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Updated: 1 hour 11 min ago

Video: Behind the scenes as Shaqiri becomes a Red

1 hour 15 min ago

Xherdan Shaqiri became Liverpool's third summer arrival on Friday night – and you can take an exclusive look behind the scenes as the forward sealed his transfer from Stoke City in our video.

The 26-year-old signed a long-term deal with the Reds, joining Naby Keita and Fabinho in bolstering Jürgen Klopp’s squad ahead of 2018-19.

We were with Shaqiri every step of the way as he underwent a medical before arriving at Melwood to put pen to paper and undertake his duties with the Liverpoolfc.com team.

Watch how the day unfolded now in our video below.

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Watch each of LFC's remaining six pre-season friendlies live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply for USA and Italy)>>

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Liverpool 'handed Nabil Fekir transfer deadline by Lyon'

1 hour 20 min ago

Liverpool have reportedly been informed they have until the end of the month to reignite interest in France World Cup winner Nabil Fekir.

A report in French newspaper L'Equipe claimed on Tuesday that Lyon want the player's future sorted before August as they look to plan for the new season.

Jurgen Klopp is keen to sign an attacking midfielder this summer with Fekir having been scouted extensively last season.

Following the failed deal, Fekir linked up with the France squad for the World Cup and appeared as substitute in their 4-2 win over Croatia in the final in Moscow on Sunday.

Speaking earlier this week, Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas believes there's a chance Fekir will still end up at Liverpool this summer, but would be more than happy for the 24-year-old to stay at his hometown club.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Alisson and his agent have Liverpool fans excited with latest update

2 hours 32 min ago

Alisson Becker is expected to hold talks with Roma on Tuesday over his future – with speculation intensifying over an imminent bid from Liverpool.

Reports in Italy claim the Brazil international will have discussions with the Serie A side after returning from a break following World Cup duty.

His agent Ze Maria Neis, who looks after the goalkeeper as part of his Neis World Sports agency, is believed ready to speak to Roma and explain his client wants to leave.

While Roma have yet to receive a concrete offer for the player, it's suggested they are braced for an imminent offer with Liverpool and Chelsea most strongly touted.

And there have been signs pointing to an imminent departure for Alisson, who has removed Roma from his Instagram bio.

That follows a move where Ze Maria Neis liked a photoshopped imagea of Alisson wearing a Liverpool shirt on Instagram.

For their part, Liverpool had been monitoring the Brazilian but believe prising him away from the Serie A side would prove difficult given the player's believed price tag in excess of 70million euros – although there are indications that, should Alisson press for a move, Roma may have to lower such demands.

Roma are wary of having their fingers burned after last year selling Mohamed Salah to Liverpool for what now appears a cut-price £36.9m.

There has been no contact with Roma and as yet no change in the Reds' stance from earlier this year when they informed Alisson's representatives not to expect a bid this summer.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Available now: LFC's 'back to school' range

Mon, 16/07/2018 - 15:52

© Copyright 2018 The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited. All rights reserved.

Developed and maintained by the LFC Technology and Transformation Team

Match Statistics supplied by Opta Sports Data Limited. Reproduced under licence from Football DataCo Limited. All rights reserved.

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U23s to face Villarreal, Hertha BSC and Swansea City in PL International Cup

Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:59

Liverpool U23s have been drawn to play Villarreal, Hertha BSC and Swansea City in the group stages of the 2018-19 Premier League International Cup.

No dates or venues have yet been confirmed for these fixtures.

The Premier League International Cup consists of 12 Premier League 2 teams and 12 U23 sides from elite academies across Europe, split into six groups of four.

The six group winners and two best runners-up qualify for the quarter-finals, while all group game matches and knockout ties will be one-off matches.

Last season, Neil Critchley's side got to the last eight, where they lost 2-1 to eventual winners FC Porto B.

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Klopp sets World Cup quartet's LFC return date

Mon, 16/07/2018 - 13:15

Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet are scheduled to report for Liverpool duty on August 5.

The quartet were the Reds’ last participants at the World Cup, with Lovren playing in Croatia's defeat in Sunday’s final after Henderson and Alexander-Arnold’s England had lost to Mignolet’s Belgium in the third-place play-off on Saturday.

All four will now take a near-three-week break and are set to return to their club seven days before Liverpool host West Ham United in their opening game of the 2018-19 Premier League campaign.

Klopp said: “They are back as well at August 5, I think, then we have proper week to prepare the season.”

