Gareth Bale’s second Tottenham spell is still struggling to take off and it seems unlikely he will kick-start his return against defending Premier League champions Liverpool on Wednesday.

Bale rejoined Spurs on loan from Real Madrid in pre-season, having gradually fallen out of favour over the past few years at the Santiago Bernabeu.

His initial move to Los Blancos from Spurs seven years earlier made Bale the world’s first €100m footballer, but he is yet to show much of the ability he showcased in his previous stint in London.

Injuries and fitness problems have limited Bale to just three Premier League appearances this term, though his record of 3.9 shots and 2.3 chances created per 90 minutes is the best in the Spurs squad among players to have featured more than once.

Nevertheless, it looks doubtful he will get the opportunity to give his season the jolt it requires when leaders Spurs go to second-place Liverpool on Wednesday, with Mourinho’s men hoping to open up a three-point lead over Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Bale has been suffering with flu-like symptoms recently and was unable to train on Monday.

“We still have a training session,” Mourinho told reporters. “Yesterday he didn’t train with the team, he trained inside. At the moment I’d say no, but let’s wait for feelings and the training session later.”

Wednesday’s clash will see Spurs face a Liverpool team that has had more than its fair share of injuries this term, though Mourinho has dismissed the idea the Reds head into the top-of-the-table contest at a disadvantage.

“Allison’s not injured, Trent Alexander-Arnold is not injured, [Joel] Matip I believe is going to play, Andrew Robertson is not injured, Fabinho is not injured, [Jordan] Henderson is not injured, [Georginio] Wijnaldum is not injured, Sadio Mane isn’t injured, Mohamed Salah isn’t, [Roberto] Firmino isn’t,” Mourinho said.

“Virgil van Dijk is injured and is a very good player, of course, but give me a list of Liverpool injuries and a list of Liverpool’s best team, and then I can give you a list of 10 injuries at Tottenham.

“We have two kids in the Under-16s who are injured, two in the Under-21s and then three in the Under-23s, we have [Erik] Lamela and [Japhet] Tanganga and then you have a list of 10 players.

“But is [Hugo] Lloris injured? No. Is Dier injured? No. [Toby] Alderweireld? No. Is [Sergio] Reguilon injured? No. Harry Kane? No. Son [Heung-min]? No. Lucas, no.

“So where are the injuries? There are injuries, it’s normal – [James] Milner is injured, Lamela is injured. Every club has injuries now and again, they have a big injury and it’s Van Dijk.”

The omens are not great for Spurs, who have won just one of their previous 15 league games against the Reds, while Mourinho is yet to beat Klopp away from home in five meetings across all competitions.

However, Liverpool have already dropped 11 points in the league this term – they only let 15 points slip from their grasp in the entirety of 2019-20.