Today’s Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur is the first since they met in the final of last season’s Champions League.
Their defeat still sits deep with Spurs players, with captain Harry Kane saying they were determined to get the best possible result against their table-topping rivals.
“Of course, we know in the Premier League that we are far behind and have a lot of catching up to do. Sunday [today] will be a tough game. They have started the season very well, so we have to make sure we put in a performance similar to Tuesday’s.
“In any top game, in any top competition, there are fine margins between winning and losing, and we probably haven’t had the rub of the green this season for one reason or another,” Kane said this week.
Spurs, who are seventh in the league, 13 points behind Liverpool after nine matches, will be desperate for a result as their past league matches saw them lose 3-0 at Brighton and then get held to a 1-1 draw at home by struggling Watford.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team, however, secured a morale-boosting 5-0 victory against Red Star Belgrade midweek to keep their hopes of extending their Champions League aspirations alive.
It was a performance – coming with two goals apiece from Kane and Heung-min Son, with Erik Lamela grabbing the other – that they needed.
“It’s exactly what we needed. It was a great performance with a lot of energy, plenty of goals and a clean sheet. It was an almost perfect night. It can’t stop here, though – it was a game we were expected to win,” Kane said.
Pochettino, though, will go into the match without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who remains out after a freak injury to his elbow, and the versatile Ryan Sessegnon, who has yet to play for Spurs since arriving from Fulham.
Like his Spurs counterpart, Jürgen Klopp has some injury worries ahead of the game. But he saw his side continue their excellent form with a 4-1 win at Gent in Belgium on Wednesday, keeping them well on course to escape the group stages of the Champions League. He would have been particularly pleased with the way his forced changes worked out in Belgium, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, given a rare start. The England international, who had yet to play in the Champions League, scored twice, while Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah scored one apiece.
Trent Alexander-Arnold should be fit to play, while Joël Matip is still a doubt.