LFC NEWS

Liverpool v Brentford team news

LiverpoolFC.TV - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 09:13

Jürgen Klopp expects to have the same group of players available when Liverpool face Brentford at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

Virgil van DijkAndy Robertson and James Milner suffered knocks in the goalless Carabao Cup draw with Arsenal on Thursday, but are expected to be fit for the Premier League clash. 

Divock Origi continues to make encouraging progress with his recovery from injury, though the 2pm GMT kick-off will come too soon for him.

Offering a fitness update at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp said: "We got knocks last night: Robbo got a knock, Virg got a knock, Millie got a knock, but last night directly after the game, the medical department told me all will be fine, but there is a night between then and now so we will see that.

"But no 'injuries' so far, so it means same squad available like for the game last night."

On Origi, he added: "Yesterday he was outside running and looked really good, so I think he will not be too far away."

Mohamed SalahSadio Mane and Naby Keita remain unavailable for the Reds due to their participation in the Africa Cup of Nations. Brentford's Frank Onyeka is also at the tournament with Nigeria.

Bees boss Thomas Frank is optimistic about having Rico Henry and former Liverpool youngster Sergi Canos available for selection. 

But Josh DasilvaDavid RayaCharlie Goode and Mathias Jorgensen are ruled out.

Frank told reporters: "Yes, Sergi should be available. He trained today so that was positive.

"I think unless someone maybe cut his leg off, he would do everything to be ready for this game. But to be fair, all the players want to be available for a game like this.

"It is the first time we are going to Anfield and we all know that is one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world.

"We are all looking forward to that and we want to go there and express ourselves and attack, but we want it to be a fun and good experience at both two o'clock and also at four o'clock."

Last match

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal (January 13): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Minamino, Jota, Firmino.

Southampton 4-1 Brentford (January 11): Fernandez, Pinnock, Jansson, Ajer, Roerslev, Canos, Janelt, Baptiste, Norgaard, Toney, Mbeumo.

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Liverpool v Brentford team news

LiverpoolFC TV - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 09:13
Jürgen Klopp expects to have the same group of players available when Liverpool face Brentford at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Explained: Why teams rarely press Liverpool and Manchester City

the Athletic - Sat, 01/15/2022 - 05:14
If you read The Athletic’s slightly mad attempt to break down European football into Five Kingdoms last week, you would have noticed all sorts of interesting little snippets.

For starters, Graham Potter really should be in contention for a big job soon.

But there was a little bit about Manchester City and Liverpool that highlights just how difficult it is to play against them these days, but also how our ideas of what pressing is can be confused sometimes.

“The most noteworthy thing on the defence-against side is how incredibly hard it is to press Manchester City and Liverpool — or more likely how rare it is for opponents to even try,” our man John Muller wrote.

The graphic below shows what Premier League teams do in defensive situations, and what their opponents do against them. Basically, teams that score highest on a given stat go to the right of the white dotted line and the lowest to the left.

When looking at what teams do against City and Liverpool, you’ll usually see their crests to the far left of the line, which means teams generally don’t or can’t do a certain thing against them.

The pressing data comes from Statsbomb, published on FBref, and basically describes high pressing: how often a defender closes down the ball-carrier outside their defensive third. The formula is pressures and tackles per 100 attempted passes against (and that denominator is important because more pass attempts against means more opportunity to close down).

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Oxlade-Chamberlain in “good moment” and “we’ll see that in next few weeks” – Klopp

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 22:30

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was only able to attempt to change matters off the bench against Arsenal with just 15 minutes remaining, but Jurgen Klopp says his time will come.

Many were surprised to see Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and James Milner start in midfield once more after the topsy-turvy display at Stamford Bridge to start the year.

And concerns were validated as the trio struggled to create, with the captain and vice-captain notably struggling to recycle possession and keep matters moving to break down the low block.

