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Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham still some way off Manchester City

04 February 2018

After the wobble of losing back-to-back to Swansea and West Brom, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would have been relieved that his side coasted to a routine 3-0 victory at Huddersfield on Tuesday. But it is only two points.

That relative lack of financial muscle, in particular compared to the two Manchester clubs, explains why Klopp and Pochettino have been widely lauded for the jobs they have done despite so far failing to win any silverware in England.

In spite of standing their ground in this present season's Champions League and locally, Liverpool and Spurs are not even in the main 10 for net spend on moves in the Premier League this season.

This is the 150th league meeting between the two clubs and rarely have they both been on such level standing - with failure to acquire a top-four finish a huge disappointment for either.

Most impressively, Pochettino's back-ups all play different roles too.

"They have (Mohamed) Salah, (Roberto) Firmino, Mane, plenty of offensive players".

Spurs, however, will mostly bank on hitman Harry Kane who is once again the front-runner to win the Premier League golden boot award with 21 league goals already in his name. Serge Aurier will return to the side in defense, while only Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose are doubts for Pochettino.

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After sitting out the win over the Terriers, Virgil van Dijk should be in line for a return to the starting eleven, but a fellow Southampton alum in Adam Lallana is nearly certain to miss out as the 29-year old looks to build up match fitness ahead of the meeting with his old club later in the month.

"And we are close to having the squad fully fit, which is good news for us".

England worldwide Lallana sustained a serious thigh injury in pre-season and has struggled for fitness, featuring only seven times for the club in all competitions this season. The only defeat he has suffered against these teams is a 1-0 loss to Manchester United in January 2016. He could feature for the first time since Boxing Day here.

New signing Lucas Moura is unlikely to make his debut this weekend, and Mauricio Pochettino has done his best to downplay the chances of the £25 million Brazilian making an instant impact. After beating Manchester City in the most recent of those matches, the hosts will be hopeful of avenging the heavy defeat suffered at Wembley earlier this term - the only time Klopp has lost to Spurs in six outings.

Spurs have not done the league double over their Merseyside opponents since the 2010-11 campaign.

Harry Kane, who is a strike away from his 100th Premier League goal, has scored four goals while adding two assists in six contests with Liverpool.

Although the Reds have reached the Champions League knockout stages, Klopp feels a position on Europe's top table for a second season running - last achieved in 2008 and 2009 - is an achievement all in its own for the club.

Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham still some way off Manchester City