LFC NEWS

“Barnes, Gerrard & Suarez would be unplayable” – Fans name their dream Liverpool 5-a-side teams

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 14/10/2018 - 09:00

Who would make your dream Liverpool five-a-side team? Here, six of This is Anfield’s regular writers explain their selections from both past and present.


Five-a-side is a very different game to the traditional 11-a-side.

It is a test of fitness, finishing—the goalposts are generally tiny—and a willingness to do a stint in goal!

Many a conversation will have taken place regarding what Liverpool’s best possible five-a-side team is, whether it be past or present, so we have spent the international break doing exactly that.

This is Anfield regulars Matt Ladson (@mattladson), Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87), Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_), Karl Matchett (@karlmatchett), James Nalton (@JDNalton) and Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) have all given their ideal lineups from those two categories—whose do you agree with most?

Matt Ladson

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (#11) celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by Jon Super/Propaganda)

Current: Alisson, Gomez, Keita, Firmino, Salah

Ball-playing goalkeepers and defenders are required, as is mobility, pace and non-stop running.

Joe Gomez over Virgil van Dijk is controversial but the younger of the two might be better suited to five-a-side.

Past: Reina, Agger, Gerrard, Suarez, Fowler

Again, it’s a ball-playing ‘keeper and defender—I’m with a diamond shape in each of these.

Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez in the middle, with Robbie Fowler providing the finishing. That’ll do nicely.

Henry Jackson

 Liverpool's Naby Keita during a training session at the Bank of America Stadium ahead of a preseason International Champions Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Current: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Keita, Firmino, Salah

It is a bold move by Ladson to go with Gomez over Van Dijk—I don’t think you need neither, with Trent Alexander-Arnold more than capable back there in this format.

Keita’s mobility will be vital in getting up the pitch, while Roberto Firmino is arguably the perfect five-a-side player. Mohamed Salah would score goals for fun.

They would all interchange well, too, which is essential.

Past: Reina, Mascherano, Barnes, Gerrard, Suarez

Pepe Reina would be great, despite going on the odd mad run like Monk—Jason Statham’s psychotic character in Mean Machine.

Javier Mascherano would mop up everything and John Barnes, Gerrard and Suarez would be unplayable together.

I was going to go with Philippe Coutinho, but there would be too many needless long shots that lead to the ball landing on a faraway roof!

Jack Lusby

 Liverpool's Daniel Agger celebrates scoring the first goal against Hull City during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Current: Alisson, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Sturridge

It’s a shame Alisson would be restricted to the ‘D’ because I think he’d do a decent job as an outfielder in five-a-side, but Van Dijk in front of him isn’t bad either.

Wijnaldum and Firmino are perfect players for this game, while Sturridge edges Salah as he remains the best finisher at the club.

Past: Reina, Agger, Gerrard, Coutinho, Suarez

Staying relatively recent, I’d agree with Matt on Reina and Agger at the back—I’m disappointed to leave Hyypia out but the great Dane was just a better ball-player.

Gerrard and Suarez are no-brainers, while I’d argue Coutinho is too given his creativity, finishing and ability to operate in tight spaces.

Karl Matchett

 Liverpool's Luis Garcia celebrates scoring the opening goal against Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Current: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Salah

No need for beefy, bruising centre-backs in five-a-side, just get the ball down and play it quickly.

Three of the four outfielders will happily slot in for each other in defence, midfield or attack. Just let Salah stick up top and shoot!

Past: Reina, Agger, Garcia, Suarez, Fowler

Only difference to Matt’s team—Luis Garcia for Gerrard—gives me a technical edge in the fast-paced passing on a five-a-side pitch.

I reckon that means I beat him in a tense semi-final.

James Nalton

 Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the second goal from a penalty kick during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and Paris Saint-Germain at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Current: Alisson, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Salah

Two midfielders who can also defend and Firmino to attack, defend and do everything really. Salah to run rings around people in attack.

James Milner would really want to win, even though it’s only five-a-side.

Past: Dudek, Mascherano, Gerrard, Coutinho, Fowler

A smaller, agile ‘keeper for five-a-side nets, two determined all-rounders, a Brazilian guy who was brought up playing futsal and one natural finisher.

Chris Williams

 Liverpool's Sami Hyypia celebrates scoring the second goal during the Premiership against Fulham match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Current: Mignolet, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Firmino, Mane

Give the big Belgian a run-out for two reasons. Firstly, the goals are smaller so he will be more than capable, and secondly, he’s got the Dutch rock in front of him.