The boss has already confirmed that new signing Xherdan Shaqiri will be involved in the Reds' tour of the USA, with Roberto Firmino to report at the subsequent pre-season training camp in France.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic, meanwhile, will travel with Liverpool to America.

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Heartbreak for Lovren in World Cup final

Sun, 15/07/2018 - 19:55

Dejan Lovren's Croatia saw their World Cup dream dashed at the final hurdle as they suffered a 4-2 defeat to France in Sunday's showpiece fixture.

The Liverpool defender played another 90 minutes as his country dominated large swathes of proceedings in Moscow but were edged out by a clinical French outfit.

Didier Deschamps' men went ahead early through Mario Mandzukic's own goal before Ivan Perisic thrashed in a deserved equaliser after pinball in the box.

But France were in front again before the break as Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty after Perisic was deemed to have handled in the area following a VAR review.

Les Bleus pulled away in the second period with Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe both netting, but Mandzukic offered Croatia hope when he punished a Hugo Lloris mistake to bring his nation within two goals.

However, the French expertly slowed things down from that point on, securing their second World Cup victory as a result.

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Lyon president opens door for Fekir move

Sun, 15/07/2018 - 16:22

Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas is open to Liverpool renewing their efforts to sign Nabil Fekir.

Jürgen Klopp is still keen on signing an attacking midfielder having already signed Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri this summer.

And Lyon chairman Aulas believes there's a chance Fekir will still end up at Anfield before the transfer window closes next month.

"It seems to me that Liverpool could come back in," he said in an interview with le10sport. "That's what I've read in the press, but I've not been told anything.

"His transfer failed in June, but he hasn't been affected by it. He is focused on the World Cup, and he still has his heart in Lyon.

"Nabil is much closer to Lyon today than he was when we talked to Liverpool.

"Maybe he will go to Liverpool, or another club, but if he stays at Lyon, it will be a great year for him and for us."

Fekir has in recent weeks been linked with interest from a number of clubs including Real Madrid and Manchester United, but it's believed he has set his heart on a move to Liverpool.

Source: Liverpool Echo

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Academy duo relishing pre-season opportunities

Sun, 15/07/2018 - 13:56

Nathaniel Phillips and Pedro Chirivella picked up welcome minutes in the Liverpool first team on Saturday as they featured in a 0-0 friendly draw with Bury.

And the Academy pair are keen to make the most of every opportunity that comes their way during a period that offers numerous chances to impress manager Jürgen Klopp.

Phillips made his third appearance of pre-season on Saturday, coming on at half-time to help the Reds secure a clean sheet alongside Ragnar Klavan.

Reflecting on his recent first-team involvement, the defender told Liverpoolfc.com: "At the moment I’m just trying to relish every opportunity I get given because I know in football opportunities are few and far between.

"So any chance I get in front of the manager is like a blessing really. I’ve just got to make the most of it."

Highlights: Liverpool play out draw at Bury

The next target for the Bolton-born centre-back is to secure a place in the squad for the upcoming tour of the United States.

Asked about the prospect, he added: "I’d say so, yes, but I’ve got to take each step at a time. 

"It’s not that far around the corner and there will be players returning from the World Cup so if I can hold my place [in the squad] that will be one thing accomplished."

Chirivella, meanwhile, is aiming to make an impact at Anfield after enjoying a successful loan stint at Dutch outfit Willem II last season.

He said: "It was a good period. I played a lot of minutes that I needed. I think I’ve come back in better shape physically and hopefully I can get more minutes."

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Solanke taking the positives from Bury stalemate

Sat, 14/07/2018 - 19:51

Dominic Solanke preferred to focus on the positives after Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw by Bury on Saturday afternoon, talking up the importance of another game in the legs for Jürgen Klopp's players.

The Reds dominated the third fixture of their pre-season schedule but couldn't find a breakthrough against obstinate opposition at Gigg Lane.

However, Solanke, who went as close as anyone in seeing an effort cleared off the line in the second half, insisted the result is a secondary concern at this stage of the season.

"We always know that coming to places like this is going to be difficult for us and I think that showed today," he told Liverpoolfc.com.

"But all the boys got another good run-out and it's important to focus on that as well. 

"Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get into games if you're changing teams, it can happen again in the second half. 

"It's unlucky that we didn't get the win today but it's always positive getting minutes."

Solanke is heading into his second season at Anfield and is aiming to take a step forward in terms of both appearances and goal return.

He added: "I've got my first goal now so obviously [I want to] build on that, get as many as I can this season and keep improving and help the team as much as I can."

