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Tottenham will pose a ‘really tough test’ for Liverpool, says Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is looking forward to meeting "top bloke", Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON – Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are two of four teams still undefeated in the English Premier League this season – the other two being leaders Manchester City and Arsenal – and are set to put their unbeaten streak on the line when they clash on Saturday in north London.

While City have been cruising as they won all six of their matches so far, Liverpool and Spurs have done it the hard way, fighting back every time they have conceded first.

Jurgen Klopp’s Reds have won league matches against Bournemouth (3-1), Newcastle United (2-1) and Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-1) after trailing to early goals.

They have also done the same in the Europa League against Austria’s LASK (3-1) and Leicester City (3-1) in the League Cup third round in midweek.

Speaking on Friday ahead of the trip to Spurs, Klopp admitted he was braced for a much tougher challenge, while lavishing praise on new Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou.

“It will be a really tough test. I can’t remember an easy game... we played at Newcastle, that was tough. Chelsea too (1-1 draw), the away games have all been tough, and home games not easy,” he said.

“Tottenham is doing really well. Ange seems to be a top bloke, I’m looking forward to meeting him.

“If you saw Celtic (his former team) play, you’d know how good a coach he is. He is delivering good football in a year when Harry Kane left. He is doing extremely well and they are exciting to watch.

“It’ll be a test for both of us.”

Despite their shaky starts, Liverpool are on a seven-game winning run in all competitions.

They have since moved up to second spot behind City in the Premier League standings on 16 points, two ahead of fourth-placed Tottenham.

The Reds are also unbeaten in 19 matches, and have not been defeated in eight away games in the English top flight.

Klopp will be confident heading into Saturday’s clash as his side have not lost to Spurs since a 4-1 defeat in October 2017, a 12-game run that includes doing the double over the London side last season.

He will be also buoyed by a near-fully fit squad as well, with the exception of Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic.

While Klopp’s men have proved their mental resilience this campaign, Tottenham have also shown that they know what it takes to not lose games.

Postecoglou’s side drew 2-2 with rivals Arsenal the last time out after trailing twice, and prior to that they clinched a thrilling 2-1 win over Sheffield United thanks to two stoppage-time goals.

The stalemate with the Gunners also ensured that they have scored at least twice in every league game under their attacking-minded manager this season.

Only three other coaches – Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola and Craig Shakespeare – had seen their side score twice in their first six games in charge.

Postecoglou returned the compliments when asked about Klopp and his Liverpool team.

“I think from when Jurgen came (into the club), the tempo and intensity was another level,” he said.

“The Premier League has always been an intense league but he took it to another level.”

Tottenham were not in League Cup action this week after losing to Fulham on penalties in the second round, so they will be the fresher of the two sides.

But Postecoglou has a longer injury list than Liverpool, with Brennan Johnson, Ivan Perisic, Giovani Lo Celso, Alfie Whiteman, Rodrigo Bentancur, Bryan Gil and Ryan Sessegnon all out, although the latter two are back in training.

While fans will be ready to watch Spurs and Liverpool fight it out to maintain their unbeaten run, there is also a high possibility that the match will not end in a goal-less stalemate.

The two teams have already scored 15 league goals, trailing only Brighton (18), City and Newcastle United (both 16).

The Tottenham Hotspur stadium is all set for battle, and for both sides, there is much more at stake than just three points. REUTERS