A Dutch, Brazilian and Senegalese street-footballing trio lead the midfield and attack. Salah just misses out—he’s a substitute.

Past: Grobbelaar, Hyypia, Dalglish, Gerrard, Suarez

European Cup winning goalkeeper, supported by four other players with a European Cup medal. Easy.

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Henderson defends Nations League

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sun, 14/10/2018 - 01:21
England play Spain in the UEFA Nations League on Monday, live on Sky Sports By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 13/10/18 11:44pm

Jordan Henderson played in England's 0-0 draw against Croatia but misses the Spain game through suspension Jordan Henderson played in England's 0-0 draw against Croatia but misses the Spain game through suspension Jordan Henderson played in England's 0-0 draw against Croatia but misses the Spain game through suspension

Jordan Henderson has insisted the UEFA Nations League is an important competition, despite Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp recently questioning its relevance.

Klopp described it as "the most senseless competition in the world of football" when asked what he thought of the Nations League ahead of the international break.

Henderson played in England's goalless draw behind closed doors in Croatia on Friday night but will miss Monday's match away to Spain - live on Sky Sports - after he picked up a booking in Rijeka.

That may please his club manager, but Henderson defended a competition that is intended to reduce the amount of meaningless friendlies played during international breaks and provide increased opportunities to qualify for major competitions.

Spain vs England

October 15, 2018, 7:00pm

Live on

"As a player, you want to win every game - even if it's a friendly," said Henderson. "When you're a footballer, you play to win.

WATCH: England fans' watch from hillside

England fans give Sky Sports News their account of watching the Three Lions from a hillside next to Stadion HNK Rijeka.

"And for us, it's important because it has an effect on the groups of the Euros and the seeding. It's important for us to win, especially against big nations like Croatia and Spain.

"We want to take the next level, beating teams like that. So, it's a good challenge for us and an important challenge."

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Video: Virgil van Dijk & Gini Wijnaldum both score as Netherlands thrash Germany

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sun, 14/10/2018 - 00:43

Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum were both on the scoresheet as the Netherlands sealed a brilliant 3-0 victory over Germany on Saturday night.

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Two current and two ex-Reds were in action at the Amsterdam ArenA as the vacuous UEFA Nations League continued this weekend, with Ryan Babel and Emre Can also starting.

Van Dijk wore the captain’s armband for Ronald Koeman’s side, with the manager issuing a challenge before the game, explaining he felt the 27-year-old was “a little too laid-back.”

He certainly made a statement on the half-hour, but this came at the other end of the pitch, as he headed home the opener after Babel’s initial effort hit the bar.

This set up a back-and-forth game between the two sides, as Germany pushed for an equaliser and the hosts looked to extend their lead—with both Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay going close.

The former Man United winger eventually added a second in the closing stages, beating Manuel Neuer after some sloppy play in midfield.

Georginio Wijnaldum of Holland during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying match between The Netherlands and Luxembourg at the Kuip on June 9, 2017 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands

And as full-time drew closer, Wijnaldum bamboozled Jerome Boateng, surged into the box and fired a low, powerful shot beyond Bayern Munich’s No. 1 to seal a 3-0 win.

The Netherlands moved to the top of their Nations League group while Germany dropped to bottom, having failed to score in three consecutive games for the first time in their storied history.

Both Van Dijk and Wijnaldum were praised on social media after the game, with the centre-back particularly impressive:

Virgil van Dijk imperious for Netherlands tonight
1 goal
3 interceptions
9 clearances
3 Aerials won
1 tackle
1 blocked shot
89.6% pass accuracy

What a leader! pic.twitter.com/tOwjzHCcxN

— Dutch Football (@FootballOranje_) October 13, 2018

Could watch De Ligt and Van Dijk defend the box and the channels all day. What a partnership, what a foundation #NED have. Plenty to like in Memphis’ performance up front too.

— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) October 13, 2018

Van Dijk – De Ligt, already a top three centre-back duo at national team level. Once you have that core, it's only natural that your team starts getting results.