Many had anticipated one of Curtis Jones or Oxlade-Chamberlain to provide that spark from the off but they were tasked with doing so off the bench late on.

They each showed flashes but it was a matter of too little too late and when asked about the No. 15 and his future and run of games, Klopp provided an interesting response to say the least.

“I’m very happy with Ox but I know he was disappointed [at not starting vs. Arsenal]. I get it, I 100 percent would’ve been,” Klopp told reporters.

“The thing is that in the situation we are in we had to think how we start and how can we change.

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The game then develops slightly different to how we expected. Ox could’ve started, he’s in good shape and in a really good moment.

“For me, it was about starting how we started and then we have Curtis and Oxlade, two offensive options, whenever we use them.

“And that’s it. I’m absolutely happy with Ox, he’s in a really good moment and we will see that in the next few weeks.”

It’s well and good having that offensive option on the bench, but starting with one would have been significantly advantageous at Anfield and in the knowledge that the Reds were already without two of their deadliest weapons.

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Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 24 appearances so far this season amounting to 1175 minutes and has visibly thrived when handed a run of games, which hasn’t been forthcoming since November.

The 28-year-old’s contract expires in 2023 and a decisive summer lay in wait, but first he looks to have a chance to show that he truly is in “a really good moment.”

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Liverpool FC’s long-term plan: What comes next?

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 19:00
When referee Michael Oliver signalled for full-time on Thursday evening, his whistle came as a relief not just for 10-man Arsenal but a beleaguered Liverpool who were by then going through the motions.

Short on energy and invention, the reds toiled badly in a forgettable League Cup semi-final stalemate.

In fairness, there was some mitigation.

Fears COVID had swept through the squad ultimately proved unfounded but a handful of positive cases appear to have had a negative effect on those returning to action. Certainly, Jurgen Klopp feels as much.

He was also at pains to stress any side losing two first choice attackers to a mid-season international tournament would suffer the consequences.

That second point sticks in the craw for it points to a lack of long-term planning, something Liverpool can definitely be accused of in recent years.

Ageing Squad

 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita, captain Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s is now an ageing squad in need of a refresh. Yet, as with the spectre of AFCON, that hasn’t triggered any obvious response.

In many ways, the manager’s own future is central to this.

For some time we’ve been told the German will leave Liverpool at the end of his current contract, which runs to 2024. While those behind the scenes will surely have broached the idea of an extension there currently appears little prospect of one.

The danger is that leads to a subsequent malaise.

While Liverpool will always have a pull in the transfer market, the fact is Klopp himself has made us a more attractive proposition.

Top players are drawn by his infectious personality and playing style, not to mention his penchant for improving individuals. They want to sample some of that mystique themselves. Thiago was a case in point.

But anyone Liverpool are currently targeting will be all too aware of the German’s own exit strategy. Negotiations will likely begin with them asking whether the manager himself will be sticking around.

It’s clarification the club themselves could badly do with.

Jurgen Klopp interview with This Is Anfield

Klopp built an all-conquering team over several years but many of its lynchpins will have peaked by the time he departs. Indeed, his own exit will surely coincide with many of theirs.

His captain will be 33.

His defensive colossus will be 32.

His fabled front three will each be 31, assuming all remain at the club.

Andrew Robertson, Fabinho and Alisson will also be in their 30s.

In other words, a sizable rebuild is required, something Alex Ferguson mastered on three separate occasions.

This won’t come as a surprise to anybody within the corridors of Liverpool but there is a sense those running the club are hoping to convince Klopp to oversee that second cycle. With sporting director Michael Edwards also stepping down, they’ll crave some (any) continuity.

In the meantime however, they risk things drifting.

Lack of Intensity

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (R) and Virgil van Dijk during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Leicester City FC and Liverpool FC at the King Power Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As with all things Liverpool, perspective is needed.

The Reds are currently third in the Premier League, into the last 16 of the Champions League and still have a shot at making the League Cup final. A home draw to Arsenal is hardly a crisis.

