LFC NEWS

Jürgen assesses United threat and Solskjaer impact

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:37
Jürgen Klopp is certain Liverpool will be suitably prepared for the challenge of facing an in-form Manchester United side under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
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Fabinho to return to midfield as Klopp hails “unbelievably valuable” Emre Can upgrade

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:10

Fabinho will return to Liverpool’s midfield contention for Sunday’s clash with Man United, with Jurgen Klopp hailing his flexibility as “unbelievably valuable.”


The Brazilian was needed to slot in at centre-back for the midweek draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League, shining even in arguably his ‘weak’ side on the left of the pairing.

But with Virgil van Dijk back from suspension, Fabinho is now in line for a start in his natural role in midfield, with Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner also options.

It is highly likely the No. 3 starts, given his overriding influence on Liverpool after a slow start, and speaking on Friday, Klopp batted away a strange suggestion that Fabinho could stay as a centre-back for the long term.

Interestingly, the manager compared him to Emre Can, explaining how the club’s recruitment staff identified him due to his ability to play in midfield and defence, like the departed German.

“It’s brilliant to have him as an option for both positions, obviously,” Klopp said.

“I think his natural position is in midfield, but that he can play at centre-half makes him an unbelievably valuable player for us.

“We knew last year that we would lose Emre Can, who is of a similar profile, so it was so important [to replace him].

“That’s was always the plan, that we have him for that as well, but with the four centre-halves we have we didn’t think we would have to use him there, actually!

“But he can play the position, obviously, that’s really good. That helps us a lot.

“We will see what happens in the future, but I think he is a midfielder and we will use him most of the time in that position.”

 Liverpool's Emre Can during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City and Liverpool at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Can’s importance for Liverpool has been somewhat forgotten due to the nature of his free transfer to Juventus, but as Klopp says, it was paramount he was replaced.

Fabinho appears to be a significant upgrade on the 25-year-old, too: a player who is more suited to the demands of Liverpool’s No. 6 role, as well as having the added height to comfortable deputise at centre-back.

Both have spent most of their international careers at right-back, too, and while this is clearly a last-resort option for the Reds, there will have been few players on the market that could have fit the mould.

And few that would have done so better than Fabinho who is, as Klopp attests, unbelievably valuable.

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Klopp’s great take on squad options as Virgil van Dijk & Xherdan Shaqiri return for Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:46

Jurgen Klopp has welcomed the return of Virgil van Dijk and Xherdan Shaqiri, as he faces tough decisions over his lineup for Liverpool’s trip to Man United.


Van Dijk missed Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich due to suspension, but will be raring to go for a must-win Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

The Dutchman is a certainty to reclaim his role at the back, and is likely to partner Joel Matip as Fabinho returns to the pool of top-class midfielders at Klopp’s disposal.

Gini Wijnaldum, Naby Keita and Jordan Henderson can all lay claim to a starting spot in the middle of the park, while Shaqiri is also back from an abdominal injury, giving the manager another option to consider.

Speaking at Melwood on Friday, Klopp expressed his delight at the improving fitness of his squad, though Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez are still out and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster won’t be involved either.

“It’s really good to have him back,” he said, deflecting the narrative of Van Dijk being his new ‘colossus’, with one reporter pushing for a comparison with Ron Yeats.

“By the way, it’s the first time since I don’t know how many weeks that we have to make a choice.

“Between midfielders, full-backs, even centre-halves if I think about Fabinho again in that position, I could make a decision about it.

“So that’s good. That’s for us a good moment, so far this week obviously because of the Bayern it was more or less a recovery.

“But now we have two sessions to prepare for the game and that’s good.”

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah during a training session at Melwood ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern München. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Klopp’s injury update provided little in terms of new information, having already ruled out Lovren before the Bayern game and with Gomez still recovering after surgery.

The most positive factor in his assessment on Friday was that Oxlade-Chamberlain is now working in “bigger parts” of training, though he added that the No. 21 is “not ready to play,” as expected.

“Dejan not in, Joe not in, I think pretty much all the rest are in training at least,” he continued.