The striker is also excited by the potential uplift provided by club's new signings, such as midfield duo Fabinho and Naby Keita.

He continued: "It always gives you a boost, bringing news players in to help the squad. We had a really good run last year so hopefully they can help us a lot this year."

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Klopp on Bury draw, Curtis Jones and Lallana's form

Sat, 14/07/2018 - 19:50

Jürgen Klopp feels the intensity of training in the last few days meant Liverpool were not able to muster a performance worthy of a victory in Saturday’s 0-0 friendly draw with Bury.

The Reds’ third match of the summer ended goalless at a sun-drenched Energy Check Stadium, with Klopp’s team unable to add to the 10 goals they scored in their first two pre-season games, against Chester FC and Tranmere Rovers respectively.

Sheyi Ojo and Dominic Solanke both saw goal-bound shots cleared off the line either side of half-time, while Ben Woodburn was denied a winner in the second period by a brilliant save.

However, it finished all square - a result Klopp, who handed Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip their first appearances of pre-season, was happy to accept responsibility for when he spoke to the media afterwards.

Read on for a summary of what the manager had to say…

Watch Liverpool's remaining six pre-season games live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply in the US and Italy)>>>

On his verdict on the game…

The mix-up of intensity in training, a lot of information in training, very warm weather and a very dry pitch is not the best preparation for a football game. I think we all saw it, we could have scored five or six times with a little bit more in the last [stages of attack], but these were the good moments and the rest was really a lot of intensity in the body, with all the tired bones and stuff like this. I saw a little bit more in the first half than in the second half, but both [Liverpool] teams struggled and that’s OK. 
If you want, it’s my fault because we did a lot in the last two days. I wanted us to score, I don’t like the a few situations; first half with Divock when maybe he can pass the ball for an easy goal. It’s the part of the season when players try to impress me, but I’ve told them already: ‘You impress me not by scoring any goal; if you see someone in a better position then that impresses me much more.’ Making the right decisions when you are really tired, when it is really warm and the ball is not really rolling is very difficult. I knew that before, and that’s what we saw today.

On Curtis Jones’ display…

He is like the others, like Ben Woodburn was a year before or Trent Alexander-Arnold. It’s good, very good for us. It’s not about showing up once or twice, it’s about making the right decisions. Physically, he seems to be ahead of the others because he is taller, but there is a lot of his body he can still change with muscles. There is enough there, it is good for the moment and all these boys are good footballers. But you see it, it is difficult - one year older and everyone thinks you need to make the next step because the next young boy is coming. We don’t expect anything, we are only happy we have another one. It’s a long wait and we are calm enough.

On Adam Lallana’s pre-season campaign…

For him, it is nice he could do pretty much [a full pre-season so far]. In the beginning there was a little problem when he was ill, but since then he has been in all sessions, which is really good for him and you can see it with all the things he is doing. What an exceptional footballer he is, but he needs the pre-season most if you want because it was a long time that he couldn’t train, then he had this really quick ‘pre-season’ to help us as quickly as possible. Now we are really building again a proper basis and that’s what is happening in the moment. That he is able to play football is not a big surprise.

On Daniel Sturridge…

“That’s funny - it’s my third pre-season here and every year we talk about the same things, and he always had a future, not a problem! I always said there’s always a future, it’s about what we do in the moment. In this moment, all good, but we don’t have to make decisions now in this situation, that’s how it is. In this moment, I don’t think like this about my players. It’s not that I think ‘maybe he’s in or he’s not in’ with these guys. With the young ones, yes we have to make these decisions, but not with the others. They show up and then it’s for me it should be easy at the end [to make a decision]. Until then [the end of the transfer window], we have to make decisions but it’s still wide open, right? It’s closing tomorrow? No, good. 

On Dejan Lovren’s form ahead of Sunday’s World Cup final…

He was a few weeks ago with us in the Champions League final, he was three years ago with us in the Europa League final. He didn’t win that but that makes only 11 players better and in his position then maybe only two. Same in the Champions League game - I didn’t see him play too bad in the Champions League final. For me it’s not a surprise, he played a really good World Cup but doing it more consistently is important. Dejan and me, we will work together for a long time so I have the opportunity to help him in that way.

