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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says his side have not “been close to 100%” this season, despite being on a nine-game unbeaten run.
Klopp’s Reds go into Tuesday’s EFL Cup tie against Tottenham third in the Premier League, level on points with leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.
“We can defend better, we can attack better, we can create better,” he said.
The hosts will be without suspended captain Jordan Henderson, with Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko also banned.
- Watch: Pochettino frustrated by Sissoko absence
Klopp will recall goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in place of Loris Karius, who he insists is his first choice.
“That’s the ranking: Loris number one, Simon number two,” said the German. “Mignolet is a very serious player, a good professional. He’s still not happy but you cannot see it in training. He is hard working and improving.”
Striker Danny Ings, who has played just 26 minutes of first-team football this season, is expected to feature and has scored four goals in four games for the club’s under-23 side in recent weeks.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino will rest keeper Hugo Lloris, meaning Michel Vorm is likely to start in goal.
Sissoko begins to serve what is expected to be a three-game ban after accepting an FA charge for violent conduct.
The France international caught fellow midfielder Harry Arter with an elbow during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Bournemouth.
Spurs arrive at Anfield having not beaten Liverpool in eight attempts, their last success being a 2-1 Premier League win in November 2012.
- Liverpool’s only previous League Cup win against Tottenham was in the 1982 final (D2 L4), though they did knock them out on penalties following a draw in December 2004.
- This match is a meeting of the past two losing League Cup finalists (Tottenham in 2015 and Liverpool in 2016).
- In all competitions, Tottenham are winless in their past eight meetings with Liverpool – five defeats followed by three draws.
- Spurs have lost three of their past four League Cup games against fellow Premier League sides, beating Newcastle 4-0 in December 2014.
- Liverpool are the highest-scoring Premier League club in the EFL Cup this season (eight goals).
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37686653