Jürgen Klopp believes this weekend's trip to White Hart Lane will see Liverpool face a Tottenham Hotspur side stronger than that which finished third in the Premier League last term.
The Reds' season-opening run of three straight league away games comes to an end in the capital on Saturday as they take on a Spurs team who have made a solid start in their bid to improve on 2015-16's title push.
Mauricio Pochettino's squad was bolstered by a number of high-profile signings ahead of the new campaign, and Klopp knows his side will be in for a tough early season test in north London.
But the German insists he is focused on ensuring his players can impose their own strengths upon Tottenham when the two teams meet.
Speaking at a press conference to preview the clash, he told reporters: "They are absolutely convinced about their about their way and their style of play. They didn't change too much and they have high individual quality.
"They can even leave [Dele] Alli out, that's a big difference from last year, with [Vincent] Janssen they have a really skilled striker. Harry [Kane] can play from a No.10 position too and did it well.
"[Victor] Wanyama and [Eric] Dier in the centre is a little bit different to Dier and [Mousa] Dembele. The rest [of the team] is very experienced and has played together one-and-a-half or two years nearly but they are still young so there's still space for development.
"That's what you need to know but at the end they need to play against us and this game can be completely different to the last two games we played.
"The whole situation on the pitch will be different. They are a pressing team, a high-pressure team, so we need to know about this. They don't give away a lot of spaces but there are spaces, of course.
"They need to play against us and that's the thing, so I'm not too interested in where they develop but, of course, we know they are strong, that's the only thing we need to know. We can be strong too and should show this at 12.30 on Saturday."
Klopp avoided wholesale changes to his starting XI as the Reds began their EFL Cup campaign against Burton Albion on Tuesday, and was rewarded with a 5-0 win.
Reflecting on his selection, the manager explained that finding rhythm is his main concern in the early stages of the season, rather than resting players who do not yet have many games in their legs.
"The most important thing in this early stage of the season is that you can get rhythm," he added.
"It's not about rest, there's no intensity, these boys recover in hours. If you already have 50 games in your legs then it's quite difficult to have the next game three days later but not at this moment.
"So, I have no reason to think about the line-up for Burton. I was only [thinking about] how can we win this game?
"One or two players with not a perfect pre-season, you have to think about if it makes sense to leave them out after the game on Saturday and then Tuesday, especially when you have fresh, high-quality players on the bench.
"That was the situation so we could bring in Emre [Can], bring in Divock [Origi] - unfortunately these two players are now a little bit in doubt - we could bring in Joel Matip, which made absolute sense.
"But it was not about the opponent, it was only about our rhythm. We need to use each minute. We now have, until the first international break, three weeks of the season, then another three weeks and another international break.
"If they all played in England it would be no problem but they play all over the world; the game is a smaller issue than the travel they have to do.
"But it's the same for all teams so we don't have to moan about it, it's just not perfect. We need to use this moment in the season to get rhythm and to answer the questions we still have in our game.
"When you see matches from last season in February, we are stronger now. But obviously it's not easy to show in this moment because there’s not the rhythm, not that knowledge of each way.
"You can't [be fully ready] even when you have a lot of pre-season games - pre-season games are different to Premier League games.
"All teams are in the same situation but we need to collect points in this moment to have a really good base for the moment when the league starts with all teams in best shape."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has "absolutely no problem" with Daniel Sturridge after the striker said he was unhappy playing in a wide position.
Sturridge, 26, scored twice after coming on as 64th-minute substitute as the Reds beat Burton Albion 5-0 in the EFL Cup second round on Tuesday.
Afterwards, Sturridge said he has to "do a job for the team" on the wing but prefers playing as a centre-forward.
"It wasn't a fixed position. Daniel is a very smart player," said Klopp.
"He's good at getting himself into positions where it's not easy to defend.
"There is absolutely no problem."
Divock Origi started Tuesday's game up front for Liverpool, with Sturridge - who also played on the right in Saturday's 2-0 defeat by Burnley - replacing Roberto Firmino.
"Of course it is more difficult for me to play wide," said Sturridge. "I'm a centre-forward.
"I have to do a job for the team. That's not saying I am happy to do it.
"That's saying I have got to do a job for the team. It's a team game. If I am put in that position, I have to play there."
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Jürgen Klopp’s first game in charge of Liverpool was at Tottenham Hotspur last October - and ahead of his second visit to White Hart Lane, the manager has offered an assessment of his first 11 months in the job.
Saturday’s trip to North London represents Klopp’s 56th fixture as Reds boss, with his tenure so far featuring the highs of unforgettable victories over the likes of Borussia Dortmund and both Manchester clubs, and the lows of two cup final defeats.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Thursday morning, Klopp acknowledged that his reign to date has been a mixture of good and bad, while also outlining his belief that 2016-17 can be a successful season.
