(Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has dismissed claims that it is the perfect time to face Tottenham Hotspur because of injuries to key players and concern over striker Harry Kane’s form and freshness.
Kane, who won the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup with six goals, has started 61 matches in all competitions for club and country since the start of last season.
The England captain has been far from his best at the start of the new campaign and Klopp reckons the national team’s run to the World Cup semi-finals meant plenty of players were not afforded adequate recovery time.
“We all knew after the World Cup, especially when England went so far in the tournament they had no rest,” Klopp told Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Spurs on Saturday.
“We all need rest. He (Kane) cannot get the rest match-wise but he will find his form, maybe at the weekend, he has already delivered, it’s not that he’s not in good shape.”
Tottenham will be without attacking midfielder Dele Alli and captain Hugo Lloris through injury.
Delays over the new stadium and a surprise defeat by Watford before the international break means Tottenham’s preparation for a game against Liverpool side boasting a 100 percent record so far has not been ideal.
But Klopp believes his team will be tested by Spurs, whose squad depth allows them to replace any player in the starting lineup.
“You go through the line up of Tottenham and realise they can replace even Dele Alli, Lloris,” he added.
“They will be a really strong side and no I don’t think it’s the perfect time to play Tottenham.”
Brazilian midfielder Fabinho is yet to make his league debut for Liverpool after making a close-season move from AS Monaco.
Klopp said the 24-year-old will need more time to get up to speed but has no concerns over the player’s long-term ability to be a success at Anfield.
“I don’t like the situation, because I don’t like to say to Fabinho, who is full of energy and desire to play, to tell him he is not involved,” Klopp told a news conference.
“He came from another league playing in a completely different system to us and that takes time. The plan was – and still is – that he will make us better.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)