Jose Mourinho has belittled Liverpool’s injury crisis by claiming Virgil van Dijk is their only significant casualty.
Mourinho even reeled off nine big names who he claimed would definitely start for Liverpool in their title showdown at Anfield in a remarkable swipe at Jurgen Klopp’s recent complaints.
Liverpool boss Klopp has been left furious by the demands on players amid a growing list of players left on the treatment table with van Dijk and Joe Gomez in danger of missing the season while Diogo Jota, Thiago Alcantara and James Milner are among the other casualties.
But Mourinho said “every club has injuries” while insisting the reigning champions will be able to put out a strong starting line-up as he says Spurs are missing just as many players.
Tottenham boss Mourinho said: “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 and then … I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham.
“Well, I think, Alexander-Arnold is not injured, Matip I believe that he 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.
“We have 16 with injuries, we have two others in the u21s and we have three in the u23s. We have Lamela, and Tanganga, and we 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?
“There are injuries. It’s normal. James Milner is injured. Lamela is injured. Every club has now and again injuries. Liverpool has a big injury which is Van Dijk.”
It was a classic Mourinho pre-match wind-up with the Spurs boss also insisting that Liverpool will have an “unfair advantage” because fans will be allowed in to Anfield.
Tottenham hosted two games with 2,000 supporters at White Hart Lane before the Government put London under Tier Three restrictions because of rising coronavirus infection rates but Liverpool are one of the few clubs still allowed supporters.
Mourinho added: “If you ask me, is it fair in terms of the competition, I don’t think it’s fair because of course the team that has home fans has a different intensity, has a different temperature, a different atmosphere and that is of course an advantage.
“I’m very confused with this situation. One day Tier three, another day Tier two, another day 2,000 at the Tottenham stadium and is the same as Accrington’s stadium. There are too many contradictions, too many things I don’t understand and I don’t want to get involved on that.
“I don’t think we can be selfish and say because London is in Tier three and Brighton it isn’t, or Liverpool, Everton, they are not. I don’t think we should be selfish in the way of saying: ‘I don’t have, you don’t have.’ You have. Lucky you. And unlucky us. But I’m not going to complain.”
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