Liverpool U18s take on Newcastle United at the Kirkby Academy on Friday evening, and you can watch the encounter exclusively live on LFCTV.
Steven Gerrard’s side got their first win of the season last weekend courtesy of a thrilling 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers on home turf.
Read on for all the details you’ll need about the U18s’ next fixture.
Where is the game being played? The match is at the Kirkby Academy on Friday night, with kick-off set for 7pm BST.
How can I watch the game? We are showing the match live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO, with our coverage starting at 6.30pm. Click here for details on how to sign up now.
Last season head-to-head: Back in January, Okera Simmonds came off the bench to score the only goal of the game. Away from home, the young Reds recorded a 3-1 win with Glen McAuley, Toni Gomes and Conor Masterson on the mark.
So far this season... Liverpool drew their opening game of the season, 1-1 away at Derby County with Liam Coyle the scorer. The 3-2 win over Blackburn featured a first goal in a red shirt for Edvard Tagseth. McAuley and Coyle also found the net. As for the Geordies, Newcastle started the season with a 2-1 defeat by Manchester City, but responded to gain a 1-1 draw with rivals Sunderland in their last match.
View from the manager, Steven Gerrard
“It’s a good start to the season for us, four [points] out of six. It should be six – us coaches always want more. We’ll keep working with them and keep trying to improve them. I was very pleased for Glen McAuley to get his first goal of the season against Blackburn – he missed 10 days of pre-season with a foot injury. He is getting really close to 100 per cent now. You know with Glen, if people provide chances for him he’ll get goals; he is a finisher, that’s what his game’s all about. In terms of Liam Coyle, he’s top scorer! He’s showing the forward lads how to do it. I’m really pleased for him.”
View from the player, Liam Coyle
“It was great to get our first win of the season against Blackburn so we’ve got four points out of six and a lot to improve on as well.
“I scored my first goal in about three years in our first game at Derby and then I managed to get another one against Blackburn, which was nice.
“I’m just buzzing for the team because it’s not about me, it’s about the team.
“Steven Gerrard’s team-talks are really inspirational. I’ve already got [passion] inside myself but he gets everybody going and that little extra motivation with someone like Steven talking to us before the game is massive.”
Match: Liverpool (2) v (1) Hoffenheim
Date: August 23rd @ 19:45 BST
Competition: Champions League Playoff 2nd Leg
Liverpool lineup –
Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mané
Subs: Karius, Gomez, Solanke, Klavan, Robertson, Milner, Sturridge
Hoffenheim lineup –
Baumann, Nordtveit, Vogt, Hubner, Kaderabek, Demirbay, Geiger, Zuber, Gnabry, Wagner, Kramaric
Subs: Kobel, Bicakcic, Rupp, Polanski, Toljan, Uth, Szalai
Ninety minutes from Champions League football. Ninety minutes from bringing those nights back home. Ninety minutes to make sure that all of their efforts last season were not in vain.
Liverpool were up for this. They seemed like they were out for revenge. For what, I’m unsure, but that’s how they looked and that’s how they played.
As with any ferocious start from the Reds, it left gaping holes at the back and Hoffenheim should’ve taken the lead in the seventh minute, albeit from an offside chance, but it was ruled onside and Gnabry put it wide from right in front of Mignolet. It was a very, very poor miss.
To say they were made to pay for that miss would be like saying Mo Salah is just a little bit quick. Three minutes later and Can scored via a deflection after great work by Mané and a nice back heel to put the German international into wide open space at the edge of Hoffenheim’s box. Shot, deflection, goal. 1-0!
18th minute – Firmino cuts in from the left, displays some dainty footwork, plays a lovely ball to Mané whose first-time side-footed effort cannons back off the post to Salah. He was completely unmarked and tapped it home to make it 2-0!
Two minutes later and Can got his second. This goal was sublime. This was the definition of a team goal. There was some intricate passing in the Liverpool left-back area before the ball came to Gini. Wijnaldum’s pass was stunning, releasing Mané on the left. Mané found Firmino who played in Can at the back post and it was 3-0 to the Red men!
This was Klopp’s football at its best. Bobby looked happier tonight, too. I was watching for that. Bobby is vital, let’s keep Bobby happy.
Julian Nagelsmann, the 30-year-old Hoffenheim head coach, was forced to make an early change to try and shore things up at the back for the Germans. Uth came on for Nordtveit and they went four at the back.
In the 25th minute, Gnabry was put in on the left, behind Alexander-Arnold but again his finishing was very disappointing and his effort went well, well wide. A let off for Liverpool.