Watch Liverpool's remaining six pre-season games live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply in the US and Italy)>>>

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Bury 0-0 LFC: Watch action and reaction on LFCTV GO

Sat, 14/07/2018 - 19:45

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Liverpool and Bury played out a goalless draw on Saturday afternoon - and LFCTV GO subscribers can now watch action and reaction on demand.
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'I want to win titles' - Shaqiri's first LFC interview in full

Sat, 14/07/2018 - 00:06

Xherdan Shaqiri is confident Liverpool are primed to achieve success in the coming seasons as he targeted trophies after joining the club on a long-term contract.

The Switzerland attacker completed a medical and agreed a deal to switch to the Reds from Stoke City today, the third new arrival at Anfield this summer.

Soon after, he sat down with Liverpoolfc.com for his first official interview and there was a recurring theme during the chat: his desire to win silverware.

Shaqiri also revealed his long-standing appreciation for Jürgen Klopp as a man and a manager, explained how he crossed paths with new teammate Mohamed Salah six years ago, and imagined the feeling of scoring his first goal in front of the Kop.

Watch the full interview on LFCTV GO now...

Alternatively, read on for a transcript.

Welcome to Liverpool Football Club – how happy are you to have this deal done now?

First of all, thank you. I’m very happy to be here. It’s a huge club with big history, big players and a fantastic coach. So I’m really glad and happy to be here.

You had options this summer, so why is Liverpool the right club for you?

As a player you always want to be on the biggest stage in football. A few years ago I wanted to come too but it didn’t happen. I’m really happy that now I’m finally here. I want to improve myself too, I want to be with the best and I want to win titles. That’s what I’m here for.

Did you always hope it might still happen?

Of course I was disappointed. At that time my old club didn’t want me to go. Now I’m happy to be finally here and I can’t wait to get started.

Jürgen Klopp says this is the perfect place for you to push yourself. Is that part of the reason why you wanted to come here?

I know the coach from Germany, when he was at Dortmund. We played against each other – me with Bayern Munich – and they were always big games. That was a big point for me to come here, because of the coach. I love his football, how he plays and how he manages a team. I was always an admirer of his so I’m happy to reunite with him.

Is it his personality as well as his coaching style that appeals to players?

He’s a big personality. The most important thing is to win games and win competitions. He has the hunger to do that. Since he came here you can see how the team has progressed. They are in the best way to win titles and that’s why I’m here – I want to win titles. I think we can achieve a lot.

You want to improve and he specialises in improving players, so where can you improve?

They had a very good season last season. I was very sad they lost in the Champions League final; that’s football sometimes. I’m looking forward to the new season. I hope we can do it together again and I hope at the end we have some trophies in our hands.

This is the first time you’ve changed clubs within the same country – do you think that will help you hit the ground running?

I played three years at Stoke and I know the league. I’m very happy that I’m here. I’m a player who wants to improve and this is the perfect place for me to help the team and help this club win titles.

Get your new 2018-19 ‘Shaqiri 23’ home, away and third jerseys online now>>

Anfield won’t be new for you as you’ve played there three times before. What impact did it make on you as an opposition player?

It’s an amazing stadium. I played there with Stoke and I knew it before – there’s an amazing atmosphere with amazing fans. I hope I can enjoy it and give them something back with the team. We can give them a lot of happiness and success. We want to win games and be successful. As an opponent it’s always difficult to come into the stadium – I knew it and I know it – so I’m really happy to now be with this family and play against other top teams, good teams, in this stadium and to try to give them good performances.

We’re used to your crossed arms celebration. How do you think it will feel when you do it in front of the Kop for the first time?

I’m sure it will be an amazing feeling when I score my first goal in front of the crowd. I can’t wait to get started.

There’s obviously a lot of competition for places in attack at Liverpool. Do you relish the challenge of getting into the team?

In football there are challenges everywhere. Of course Liverpool have top players, very good players, young players. It’s difficult for everybody. I’m very glad to be here and I believe in myself. The most important thing is to be a team and win as a team. There isn’t only 11 players on the pitch, it’s more than 11 players who win titles. I’m really pleased to be here and I want to show myself.

You know Mohamed Salah a little bit from Basel. What are your memories from the brief time that you spent with each other?

I don’t know him so well but he came for training and a trial when I was at Basel. He came to train two or three times, I trained with him. Then I went to Bayern Munich and he stayed in Basel. I’m happy that I see him here. He had an amazing season last year and I hope he can do it this year too.

As an attacker yourself, how impressed were you by what he did last season?

I’m very happy for him that he had this beautiful season because he is a very nice guy, a good guy. The most important thing is for the club to work and he had an amazing season. Players are always sad when they don’t win trophies but hopefully we can do it this year.