Yet there are tell-tale signs of a drop in intensity.

Jordan Henderson has laboured for a month or more, having been in exceptional in the run-up to Christmas. The skipper may be carrying a knock – or simply running on empty given the demands placed on him.

Likewise the last few weeks have resembled a tipping point for James Milner. A Liverpool legend, who remains a great presence within the squad, he should not be starting must-win games at the age of 36.

That he is, points to a lack of depth, or at least a lack of trust in alternative options.

It’s long been said Liverpool’s first-choice XI can compete with anyone. Their backup options though pale in comparison to the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea. Case in point: they failed to muster a meaningful effort on Thursday.

Quiet Transfer Windows

The harsh reality is this playing squad needs a revamp. Moreover Liverpool can ill afford to wait a further two years to begin one.

As counter arguments go, the ownership will undoubtedly point to the emergence of Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot and Kaide Gordon, all be primed to make the next step in their careers. Not forgetting Ibrahima Konate – the club’s only summer purchase – who could very well feature for the next decade.

But to think they are enough is short-sighted in the extreme.

Blooding youngsters and buying potential is admirable but Liverpool were only truly transformed from challengers to winners when supplementing that with proven quality, namely Van Dijk and Alisson.

Contract renewals are all well and good but there are legitimate concerns about a lack of actual signings in recent windows. Indeed there was simply an acceptance January would bring no incomings, despite AFCON depriving us of three key players. Is that right?

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah prepares to take a penalty kick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sooner or later Liverpool – or rather Fenway Sports Group – will have to dip into the transfer market. The longer they leave it, the more work they’ll have to do in bulk. Julian Ward’s job will also be made that bit harder.

Their lack of action and indeed communication on this front is worrying.

We can only hope there is some kind of long-term plan, one not bankrolled by the sale of a certain Egyptian.

If there isn’t we risk the Klopp era, defined by exhilarating football and incredible highs, actually petering out.

That won’t be fair to him, nor any successor… already faced with an impossible task.

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Double Origi update & Klopp cautions semi-final overreaction – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 17:59

Liverpool didn’t have a great night against Arsenal but Jurgen Klopp isn’t losing the faith and is keeping perspective as we head into the weekend.

Origi back soon – but Inter links surface

Transfer details first, perhaps. Apparently he’s one of two forwards who have been offered to Inter Milan in this window, with the other being Andrea Belotti.

Div has been linked with Italian sides already but nothing much has come of it – and Inter do have four forwards already.

Maybe more importantly, Klopp says he’s “not too far” away from a return from injury for the Reds.

Given our lack of forwards, scoring options or general goal threat…a bit more competition and more options certainly can’t hurt.

Arsenal adventures

 Liverpool's Joel Matip shoots during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Latest Liverpool FC news

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Latest Premier League chat

 Belgium's Youri Tielemans during the UEFA Nations League Group Stage League A Group 2 match between England and Belgium at Den Dreef. Belgium won 2-0. (Pic by Jeroen Meuwsen/Orange Pictures via Propaganda)

  • Donny van de Beek has been offered to Borussia Dortmund, which is a pretty weird way to affirm the manager saying he wanted him to stay
  • Tanguy Ndombele is close to a move to Juventus, what with the great history that north London midfielders have with a move to that club – Aaron Ramsey says hey
  • Youri Tielemans is on a seven-man shortlist for Arsenal this summer. Good to have nice names at the top of the list so that when you end up with Sean Longstaff, you can say to the fans “well look, we tried…”
Tweet of the day and match of the night

Yeah the game wasn’t great but watching Joel do bits was!

Matip repeatedly doing what Liverpool midfielders should be doing. Driving at players, forward passing, offensive dribbling, playing 1-2s and generally inventive use of the ball. So classy.

