Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool Preview: Klopp looking to kickstart tenure with away win

Jürgen Klopp will be hoping to take a morale-boosting victory in the race for the top four when he takes his first game in charge of Liverpool FC at Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in Saturday's early kick-off.

The German was officially appointed as the successor to Brendan Rodgers a week ago, after the Northern Irishman was sacked in the aftermath of a 1-1 Premier League draw with Everton.

And having only met his squad in full on Wednesday afternoon, when an array of the club's internationals return from duty, Klopp will be looking to justify the immense hysteria surrounding his arrival with what would be a significant start to his career on Merseyside.

Many have questioned whether the ex-Borussia Dortmund boss, who vowed to turn the club's supporters from doubters into believers, will be able to recreate the success he achieved in Germany - but the pedigree and winning mentality he brings is there for all to see.

Off the pitch, Klopp's tenure has made a fine start - with him wooing the media in his conferences thus far, but fans will be keen to see whether he can continue his fine form on the pitch, or on the sidelines, so to speak.

He has already set about insisting what he wants to see from his side, searching for an increase in bravery, aggression, passion and quite simply, enjoyment, from his players. 

But in addition to that, added defensive solidity and an increase in the goals for tally will be high on the agenda of his to-do list at Anfield - with the rebuilding task at hand not one to be understated.

Klopp, just the second German and only the third ever non-British manager to take charge at the helm of the club, has classed himself as the "normal one" - but so far, his reign has been anything but normal.

And whether it is too early for Saturday's game to weigh in any important for the top-four race or not, both sides are clearly aware of the stuttering starts of the likes of Chelsea - which leaves the possibility open of getting a good head start in the battle to qualify for next year's Champions League.

The Reds, who struggled badly against the "big" clubs under Rodgers on the whole, will be hoping for a result, and a performance, that helps to prove the top four credentials that Klopp which hope to help restore on a more permanent basis during his next few years in charge. 

Team News

Liverpool have been hit by devastating injury news in the run up to the showdown in North London, with Joe Gomez and Danny Ings - two of their brightest performers so far this season - both ruled out for the rest of the season within a day of each other.

The pair both suffered anterior cruciate ligament ruptures during the international break, with Gomez sustaining the knock on England U21s duty and Ings doing likewise in his first training session back from a maiden call-up to the Three Lions' senior squad.

That adds to a growing list of absentees, with Klopp missing Christian Benteke - who will miss his fifth consecutive match with a hamstring injury - for Saturday's clash.

He and Roberto Firmino, who sustained a back injury after falling awkwardly in their League Cup penalty shoot-out win over Carlisle United last month, are both progressing well - but have not yet returned to full first-team training and are therefore unavailable.

Captain Jordan Henderson is likely to remain out until mid-to-late November with a broken bone in his foot, having not kicked a ball since being withdrawn in just Liverpool's second game of the campaign.

Jon Flanagan, recovering from knee surgery, has set the return date of December provided he suffers no setbacks in his rehabilitation - whilst teenage midfielder Jordan Rossiter is likely to miss the trip to Spurs through a hamstring injury sustained whilst playing for England U19s.

On the bright side, Philippe Coutinho and Dejan Lovren are in contention after the Brazilian was forced to drop out of international duty with a groin injury suffered in their draw with Everton, whilst Lovren has recovered from an ankle ligament injury picked up in September to return to full training.

Academy prospects Conor Randall, midfielder Pedro Chirivella - who made his debut in the Europa League at Bordeaux - and striker Jerome Sinclair, who came off the bench in the 1-1 draw away at Chelsea last season, are all in the squad who have travelled to London.

Similarly, Spurs are also suffering from a number of injuries. Son Heung-min, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb and Alex Pritchard are all out - whilst Eric Dier is suspended after amassing five yellow cards.

Mauricio Pochettino is able to call upon Danny Rose, however, who returns after a hand injury. 


Total: Liverpool - 68 wins, Draws - 36, Spurs - 44 wins.

At White Hart Lane: Spurs - 36 wins, Draws - 16, Liverpool - 22 wins.

At Anfield: Liverpool - 46 wins, Draws - 20, Spurs -8 wins.

Most recent meeting: Liverpool 3-2 Tottenham, 10th February 2015.

Last meeting at White Hart Lane: Tottenham 0-3 Liverpool, 31st August 2014.

Recent league form (all competitions):

Tottenham Hotspur:

Form in Premier League: DWWWD
Form in all competitions: DDWLW


Form in Premier League: DWDLL
Form in all competitions: DDWDD

Match facts:

A win for Liverpool would be their sixth consecutive league win over Tottenham, the first time in their history they have recorded such a record.

Across those last five meetings, Liverpool have scored 18 goals and conceded just four in response.

The last two meetings between Liverpool and Tottenham at White Hart Lane have yielded 3-0 and 5-0 away wins.

Tottenham are the only unbeaten team since the opening weekend of fixtures, winning three and drawing four in that run.

The home side also have the joint best defensive record, conceding just seven goals in eight games.

Liverpool have only won one of their last nine away games in the Premier League, drawing four and losing four, with a 1-0 win against Stoke City on the opening game of the season their only victory.

All eight of Liverpool's last goals in the league and cup competitions have been scored by English players.

The Reds have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last eight matches in all competitions.

Man in the middle:

Craig Pawson will take just his sixth game in charge of a league game involving Liverpool when he officiates their game against Spurs.

He's been the match official for one of their eight league games already this season, their 1-0 home win over Bournemouth back in mid-August.

Of the two Liverpool away games Pawson has refereed, the Reds won 1-0 at Sunderland in February this year, after losing 3-1 to West Ham United in the same season back in September.

The 36-year-old, who was the fourth official in both finals of the domestic cup competitions last year, has dished out seven yellows in the five Liverpool games he has taken charge of. He also oversaw Tottenham's 1-0 win at Sunderland last month.