How thrilling was it to watch the way Liverpool played as a neutral last season?

It was amazing football with high intensity in the game. I was always an admirer of Jürgen Klopp so I’m really happy to be here and to be part of this team. I think I will fit perfectly at this football club.

Your objective seems to be clear: you want to win trophies here…

Of course. I want to win titles – that’s my ambition. I already know how to win from Bayern Munich, we won the treble and it was an amazing feeling. I’m confident we can win a lot of titles. The fans deserve to win titles. Hopefully we have a good season and try to be hungry to win titles.

What’s your message to Liverpool fans as you join their club today?

I just want to say I’m really happy to be here. I can’t wait to see the fans. I hope we can have a lot of beautiful moments in the coming years.

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In pictures: Xherdan Shaqiri's journey to Anfield

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 23:52

Take a pictorial look back at Xherdan Shaqiri's career so far with our gallery of the Switzerland international's football journey.

Having built his reputation with FC Basel, the forward spent two-and-a-half years with Bayern Munich, briefly represented Inter Milan and joined Stoke City three seasons ago.

Read our profile on Shaqiri's story to date here and see his evolution in photographs below...

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Shaqiri: I've always admired Klopp - I love his football

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 23:33

Xherdan Shaqiri has achieved a long-held ambition of working with Jürgen Klopp after joining Liverpool from Stoke City.

The Switzerland international became the club’s third new arrival this summer by completing the formalities of a medical and his transfer on Friday.

Shaqiri knew of Klopp’s style long before he took the reins of the Reds – from 2012 he was part of the Bayern Munich team battling with his Borussia Dortmund side in the Bundesliga.

So the opportunity to work with the Liverpool manager, and integrate into his high-intensity football, was one the 26-year-old grasped eagerly.

“I know the coach from Germany, when he was at Dortmund,” Shaqiri told Liverpoolfc.com during his first official interview – which you can watch in full with LFCTV GO above.

“We played against each other – me with Bayern Munich – and they were always big games.

“That was a big point for me to come here, because of the coach. I love his football, how he plays and how he manages a team. I was always an admirer of his so I’m happy to reunite with him.”

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Xherdan Shaqiri arrives at Liverpool for medical

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 13:00

Xherdan Shaqiri has cut short his holiday and has arrived on Merseyside ready for a Liverpool medical, Sky Sports News understands.

Stoke have accepted a bid of just over £13.5m for the forward, after Liverpool met the release clause valuation in Shaqiri's contract.

The Swiss midfielder said it was "no secret" he wished to leave Stoke following their relegation from the Premier League.

His last-minute winner against Serbia sent Switzerland through to the World Cup's round of 16 before their campaign drew to a close with a defeat to Sweden.

Source: Sky Sports

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Xherdan Shaqiri agrees personal terms

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 12:22

Xherdan Shaqiri's medical is underway ahead of completing his £13million move to Liverpool.

The ECHO understands that the Swiss winger flew into Merseyside on Thursday night with personal terms already agreed.

Shaqiri's medical tests started before 9am on Friday and if everything goes to plan there should be an official announcement in the next 24 hours.

He would become Jurgen Klopp's third summer signing following the arrival of Naby Keita and Fabinho.

Liverpool have refused to comment on whether the deal is done but sources have told the ECHO that his release clause following Stoke City's relegation from the Premier League has been triggered.

Reports have varied about the fee involved but the ECHO understands that the figure is £13million.

That represents fine business for Liverpool considering Shaqiri's ability and experience. He will provide quality cover across Klopp's frontline.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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Xherdan Shaqiri cuts holiday short to seal Liverpool move

Fri, 13/07/2018 - 12:05

Xherdan Shaqiri has cut his post-World Cup holiday short to finalise his move to Liverpool.

Shaqiri’s medical at Liverpool is now underway after flying in to Merseyside this morning.

The Switzerland star will become Liverpool’s third summer signing in a deal worth £13.5m.

Shaqiri was eliminated from the World Cup with Switzerland by Sweden in the round of 16 just 10 days ago.

But he has decided to cut his break short in a bid to complete his move to Liverpool.

Shaqiri has been desperate to seal a move back to the top flight after being relegated with Stoke last season.

Stoke are hoping to land Harry Wilson and Sheyi Ojo on loan in return although with Shaqiri having a relegation release clause those deals will not hold up his move.

Liverpool have already signed Fabinho and Naby Keita this summer and will bring Shaqiri in as their third signing.