— Tiago Estêvão (@TiagoEstv) October 13, 2018

Gini Wijnaldum has scored 10 goals for club and country since joining Liverpool. Not a massive haul, but not bad when you consider the keepers he’s beaten…

– Manuel Neuer
– Alisson Becker
– Thibault Courtois
– Petr Cech pic.twitter.com/b1XoVVcL26

— Alex Mansfield (@el_mansfield) October 13, 2018

What a night! Good 3-0 win against Germany?!!! Glad to be on the score sheet ?????? pic.twitter.com/MfS4l7KTVJ

— Georginio Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) October 13, 2018

Speaking before the game, Van Dijk revealed how Jurgen Klopp had urged him to opt out of duty for the Netherlands this month due to his ongoing rib issues.

But he insisted on joining his country, largely due to their rivalry with Germany, and that clearly paid off as he netted his second international goal—both coming since being named captain.

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Injured Salah returns to Liverpool

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 22:20
Salah was injured in Egypt's 4-1 win over Swaziland, having earlier scored directly from a corner By Sky Sports News

Last Updated: 13/10/18 8:31pm

Mohamed Salah was injured playing for Egypt Mohamed Salah was injured playing for Egypt Mohamed Salah was injured playing for Egypt

Mohamed Salah is to return to Liverpool after he suffered a muscle injury while playing for Egypt on Friday night.

The 26-year-old was forced off in the closing stages of Egypt's 4-1 victory over Swaziland in their African Nations Cup qualifier in Cairo, having scored directly from a corner earlier in the game.

Salah was due to travel to Swaziland with his international team-mates for the return fixture but the Pharaohs have now confirmed he will instead head back to Merseyside.

A statement from the Egyptian Football Association read: "Javier Aguirre [Egypt manager] has decided to let Mohamed Salah return to his club and not participate in the Swaziland match on Tuesday to give him more rest.

Salah scored his 38th international goal on the occasion of his 61st cap Salah scored his 38th international goal on the occasion of his 61st cap Salah scored his 38th international goal on the occasion of his 61st cap

"During the previous match against Swaziland, Salah complained of stress in the musculoskeletal muscle.

"He was examined medically and radiation was performed on the area of complaint after the game."

Liverpool's next game is away to Huddersfield on October 20 when the Premier League resumes after the international break.

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Liverpool’s midfield conundrum: Perspiration, inspiration & the ghost of Oxlade-Chamberlain

ThisIsAnfield.com - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 20:00

Richard Jolly explores the need for Liverpool to find an additional attacking element—and explains how Jurgen Klopp is completely aware of the issue.


Bernardo Silva was perfectly positioned to snuff out past danger.

He had dropped deeper than usual, sitting to Fernandinho’s right, preventing the Brazilian from becoming isolated against, and outnumbered by, midfield runners. He was stationed in Liverpool’s inside-left channel.

The Portuguese played very well at Anfield last Sunday. He also seemed primed to stop a man who may not feature again for another 10 months.

He formed a roadblock in the route to goal Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took against Manchester City in January and again in April.

Proactive so often, Pep Guardiola was reactive, getting his gameplan right months late, albeit when Oxlade-Chamberlain was injured and his Champions League hopes had been destroyed.

It was the tactical version of closing the gate after a horse had bolted.

Central surging

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If last week’s stalemate illustrated how Liverpool are missing the Englishman’s dynamism, the drudgery forming a contrast with their spring superiority, it highlighted a wider issue.

It had been obscured amid the strengthening of the spine of the side, the transformation of the defensive record and the winning start to the season, but Liverpool are starting to miss Philippe Coutinho.

Not the Brazilian as such, wonderful a player as he was and terrific as his goalscoring record could be in the major matches, but someone from the midfield who could join the front three, relieve the burden on them and offer a catalytic capacity to make something happen, perhaps out of nothing.

Briefly, brilliantly, Oxlade-Chamberlain did that.

More of an athlete, less of a technician, more likely to catch a team on the counter-attack with raw pace and less likely to find the top corner from 30 yards, he could never be deemed a duplicate of Coutinho.

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against Manchester City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Stylistically, he is more of a Jurgen Klopp player than Liverpool’s record sale. But the common denominator was excellence in the final third.

And the early season emphasis has been on solidity in the centre of the pitch. James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum have been trusted in many of the stiffer tests, starting as a trio against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and then City.

Perspiration vs. Inspiration

Milner has been a magnificent blend of yeoman and star man, possessor of his magnificently improbable record for most Champions League assists in a season and, as the penalty taker, is potentially capable of 10 goals this season.