— Red (@TaintlessRed) January 13, 2022

Tonight’s late fixture sees Palace and Brighton face off in the game that Sky keep calling a derby and the fans keep getting annoyed about the fact it’s not one.

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Liverpool vs Brentford preview: Canos set for Bees return

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 16:30

Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Liverpool vs Brentford in the Premier League on Sunday; kick-off 2pm.

Team news

Liverpool striker Divock Origi has returned to light training but is not in contention for Sunday's visit of Brentford. The Belgium international has been out for five weeks with a knee injury but is closing in on a return.

Jurgen Klopp will select from the same squad which failed to score against 10-man Arsenal in Thursday's goalless Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.

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A look at some of the key statistics ahead of Matchweek 22 in the Premier League

Brentford's Sergi Canos will be fit to face his former club after a recent hamstring issue, and fellow wing-back Rico Henry could also return on the opposite left flank.

Henry has not played since December 22 due to a thigh injury but Brentford remain without a handful of other key personnel.

Goalkeeper David Raya (knee), Charlie Goode (hamstring), Mathias Jorgensen (thigh), Julian Jeanvier (knee) and Josh Dasilva (hip) remain on the treatment table, while Frank Onyeka is away with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.

How to follow

Follow Liverpool vs Brentford in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after full-time.

Last time out...

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea's draw against Liverpool in the Premier League

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton's 4-1 win against Brentford in the Premier League Opta stats
  • This is the first time Liverpool are hosting Brentford in any competition since March 1989, a 4-0 win in an FA Cup quarter-final tie. They last hosted the Bees in a league match back in October 1946, winning 1-0.
  • Brentford have lost their last five away games against Liverpool in all competitions by an aggregate score of 12-1, with their last win against the Reds at Anfield coming back in November 1937 (4-3).
  • Only one of the last 17 teams playing at Anfield in the Premier League for the first time have won (D5 L11), with Blackpool winning 2-1 in October 2010. 12 of those sides have failed to score, including each of the last three: Bournemouth (0-1), Huddersfield (0-3) and Brighton (0-4).
  • Following a six-game winning run in November/December, Liverpool are winless in their last three Premier League games (D2 L1), giving away a lead in both of those draws. However, at home the Reds are unbeaten in 13 in the Premier League (W9 D4), winning each of the last four in a row.
  • Liverpool have lost their first home league game in just one of the last 16 calendar years (W9 D6), going down 3-2 against Swansea City in 2017.
  • Half of Liverpool's Premier League draws (3/6), defeats (1/2) and goals conceded (9/18) have come in games played on Sundays this season, despite the Reds playing just six of their 20 games so far on this day.
Premier League Preview: Will Spurs or Arsenal win north London derby? | Chelsea's last chance at Man City | Bowen's brilliance at West Ham

In the latest Essential Football Podcast, host Alice Piper is joined by Nick Wright, Charlotte Marsh, and Peter Smith to preview this weekend's Premier League action. Plus we hear from Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith ahead of the north London derby.

PART ONE | Alan Smith delivers his north London derby verdict ahead of Arsenal's trip to Tottenham and explains why the midfield battle will be key after the Gunners' tiring battle with 10 men at Liverpool on Thursday.

PART TWO | It's first vs second in the Premier League on Saturday when Manchester City host Chelsea. Is this the London club's last chance to stay in touch with leaders City? And could a win for Thomas Tuchel's side open the door for Liverpool, too? Plus we look ahead to Philippe Coutinho's Aston Villa debut, with Steven Gerrard's men facing an out-of-sorts Man Utd for the second time in a week.

PART THREE | Jarrod Bowen is in fine form and we take a look at the numbers behind his recent purple patch and discuss how it is driving West Ham back into the top-four race after their dip in December. Ahead of their match with Leeds we also examine how injuries have made life tough for Marcelo Bielsa this season. And finally, will Brighton or Crystal Palace come out on top in their rivalry showdown on Friday night?

