That sound you can hear is Jose Mourinho getting his gigantic ladle out to stir the pot ahead of Liverpool – Tottenham at Anfield on Wednesday (start time 3pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
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Asked before the top of the table clash (Tottenham and Liverpool are level on points but Spurs are top on goal difference, in case you didn’t know) and Liverpool dealing with injuries, Mourinho shrugged off the injury issues Jurgen Klopp is dealing with.
Ahead of this game, the Liverpool boss said he “probably doesn’t have enough players to make five subs” even if the rules are changed.
“There are injuries and it is normal. James Milner is injured, Lamela is injured. Every club, now and again, has injuries. Liverpool has a big injury, which is Van Dijk,” Mourinho said.
With both of their starting center backs, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, out for the season, plus James Milner, Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara also out, many believe that Liverpool have been hit hard by injuries this season.
Not Mourinho. Oh no.
“I think Alisson is not injured. Alexander-Arnold is not injured. Matip, I believe 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. 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 with what is the best Liverpool team,” Mourinho said.
He then went on to say that Tottenham have 10 injuries if they count Lamela and Japhet Tanganga being out, plus players being injured in their U23, U21 and U16 teams.
Oh, Jose, you rascal.
That said, according to stats from FIFPro, Spurs have had more injuries than Liverpool so far in 2020. Tottenham have had 27 injuries to players, while Liverpool have had 24 as they lead the PL in terms of players being out.
All of that injury talk aside, Mourinho was asked about Jurgen Klopp saying that he had turned this current Tottenham side into a ‘winning machine’ and although the Portuguese coach was full of praise for Liverpool, he wanted to point out his first year in charge of Spurs has been a tough one to negotiate due to the lockdown and COVID-19 restrictions.
“This machine is a result of 1,894 days of work with Jurgen. And we are the result of 390 days,” Mourinho said. “But these 390 days are fake because lots of these days were not even days of work. Days of quarantine, days of being at home unable to work.”
Mourinho is back to his best in his press conferences, delivering these kind of answers with a smile on his face and more than a sense of devilment.
Klopp will not agree with Mourinho’s assessment of Liverpool’s injuries, but it has added extra spice to a game which didn’t need it.