Antonio previews Liverpool: “These games give you more fire”
Fri 17 December 2021, 17:30|Tottenham Hotspur
Antonio Conte is relishing the prospect of facing Liverpool as we prepare for our first match in a fortnight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday (4.30pm).
COVID-19 cases have forced the postponement of our last two fixtures in the Premier League - Brighton away last week, Leicester away on Thursday night - and now we face a Liverpool side in flying form, on a run of five-successive wins, including a 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Anfield on the same night we were called off at Leicester.
“We are coming over a period of two weeks where we’ve not played, so at this moment to play against a strong team could be a good thing for us,” said Antonio. “These types of game give you excitement, give you more fire.
“For sure, we will face difficulty and we have to be prepared to suffer during the game. We have to know this. We have to know, also, when we have the ball, we can hurt everybody.
“Liverpool are strong, always. I think Jurgen made a fantastic job with Liverpool. He needed a bit of time, but the club understood Jurgen was the right person and he has created a strong, strong team. It’s amazing to watch them, the intensity, the passion, for all the work they show during the game.”
So, what is the best way to tackle Liverpool? Sit back and soak up the pressure? Or fight fire with fire against the league’s top goalscorers (48 in 17 games).
“The best is to find a mixed solution,” replied Antonio. “Sometimes, they like it when the opponent press them, because they find the space, and their players in space are very strong. Mo Salah is one of these players. At the same time, you have to have a plan to play against them if you want to have, in your heart, enough to win the game.
“We’ve been preparing for the game in the right way, we are ready to play, and we know we’re facing one of the best teams now in Europe, maybe the world. At the same time, we want to play this game and to see where we are.”