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Frustration simmers for Liverpool but situation far from irredeemable

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 16:00
Nobody does “it’s the end of the world as we know it” rhetoric quite like we do. As Liverpool supporters, we are notoriously all or nothing – or at least the most visible and vocal of us are.

Thursday night’s result and performance has provoked a significant amount of ire, in many respects a surprising amount considering it was in a competition that not many cared about a few weeks back.

All Liverpool games matter, of course, but it works on a sliding scale. We tend to prioritise; we look at a cluster of games and do a form of footballing triage. Even if it is only in a subconscious manner, if we have four games to play within 11 days we will grade them in order of importance.

Rightly or wrongly, it is quite a few years now since the League Cup was deemed worthy of provoking heightened emotions and much in the way of angst. Even in the comeback win over Leicester in the quarter-final the entertainment gleaned lay more within slapping down pantomime Tory opponents than it was reaching the last four of the competition for the 18th time.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Against Arsenal, in the first leg of the semi-final, a game that was originally to be the second leg, Jurgen Klopp’s men could not muster the goals which were fully expected of them after Granit Xhaka was sent off midway through the first half.

This was Liverpool up against opponents they had beaten 4-0 in the Premier League just two months ago on the very same patch of rectangular Merseyside grass; this was a Liverpool with as strong a line-up as they could currently select, give or take a Curtis Jones or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for a James Milner.

Klopp went as big as he could with his starting line-up and expectations were high, if offset by the concept that if we were to prosper then plan A had to succeed as plan B looked a little tepid.

Looking at the 11 names on the Liverpool team-sheet, suddenly, the League Cup felt like serious business rather than the fun, throw away games of previous rounds when whacked out combinations of experience and inexperience had hypnotically pulled together to produce something beautiful and wild.

 Liverpool's Diogo Jota is fouled by Arsenal's Granit Xhaka, who was shown a red card and sent off for the challenge, during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Provoked by a wave of Covid having swept through his squad, this was a change in tactics from Klopp. Nobody really needed resting, so why not go all in?

It was as if we had reached the semi-final of the League Cup without systematically putting our mind to the task. We had freestyled our way to within touching distance of Wembley and now had a simple two-legged encounter against opposition we have long had the measure of, all aided by the bonus of many players being able to take a free swing at the game given that they had previously been isolating.

We even made a fast start and applied plenty of pressure until Xhaka gave Arsenal a route into the game by getting himself sent off. Frustration kicked in as Arsenal dug deep.

Yet, even with ten men, Mikel Arteta still went with a formation that should have played into Liverpool’s hands. Unfortunately, we went from hustlers when up against 11 Arsenal players to labourers against ten. All very good at keep-ball, we combined this with being ineffectual in the final third.

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino looks dejected after missing a chance during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A malaise that was contagious, one-by-one focus and momentum was lost until a late fruitless flurry during which Takumi Minamino undertook a quite horrendous miss.

What was tough to take about the Minamino miss was that he had arguably been Liverpool’s brightest attacking component. Again, when in a position to be the all-encompassing hero of the piece he stumbled over his lines. As ever with Minamino, it takes a lot to build up his confidence but a split-second to bring it crashing down.

While we were unwilling to help ourselves, there was always going to be a response from Arsenal to losing in the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest. They were also determined not to be rolled over by us in the same style that they were back in November.

A top-four chase aside, after their loss at the City Ground on Sunday, these two games represented Arsenal’s only hopes of winning something this season. How could we not expect them to put up a fight?

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) and Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fair play to Arsenal for their organisation and stubbornness on an evening when far too many Liverpool players indulged in an off night.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was awful, Andy Robertson was not much better, and Jordan Henderson’s detractors were given an open invitation to clear their throats once more when the spectre of him sharing a midfield with James Milner reared its ugly head again.