Three minutes later and Uth, the substitute scored for Hoffenheim. He showed he could finish last week in Germany and he backed that up again tonight. A great right-footed finish from the right after Moreno was sucked into cover Lovren’s position when Hoffenheim were threatening. Uth finished low and in the corner, giving Mignolet no chance. 3-1.
There were chances for Firmino and Can but it was 3-1 at half-time. Henderson also got a yellow card just before the break for a clumsy challenge on Demirbay.
Half-time: Liverpool 3 – 1 Hoffenheim
It was the 54th minute before we saw the first real chance of the second half. Gini combined with Salah and when he got through one-on-one Wijnaldum’s shot was saved by the head of Baumann, ricocheting out for a corner.
Uth had a chance which he put wide soon after. Hoffenheim were constantly reminding the Reds that they weren’t giving up just yet and always posed a threat.
Mané had a left-footed strike stopped by Baumann two minutes later. Baumann was having a great game. He needed to.
Alexander-Arnold put Wijnaldum through on the hour but again Baumann was able to save from the Dutch midfielder.
Three minutes after that and Henderson chased the ball down off Vogts in the centre of the Hoffenheim defence. Vogts, it has to be said, completely pulled out of the challenge and Henderson broke through before laying the perfect pass off for Firmino to side foot low and into the corner. 4-1!
In the 64th minute, Joe Gomez came in for Alexander-Arnold. Another positive night in the progression of both young men’s careers. Six minutes later and Milner replaced the very impressive Emre Can.
A word has to be said about the Hoffenheim fans. They were a credit to their club and country throughout the night. They never stopped singing and I’m sure they will go on to enjoy the rest of their time in Liverpool.
Demirbay had a shot well saved by Mignolet in the 78th minute. Hoffenheim kept plugging away.
They were rewarded in the 79th minute when Kramaric got the ball wide on the left. He sold Gomez a dummy and turned back onto his right foot. His cross was inch perfect and Sandro Wagner’s header was splendid. Mignolet didn’t stand a chance. 4-2.
There were chances to follow – most notably Firmino shooting wide after being played in by Wijnaldum. Klavan came in to replace Mané in the dying minutes also.
That was how it finished. 4-2 against Hoffenheim and the delight was plain to see on Klopp’s face.
Arsenal come to Anfield on Sunday, but before that, we have the little matter of a Champions League Group Stage draw to watch on Thursday!
Final Score: Liverpool 4 – 2 Hoffenheim
(Aggregate score: Liverpool 6 – 3 Hoffenheim)
Your Champions League group stage draw…
Group A: Benfica, Man Utd, Basel, CSKA Moscow
Group B: Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Anderlecht, Celtic
Group C: Chelsea, Atletico Madrid, Roma, Qarabag
Group D: Juventus, Barcelona, Olympiakos, Sporting
Group E: Spartak Moscow, Sevilla, Liverpool, Maribor
Group F: Shakhtar Donetsk, Man City, Napoli, Feyenoord
Group G: Monaco, Porto, Besiktas, RB Leipzig
Group H: Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham, Apoel
A three-game hospitality bundle is now available to purchase for Liverpool's group stage fixtures in the Champions League.
The Reds secured their place in the tournament proper by sealing an emphatic 6-3 aggregate victory over Hoffenheim at Anfield on Wednesday night.
And you could be there to watch Jürgen Klopp’s side face Europe’s elite in three more home matches when the group stage gets under way, with our hospitality package.
All three games must be purchased together; individual games will not be on sale.
Please visit www.liverpoolfc.com/hospitality or call 0151 264 2222.
Namely, this could come in the form of Virgil van Dijk, with the Southampton centre-back handing in a transfer request earlier in August.
Announcing his intention to leave the Saints, Van Dijk explained that his push for a move was fuelled by an ambition “to play European football again and challenge for major honours.”
With the Reds now established in the Champions League, they can definitively offer the Netherlands international top-level European football.
However, attempts to convince Van Dijk to make the switch to Merseyside in June muddy the waters significantly, with Liverpool forced to publicly end their interest after a complaint from Southampton.
But with Van Dijk training with the Saints’ U18s, and Klopp still in pursuit of a leading centre-back, a big-money deal could be revived as the transfer window nears its conclusion.
The same could be said of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who is no closer to agreeing a new contract with Arsenal, though hopes of signing RB Leipzig midfielder Naby Keita have faded.
Signing a new centre-back partner for Joel Matip and another midfield option should be priorities for the Reds before August 31—and it could be that some surprise targets emerge.
Along with Stewart, Lucas Leiva, Andre Wisdom and Ryan Fulton have all been sold this summer, but a host of peripheral figures still remain on the books.