Rhian Brewster is still only [doing] little parts, Ox in bigger parts, but not ready to play.

“The rest trained and will train with us.

“Usually now I get a message that somebody’s ill, so I’m still a bit nervous about that! But until now I didn’t hear anything.”

Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, James Milner and Roberto Firmino have all struggled with illness in recent weeks, but the hope is that there will be no withdrawals from the squad ahead of Sunday.

 Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates scoring the third goal, his second, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In fact, Klopp is now relishing the increased strength of his squad and the ‘good problem’ of leaving senior players out of the matchday squad.

Of late, the likes of Curtis Jones and Rafa Camacho have been required to fill in on the substitutes’ bench due to injuries, but now it could be Alberto Moreno, Adam Lallana and Divock Origi who miss out instead.

Perhaps the most useful candidate to bring on late on in games is Shaqiri, who scored twice to seal a 3-1 win over United at Anfield back in December.

“It’s not difficult, now I have to make a decision about who starts for the first time,” Klopp explained.

“We always had a good lineup to start. Our problem was how can we change [from the bench]? That’s a problem.

“Maybe one or two players who are not 18 years old will not be in the squad. I don’t know in the moment, but that could happen.

“That’s all good, we need that. We need to have influence from the bench, that we can change, bring on players who are fit and not like Shaq against Bayern, having one session.

“Because of other things we thought if we need him for 10, 15 minutes we can bring him in at least.

“Now he had another five or six days in training, that always helps.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitute Xherdan Shaqiri during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Cardiff City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“That’s what you need in a very decisive period of the season. We created a basis, I said it a lot, we have to use it now.

“To use the situation you need the right number of players, because we have three games in the week—I don’t think about the other games but I know they will come.

“So it’s good. First time, and hopefully it stays like this, that we can make changes in the game, in the lineup, that’s what you need.

“Today is the best moment for a couple of weeks.”

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Klopp on Fabinho's role, Van Dijk's return and midfield options

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:46

Jürgen Klopp discussed the importance of Fabinho's versatility, the return of Virgil van Dijk to face Manchester United, and the increased options he has to choose from during his pre-match press conference on Friday.

Read the manager’s thoughts on those three topics below…

On whether Fabinho has a long-term future at centre-back…

It’s brilliant to have him as an option for both positions, but his natural position is in midfield. That he can play centre-half makes him an unbelievably valuable player for us. We knew last year we’d lose Emre Can, who is a similar profile. It was so important, it was always the plan that we’d have [Fabinho] for that as well. With four centre-halves, we didn’t think we’d have to use him there actually. But he can play the position obviously, that’s really good and helps us a lot. We will see what happens in the future but he is a midfielder and we will use him most of the time in that position.

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On the importance of having Van Dijk available after suspension against Bayern Munich…

[It’s] very [important], like he always is. But the most important thing is that we didn’t miss him as much as, again, a lot of people expected us to miss him – because we defend as a unit. It makes life a bit easier for Virg and for Fabinho as well. In front of him Hendo played an outstanding game; if he would not have been as spot-on as he was then Fabinho would have struggled, and Virg would have struggled in the last couple of games. It’s really good to have him back, of course. It’s the first time for I don’t know how many weeks that we have to make a choice between midfielders, full-backs, even centre-half if I think about Fabinho again in that position. I could make a decision about it. That’s good. For us, it’s a good moment. So far this week because of the Bayern game, it was only more or less recovery but now we have two sessions to prepare the game. That’s good and it’s different for us. I’m really looking forward to it.

On his selection options in midfield…

It’s not difficult. The thing is, we always had a good line-up to start, our problem was how could we change? That’s the problem. Maybe one or two players who are not 18 years old will not be in the squad, I don’t know in the moment but that could happen. That’s all good, we need to have influence from the bench, that we can change and bring on players who are fit. Not like Shaq against Bayern, having one session before that but because of other things, we thought if we needed him for 10 or 15 minutes we could bring him at least. Now he is another five or six days in training, which always helps. That’s what you need in a very decisive period of the season. We created a basis we have to use now, and for using the situation you need the right number of players because we have three games in a week. I don’t think about the other two games but I know they will come. Hopefully it stays like this, that we can make changes in the game, in the line-ups and all that stuff. That’s what you need. Hopefully it stays like this, it’s the best moment for a couple of weeks.