It’s 2022 and it’s a good three or four years since such a thing should have been consigned to the past, at least in terms of the two starting games together. There is always going to be a lack of expansion there.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Andy Robertson applaud the supporters after the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Even Bobby Firmino and Diogo Jota were struggling to get their heads around the task at hand. At one point Jota was so surprised to see the ball come to him he directed a header away from goal, while Bobby played like it was still Boxing Day, wandering around the room offering out the cheese board when nobody had the inclination for cheese.

Despite it all, I still back us to go to north London and win next Thursday. Frustration was undeniably the name of the game at Anfield but the situation is by no means irredeemable.

They will have to fight for it though.

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Mo Salah named Standard Chartered Player of the Month for December

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 16:00

Mohamed Salah has been named Liverpool's Standard Chartered Men's Player of the Month for December.

The forward, who is currently representing Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations, was in scintillating form during a month that he began with a clinically finished brace in the Reds’ 4-1 Premier League victory at Goodison Park.

Salah next brilliantly set up Divock Origi’s winner at Wolverhampton Wanderers and then provided the equaliser in the 2-1 success over AC Milan in the Champions League.

He went on to convert a match-winning penalty against Aston Villa and net as the Reds came from behind to defeat Newcastle United at Anfield, as he started seven games in December.

The No.11’s efforts saw him claim the most votes in our Player of the Month poll here on Liverpoolfc.com, ahead of Diogo Jota in second place and Trent Alexander-Arnold in third.

It’s the fourth time Salah has received the Standard Chartered award so far in 2021-22.

Standard Chartered Men’s Player of the Month 2021-22

December: Mohamed Salah
November: Trent Alexander-Arnold
October: Mohamed Salah
September: Mohamed Salah
August: Mohamed Salah

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Mo Salah named Standard Chartered Player of the Month for December

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 16:00
Mohamed Salah has been named Liverpool's Standard Chartered Men's Player of the Month for December.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Sadio Mane vs. Naby Keita ends in a share of the spoils at AFCON

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 14:54

A captain’s showdown between Sadio Mane and Naby Keita at the Africa Cup of Nations ended in a stalemate and with the latter receiving a yellow card for a challenge on the former.

It was a battle of Liverpool’s No. 10 and No. 8 in the Africa Cup of Nations as Senegal met Guinea in the second game of the AFCON group stage.

Both donned the captain’s armband as their respective teams aimed for two wins on the bounce, but the match followed the theme of the competition so far.

That being goals proving few and far between.

Guinea started as the better of the two teams, with Keita naturally standing out and dictating play for his side – notably, he took a number of corners that cleared the first man!

The Reds could have done with that against Arsenal on Thursday.

The game then ebbed and flowed in the Cameroon heat as Senegal grew into the contest, both Mane and Keita had a brief sights of goal before quickly seeing the window of opportunity close.

???? It's Mane vs. Keita!

Senegal and Guinea playing their respective second group games of #AFCON2021 pic.twitter.com/mnBYRNCqyJ

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) January 14, 2022

The two relished the battle and Keita ended up on the receiving end of a yellow card after tackling Mane from behind just after the hour mark, the winger’s wry smile in the aftermath said it all.

But with Mane dropping deep to then drive forward, he was instigating plenty for Senegal and ought to have had an assist to his name after slotting in Bouna Sarr – who could only fire wide.

A stop-start finish to proceedings did little to help trigger any goals as the two teams were left to take a solitary point and swiftly move on to their final Group B game – (Senegal vs. Malawi and Guinea vs. Zimbabwe).

The pair have played 180 minutes to date in the competition and with four points apiece in Group B, both look set for the knockouts which will ensure they will return to Merseyside no earlier than January 26.

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Klopp: We miss Salah and Mane but must get through this period

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 12:00

Jurgen Klopp admits Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane's absences are affecting Liverpool, but has urged his side to "get through this together".

Salah and Mane - along with Naby Keita - are currently at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) and, with the final scheduled for February 6, Liverpool could be without them for several more weeks.