Yet none of the trio—and certainly not Fabinho either—ranks as the supplementary attacker in the heart of the midfield.

Perhaps Wijnaldum once did, but his days as a No. 10 are in the past. Each offers more perspiration than inspiration.

If players of Coutinho’s talent and skillset are rarities—and his £142 million price shows they are—Liverpool have been aware of the need to compensate for his sale.

The summer interest in Lyon’s Nabil Fekir indicated a willingness to add a replacement as an attacking central midfielder; like Coutinho, the Frenchman may have been a No. 10 by trade who could be rebranded as the more attacking of Klopp’s No. 8s.

NABIL FEKIR during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 game between Lyon and Villareal - First Round (Photo Stephane GUIOCHON/Maxppp/PA Images)

Instead, the quest to replicate aspects of Coutinho’s contribution involves players who are both more different from the departed man and from each other.

The focus on Coutinho, while understandable, obscures the reality that another completed a quartet that, in typically clichéd fashion, was dubbed “the Fab Four.”

Two years ago, before injury derailed his career, Adam Lallana offered support to the front three from the midfield. His focus was on close-combination play in confined areas, but he brought chemistry.

Oxlade-Chamberlain offered energy. What Naby Keita may provide is unpredictability. The Guinean has rarely produced the 90-minute displays that guarantee selection.

 Liverpool's Naby Keita during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

He has been the anti-Milner, the man rarely trusted against elite opposition, so far, but he seems a player designed for the meme era: one capable of producing memorable moments with speed, skill and audacity.

Keita’s explosiveness and ability suggest that he could be the game-changer, allying Oxlade-Chamberlain’s speed with Coutinho’s shooting from distance.

Equally, a return of no goals and no assists in his embryonic Liverpool career shows that remains more of a theory than a reality whereas, in two seasons with Leipzig, he was involved in almost a goal every other Bundesliga match.

Then there is the wild card, tried and discarded despite a seemingly successful cameo. Xherdan Shaqiri was hauled off at half-time against Southampton despite playing pivotal parts in two goals and performing well.

 Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates creating the first goal, an own goal by Wesley Hoedt, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by Jon Super/Propaganda)

The sense was that the Swiss was too attack-minded, that he left Liverpool’s two remaining central midfielders with too much to do, and that 4-2-3-1 does not work in a way that 4-3-3 does.

But his selection was a sign that Klopp is aware of the issue and was exploring options.

A fit-again Lallana or a high-performing Keita would offer enticing ones.

But if the headline news at Anfield has concerned the goal droughts (relatively speaking, anyway) of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, what it should actually have done is underline the importance of having a fourth scorer (besides Daniel Sturridge in reserve).

It is about having an alternative finisher for when the forward trio are below their best or frustrated by obdurate defenders, about emulating Coutinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain, about turning the key three into a feared four.

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Salah returns to Liverpool with injury

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 16:37
Mohamed Salah has returned to Liverpool after he was injured during Egypt's 4-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over eSwatini on Friday.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Salah returns to Liverpool with injury

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 16:37

Mohamed Salah has returned to Liverpool after he was injured during Egypt's 4-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over eSwatini on Friday.

The 26-year-old forward put Egypt 4-0 up shortly before half-time, scoring direct from a corner.

Salah, who scored 44 times for Liverpool last season but is without a goal in his past four club appearances, later limped off with a muscle strain.

The Reds' next game is at Huddersfield on Saturday, 20 October.

Source: BBC

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

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Salah returns to Liverpool with injury

HEAD NEWS - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 16:37

Mohamed Salah has returned to Liverpool after he was injured during Egypt's 4-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win over eSwatini on Friday.

The 26-year-old forward put Egypt 4-0 up shortly before half-time, scoring direct from a corner.

Salah, who scored 44 times for Liverpool last season but is without a goal in his past four club appearances, later limped off with a muscle strain.

The Reds' next game is at Huddersfield on Saturday, 20 October.

Source: BBC

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

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'Gomez is a mini Van Dijk'

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 14:40
By Richard Cooke

Last Updated: 13/10/18 5:22pm

Joe Gomez has helped Liverpool concede just three goals in the Premier League this season Joe Gomez has helped Liverpool concede just three goals in the Premier League this season Joe Gomez has helped Liverpool concede just three goals in the Premier League this season

Trent Alexander-Arnold believes Joe Gomez is one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and has described him as "a mini Virgil van Dijk".

