by the Premier League as they have seven players unavailable due to Covid.
Romelu Lukaku, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi were all unavailable, while Tuchel was forced to give minutes to N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic, who have only just returned from injury.
Liverpool, meanwhile, were without Thiago Alcantara, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Curtis Jones for their fixture against Tottenham due to Covid, while Jordan Henderson also missed the match through illness.
And Klopp believes Chelsea’s strong squad depth was evident in the side Tuchel was able to pick for their goalless stalemate against Wolves.
‘As we always were, we were in contact with the Premier League, we tell them about our cases and the stuff that happens. In the first instance we had three cases and then two days later Thiago was positive,’ Klopp said after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
‘The Premier League tells us these are pretty much the best numbers in the league, I saw Arsenal and Chelsea play and they have, for me, their first line-ups, pretty much, on the pitch, but for us it’s not exactly the same.
‘There was no chance with four yesterday to cancel the game, and we had no intention to do that, but then today Hendo on top of that for different reasons.
‘Yes, it’s tough, absolutely tough. You play against Tottenham and you saw they looked fresher in the second half than in the first half, so this is an intense period and we have to make sure we all have the same chances, the same situation pretty much.
‘It’s difficult in that moment, I see that, but apart from that I don’t know which team I can line up because I always wait in the morning for the test results, we had absolutely no idea about the Tottenham team.
‘Usually you prepare for a game and you have an idea who played last week and stuff like this, but we had absolutely no idea, and we saw the line-up and apart from Hojbjerg, it was pretty much the first line-up and they looked already fresh. We were just better in the first half, or we were more dominant, I’m not sure of the numbers, but 70-30 per cent possession at Tottenham is nearly ridiculous, to be honest.
‘There was no open game, it was just counter-attacking, so that’s all tough. So, yes, the situation is not easy but we play football as long as people tell us to.’
In a separate interview with Sky Sports, Klopp said he had sympathy for Tuchel’s situation.
‘Thomas Tuchel… I saw the bench today from Chelsea, come on… he has to play [Mateo] Kovacic, he has to come back from a long-term injury,’ said the Liverpool manager.
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