“I made a few summaries after last season: good things, not so good things, the need for development - all that stuff. This is a new season, a lot of expectation from our side, from outside - that’s how it is,” the manager said.
“A summer break is good when you have the time to work together, but you need to find rhythm - that’s why all the teams don’t play their best football in this moment.
“I would say they can all improve, they can all do better in the next few weeks and months. That’s the same for us and the same for Tottenham.
“Both teams have consistency in the squad, there are of course new players but not too many changes [since last October]. It will be exciting what will happen there. They are still strong, of course, they’ve brought a few very good players in with the basis of their former squad.
“For us, everything could have been better, but it could have been worse. We’re still on the way. My team gave me a lot of really good signs to work with. The last defeat always feels stronger than the last defeat and Burnley is not too long ago.
“But so far, so good, everything is OK. We are quite optimistic for the season, but of course we know how tough it will be at Tottenham.”
Emre Can and Divock Origi are doubts for Liverpool's clash with Tottenham Hotspur this weekend after suffering knocks in the EFL Cup win at Burton Albion on Tuesday.
Both players had come off the pitch by full-time at Pirelli Stadium as the Reds set up a meeting with Derby County in the third round with an impressive 5-0 result.
And the pair will need to be assessed carefully ahead of the team’s return to Premier League duty at White Hart Lane, Jürgen Klopp explained at his pre-match press conference.
The manager said: “There are a few players a little bit in doubt, of course. It’s not too serious.
“We had a game on Tuesday and the next game is in two days again, so we need to wait a little bit.
“Of course, it’s Emre – there’s nothing really serious in the ankle but it’s ‘his’ ankle if you want, where he had a few problems in the past.
“It shouldn’t be too long, for sure, but maybe too long for the Tottenham game, I don’t know in this moment.
“It’s the same with Divock. It’s nothing serious really. But if you have cramp, whatever the cramp exactly is because [there are] different levels, you need to have a look at it too. So it’s not for sure that they will be available.”
Sturridge told reporters after Tuesday night’s 5-0 win over Burton Albion that it was “more difficult for me to play wide,” after playing on the right flank in that clash and in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Burnley.
This evoked memories of his final campaign with Chelsea, which ultimately saw him push for a move to Merseyside.
But addressing the media at Melwood ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur, Klopp said: “I don’t want to play Daniel as a wide player.”
Instead, the German explained that his approach was to achieve “flexible football,” with this merely Sturridge’s “starting position” in those games.
“I don’t want to play Daniel as a wide player, of course he can start there, but in the decisive moments he needs to be involved in the finishing situations,” he said.
“Both goals [Sturridge scored against Burton] he scored in the box.
“But you need to find a formation to start, both games we didn’t need an offensive winger, these positions should have been filled by full-backs.
“Then you have these players who are really skilled in finishing situations in and around the box.
“It’s not a fixed position, ‘stay outside the box and wait’, especially in Daniel’s position.”
Sturridge’s comments were twisted into a disagreement with his manager by some reporters, however, but Klopp continued to insist there was no fallout with the No. 15.
“We still have to work on a lot of things. I don’t know exactly what he said, but when we have talks there’s no issue about it,” he added.
“Ask a question, get an answer, make an opinion about it…
“We don’t have this position, it’s not about ‘you play there, then wait until something happens’, it’s flexible football.
“You need enough players around the box to finish.
“When Daniel has played as a No. 9, if he stays there it makes no sense. Daniel is a very smart player in hiding himself in positions.
“In a wing position, when he’s not involved anymore in defending, you need a smart striker who moves the centre-half where they’re not comfortable.
“It’s only a starting position for the next attacking move. It’s normal.”
It is clear Sturridge is not at his best on the right, however, and with Divock Origi likely to miss out at White Hart Lane, he may be given another opportunity to prove his worth in the middle.
Jürgen Klopp previewed Liverpool's trip to Tottenham Hotspur at a press conference on Thursday – and the whole briefing is available to watch on demand on LFCTV GO.
The manager takes his team to White Hart Lane this Saturday for a fourth consecutive away match to kick off the new season.
Klopp assessed the challenge posed by Spurs in the Premier League clash, provided updates on his squad and discussed other relevant topics.
Watch the press conference from Melwood in full on LFCTV GO by clicking play above.
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Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Burton in the League Cup second round brought many positives, but injuries to the duo dampened the mood a little.
Can went down clutching his ankle in the second-half, and although he managed to play on for a short while, he was eventually replaced by Kevin Stewart.
Origi, meanwhile, suffered cramp late in the game, with the Reds having to play the final stages at the Pirelli Stadium with 10 men.
In his pre-Spurs press conference, Klopp confirmed the midfielder and striker could both miss out for the trip to north London this weekend.