Gomez has impressed for Liverpool this season after missing out on the Champions League final and England's World Cup campaign with an ankle injury.

He has played in 10 of Liverpool's 11 games this season and helped Jurgen Klopp's side establish themselves in the top four of the Premier League.

The 21-year-old has mainly been deployed at centre-back alongside Van Dijk and his contributions have not got gone unnoticed by Alexander-Arnold.

"He [Gomez] is showing this season he is a top player," Alexander-Arnold told Liverpool's official website.

"At a young age, he's one of the best in his position in the league. That takes some doing, so that's credit to him especially with the setbacks he has had.

Virgil van Dijk is a role model to Gomez, says Trent Alexander-Arnold Virgil van Dijk is a role model to Gomez, says Trent Alexander-Arnold Virgil van Dijk is a role model to Gomez, says Trent Alexander-Arnold

"He has an immense hunger and drive to keep succeeding, going forward and getting better. You see that every day in training with the way he applies himself.

"The relationship he has forged with Virgil has really helped him. He probably looks up to Virgil as a bit of a role model. It's like he's a mini Virgil at times!"

Gomez's form has helped Liverpool to the joint-best defensive record in the Premier League this season, with Jurgen Klopp's side conceding three times in eight matches.

"There's probably a bit more of a difference from last season in terms of how we're defensively organised," Alexander-Arnold added.

"We're not conceding as many goals and we're still getting results, sometimes grinding them out.

"A win is a win at the end of the day and we've shown this year we can win in different ways."

Alisson has been in fine form for Liverpool since joining from Roma Alisson has been in fine form for Liverpool since joining from Roma Alisson has been in fine form for Liverpool since joining from Roma

Alexander-Arnold also singled out Alisson, who became the world's most expensive goalkeeper in the summer - before Chelsea signed Kepa Arrizabalaga, as another reason why Liverpool have made such a strong start to the season.

"The messages the manager gives us and the way we defend as a team is front-footed," he said.

"We don't want to concede too many chances and we haven't so far this season, but when the 'keeper has been called upon, Alisson has made some world-class saves and shown he is a world-class 'keeper."

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Jürgen Klopp: Shared experiences key to our development

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 12:30
Jürgen Klopp believes the ‘common experiences’ Liverpool have shared over the course of his three-year tenure have been a fundamental factor in their progression.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen Klopp: Shared experiences key to our development

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 12:30

Jürgen Klopp believes the ‘common experiences’ Liverpool have shared over the course of his three-year tenure have been a fundamental factor in their progression.

The manager feels the collective highs and lows the team have felt have contributed significantly to the Reds’ development into a side challenging for honours both domestically and in Europe. 

“For getting more confident, you need results on the way there and we had them,” Klopp told JOE. “That has made us stronger today.

“We have brought in new players, but they alone cannot change everything. We all need to remember this.

“I know what people think about Virgil van Dijk - he is a fantastic boy and a world-class player, but he did not sort our defensive problems on his own. Football does not work like that.

“Just like how Alisson cannot keep 500 clean sheets in a row by himself. The game does not make that possible.

“We have developed, kept the majority of the team together and made a few, strong adjustments.

“Our process has been step-by-step. You cannot give everyone a book, where you write all your requirements down and players read it and immediately understand it.

“You have to feel it you, have to do it plenty of time over and over on the training ground and you have to get used to it.

“In the moment, we have a really good football team.”

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Watch: All the goals so far in 2018-19...

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 11:46
Liverpool’s duties are currently on pause due to the international break, but you can still get your Reds fix by enjoying all of our goals so far this season in one 60-second clip.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch: All the goals so far in 2018-19...

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 11:46

Liverpool’s duties are currently on pause due to the international break, but you can still get your Reds fix by enjoying all of our goals so far this season in one 60-second clip.

Jürgen Klopp’s side have struck 19 times in 11 games in all competitions – and we’ve put them all back-to-back for you to relive in the video below.

And though the season may still be in its infancy, there’s already a handful of crackers to savour from the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino.