Shaqiri has been in England since 2015 after joining Stoke from Inter Milan and the 26-year-old has blown hot and cold in the Premier League.

He scored eight Premier League goals last year and delivered seven assists.

He will add competition for Liverpool's attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Source: Daily Express

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Klopp provides LFC squad update for Bury trip

Thu, 12/07/2018 - 19:09

Jürgen Klopp expects to welcome Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk into his available squad for Saturday's pre-season friendly with Bury.

Watch all of Liverpool's pre-season friendlies live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply for USA and Italy)>>

Georginio Wijnaldum, who returned to training on Sunday, must be assessed before the game after missing Thursday morning’s session.

“It’s pre-season so I don’t know exactly who will be ready for Saturday, to be honest,” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com once the workout, the first of two on the day, was complete.

“I hope Joel [can play], it looks like that. Virgil can play. Gini was not in training this morning; that’s pre-season, sometimes they feel a little bit here or a little bit there and the medical department tell me: ‘not today’. I don’t know if he will be in tomorrow, we will know that a little bit later.”

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The trip to Bury marks the Reds’ third outing of the summer after 7-0 and 3-2 victories at Chester FC and Tranmere Rovers respectively since they came back to Melwood on July 2.

Klopp confirmed he is likely to name different teams for each half of the clash with the League Two side, as he did in the previous two matches.

The boss anticipates a good test for Liverpool as they continue to lay the groundwork needed to improve on the level they showed last term.

“It’s still early stages. A lot of teams started only yesterday and we are already eight or nine days in,” he continued.

“We want to use that time, we don’t want to make early tests in the games and say: ‘that’s not enough’. We only want to play as often as possible and work with the results and the performances. As long as it’s fair and they cause us problems, it’s good for us.

“I don’t think Tranmere caused us too many problems, we caused our problems ourselves but that’s part of football as well. It was a nice atmosphere, the pitch was really good. I liked the game.

“Now let’s do the next step. It’s much more important in the pre-season what we do in the sessions. In the games sometimes you see a little bit of it, sometimes not. You need to play football with instinct and we create this kind of instinct again.

“A lot of players will come back now in the next eight or nine days and then we have the next group and we are in America, they’ll then start training and all that stuff. It’s kind of a challenge but it’s the same for all the other teams as well.

“The plan is to be stronger after pre-season than before pre-season, reach the level from last year again and use that as a basis for the next step.”

[embedded content]

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Joel Matip ready for Liverpool return at Bury

Thu, 12/07/2018 - 19:00

Joel Matip is ready to make his return to action in Liverpool’s friendly against Bury.

After his 2017-18 campaign was cut short by a thigh injury sustained in March, the centre-back re-joined his teammates in full training earlier this week.

The Reds will make the short trip to Gigg Lane for the third of their nine pre-season matches on Saturday, with Jürgen Klopp expecting Matip to be available.

And the No.32 himself is keen to get back on the pitch this weekend.

“If the manager decides [I can play] I would be happy. I think I am ready,” Matip told Liverpoolfc.com.

“Of course I am in full training but I think to get the real full fitness everybody needs a bit longer, me especially after a long injury, but we are all on a good way and me as well.

“It’s always different [playing compared to training] and you need this time on the pitch to be ready… I’m looking forward to these pre-season games, to get fit and get back to a good level.”

Matip did plenty of work during the off-season, completing his recovery programme under the guidance of the club’s medical and fitness staff.

“I spent a lot of time over the summer here in Liverpool, at Melwood, to be ready and to get fit,” the 26-year-old said.

“They [the staff] did everything with me. I felt, over the summer, quite good and they did a lot of good things, sometimes not easy, things with me but they helped me a lot, of course.”

'I think I'm ready' - Matip eyeing return to action

The defender was restricted to 35 appearances last term due to his aforementioned thigh problem and a muscular issue suffered in November, but he is aiming to ensure he is available throughout 2018-19 - starting on the opening weekend, when West Ham United visit Anfield.

“Every football player wants to be fit, but especially after a season with a few injuries you want this more,” Matip explained.

“It’s a long way to go [until the West Ham match], but I try to work on my own fitness and to be ready. You need sometimes the ball to get this feeling back, to know how you move again, to get self-confidence in your own movements. 

“This needs some time, but I’m still looking forward to the new steps like playing friendly games. I am quite positive.”

Watch each of LFC’s remaining seven pre-season friendlies live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply for USA and Italy)>>

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