“A few players are a bit of a doubt, but they are not too serious,” Klopp said.
“Emre is nothing really serious but it’s his ankle, where he had a few problems in the past. He should not be out for long, but maybe the Tottenham game will come too soon.
“It’s the same with Divock (Origi). It’s nothing serious, but if you have cramp, whatever the cramp is, you need to have a look at it too.
“I’m not sure that he will be available.”
It is a potential blow to Liverpool to lose two key men, especially Can, who has become one of the first names on Klopp’s team-sheet since he took over as manager last October.
Spurs are becoming a force to be reckoned with, as they showed last season, and the Reds need as many key personnel available as possible on Saturday.
Klopp should be looking at the long-term picture, though, and risking both players would be needless this early in the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp has highlighted his ambitions for the next six years as Liverpool manager, targeting genuine success each season.
The German signed a new six-year deal with the club in July, which will keep him on Merseyside until at least 2021.
This contract underlines both Klopp’s commitment, and that of Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group, with Tom Werner recently saying there was “an understanding on both sides about our future together.”
While the start to Liverpool’s 2016/17 campaign has been mixed, with a 2-0 defeat to Burnley in the Premier League sandwiched by a 4-3 victory over Arsenal and a 5-0 win away to Burton Albion in the League Cup, Klopp’s presence remains a hugely positive factor.
This is magnified by the knowledge that, in Klopp’s title-winning campaign with Borussia Dortmund in 2011/12, his side lost three of their first six games, improving significantly after.
That season, Dortmund also sealed the DFB-Pokal cup, and speaking to BBC Sport as 2016/17 kicks off, Klopp stressed how he was hoping for similar success over the next six season.
“I would like to celebrate something each season over the next six years,” he explained.
“Not the small thing, really celebrate something—driving on the big bus through Liverpool. That would be nice.
“I’ve said it before, but it is not important what people think when you come, it is important what they think when you leave. That is when you need to be judged.”
Klopp hailed the likes of Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly as the club’s “grandfathers,” and detailed how he was looking to draw from Liverpool’s history as inspiration.
But having arrived boasting a reputation as a world-class manager already, Klopp has his own pool of knowledge as a base.
Largely, this comes in his relationship with supporters, players and the ethos of each club he controls, as seen with the response of the Anfield crowd during last season’s 4-3 comeback victory over Dortmund in the Europa League.
The 49-year-old described this reaction as “the best I’ve ever had,” adding “I felt no-one could stop us.”
If Liverpool are to achieve tangible success, however, they must first find consistency on the pitch, and Klopp has continually acknowledged this.
“Having memorable games in a row, that is my first target,” he said, when asked what his primary goal was this season.
“People being unable to wait for the next game, that is what football should be.
“If you can do this very often then you will be successful.”
This is reminiscent of Liverpool’s remarkable title run under Brendan Rodgers in 2013/14, with the week-long stretch between games an excruciating period for supporters.
If Klopp can achieve this once again, he will experience plenty more memorable nights at Anfield.
* The full Klopp interview with Gary Lineker is on BBC’s new midweek ‘Premier League Show’ on BBC Two at 10pm on Thursday night.
#LFCWORLD returns to your screens at 8.30pm BST this evening, with the inspirational story of former Academy starlet Sean Highdale, who will be representing the nation's Cerebral Palsy football team at the Rio Paralympics next month.
A car crash in 2008 ultimately ended Highdale’s professional career, but the recent discovery that he is eligible for ParalympicsGB’s CP team has given the 25-year-old the opportunity to showcase his talents on the world’s biggest stage.
As well as recounting the day his life changed, we’ll also find out more about the sport he’ll be competing in in Brazil and how Highdale has come to be an integral member of the team.
Elsewhere in episode three, we’ll hear from Dejan Lovren about his hopes for the new season.
And there’s more. Ahead of this weekend’s trip to White Hart Lane, we speak to a man who pulled on both the red shirt of Liverpool and the white of Tottenham Hotspur, Neil Ruddock, to find out who he counts as the 11 best teammates he played with.
We’ve also got your usual dose of Missing Men, and we take a look back at a record-breaking encounter with Arsenal from 1994.
#LFCWORLD premieres on LFCTV at 8.30pm BST this evening and is repeated throughout the week. Alternatively, LFCTV GO subscribers can catch up with the episode on demand.
Click here for full LFCTV listings.
Jürgen Klopp will preview Liverpool's trip to Tottenham Hotspur at a 10am BST press conference today – and you can watch it live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.
The manager takes his team to White Hart Lane this Saturday for a fourth consecutive away match to kick off the new season.
Klopp will assess the challenge posed by Spurs in the Premier League clash, provide updates on his squad and discuss other relevant topics.
Watch the press conference live by tuning in to official club channel LFCTV or by accessing the LFCTV GO stream from Melwood above.
