Jose Mourinho is “intimidated by Liverpool”, says former Reds star John Aldridge, and can be expected to “park the bus” once more when Tottenham play host to “the best team on the planet”.
Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League leaders are due in north London on Saturday.
That trip will be made with an unbeaten run through 20 games in 2019-20 taking the Reds 13 points clear in the title race.
Mourinho has made a habit of putting dents in Liverpool’s ambition down the years, with the Portuguese looking to do more of the same after taking the managerial reins at Spurs.
He is, however, not expected to change his ways for a reunion with old adversaries.
Mourinho’s success in previous posts has often been built from the back, with Aldridge predicting that the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss will avoid going toe-to-toe with Klopp this weekend.
The ex-Reds frontman told the Liverpool Echo of a meeting with Spurs: “They will allow to us have possession and try to break them down, no doubt that is how Mourinho will play because I think he is very intimidated by Liverpool.
“He has even come out and said Liverpool are the best team on the planet, which didn't need underlining as we have already won the Club World Cup. He must have said it through gritted teeth.
“He's not buttering us up as he knows Jurgen Klopp is not soft but it shows his mindset these days.
“Spurs are a good team and still have most of the players who got them to Champions League final last season but Liverpool are on a roll, are well used to teams who 'park the bus' and I hope and expect us to keep our winning run going.”
Liverpool will likely revert back to their tried and tested for a meeting with Spurs, having given promising youngsters another opportunity to impress in their FA Cup derby date with Everton.
Curtis Jones and Co secured a 1-0 victory in that contest, with Aldridge quick to salute the strength in depth that Klopp now has at his disposal.
He added: “It bodes really well for the future for Liverpool and not just the distant future.
“Liverpool still have a lot of football to play this season and these lads have now shown they are capable of doing a job when required.
“I would have no qualms whatsoever about seeing the likes of Neco Williams or Yasser Larouci given a run out in the Premier League, maybe with respect against one of the lesser-lights, if we wanted to give Trent [Alexander-Arnold] or Robbo [Andy Robertson] a rest.
“They showed against Everton they are more than able to do a job and, crucially, have the right mentality to deal with that step-up in class, which is arguably just as important as technical ability. The FA Cup tie was a big test for them but they hardly put a foot wrong and came through with flying colours.”