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Klopp on Fabinho's role, Van Dijk's return and midfield options

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:46
Jürgen Klopp discussed the importance of Fabinho's versatility, the return of Virgil van Dijk to face Manchester United, and the increased options he has to choose from during his pre-match press conference on Friday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp's LFC injury update ahead of United clash

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:20

Dejan Lovren will miss Liverpool's clash with Manchester United on Sunday, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

The defender is continuing his recovery from a hamstring issue sustained against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup on January 7 and won't be available for the trip to Old Trafford this weekend.

Elsewhere, long-term absentees Joe Gomez, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are the Reds' only other players ruled out of the contest with United.

Klopp told his pre-match press conference on Friday morning: “Dejan is not in, Joe is not in, but I think pretty much all the rest are in training at least.

“Rhian Brewster is still only in little parts [of training], Ox in bigger parts but not ready to play. The rest have trained and will train with us, but there is still a little bit of time.

“Usually now I get the message that somebody is ill in the last three weeks, so I am still a bit nervous about that!

“But until now I didn’t hear anything.”

[embedded content]

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Jürgen Klopp's LFC injury update ahead of United clash

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 11:20
Dejan Lovren will miss Liverpool's clash with Manchester United on Sunday, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Quiz: Man United vs. Liverpool in the Premier League era

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:36

It’s one of the biggest games of the season every year, but how well do you remember the rivalry with Man United in the Premier League era?


Games against those from down the East Lancs Road are never ones to look forward to, especially in the Premier League era.

Liverpool have recorded just three wins at Old Trafford in the last 15 years, so you might be forgiven for forgetting some of what’s happened in these games in recent years.

Find out how well you remember the Reds vs. Man United in our quiz below – there’s 12 questions for you here:

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Klopp: This is the Pogba that Utd signed

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:32
Klopp says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should "100 per cent" get permanent job By James Dale

Last Updated: 22/02/19 12:03pm

1:25 Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will play a hugely improved Manchester United Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will play a hugely improved Manchester United

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool will play a different Manchester United team to the one they beat earlier this season - including a transformed Paul Pogba.

Jose Mourinho's United side were beaten 3-1 at Anfield in December last year, days before the Portuguese's sacking.

Klopp said it would be "disrespectful" to disregard Mourinho's style, but the Liverpool boss admitted caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rejuvenated United's best talents.

"They have found a solution and it has worked out," Klopp said. "Since Ole was there pretty much everything changed.

"We see the Pogba that Man Utd signed a couple of years ago, and [Ander] Herrera in outstanding shape.

"They were all good before but now they are full of confidence and use their potential. That makes a big difference. Sometimes you need changes, and in football it's very often the manager, that helps. In this case obviously it helped.

Paul Pogba has scored nine goals in his last 11 matches Paul Pogba has scored nine goals in his last 11 matches Paul Pogba has scored nine goals in his last 11 matches

"It is a different side, a different style, but still United. They have all different ways in their toolbox to get results."

Solskjaer has won 11 of his 13 fixtures since taking interim charge of the club, with the only blemish a 2-0 defeat to Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

Ahead of the Reds' trip to Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, live on Sky Sports Premier League, Klopp said: "He has the quality and he had the luck in the right moment.

"He's in charge and there is no doubt that he will be the manager next year as well, that's clear.

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"Can you imagine one situation when they say 'we are bringing in another manager'? Then a new manager will lose one game and that's not possible.

"He deserves (the job) 100 per cent, he did everything that you have to do to be successful with them."

Solskjaer admitted he may call on Sir Alex Ferguson to come into the dressing room before Sunday's match against Liverpool, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

"I'm really happy for him," Klopp added. "It's not the best news for us but for all Manchester United fans it's brilliant.

"They've brought in all the things Sir Alex Ferguson stood for with all the new things in football.

"That makes them a threat again. They are really back on track. Good for them."

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Lingard, Martial could face Liverpool

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 09:00
Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool on Super Sunday on Sky Sports Premier League. Kick-off at 2.05pm By Calum Wilson

Last Updated: 22/02/19 9:44am

1:03 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will be fit for Sunday's eagerly-awaited clash with Liverpool. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will be fit for Sunday's eagerly-awaited clash with Liverpool.

Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could be fit to return for Manchester United against Liverpool on Renault Super Sunday, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The pair had been expected to be out of action until the end of the month after picking up injuries during United's Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on February 12.

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Lingard pulled up shortly before half-time in the first leg of the last-16 tie at Old Trafford with what appeared to be a hamstring injury, while Martial was injured earlier in the game and played on until the interval but did not reappear for the second half.

Lingard has been recovering from a hamstring injury Lingard has been recovering from a hamstring injury Lingard has been recovering from a hamstring injury

However, Solskjaer confirmed in his media conference on Friday that both players could return to first-team training ahead of the fixture against their rivals.

"We are looking okay," Solskjaer said. "I hope Jesse will be okay. I more hope than think Anthony will be okay.

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"They have got to get through these two sessions, they have not been part of it [training] yet. They have been doing some recovery work.

"Every single player has their attributes and I think we showed against Chelsea that we can manage without them.

"We have got options, it is a big squad with good players and everyone is eager to play this game. If they [Martial and Lingard] don't make it, then it might be the same team that played against Chelsea."

0:32 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is not planning any 'mind games' but Sir Alex Ferguson is welcome to address the Manchester United squad if he would like to. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is not planning any 'mind games' but Sir Alex Ferguson is welcome to address the Manchester United squad if he would like to.

Solskjaer's record of 11 wins in his 13 matches since taking caretaker charge at Old Trafford means his United side go into the meeting with Liverpool full of confidence that they can inflict just a second league defeat of the season on Jurgen Klopp's side.

Despite already inspiring his team to wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham, Solskjaer knows that the big matches can be decided by just one mistake.

Anthony Martial suffered an injury in the first half against PSG but may return against Liverpool Anthony Martial suffered an injury in the first half against PSG but may return against Liverpool Anthony Martial suffered an injury in the first half against PSG but may return against Liverpool

"We have to perform better than we did against PSG," Solskjaer said. "It's a big game, a big team. We have got to learn from that experience. We have got to stay focused for the whole game.

"Suddenly we are not underdogs any more, suddenly people praise us, they think now is the time to play them.

"All these games are decided on little margins. That is the deciding factor in these big games."

2:07 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his 'outstanding' work since taking over at Manchester United. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his 'outstanding' work since taking over at Manchester United.

While their opponents on Sunday are engrossed in an epic battle for the title with Manchester City and Tottenham, United's return to form under Solskjaer has seen them climb into the top four - with just a point between them, Arsenal and Chelsea - but the Norweigan insists his attention remains firmly on beating Liverpool.

"I am not really focusing on what other teams are doing," he said. "I am focusing on us and what we have to do, to get where we want to be.

"It is a three-horse race for the top, and it is a three-horse race for the fourth position, so that is more my focus - but now it is of course this game.

"I feel we have taken a few steps in the right direction, in the process of becoming what we want to become. That we are a team that challenges higher up the league.

"It's not about pride, it's onto the next one. I never look back, I just want to see forward."

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Mohamed Salah: We know of United threat, but we want the points

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 08:30

Liverpool are well aware of the threat Manchester United will pose on Sunday but will head to Old Trafford with designs only on bringing the three points back to Anfield, Mohamed Salah insists.

The Reds take on their rivals aiming to go to clear at the top of the Premier League table; however, they will tackle a United side unbeaten in the division since appointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager in December.

Salah told Premier League Productions: “They are unbeaten in their last nine [league] games, so they are in a good way and they want to win against us.

“Everyone knows about Liverpool and Manchester United. They have good players – even before they won their last 10/11 games, they have had very good players from the beginning of the season.