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Van Dijk on LFC's remarkable Anfield defensive record

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 10:30
A total of 841 minutes of Premier League football has been played at Anfield since Liverpool conceded a goal to the opposition.
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Internationals: Lovren and Henderson in Nations League draw

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 00:00
Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson went head-to-head on Friday night as Croatia and England played out a goalless draw in the UEFA Nations League clash in Rijeka.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Internationals: Lovren and Henderson in Nations League draw

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 13/10/2018 - 00:00

Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson went head-to-head on Friday night as Croatia and England played out a goalless draw in the UEFA Nations League clash in Rijeka.

In a re-run of the World Cup semi-final, there was nothing to separate the teams, with the game played behind closed doors.

Henderson picked up a first-half booking, which rules him out of the Three Lions’ meeting with Spain on Monday. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez remained on the bench for England.

Elsewhere, Xherdan Shaqiri’s Switzerland went down to a late 2-1 defeat to Belgium in Brussels, with Simon Mignolet a substitute for the hosts.

Fabinho completed 90 minutes for Brazil in their 2-0 international friendly victory in Saudi Arabia, with Alisson Becker and Roberto Firmino unused subs.

In Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, Mohamed Salah scored direct from a corner as Egypt beat Swaziland 4-1 in Cairo, though left the field shortly before the end of the contest with what appeared to be a knock, while Naby Keita won a first-half penalty to help Guinea to a 2-0 victory over Rwanda.

Kamil Grabara kept goal for Poland U21s in their 1-1 draw away to Denmark in UEFA Euro U21 Championships qualifying.

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Mohamed Salah scores from a corner, then limps off injured

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 12/10/2018 - 23:44

Mohamed Salah scored directly from a corner for Egypt on Friday night, then limped off with a muscle injury in the final stages of their match against Swaziland.


Egypt ran out comfortable winners, 4-1, with Salah’s 45th-minute goal the undoubted highlight.

But Liverpool’s talisman later looked to have picked up a muscle injury, possibly his groin, and was eventually subbed in stoppage time.

What was frustrating was how long he remained on the pitch despite Egypt being comfortably ahead.

After the match, Egypt’s assistant coach said the injury was a muscle strain and the player will undergo medical tests.

Liverpool will surely want those tests to take place back at Melwood, rather than remaining with the international setup.

Mohamed Salah scores from a corner-kick like a Pharaoh
Amazing goal
https://t.co/BPeJtk0nTE

— Hady Of Egypt ?????? (@hadyelmedany) October 12, 2018

Egypt play in Swaziland on Tuesday in another Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.

In April, Salah picked up a groin injury against Man City in the Champions League, undergoing a scan before missing the Merseyside derby – a game where Jurgen Klopp rotated his squad anyway – and then returned for the away leg against City the following week.

Groin injuries can, in some instances, mean up to four weeks on the sidelines.

Elsewhere, there was better news as Naby Keita appeared for Guinea. The midfielder had trained alone earlier in the week, leading to speculation he may be suffering with an injury.

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Salah injured after scoring from corner

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 12/10/2018 - 22:29
Salah suffers "muscular injury" but Egypt hopeful its not serious By Matthew Treadwell

Last Updated: 12/10/18 9:28pm

Mohamed Salah scored directly from a corner in Egypt's 4-1 win over Swaziland Mohamed Salah scored directly from a corner in Egypt's 4-1 win over Swaziland Mohamed Salah scored directly from a corner in Egypt's 4-1 win over Swaziland

Mohamed Salah scored directly from a corner before being forced off with a muscle injury in the closing stages of Egypt's 4-1 win over Swaziland on Friday night.

Salah has struggled for goals at Liverpool this season having won the Golden Boot with 32 Premier League goals in the 2017/18 campaign, and has failed to find the target in his last four games for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Liverpool fans may take heart from the fact he at least found the net in the Africa Cup of Nations Group J qualifying match at the Al-Salam Stadium in Cairo, albeit in a match against a side ranked 136th in the world by FIFA.

Taking an inswinging corner from the right-hand side, Salah produced an audacious effort which caught out the Swaziland goalkeeper and nestled in the goal.

But there were concerning signs for Liverpool with Salah in heavy strapping at the end of the match, the forward briefly returning to action after treatment before being substituted a minute into stoppage time.

2:59 Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League. Highlights from Liverpool's goalless draw against Manchester City in the Premier League.

Egypt are next in action on Tuesday in the return match at the Mavuso Sports Centre in Manzini and Pharaohs' assistant manager Hany Ramzy was hopeful Salah's injury was not too serious.

