Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool gives his team instructions during the Premier League match between Hull City and Liverpool at KCOM Stadium, Feb. 4, 2017, in Hull, England. Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Second in the Premier League at the start of the year, Liverpool slipped to fifth following a 2-0 loss to relegation threatened Hull City last time out. Now 13 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea, all realistic hopes of a first title in 27 years were already at and end. But Klopp insisted he was still confident his team could turn around its ailing fortunes with the visit of the team that has taken its spot in second.

“Not flying doesn’t mean you cannot win the next game,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s pretty much more difficult to convince people of the fact we can win against Tottenham, but that’s the situation and it changes nothing.

He continued: “If you are in a wonderful position, then you have to make sure that you stay in this situation. If you are not in this situation, then you have to make sure that you solve all the problems immediately.”

As Liverpool has floundered, Tottenham has soared in 2017. Winning four of its six games and drawing the other two, the London side has taken 11 more points than the Merseysiders over the same period. That run has established Mauricio Pochettino’s side as the closest challengers to pace-setter Chelsea.

However, with a nine-point gap still in place between the clubs, Pochettino was well aware that every point was vital.

“It will be an important game and if we are capable of winning and achieving the three points it will be important for us to keep our position in the table and try to put pressure on Chelsea,” he said Friday. “It’s true that it’s not a decisive game but it’s a very important game.”

Pochettino will be without a host of first-team players for the trip to White Hart Lane, with Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Erik Lamela and Kieran Trippier all unavailable. Klopp also has injury concerns. As well as waiting on the fitness of Dejan Lovren and the recovery from an illness of fellow center-back Ragnar Klavan, Adam Lallana was nursing an Achilles injury.

“Adam Lallana was out for two days with a little problem with the Achilles,” Klopp said. “We have to see. He’s willing and we want, for sure, to try that he can train today and then he is available for tomorrow, because it was only two days.”

Prediction: All three league matches between the teams since Klopp became Liverpool manager have resulted in draws. The clash of two high-pressing sides, most dangerous in transition, has resulted in the two largely cancelling each other out. And, while Tottenham is on a much better run of form, it could be a similar scenario Saturday.

Predicted Score: Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham

Kickoff Time: 12:30 p.m. EST
TV Channel: NBC
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra