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Updated: 2 weeks 5 days ago

Watch Joanna Jedrzejczyk Vs. Claudia Gadelha Post-TUF 23 Finale Press Conference Online (Live Stream)

Sat, 09/07/2016 - 08:32

What a fight. What a night.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk retained her UFC women’s strawweight championship Friday night by winning an unanimous decision over Claudia Gadelha after an epic five-round fight that more resembled a street brawl between two people with a score to settle.

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Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha, along with UFC president Dana White, surely will have much to say about this instant classic, and you can watch their post-fight press conference in the video player above.

Thumbnail photo via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images

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NESN To Air Liverpool Vs. Tranmere Rovers Exhibition Game At 1:30 P.M. ET On Friday

Fri, 08/07/2016 - 17:45

NESN viewers have the chance to watch Liverpool take its first steps into the new season.

Liverpool will face Tranmere Rovers on Friday at Prenton Park in its preseason opener. NESN will broadcast the game live, with coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

The Reds’ first Premier League game of 2016-17 is just five weeks away. An exhibition game against Tranmere, a club in the National League (England’s fifth tier), offers manager Jurgen Klopp a chance to gauge how much progress his team must make between now and Aug. 13.

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Tune in to NESN on Friday afternoon to how the Reds are shaping up ahead of Klopp’s first full season in charge.

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Sadio Mane, Liverpool Agree To Contract: ‘Today Is A Big Day’ For Forward

Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:52

Liverpool Football Club can confirm it has completed the signing of Sadio Mane from Southampton.

The 24-year-old has put pen to paper on a long-term contract after passing a medical and agreeing to personal terms at Melwood. He officially will become registered as a Reds player on July 1.

Immediately after inking the deal, Mane told LiverpoolFC.com: “Today is a big day, and I am very happy to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe. It’s a club that has won a lot of trophies and has a big history. Now I am looking forward to meeting all the staff and my teammates and starting the season.”

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Mane moves to Anfield after two seasons in the Premier League with Southampton, in which he netted 25 goals in 75 appearances in all competitions. Click to read more on LiverpoolFC.com >>

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@LFC

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Two Ways Brexit Might Change Premier League, World Soccer In Near Future

Tue, 28/06/2016 - 00:39

United Kingdom voters’ decision to have their nation secede from the European Union will have consequences for soccer in the British Isles and beyond. Exactly what those will be remains to be seen.

Questions about what happens next flowed from all points of society following the surprise Brexit announcement Friday. The U.K. won’t leave the EU for at least two years, and officials still must negotiate terms of Britain’s exit. Answers to the million-pound question will be forthcoming in the months and years to come, but one thing now is certain: Business as usual is a thing of the past, as we no longer are sure what “usual” is. Stability is out. Instability could become the new normal.

Despite Brexit, England’s Premier League will remain the most lucrative, and perhaps important, domestic league in world soccer for the foreseeable future. The soccer world’s enduring interest in England’s top flight and fans’ — particularly those inside the U.K. — insatiable interest in the product will ensure its No. 1 status. The Premier League said as much Friday in a statement.

“The Premier League is a hugely successful sporting competition that has strong domestic and global appeal,” the statement read, according to Sky Sports. “This will continue to be the case regardless of the referendum result.

“Given the uncertain nature of what the political and regulatory landscape might be following the ‘Leave’ vote, there is little point second guessing the implications until there is greater clarity.

“Clearly, we will continue to work with Government and other bodies whatever the outcome of any process.”

Britain’s exit from the EU is far from certain at this point. Prime minister David Cameron announced his resignation, and his successor must choose whether to invoke Article 50, which will trigger the U.K.’s legal exit from the EU.

Until that happens, let’s deal with the real-life repercussions of Brexit. Chief among them are:

The falling pound
The value of Britain’s currency relative to others has sharply declined since Friday, changing the prices of players around the world and British clubs overnight.

Foreign investors could jump at the chance to buy into or take over British clubs, as the declining pound lowers their prices.

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The same goes for the values of British-based players on the global transfer market. Clubs from the EU and beyond will discover British-based players now are cheaper than they were before the Brexit vote.

But don’t expect them to turn the buyer’s market that is British soccer, particularly in the Premier League, into a seller’s market any time soon. British players don’t often travel for work, as market forces and personal preferences often preclude the more adventurous ones from doing so.

If British-based players, who receive their wages in pounds, convert their money into other major currencies, they’ll lose some of it because of the pound’s fallen value.

Player movement
Premier League teams have imported players from abroad en masse in recent years. That could slow, as the cheaper pound makes buying players from abroad more expensive than it was before.

A potential shift in immigration rules could have the biggest effect on British soccer. EU players currently are eligible to work in Britain without a permit, but that will change if the U.K. builds walls on its borders.

EU players could be subject to the same restrictions non-EU players face, namely having to play a set percentage of games for their national teams in order to qualify for a work permit.

The trickle-down effect would be an increase in the number of domestic players and homegrown academy graduates at Premier League clubs. While the quality of the average player could dip, teams could improve through increased cohesion and higher spirit.

Of course, this all would be moot if Cameron’s successor or the British people walk back from their Brexit decision.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images

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Liverpool Unveils Black Away Uniform By New Balance For 2016-17 Season

Thu, 16/06/2016 - 23:56

Liverpool FC and New Balance can officially reveal the team’s 2016-17 away uniform (or “kit”).

The strip, part of the “Made for Liverpool” campaign, reflecting on what it means to be a Reds fan — is available to purchase online and in store now.

With a fitting tribute to the team that won the European Cup on that memorable night in Rome on May 25, 1977, the jersey has been designed in black, red and silver — reminiscent of the colors of the matchday program thousands of fans still cherish to this day.

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho

Black was chosen as the base color to create an imposing canvas for the flame red warning vents down either side of the torso. Silver trim has been detailed on the front, including the iconic Liver Bird crest, to commemorate the club’s first of five European Cup victories.

Liverpool's Jordan Henderson

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“Everyone is aware of the history of this great club, both domestically and abroad,” Reds captain Jordan Henderson said. “This latest away kit looks great and having the words of Bill Shankly on the kit reminds us of what Liverpool FC means, inspiring us every time we play away from Anfield.”

Bill Shankly, one of Liverpool’s greatest ever managers, who guided the Reds to three First Division titles, two FA Cups, four Charity Shields and one UEFA Cup, has his famous quote “Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool” referenced on the internal hem of the shirt.

Liverpool away uniform

The goalkeeper uniform is constructed with engineered Flex fabric panels to offer a greater range of movement. These Flex zones are identified by contrast heat transfers. The impulse orange design with black shoulder Flex zones is complemented by orange shorts with black detailing and orange socks with black tipping.

Liverpool's Simon Mignolet Click to read more at LiverpoolFC.com >>

Photos via LiverpoolFC.com

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Premier League Schedule 2016-17: Arsenal Vs. Liverpool Highlights Opening Weekend

Wed, 15/06/2016 - 16:28

The 2016-17 Premier League season will kick off with a bang, as Arsenal hosts Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on an action-packed opening weekend in August.

The Premier League released its full schedule Wednesday.

Leicester City begins its title defense away to Hull City, which returns to the top division after earning promotion from the English Championship this past season.

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Here’s the list of games for the opening weekend.

Aug. 13
AFC Bournemouth vs. Manchester United
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Burnley vs. Swansea City
Chelsea vs. West Ham United
Crystal Palace vs. West Bromwich Albion
Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Hull City vs. Leicester City
Manchester City vs. Sunderland
Middlesbrough vs. Stoke City
Southampton vs. Watford Click here for to view the full 2016-17 schedule >>

Thumbnail photo via Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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Loris Karius Outlines Goalkeeping Strengths He’ll Bring To Liverpool

Wed, 25/05/2016 - 18:42

Moments after agreeing to his long-term deal to join Liverpool, Loris Karius discussed his move from FSV Mainz 05 to Anfield with the Reds’ website.

LiverpoolFC.com: Tell us about you as a goalkeeper — what are your strengths?
I think I’m a really confident goalkeeper. I like to play offensively, helping the defense out and playing with my feet, clearing situations early. If I’m far off my line and can clear a situation before it even comes to the goal, I’m confident doing that. I can block balls, and I am a good shot-stopper. I try to be really offensive and help my team out a lot.

LiverpoolFC.com: What about the areas you can improve on or the manager and teammates here can help you develop?
At 22, there’s nothing you’re perfect at. I want to develop in everything. If it’s my weak foot or crosses, which will be even harder in the Premier League because it’s tougher. So I want to improve on that. But I don’t feel like I’m not confident with anything in my game, so I just want to improve on everything.

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LiverpoolFC.com: You were first-choice at your previous club. Is that something you want to achieve here?
Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t make the move, if I thought I was just going to sit on the bench. I want to play, and I feel like I will be able to do that if I do well in training and preseason and the preseason games. I’m confident. I’ve played almost 100 league games in Germany, so I’m young, but I’m experienced. I’m not afraid of anything.

LiverpoolFC.com: What are your goals and ambitions here?
I want to be in goal and play for Liverpool every week. And then win a trophy with the club, that’s what everyone wants. I want to do my part and help. Read more from Karius on LiverpoolFC.com >>

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Loris Karius Calls Liverpool Transfer From Mainz ‘The Right Decision’

Tue, 24/05/2016 - 19:10

Liverpool Football Club has confirmed a deal has been reached to sign goalkeeper Loris Karius from FSV Mainz 05.

The 22-year-old has agreed a long-term contract with the Reds to tie up a move from the Bundesliga (German first division) side after completing a physical examination in Liverpool.

“It’s a very good feeling, and it’s an honor to play for a club like this,” Karius told LiverpoolFC.com. “They have a special history, and the fans are amazing here, so I look forward to playing at Anfield.

“I know a lot about the club from watching them on TV. The history, everybody who plays football knows. There a lot of things in my head when I think of this club.

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“I spoke to the manager, and I had a good feeling afterward because he told me what he wants to do with the club and with the players.

“It was a good talk with him, and after that, I was convinced this was the right decision.”

Karius officially will become registered as a Reds player on July 1. Read more on LiverpoolFC.com >>

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Why Brendan Rodgers Must Win Right Away At Celtic FC To Restore His Reputation

Sat, 21/05/2016 - 00:21

Brendan Rodgers is back in the limelight, but his new job is Celtic FC manager will be unlike any challenge he has faced previously in his career.

Celtic appointed Rodgers on Friday, ending the northern Irishman’s job search after seven-plus months. Many thought an English Premier League club would hire Rodgers following his October dismissal by Liverpool, but Celtic lured him north to Scotland on a rolling one-year contract in an effort to forge a mutually beneficial partnership.

“I am absolutely delighted to be named Celtic manager,” Rodgers said in a statement on the club website, according to Sky Sports.

“I will give my new role everything I have and do all I can to bring our supporters exciting, entertaining and winning football. The club has been in magnificent shape in recent years and has collected silverware regularly during this time. My objective now, of course, is to continue this work, to keep us at the top and again make our mark in Europe.

“I know what a magnificent support Celtic enjoys and I can promise our fans one thing — that I will be doing everything I can to give you a team that you can be proud of and a team that delivers … ”

Let’s examine what Rogers must do in order to call his tenure at Celtic manager a success.

Condensed timetable
Rodgers signed a rolling one-year contract with Celtic. The agreement suggests neither expects him to remain at Celtic Park very long.

That’s probably because Rodgers is still keen to work in England, where the resources are superior and attention greater, in the near future. But most of the current managers of Premier League clubs have considerable job security, at least for now.

Everton is looking for a new manager, but Rodgers was never considered a candidate to cross the Liverpool divide so soon after his first stint in the city. Manchester United, Southampton and Stoke City appear most likely to have openings in the near future, but those situations don’t look likely to resolve themselves before July.

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Instead of waiting for a position that might never materialize, Rodgers assumed control of Scotland’s biggest club on terms that give him a chance to leave easily.

Targets
Rodgers is expected to discuss his motivation for taking the Celtic job and the targets at which he’ll aim at his introductory press conference Monday, but we can easily identify a few of his goals.

Rodgers isn’t going to Celtic to manage a years long project. He’s going to win immediately and do so with style.

Ronny Deila failed to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage in his two seasons as manager. Rodgers must return Celtic to European soccer’s elite competition and capture the accompanying pot of gold — potentially worth £30 million ($43.5 million).

Celtic’s journey in the Champions League qualifying playoff rounds will begin in late July and likely end in late August. Rodgers must do his transfer business with speed and decisiveness, make the most of preseason, pick his best 11 and navigate them into the Champions League group stage.

The Champions League will determine judgement on Rodgers’ Celtic tenure. But that only will be the case if Celtic stays ahead of eternal rival Rangers, who will return to the Scottish Premier League next season after a four-year absence.

The 2016-17 schedule isn’t out yet. When it drops, circle the first Celtic-Rangers game (or “Old Firm derby”) is a must-watch event. The outcome will either boost or sap Rodgers’ momentum as manager.

By securing Champions League qualification in August and guiding Celtic to a sixth consecutive Scottish Premier League title by next May, Rodgers will have successful rebounded from his Liverpool exit.

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Jurgen Klopp Explains Biggest Disappointment About LFC’s Europa League Final Loss

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 02:06

Jurgen Klopp offered his reaction to Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday. Here’s what he said to reporters in Basel in his postgame press conference.

On his overview of the game …

“It was obvious the first goal of Sevilla had a big influence on our own game. In this moment we lost faith in our style of play. We changed from passing simply and quickly to complicated. We lost our formation, so it was not compact anymore.

“We’ve had this situation one or two times before. As I said in the Chelsea game, we were quite happy we had the problem there. That was a good moment to put the finger in and change it …

“This is interview number 10 or 12 that I’ve had (postgame) and everybody has told me about two handballs in the first half. Today there were four decisive decisions I would say, maybe a few more, but very obvious decisions that went against us. In a final, when it’s clear it is close, you need a little bit of luck. We didn’t. We have no influence on this, but where we have influence on is our game and so now we are disappointed and frustrated, 100 percent.

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“Tomorrow, in a week or whatever we will see it a little bit more clearly and then we will use this experience. That’s what we have to do. Now it’s clear we are not in a European competition next year, it means no football on a Thursday and it means we have time to train. We will use it and we will come back stronger, that’s for sure. You saw on the way to the final we had a few moments where we maybe over-performed — we were unbelievable, great and the boys showed what they are capable of, but then to have this consistency you need a little bit more time.

“They are still young and this was their first big final — unfortunately their second (losing) final of the season, but it was a big final and we will use this experience together. Then someday everybody will say Basel was a very decisive moment for the wonderful future of Liverpool FC.”

Despite defeat, Jurgen Klopp is adamant @LFC will come back! #UELfinal https://t.co/FfPiJ6NRyT

— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) May 18, 2016

Click to read more at LiverpoolFC.com >> How Liverpool lost the Europa League Final >> Europa League Final live blog >>

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Why Liverpool Lost 2016 UEFA Europa League Final; What Result Means For Reds’ Future

Thu, 19/05/2016 - 01:12

Liverpool FC defied its past and future, revealing its present self against Sevilla in the final of the 2016 UEFA Europa League.

The Reds lost 3-1 to Sevilla on Wednesday in Basel, Switzerland, dropping its first-ever European final and ending its 2015-16 season in abject heartbreak. Such feelings still feel alien to longtime Liverpool fans, but newer Reds have experienced disappointment on this scale before.

Daniel Sturridge gave Liverpool the lead in the 35th minute with a superb goal, which was worthy of their exceptional first-half performance.

But the Reds fell to pieces almost immediately in the second half. Sevilla striker Kevin Gameiro tied the score just 17 seconds into the period, and Coke added goals in the 64th and 70th minutes to condemn Liverpool to defeat.

Sevilla celebrates an unprecedented third consecutive Europa League title and a record fifth in its history.

Liverpool finishes runner-up in a competition that would have added unexpected success in an otherwise disappointing season.

Let’s take a closer look at how Europa League glory eluded Liverpool.

Costly inexperience
Sevilla had mastered the Europa League long before it ever faced Liverpool, but Wednesday’s game demonstrated the true value of the Spanish club’s know-how in European soccer’s secondary championship.

Aside from the opening five minutes, Liverpool played fantastically well in the first period. The Reds overpowered Sevilla with their energy, determination and organization. Sturridge’s fine finish was only one of numerous goal-scoring opportunities Liverpool created in the half. His goal overshadowed promising chances he missed in the 11th and 25th minutes.

The fact Liverpool shackled Sevilla for 45 minutes became a distant memory less than a minute after the re-start. Gameiro scored after Mariano collected Alberto Moreno’s sloppy clearance, dribbled through Liverpool’s soft defense and found Gameiro with a pass to the far post.

Liverpool simply never recovered from the blow, and Coke, Sevilla’s captain, struck twice during a stretch of the half his team dominated in every facet of the game.

Before the game, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called the contest “50-50” but cited Sevilla’s experience and age, roughly three years older than the Reds on average, as potential advantages. Were they ever.

Sevilla made the most of its opportunities then locked down the game when Liverpool was reeling.

3 – Sevilla have scored with three of their four shots on target in this match. Comeback.

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 18, 2016

Missing magicians
Much was expected of Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, but Liverpool’s Brazilian midfield magicians were largely ineffective. They combined on the goal-scoring sequence, but Sturridge’s finish was far more important than their passes.

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Coutinho, 23, and Firmino, 24, will regret their overall performances in the final, given their contributions to Liverpool’s Europa League campaign. Coutinho, Liverpool’s two-time reigning Player of the Year, didn’t have a shot until the 80th minute when he fired over Sevilla’s goal. Klopp replaced Firmino after 69 minutes.

0/0 – Roberto Frimino and Kolo Touré were the only two starting Liverpool outfield players not to be involved in a shot vs Sevilla. Silent.

— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) May 18, 2016

There also was plenty of controversy, as the referee denied Liverpool two penalty kicks that another official might have awarded on another day. Coke’s second goal came amid a disputed offside call. History will have to judge whether Sevilla’s substitutes influenced the referee’s assistant, as they warmed up on the sideline during that fateful moment.

Moreno’s flaws
Moreno, whom Liverpool bought from Sevilla three years ago, will face heavy criticism for his performance in the second half. Whether mixed emotions or other factors were at play, Sevilla brutally exposed the 23-year-old Liverpool left back’s defensive limitations on one of soccer’s biggest stages.

What the result means
Sevilla’s victory reaffirms Spain’s supremacy of European soccer, which began roughly ten years ago.

Spanish clubs – most major European competitions won
12 – Barcelona
12 – Real Madrid
5 – Sevilla
4 – Valencia
3 – Atletico Madrid#UELfinal

— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 18, 2016

Sevilla wins its 3rd consecutive Europa League title, continuing Spain's recent dominance in European competition: pic.twitter.com/1iFikMUDoW

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2016

There are 55 UEFA countries. Teams from just one – Spain – have won/will win all three European trophies in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) May 18, 2016

Had Liverpool won, many would have heralded the triumph as a harbinger of future success. But the Reds showed their true nature in the loss to Sevilla, overrunning the opposition for part of the game only to suffer the consequences of a limp performance in the second period. The classic tale of two halves reflects Liverpool’s season.

The Reds showed themselves capable of competing on equal footing with the best teams in England but also demonstrated a maddening inconsistency. They could look like potential English or Europa League champions on one day and like the eighth-placed team in the Premier League on the next.

Liverpool will break camp for the summer, and Klopp will restructure the squad. When they return in July, he’ll work them to exhaustion in the preseason so that they better represent him and his will on the field … and do so for 90 minutes more often than not. Review all the action from the Europa League Final >>

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Daniel Sturridge’s Super-Goal Gives LFC Europa League Final Lead Vs. Sevilla

Wed, 18/05/2016 - 22:54

Daniel Sturridge is skillful and important enough to Liverpool to give the club its just rewards.

The Liverpool striker put his team up 1-0 against Sevilla with a superb goal on Wednesday in the final of the 2016 UEFA Europa League. Sturridge used the outside of his foot to curl a shot around goalkeeper David Soria in the 35th minute.

That. Was. Pretty, Daniel Sturridge. #LIVSEV #UELfinal https://t.co/S1z4DNjFbT

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 18, 2016

Marry me pic.twitter.com/cXrM0cUH4S (via @amadoit2)

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— JOE.co.uk (@JOE_co_uk) May 18, 2016

Sturridge, 26, missed a large chunk of the 2015-16 season due to injuries, but his Europa League final goal moved him atop Liverpool’s goal-scoring charts for the campaign.

13 – Daniel Sturridge is now the top goalscorer of Liverpool in all competitions this season. Golden.

— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) May 18, 2016

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@LFC

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Watch Liverpool Vs. Sevilla UEFA Europa League Final Online (Live Stream)

Wed, 18/05/2016 - 18:43

Liverpool’s date with destiny has come.

The Reds will take on Sevilla on Wednesday in Basel, Switzerland, in the 2016 UEFA Europa League final. The winning club will author a new chapter in its history and earn a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

Sevilla is the two-time defending Europa League champion and is aiming for an unprecedented hat trick.

Liverpool has won the competition three times, most recently in 2001. The Reds can match Sevilla’s record of four titles in this competition with a victory.

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Here’s how to watch the 2016 UEFA Europa League final online.

When: Wednesday, May 18, at 2:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSoccer2Go Liverpool-Sevilla Europa League final preview >>

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@LFC

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Europa League Final Liverpool-Sevilla TV Guide: Channel, Time, Live Stream Info

Wed, 18/05/2016 - 16:25

There’s a lot at stake for Liverpool and Sevilla when they clash in the 2015-16 Europa League Final at St. Jakob-Park in Basel on Wednesday.