“They have a good team and now they are winning, winning, winning, so they have confidence, but at the end of the day we want to win the game. Whoever we play against, we want to win the game.”

2018-19 2018-19

Of the current Premier League teams, United are the only opponent Salah hasn’t managed to net against since arriving on Merseyside in the summer of 2017.

It’s a statistic the Egyptian will be aiming to bring to an end on Sunday and move clear of Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero in the division’s top scorers rankings – but Salah insists helping the Reds win matches is his sole priority.

“As I’ve said before, for me, the record is not that important,” he explained. “Being the top scorer is important, but it never counts as No.1 – the Premier League is No.1.

“If we win [a game] 1-0, 2-0 or 3-0 and anyone else scores, I don’t mind, I would be very, very happy. For me, the team is the most important thing.

“I hope I can score [Premier League goal numbers] 50, 51, 52… but the most important thing is to win [our] game.

“We need to stay first in the table and that’s something very important for us.”

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Mohamed Salah: We know of United threat, but we want the points

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 08:30
Liverpool are well aware of the threat Manchester United will pose on Sunday but will head to Old Trafford with designs only on bringing the three points back to Anfield, Mohamed Salah insists.
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Premier League build-up LIVE!

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 08:08

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Watch Klopp's pre-United press conference live

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 07:00

Jürgen Klopp will preview Liverpool's trip to Manchester United at Melwood on Friday - watch the boss' press conference live and free with us from 11am GMT.

The boss is set to face the media ahead of the Reds' Premier League game at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Return to this page shortly before the scheduled start time to watch Klopp's briefing in full via YouTube.

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Watch Klopp's pre-United press conference live

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 07:00
Jürgen Klopp will preview Liverpool's trip to Manchester United at Melwood on Friday - watch the boss' press conference live and free with us from 11am GMT.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Salah: Pressure always there

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 02/22/2019 - 06:00
Watch Man Utd vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday on Sky Sports Premier League, with kick-off at 2.05pm

Last Updated: 22/02/19 5:57am

1:05 Mohamed Salah insists in such a close title race, enjoyment is difficult with so much pressure involved Mohamed Salah insists in such a close title race, enjoyment is difficult with so much pressure involved

Mohamed Salah believes that with Liverpool in the position they are in, they cannot just enjoy their season, with a "dream" Premier League title so close.

Liverpool take on rivals Manchester United in the first part of a blockbuster Super Sunday, live on Sky Sports, with Salah's side trailing leaders Manchester City on goal difference.

With City taking on Chelsea in Sunday's Carabao Cup final, also live on Sky Sports, even a point at Old Trafford will see Liverpool reclaim top spot, and in such a tight title race, added to the pressure of pursuing a first-ever Liverpool Premier League crown, Salah insists enjoyment is hard to come by.

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"You can feel it [the pressure] because you are still a human being," Salah said in an interview with Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher. "For me it is not a big deal if I win a game now or three weeks ago. I want to win each game, but for myself I said that we are playing for the Premier League, so there is pressure.

"Also there is pressure for Man City. I said in November that there is pressure and it will be there until the end of the season, because when you play for the Premier League you have to accept that there is pressure. When you go home you can take it with you, but it can help you to work harder and focus on your game.

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"To enjoy it is not enough, from my side. At the end of the day you have a target in your mind, you have a dream, you want to win the Premier League. I even said that two years ago when I came - it is a dream to win the Premier League."

The United encounter is the first of three tough fixtures in a week for Liverpool, with a midweek clash with Watford and the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park on Sunday, live on Sky Sports, to come - a run of games that is not lost on Salah.

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1:11 Salah believes Liverpool's clash with Manchester United is not the only tough fixture coming for his side Salah believes Liverpool's clash with Manchester United is not the only tough fixture coming for his side

"It is a very big week for us," Salah added. "And if we win three games and are top of the table, that is huge for us. When you have three games in a week or ten days, you just need to win, win, win, then after that you have time to think.

"Even when we are not top of the league, I know how much United want to win against Liverpool and Everton the same. For me it is not a big deal. We just need to do what we have been doing for the last couple of months."

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