"[The] initial diagnosis of the medical staff of [the] Egypt national team is that Salah suffered a muscular injury," Ramzy told BeIN Sports.

"He will be examined to determine the details, but in my opinion it is not serious."

Liverpool's next game is away to Huddersfield on October 20 when the Premier League resumes after the international break.

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Adam Lallana returns, but can he be relied on? – Expert injury analysis

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 12/10/2018 - 20:00

Adam Lallana is back in full training after his 11th injury since joining Liverpool, but it will be difficult to return to a regular role, as explained by our injury expert here.


EXCLUSIVE FOR THIS IS ANFIELD
Dr. Rajpal Brar, DPT of Injury Insight

The 30-year-old midfielder has been cleared to play against Huddersfield after missing Liverpool’s first seven league games with a groin injury, but the pressing question remains – can he actually stay on the pitch and become a reliable option for some much-needed midfield depth?

Suffice to say, it’s going to be an uphill battle due to his extensive injury history:


Credit – Transfermarkt.com

What really alarms me is the series of repeat soft tissue injuries that he’s suffered from the 2016 season onwards – missing a combined total of eight months and nearly 50 games with recurring hamstring and groin injuries.

To understand why hamstring and groin injuries are so problematic for footballers, let’s take a closer look at each:

 

I. The Hamstrings

The hamstrings are constantly stressed in a football match, for two specific reasons:

A. Deceleration

The hamstrings decelerate (“brake”) the front (swing) leg on every forward stride to create a stable base of support for the next stride:

This happens on every single stride.

Additionally, whenever Lallana wants to decelerate and slow down, the hamstrings forcefully activate to slow down the legs and decrease the pace. The faster he’s running the more stress there is on the hamstrings to accomplish that task.

It’s no coincidence most hamstring injuries occur during high-speed deceleration (see here, here, and here for more info).

To complete these deceleration tasks, the hamstrings contract while lengthening, otherwise known as an “eccentric contraction.” This is in contrast to a “concentric contraction” which is when a muscle contracts while shortening. I created the following visual, using the example of a biceps curl, to illustrate the difference:

An eccentric contraction is significantly more stressful on the muscle. In fact, the soreness you feel after a workout is more often than not due to the eccentric portion of the weight-lifting.

Further, the hamstring decelerates (“brake”) the lower leg during the follow-through phase of the kicking motion which adds even more stress:

 Liverpool's Steven Gerrard scores the winning goal, and his side's third, against Olympiakos during the UEFA Champions League Group A match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Proparganda)

The second reason why football puts significant stress on the hamstrings is:

B. Combined Hip Flexion and Knee Extension

Combined forceful hip flexion and knee extension during any movement puts additional stress on the hamstring:

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana and Swansea City's Wayne Routledge during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sports that involve this combined movement have a higher prevalence of hamstring injuries (see here, here, and here for more info). Obviously, football is one of those.

Lallana will be constantly asked to do both of these things. Additionally, he has some major risk factors for hamstring re-injury:

1 – The most reliable risk factor, by far, for future hamstring injury is a previous hamstring injury. Research shows that players with a previous hamstring injury are two to six times more likely to have another strain.

Further, most of these re-injuries happen within the first two months after returning, with increased risk thereafter.

Some studies have shown that the risk for re-injuring a hamstring is three times higher than a non-injured player for up to a year after the initial strain.

Lallana has an extensive history of hamstring problems and he’s definitely still inside that one year window of increased injury risk (his last official hamstring strain was March 2018).

2 – A second risk factor for Lallana is age (he’s 30). According to multiple studies, the older you get, the more likely you are to injure a hamstring. Specifically, athletes 23 and older are up to 3.9 times more likely to injure a hamstring and athletes 25 and older are up to 4.4 times more likely.

Generally, the overall risk for hamstring injury increases by nearly 30% every year after the start of a professional football career.

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana during a training session at the Mong Kok Stadium during the Premier League Asia Trophy 2017. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

3 – Running quantity has been linked to increased hamstring injuries. In Jurgen Klopp’s system, that emphasises closing down space quickly via a constant press, there’s certainly a lot of running required.

Additionally, this can lead to fatigue which (can you guess what’s coming?) has also been linked to an increased risk for hamstring injury – potentially due to decreased hamstring torque and/or strength deficits as fatigue sets in.

