The Tottenham manager does not buy that a major title rival has problems after suffering unfortunate qualifying setbacks
Jose Mourinho began to ignite the flames ahead of Tottenham’s crisis with Liverpool at Anfield, with the Portuguese rubbish claims that the Reds are suffering an injury crisis.
For the Spurs boss, his opposite number, Jurgen Klopp, is struggling with just one “big injury”.
He admits that Dutch international Virgil van Dijk is almost irreplaceable as the Dutch defender has been sidelined with knee ligament damage since October.
Klopp has since lost similar to Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner and Diogo Jota due to unfortunate blows, with Liverpool’s squad tested to the end.
The Premier League champions, however, have invested heavily to ensure they boast of the strength needed.
With that in mind, and with still a lot of wealth at Klopp’s disposal, Mourinho doesn’t buy that the Reds have problems.
He told reporters ahead of a meeting between the top two in the Premier League on Wednesday: “Give me the list of Liverpool’s injured and compare that to what is the best Liverpool team.
“Liverpool have a big injury, which is Van Dijk.”
Tottenham have had to fight back from their own injuries this season, with Gareth Bale still not up to full speed after returning to north London on a season loan from Real Madrid.
Asked if the Welshman could come up against Liverpool, Mourinho said: “We still have training. Yesterday (Monday) he didn’t train with the team, he trained inside. At the moment I would say no, but we’ll see.”
While a lack of sharpness keeps Bale stuck on the sidelines, England international midfielder Harry Winks sees fierce competition for places to deny him regular playing time.
Asked if the 24-year-old was looking for an explanation for his lack of minutes, Mourinho said: “Yes, he came to me. Not just him. A lot of players come to me.
“I have my office on the first floor and a little space on the ground floor next to the dressing room to make them easier. Yes, Winks came to talk to me, yes. “
Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso are among those guarding Winks, with that pair fighting each other for a starting spot.
Pressed on that election call that saw a French international head, Mourinho said: “It’s not difficult. It’s difficult when you don’t have any of them.
“Can they play together?” Yes. The physical condition for both is very important. To play with the two together, we need them to fit in and play with the right intensity. And they will.
“I don’t say tomorrow or Sunday or next week but they will play together. It’s not a problem when I grow up and play pretty well. “