This is largely due to Liverpool’s lofty valuation of the centre-back, at £30 million, with Tony Pulis’ Baggies now the most likely to match this—but only if Jonny Evans makes the move to Man City.
Elsewhere, Adam Bogdan and Lazar Markovic are also expected to leave the club in the next week, with the former linked with a move to Nottingham Forest earlier in the summer, while Jon Flanagan will have to leave if he wants to play football this season.
Markovic was reported to be on the radar of Marco Silva’s Watford, but no deal has materialised, with clubs from Portugal, Italy and Turkey now more likely to sign the winger.
There is also the small matter of Barcelona’s interest in Philippe Coutinho, with Liverpool having already rejected bids of £72 million, £90.4 million and £114.2 million for the playmaker.
Coutinho is clearly not happy on Merseyside, but this is set to be an open-and-shut case, with the Reds not willing to sell.
There are also likely to be further departures on loan, with talented young winger Ryan Kent fronting the group set to leave on a temporary basis.
Kent produced a series of impressive displays throughout pre-season, earning the 20-year-old a new five-year contract, but he is yet to feature in Klopp’s matchday squad this campaign.
Absent from training ahead of Wednesday night’s clash with Hoffenheim, it is likely that Kent is nearing a loan move, with German sides Hannover 96, SC Freiburg and VfB Stuttgart all interested.
Danny Ward, Cameron Brannagan, Allan Rodrigues, Harry Wilson and Yan Dhanda have also been touted for a season away from Merseyside.
The Reds finally have clarity as the first month of the season edges towards its conclusion.
The hope will be that the final week of the transfer window is a decisive one.
The blue-and-white banners adorned all sections of Anfield, the signage of the same colouring greeted those inside the stadium at every turn, the famed anthem thundered out of the tannoy and Liverpool swaggered into the Champions League group stages.
There is no timeline set for Clyne’s recovery, having been absent since July, while Lallana is not likely to return to action until November, in a major blow to Jurgen Klopp‘s side.
Henderson has started in all four of Liverpool’s games so far this season, playing the full 90 minutes in Wednesday night’s 4-2 win over Hoffenheim in their Champions League play-off second leg.
After a long spell out with a foot injury, the captain looks to be regaining form in the middle of the park, but Klopp will be hoping Southgate manages his game time wisely.
Meanwhile, Sturridge has featured just once for the Reds so far this season, starting in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Crystal palace, but was also on the substitutes’ bench at Anfield in midweek.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke have all been included in the England U21s squad, while Rhian Brewster has been called up by the U18s.England Squad for September
Goalkeepers: Butland, Hart, Pickford, Heaton
Defenders: Bertrand, Cresswell, Cahill, Jones, Maguire, Stones, Keane, Smalling, Walker, Trippier
Midfielders: Dier, Chalobah, Livermore, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alli
Forwards: Kane, Vardy, Sturridge, Defoe, Welbeck, Sterling, Rashford, Lingard
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has been included in Aidy Boothroyd’s England U21s squad for next month’s U21 Euro qualifiers.
The 18-year-old has risen to prominence under Jurgen Klopp over the past year, and this has been reflected in his rise through the youth international ranks.
After being left out of the England U19s squad for the summer’s European Championship in Georgia in order to focus on pre-season with the Reds, he has been called up to the U21s setup.
The Young Lions will take on the Netherlands (September 1) and Latvia (September 5) as they look to book their place in Italy and San Marino in 2019.
Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke have also made Boothroyd’s 24-man squad, ensuring a strong Liverpool contingent.
Solanke was part of the England U20s squad to win the World Cup in South Korea this summer, winning the Golden Ball as the standout player of the tournament.
The 19-year-old struck four times, as England’s top goalscorer, ahead of his free transfer from Chelsea to Liverpool, showcasing his all-round talent in Paul Simpson’s forward line.
Both Solanke and Gomez will now be looking to push on as part of the U21s squad, to build on a positive start to the season with Liverpool.
Liverpool have another representative at England youth level next month, with Rhian Brewster included in Steve Cooper’s U18s squad.
The young striker has recently returned from injury, and scored in the Reds U23s’ 3-0 win at home to Sunderland on Sunday afternoon, continuing his fine run of form.
The U18s selection will play Brazil (September 1) and South Africa (September 4) as they prepare for October’s U17 World Cup in India.
Brewster, who only turned 17 in April, is set to establish himself as Neil Critchley’s leading No. 9 in 2017/18, having made great strides at Kirkby over the past 12 months.
More: Dominic Solanke, England U21s, Internationals, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold
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