It is the role Jose Mourinho was born to perform. And do not Liverpool know it.
Victory would guarantee Jurgen Klopp’s side the very best start ever to a league campaign in the history of English soccer.
At the moment, with 19 wins and one draw out of 20 games, Liverpool have matched the achievement of Manchester City two decades back.
City were subsequently held to a draw at Crystal Palace, meaning success in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this weekend could permit the Reds to set a new milestone.
All of that, you are able to guarantee, hasn’t gone unnoticed with Mourinho, a party-pooper par excellence.
Annoying Liverpool is now something of a penchant for the Portuguese, never more so than at Anfield coming six decades back.
Ashley Cole, then of Chelsea, has remembered the teamtalk Mourinho – whose competition with Liverpool and Rafael Benitez was a significant highlight during his first stint in charge at Stamford Bridge – handed his team that day.
“‘They’re fighting for the name, if we lose this game they are going to win the league,'” said Cole.
“He did not want us to be the clowns that are observed in the circus for these Liverpool fans.
“It was a terrific speech but I think it was to the point that you are still fighting for the name, you can not give up and it is an opportunity for certain players to establish themselves.
“I think we came here to stifle and discouraged them from the off and I believe it worked.”
Mourinho has more pressing priorities than disturbing Liverpool, with Tottenham failing to convince because he replaced Mauricio Pochettino from the hot seat in November. But he had without a doubt welcome the incentive.
“Liverpool needed a stage in that game to be champions and since they lost, they dropped the name,” said Mourinho last year when asked about the notorious 2014 clash.
We just played with professional pride, we would like to win every game, but we were not in the title race.
“It was a moment that gave the name to Man City.”
And so big is that the Reds’ lead in the Premier League summit they could manage the odd setback between now and the end of the season.
Mourinho, however, will be intent on getting the first to reduce the colors of Klopp’s side.