While Liverpool's first match without the trio was a comfortable FA Cup victory against League One side Shrewsbury, Salah and Mane's absence was clearly felt during the 0-0 home draw against Arsenal - who played with 10 men for the majority of the match - on Thursday.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool's Premier League fixture against Brentford on Sunday, Klopp insisted Liverpool should have been able to break down the Gunners even without Salah and Mane, but he conceded his side are missing the talismanic duo.

Asked if he had concerns over his side's chances without the pair, Klopp said: "The only way we can avoid these kind of questions is by scoring.

"The situation is clear: they are not here and they are world-class players. Do we miss them? Yes, but it's not about who is not here, but about how we can do better.

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Jurgen Klopp insists he has no concerns about Mohamed Salah's contract situation and is confident the forward will commit his future to the club

"The start was really good, we caused Arsenal a lot of problems, we pressed the right spaces, we created enough and then the red card happened. You have to break down a really low block, and that's the most difficult thing. We couldn't do that last night.

"We were not good enough in moments, but we can do better and that's what we will do."

Which fixtures could Salah, Mane and Keita miss?
  • Brentford (H), Premier League, January 16
  • Arsenal (A), Carabao Cup, January 20, live on Sky Sports
  • Crystal Palace (A), Premier League, January 23, live on Sky Sports
  • Cardiff (H), FA Cup, February 6

Despite facing 10 men for over an hour and having nearly 80 per cent of the possession against Arsenal, Liverpool managed just one shot on target as the Gunners sat in and successfully protected their goal.

It led to questions about whether the speed of Salah and Mane coming in from the wings and getting behind defences would be a particularly pertinent loss during their time at AFCON, but Klopp believed those queries were missing the point.

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Highlights from the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg between Liverpool and Arsenal

"There's absolutely nothing bad to say about Sadio and Mo," said Klopp. "Outstanding players. Naby I would say is one of the best midfielders I ever saw. But they are not here.

"Last night we didn't miss speed - that was not our problem. They were so deep, where do we want to run? Over the touchline, into the stands? There was no space.

"There are so many things we can do - counter-pressing, winning the ball back - that's not about pace. We have to play against deep formations, in between the lines.

"Quick thinking is much more important than quick running. Yes, Mo, Sadio and Naby can think quick but they are not here.

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Jamie Carragher says Mohamed Salah's Liverpool contract needs to be sorted 'sooner rather than later' and admits the club's owners will not be forgiven if he is allowed to go

"It was crystal clear that we would sit here today after we draw 0-0 against 10 men and the only thing you would have in your mind is Sadio and Mo. But that's not a solution, it's only part of a problem. We are here to find solutions.

"Last night we were not perfect but maybe we are closer to our usual standard in the next game and we can win. We have to get through different periods in a season. This is our period now - let's get through this together."

'Big drop-off without Salah & Mane'

Speaking to Sky Sports following Liverpool's disappointing stalemate with Arsenal, Jamie Carragher claimed the drastic drop-off without Salah and Mane will give Liverpool's upcoming opponents room for optimism.

"That has been the thing about Liverpool: they have had a great 13 or 14 players they can really rely on," Carragher said.

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Paul Merson and Jamie Carragher admit that Liverpool are not the same side without attacking duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane

"What's brilliant about Salah and Mane is not just their ability but the fact they are never injured. They play every single game.

"With Brentford at the weekend, the return leg [against Arsenal], and a Premier League game at (Crystal) Palace, opposition will be looking at Liverpool without Salah and Mane and thinking there is a big drop-off."

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson added: "The biggest worry tonight if I were a Liverpool fan? Salah and Mane. If they play tonight, it's a different story.

"You can take two players out of Manchester City's team, doesn't really make a difference. Take two out of Chelsea, not really. Take two out of Liverpool, it's completely different."