Besides a shiny piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet, Liverpool and Sevilla are playing for a spot in the most prestigious club soccer competition: the UEFA Champions League. The winner of this game will go through to the qualifying stages of next season’s UCL competition, a massive prize for any club.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch this much-anticipated Liverpool-Sevilla showdown:

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Date: Thursday, May 18
Start Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
TV Channel: FOX Sports 1
Live Stream: FOX Soccer 2Go

Thumbnail photo via Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports Images

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Liverpool Prepares ‘Normally’ For ‘Special’ Europa League Final Vs. Sevilla

Tue, 17/05/2016 - 19:24

It may the biggest game of the season for Liverpool, but Jurgen Klopp insisted Tuesday that preparation for the UEFA Europa League final hasn’t differed to any other game on its road to Basel, Switzerland.

The Reds take on Sevilla at St. Jakob-Park on Wednesday aiming to bring home their first piece of silverware since 2012.

Interest surrounding the game has, understandably, reached fever-pitch level, as Klopp and his team attempt to secure a trophy in his first campaign at the helm.

However, within the perimeter of Melwood, things haven’t varied to the manner in which Liverpool previously prepared for the likes of Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal.

Speaking at his pregame press conference, reporters quizzed Klopp on how he’s preparing the Reds for the showpiece final.

“As normally as possible because the special circumstances are obvious,” he responded.

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“It’s clear we have to do more press work, everything changes in a moment like this. In the last two weeks, nobody has asked us about the next Premier League game — everybody has asked us about this game, everyone wants tickets and it’s a special situation, so the rest needs to be as usual as possible.

“If not, we would have done a lot of things wrong in preparing for all the other games. We had special games, we were under pressure at home against Villarreal because we were 1-0 down (from the first leg). Then we were under pressure in Dortmund, we were under pressure at home against Dortmund in the game. But these boys always did a perfect job, so why should I change?

“If I change they could think ‘oh, maybe he thinks we are not ready.’ I am sure they are ready and that is what I want them to feel. We feel good, I’m really pleased for the boys — I am really pleased I can be part of this moment with this team.”

The boss says #LFC have the opportunity 'to achieve something great' tomorrow… https://t.co/C53B8o7QAP

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) May 17, 2016

More about the Europa League final on LiverpoolFC.com >>

Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com

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Europa League Final Odds: Liverpool Favored Over Sevilla In Basel Showdown

Tue, 17/05/2016 - 17:06

Sevilla will be aiming to claim a third consecutive UEFA Europa League championship Wednesday when it battles Liverpool in the final as +210 betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Sevillistas are coming off a dominating 3-1 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk earlier this month in the second leg of their semifinal matchup, easily advancing by an aggregate score of 5-3. But Sevilla has claimed just one victory in its past five games heading into Wednesday afternoon’s final at St. Jakob-Park in Basel, Switzerland.

Sevilla has struggled down the stretch in La Liga play, getting outscored by an 8-2 margin in three losses to wrap up the campaign in seventh place. The club failed to qualify for next year’s Europa League on the strength of its record. That leaves a lot on the line for Sevilla in this year’s final.

Sevilla can lock up a berth in next year’s Europa League with a win over Barcelona in next week’s Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) final.

Despite entering the final on the heels of some shaky performances, Sevilla has been dominant in Europa League action, outscoring opponents 14-7 during this season’s tournament and losing in just four of 22 games since the beginning of last season.

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Liverpool odds:
After wrapping up the Premier League season with a pair of draws to finish a disappointing eighth in the standings, Liverpool travels to Basel to take on Sevilla as solid +140 favorites at the sportsbooks.

After posting a pair of wins and four draws to advance through the knockout stages, the Reds eked out a Round of 32 win over Augsburg before outlasting Manchester United in the Round of 16. Liverpool then eliminated Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals, stunning the tournament favorites with a 4-3 win in the second leg of their matchup while pegged as +210 underdogs.

Liverpool suffered its only defeat of this year’s tournament in the first leg of its semifinal matchup with Villarreal, dropping a 1-0 decision on the road before rebounding with a 3-0 shutout win in the second leg. But the Reds have tallied just one victory overall in their past seven contests away from Anfield.

Liverpool last won the Europa League title in 2001, failing to advance past the Round of 16 in their past three appearances. But it’s three tournament championships leaves it trailing only Sevilla, which has emerged as Europa League winners four times in the past 10 years.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@LFC

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