Soccer-Difficult to prepare for Spurs due to COVID uncertainty, says Klopp

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Newcastle United - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - December 16, 2021 Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp before the match REUTERS/Peter Powell

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday that it was too difficult to prepare for Sunday's Premier League game at Tottenham Hotspur given the uncertainty around the opposition due to the COVID-19 outbreak in their squad.

Liverpool, who strolled past Newcastle United on Thursday, take on a Spurs side who have not played in nearly two weeks after their league games at Brighton & Hove Albion and Leicester City were postponed due to positive COVID-19 cases.

"I have no idea what to expect from them... we will have an analyst meeting with old footage. We have no information. For them it is difficult as well. Who does not want to play for two weeks and then have to play again," Klopp told reporters.

"More transparency would be really helpful ... at Manchester United, I heard a number of players. Is it necessary to know who or how many? Not knowing is quite strange."

Centre back Virgil van Dijk plus midfielders Fabinho and Curtis Jones missed the 3-1 home win over Newcastle after returning suspected positive COVID tests, but Klopp said they were still awaiting confirmation on their status.

"No, it's not confirmed yet. It's an ongoing process, let me say it like this, but they're not there. They're fine apart from that. In this moment, nobody else (is) positive but it's pretty early still and the players come a bit later, so we'll see."

The German reiterated that he is not against suspending the league due to the escalating crisis but added that he saw little benefit from such a move given the congested fixture list.

"I just don't see the 100% benefit from stopping it compared to carrying on. Stopping means we stop now for one, two weeks. That means five, six games? When do you want to play them."

Liverpool are second with 40 points from 17 games, 15 points ahead of seventh-placed Spurs, who have three games in hand.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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