Click here for details on signing up for either service.
Jurgen Klopp hopes to draw on the experience of past Liverpool managers and oversee a sustained period of success at the club.
Klopp, 49, was appointed in October 2015, and led the Reds to eighth in the Premier League, as well as the finals of the League Cup and Europa League.
The German wants to replicate the success of Liverpool "grandfathers" such as Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.
"Sometimes you can use the experience of other people," he told the BBC.
"I don't live in the past but there is a reason why we are here - because of our fathers and grandfathers. These people are like the grandfathers.
"Life is so quick. What keeps you in the race is the experience."
Klopp was speaking to Gary Lineker on The Premier League Show, a weekly magazine programme which airs for the first time on BBC Two at 22:00 BST on Thursday.
Shankly won the First Division three times, the FA Cup twice and the Uefa Cup once while managing Liverpool between 1959 and 1974, while Paisley won three European Cups, six First Division titles, the Uefa Cup and three League Cups from 1976 to 1983.Klopp 'wants to drive on big bus through Liverpool' Liverpool beat Borussia Dortmund 5-4 on aggregate in a dramatic Europa League quarter-final
"I would like to celebrate something each season over the next six years," he added. "Not the small thing, really celebrate something - driving on the big bus through Liverpool. That would be nice.
"I've said it before, but it is not important what people think when you come, it is important what they think when you leave. That is when you need to be judged."
Klopp moved to Liverpool after seven years at Borussia Dortmund.
The German club are famous for their 'Yellow Wall', a stand packed with 25,000 fans that creates one of the most intimidating and impressive atmospheres in world football.
However, Klopp says the atmosphere generated during Liverpool's dramatic comeback at Anfield against Dortmund in the Europa League quarter-finals in April eclipsed anything he had experienced before.
He said: "When I was at Mainz there were 20,000 people going nuts, then I went to Dortmund and you would get 80,000 - not too bad - but then the last half-hour against Dortmund was the best I've ever had.
"I felt no-one could stop us."'People should be excited to watch us' Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gets to grips with England geography
In The Premier League Show, Klopp also gives an insight into his managerial philosophy.
He explains how he deals with leaving players out of his matchday squads, and also said he could understand why people might think he "is crazy" with his emotional antics on the touchline.
Klopp also said his number one aim as a manager is to excite fans.
"Having memorable games in a row, that is my first target," he said.
"People being unable to wait for the next game, that is what football should be. If you can do this very often then you will be successful."Klopp keen for winter break England were beaten 2-1 by Iceland at Euro 2016
Having experienced the benefits of a winter break in Germany, Klopp is keen to see it introduced in the Premier League.
He highlighted England's performance at Euro 2016 in France as a reason why it would be beneficial for players.
England were knocked out at the last-16 stage by Iceland, and Klopp said: "They played good football but they didn't score enough.
"I know a lot of these players, they have a good attitude and want to work. Dele Alli, what a season, but then maybe it felt like 500 games in his legs - he was not 100%. Harry Kane - what a season, and then he cannot show it at the European Championship.
"You need fresh legs."
Watch The Premier League Show online and on BBC Two at 22:00 BST on Thursday.
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The 26-year-old made his first start of the season in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat away to Burnley, before coming on as a substitute in Tuesday night’s 5-0 win over Burton Albion.
Sturridge scored twice in the League Cup second-round victory, but was still restricted to the right flank for his 26 minutes on the field.
After spending his Euro 2016 campaign with Roy Hodgson’s England on the wing, Sturridge has told reporters of his frustration at being fielded out of position, insisting he is at his best up front.
“Of course it is more difficult for me to play wide. I’m a centre-forward,” he explained.
“In the modern-day game you have to try and be flexible but everyone knows my best position.
“Everyone knows where I enjoy playing the most.
“I’m a player who plays on instinct, and in the middle I have clarity on movements and things that I have been doing for years.
“I am on autopilot there: you just do things because you are used to doing it.”
Sturridge is said to have revealed that Klopp’s thinking behind using him as a winger is yet to be explained to him.
But as he continued to detail his duties out wide, Sturridge clearly testified that it was affecting his quality on the field.
“When you are out wide, you have got to worry about different things. It’s just a different way,” he continued.
“The way you move, the way you play—it is all different. You can’t play the same as you do as a centre-forward. [But] I have to do a job for the team.
“That’s not saying I am happy to do it. That’s saying I have got to do a job for the team.
“It’s a team game. If I am put in that position, I have to play there.”
This should come as a warning sign for Klopp, who risks disillusioning his best player, with Sturridge one of Europe’s finest attacking talents when fit and firing.
Sturridge pushed for a move from Chelsea in 2013 partly due to his discomfort on the wing, and Liverpool must be wary of facing a similar situation.