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Jürgen Klopp's LFC squad fitness update ahead of Brentford

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:20

Liverpool have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Brentford, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

The Reds are set to name the same squad that faced Arsenal in Thursday’s goalless Carabao Cup semi-final, first-leg tie at Anfield.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Klopp said: “As far as I know, no real injuries.

“We got knocks last night: Robbo got a knock, Virg got a knock, Millie got a knock, but last night directly after the game, the medical department told me all will be fine, but there is a night between then and now so we will see that.

“But no ‘injuries’ so far, so it means same squad available like for the game last night.”

Meanwhile, Klopp confirmed Divock Origi has stepped up his rehabilitation from the injury that has kept him out of Liverpool’s last eight matches.

“Yesterday he was outside running and looked really good, so I think he will not be too far away,” said the boss.

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Jürgen Klopp's LFC squad fitness update ahead of Brentford

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 11:20
Liverpool have no fresh injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s Premier League meeting with Brentford, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool don’t just miss the goals of Salah and Mane – they’ve waved goodbye to their creativity too

the Athletic - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 07:28
There was no reassurance for those concerned about how Liverpool will cope in the absence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

The first real test since their elite attacking duo flew off to the Africa Cup of Nations was the epitome of frustration as Jurgen Klopp’s side fired blanks at Anfield for the first time in nine months. Klopp struck a defiant tone as he spoke about it only being half-time in the tie.

“It’s 0-0 and, even though Arsenal probably feel in a better position, we don’t feel this tie is over for us so we will give it another proper try,” he said. “We know we can play better and we know we have to play better.”

Triumph at the Emirates Stadium next Thursday and the memories of this drab first leg will immediately pale into insignificance.

The manner in which Liverpool failed to capitalise on having an extra man for over an hour on home turf, following the dismissal of Granit Xhaka, won’t be damaging if they book themselves a Wembley date with Chelsea.

But if they fall short of the showpiece final then fingers will be pointed at an error-strewn performance largely devoid of quality and littered with dreadful decision making.

Here was a reminder that Liverpool haven’t only lost goals with Salah, Mane and Naby Keita away on international duty this month.

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How do you value a football club?

the Athletic - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 05:15
Imagine you are looking for a new house. You want something modern and you know what part of town you would like to live in — somewhere central and with growth potential.

You are not quite ready to start traipsing around places yet, so you start your search online and you quickly find something that looks right up your street and is just about within budget.

Hold on, what’s this? The same place on a different website for 15 per cent more? Oh no, it’s on this other website for 70 per cent more? Woah, here is something saying the owner will only listen to offers of twice as much as the first price! How much does this place cost? Can I choose the price I like?

Now imagine you are a Gulf state, hedge-fund boss or oligarch and you want to buy Tottenham Hotspur. Well, the club’s price tag follows the same path as your dream home.

In its most recent club valuation report, published last January, global financial services firm KPMG used its “proprietary algorithm” to give Tottenham a value of just under £1.5 billion, making them the ninth most valuable in world football.

But three months later, US business magazine Forbes released its annual list of the 20 most valuable football clubs. It had Spurs in 10th place but for a price closer to £1.7 billion. Pretty close.

However, a year before, using numbers not skewed by COVID-19, the University of Liverpool’s football finance expert Kieran Maguire applied a bespoke valuation method to all 20 teams in the Premier League. This equation spat out a valuation of almost £2.

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Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal: Carabao Cup match action

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 01/14/2022 - 00:25

Watch free match action of Liverpool's goalless draw with Arsenal in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final on LFCTV GO now.

Registered LFCTV GO users can view a recap of the Anfield contest in the free video here.

Extended highlights, a full match replay and exclusive reaction will also be available at video.liverpoolfc.com. Please note, rights restrictions mean some footage will not be available outside the UK until 12pm GMT on Friday.

Not yet signed up? Subscribe to LFCTV GO now and claim your first month free using the code 2122GOFREE at checkout. T&Cs apply.

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