No party for Spurs, Klopp declares

LONDON • Juergen Klopp has warned Tottenham Hotspur that there will be "no birthday party for them" at Anfield today, as his Liverpool side seek to derail their visitor's Premier League title hopes.

While the ninth-placed Reds can only play the role of party poopers this season, he is hopeful that his team will be contenders next term.

"For Tottenham, it's something like a final," Klopp said.

"They have to win to put pressure on Leicester. Usually it is not important for us to think about the situation of the other team but in this special case I think it makes sense to know about it. It's a final and we need to be ready.

"They play against Liverpool and it is not usually a birthday party for them. It will be a really interesting finale (to the season)... (Leicester and Spurs) have handled it great and hopefully in the future we can be more a part of it."

Spurs can cut Leicester's lead at the top to two points with victory today before the Foxes host Southampton tomorrow. And Klopp insisted all the pressure is on the London side as they push for a first league title since 1961 .

"This is the decisive third for Tottenham and if you want to become champion of the Premier League, for Tottenham especially, this year is a good opportunity," he told a press conference yesterday. "No one knows what will happen to Tottenham next year if players leave or not. This year they have a good situation with injuries, no important players were really injured."

Klopp, on the other hand, has had to deal with a host of ailments and manage the fitness of injury-prone Daniel Sturridge.

But the German can be pleased that the England striker returned from international duty unscathed.

Sturridge is set to be involved against Spurs, while forward Roberto Firmino (hamstring) faces a late fitness test. Striker Christian Benteke (knee), however, has been ruled out.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 02, 2016, with the headline 'No party for Spurs, Klopp declares'. Print Edition | Subscribe