For all these reasons, we still have to be weary of Lallana re-injuring a hamstring. However, the more immediate concern is the injury that has kept him out thus far this season…

 

II. The Groin Strain

“Groin” is a nebulous term, but for footballers it often refers to the strain of the adductors (a group of five muscles) or illiopsoas (a group of two) muscles. Both of which are near the groin region:

Like the hamstrings, these muscles are also constantly put under stress in a football match. They have to activate during running, any kicking motion, acceleration/deceleration, twisting, and any lateral movement. For these reasons, groin strains are among the most common injuries in adult male footballers, accounting for nearly 11 to 16% of all football injuries.

Additionally, the higher the competition level (and therefore match intensity) the more stress on the muscles. It’s no coincidence a higher rate of groin strains occur at the highest levels of football competition and can lead to a vicious cycle of constantly recurring groin strains.

Furthermore, like the hamstrings, Lallana also has several risk factor for re-injuring the groin:

1 – Again, the highest risk of groin re-injury is a previous groin injury. The research shows that Lallana is at seven times greater risk of re-injuring the groin compared to a non-injured player.

2 – Age is also again a risk factor. With groin injuries, age-related changes result in the tissue being less elastic and less able to absorb force which results in a higher injury risk.

In addition to specific hamstring and groin risk re-injury risk factors, there’s one last thing we have to consider in determining Lallana’s viability going forward:

 

III. The Kinetic Chain

The human body is a series of interdependent parts, with each part relying on the others to distribute stress – like links in a chain.


Credit – Kinetica

When one part of that chain is injured, the rest have to compensate and take on additional work. It’s like being in a group project when no one else pulls their weight.

An extensive injury history, like Lallana’s, can change movemnts mechanics and lead to compensations throughout that chain. In turn, certain muscles can take on too much stress & become overloaded. To that point, the research shows that both hamstring and groin injury risk is increased when other muscles in the lower leg are injured. It’s yet another risk factor for the former Southampton player.

 

IV. All in All

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Swansea City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

I know this piece may seem like a Debbie Downer. However, I want to make clear that these risks are inherent for any ageing footballer who has an extensive soft tissue injury history and will be playing in a high work rate, press system. But they are not certainties.

If Lallana is re-introduced gradually – which I fully expect to be the case, Klopp ain’t no fool – and works extremely diligently on his fitness and ongoing prevention, there’s the potential for him to become a valuable contributor in the depleted midfield.

Does that mean he’ll be playing a 90-minute role? Highly doubtful. But there’s a chance he can return to being a good rotation player for the team.

Irrespective of everything else, I’ve seen first-hand how repetitive, nagging injuries can negatively affect a player’s mental state so on that basis alone, I hope he’s through the worst of them.

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Liverpool’s New Year showdown with Man City among 7 fixture changes for Reds

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 12/10/2018 - 19:07

Liverpool’s New Year match against Manchester City is among seven games being rescheduled for TV coverage in December and January.


The Reds’ trip to face last season’s title winners will now take place on Thursday, January 3 at 8pm.

That means there will be no game for Liverpool on New Year’s Day, or indeed on New Year’s Eve – as there was when the two sides faced each other at Anfield two years ago.

Liverpool’s final game of 2018 will be at home to Arsenal on December 29, 5.30pm kick off.

City play at Southampton on the 30th, meaning they will have a day less until Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola’s sides face off again.

The Boxing Day fixture against Newcastle at Anfield will not be shown on TV, and will remain as a 3pm kick off.

The Merseyside derby is among the other changes, moved to Sunday December 2 with a 4.15pm kick off.

The Reds’ home game against Manchester United will be a 4pm kick off a fortnight later on December 16.

Games against Burnley and Bournemouth will also be shown live on UK TV, with the trip to the south coast taking place at 12.30pm meaning an early morning for supporters heading to Dean Court.

 Liverpool's Andy Robertson and Everton's Yannick Bolasie during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Everton FC, the 230th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 

Liverpool’s Festive Fixtures
  • Everton (H) Sun 2 Dec, 4.15pm
    • Burnley (A) Wed 5 Dec, 7.45pm
      • Bournemouth (A) Sat 8 Dec, 12.30pm
        • Napoli (H) Tue 11 Dec, 8pm
          • Man United (H) Sun 16 Dec, 4pm
            • Wolves (A) Fri 21 Dec, 8pm
              • Newcastle (H) Wed 26 Dec, 3pm

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