Jurgen Klopp has insisted his Liverpool side need to 'be on their top level' if they are to arrest their poor form against other members of the 'big six' and maintain their spot towards the top of the table.
The top six of the Premier League has been dominated by the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool for a handful of years - and thus taking points away from direct competitors has become increasingly important in the tussle for a finish higher in the table.
Klopp's first full season in charge at Anfield saw the Reds finish atop of the mini top six league, before a campaign in Europe in season 2017/18 ensured just 10 out of an available 30 points was picked up by Liverpool against their closest rivals.
However, with ambitions to push for the league title this season Klopp is eager to see his side arrest their string of poor results when they come up against their first top six rival of the season in Tottenham on Saturday.
“For sure it is important, it is a fact," Klopp said, via the Guardian, when discussing the need for Liverpool to beat their main rivals this term.
“It is not that you go to Tottenham and have an average day and still get something. You get nothing for an average day at Tottenham. We need to be on our top level. Two seasons ago we had a fantastic record [in big-six matches] and last year we didn’t have such a good record, especially away from home.
“Can we mix it up? I don’t know what that would exactly mean – imagine we had a fantastic away record against the top five or six but not at home – but we need to be ready.
“It is Tottenham, a top team in Europe and not only in England. It is a tough place to go and tough job to do, that is all we can think about. It will be very interesting not just about how can we pass but how can we play?
“It must be a proper fight for both teams. The Tottenham manager knows that as well."
The Reds' turning point last season came after the 4-1 defeat at Wembley in October of last year, and on the lessons learnt from the humbling defeat, Klopp added: "Last year we made it too easy for them because we lost the ball and they only had to play one pass behind our lines.
"We should be much better organised this time, we were much better organised than that in the other games [afterwards], so we should use that and we can get something. It’s not that Tottenham had 10 chances in the game, or even seven or eight, it was the four they scored and maybe one or two more as far as I remember it.
"Afterwards we talked about doing the right things and how the little things can kill a game or can turn it in your direction. The message was we had to be much better in these details, then we could win at Tottenham.”