Xherdan Shaqiri has had to bide his time for minutes on the pitch at Liverpool, but the Swiss star says he’s settling well and there’s more to come.
Having signed from Stoke City in the summer, Shaqiri immediately impressed in pre-season—but was sub in the early weeks of the new campaign.
Since then he has earned a handful of starts and his appearances off the bench have often sparked the Reds into life, proving his worth at the top end of the league.
In an interview with Liverpoolfc.com, Shaqiri said he has adapted surprisingly well so far, but believes more will follow as he gets to know the team and his manager more.
“The process is going very well – I think you can see that also on the pitch. I’m very happy to be here and I’m settling in very well, but I think it’s going to be much, much better the longer I settle in. I’m very happy.
“The coach has helped me a lot to improve and that’s the most important thing.
“I was surprised to be honest because I didn’t think that I would start as good as I did, but it’s only a positive thing when you start good [straight away].
“It’s always positive for the team and also for the coach to know that you have a good player on your side who can help the team and I’m very happy with the process.”
Shaqiri perhaps merits more starts so far than he currently has to his name this season, but the attacking midfielder isn’t too worried.
As has already been the case, he shows a good team-first ethic when discussing what he can contribute.
“I think you need patience always in your life, so [you need it] in football too. I knew my time would come and I spoke a lot with the coach, with Jurgen, so it was also important for me to have good conversations.
“Of course in the end the coach can only play 11 players but it was always in my mind to try when I came on to help my team, to make an impact and like I said before I am very happy with how the process is going.
“I am just trying to help the team when they need me, when I play from the beginning or when I come in, to be successful.”
In Liverpool’s last home league game, against Cardiff, Shaqiri experienced scoring at Anfield for the first time for the Reds.
He’ll be keen to add more going forward—but, as the saying goes, you always remember your first.
“To be honest it was very special. I don’t know how to describe this feeling, it was really special.
“I scored goals for other big teams also, but in front of the Kop was very special for me.
“It was my first goal at Anfield and it was maybe not the most beautiful goal I’ve scored but it was a good one! It was a special one and it will always be in my heart.”
Shaqiri will be in with a good chance of starting against Fulham on Sunday, given the low-quality performance in midweek and the likelihood of Klopp making changes to the lineup.
The No. 23 admits that these types of games can be the most difficult of all, when struggling sides come to Anfield.
“That’s exactly the difficulties of the top teams. Most of the time they struggle against the smaller teams and they are, for me, the most important games.
“They try to defend 90 minutes, counter-attack, settle back. They have nothing to lose when come to Anfield, they can only win. So it’ll be a difficult game and we have to make a good performance.”
“Every game in the Premier League is very tough, we need to turn up to win the game.”
Shaqiri’s creativity, close control and speed in changing direction has already proven important for the Reds this season and there’s a good chance he’ll be called upon at some stage on Sunday once more.
Finding the right balance in Liverpool’s midfield is Jurgen Klopp’s big challenge ahead of Sunday’s midday clash with Fulham at Anfield.
After another disappointing European trip, an immediate return to winning ways is vital for the Reds to keep the Premier League charge on track.
Klopp is almost certain to change his team in attempt to ensure that happens, after seeing his rotated side deliver a poor performance in defeat to Red Star.
Indeed, with three points an absolute must to keep the pace with title rivals, there can be no repeat of the errors made with selection or performance at Anfield.
So what changes could Klopp make to his starting XI and how could Liverpool line up against Fulham?Team News & Possible Changes
Those returns provide Klopp with plenty of options as the boss looks to address recent struggles in midfield.
In more good news, Klopp confirmed Joe Gomez is available after an Achilles issue.
Dejan Lovren should also return to involvement after missing the Red Star loss through illness.
Klopp is likely to make changes at Anfield and could do so with both system and personnel.
Trent Alexander-Arnold could be considered for a rest after being withdrawn at half-time in Serbia.
Xherdan Shaqiri is almost certain to start having had time to recharge after being left out against Red Star.
Having seen his attempt to get by with a rotated team fail in Serbia it’s hard to see Klopp taking any gambles again—even against the Premier League’s bottom club.
The German must quickly find the formula to get his side firing, with deploying the right formation in attack and striking the right balance in midfield the two main priorities.
One way to do it could be revisiting the attacking 4-2-3-1 setup that brought good performances and results against Red Star and Cardiff before the last two winless games.
Klopp spoke in his press conference on how winning points is more important for Liverpool than the style in which they arrive this season.
The Reds totted up the wins efficiently if not fashionably at the start of the campaign, and Klopp will want to get back into that rhythm with immediate effect.
A key factor to that was a consistent, fully functional lineup, and those midfield options have now returned which could see Klopp rebuild that selection in search of rediscovering the winning touch.
At that time, Keita featured as part of a midfield trio with Wijnaldum and Milner, and that triumvirate could be reunited on Sunday.
It’s a unit which offers a good balance, plenty of energy and would also allow Henderson to ease his way back in after injury.
The front three of Mane, Salah and Firmino would operate as traditionally seen—with this perhaps slightly harsh on Shaqiri.
But further change could come in defence where Alexander-Arnold may be given a rest, which would see Gomez at right-back and Lovren partner Virgil van Dijk.
Sunday presents the ideal fixture for the Reds to respond to a disappointing defeat, and Klopp’s side must do that not only with victory but also a much-improved performance at Anfield.
The LFC Foundation Lottery is giving Reds fans a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet boss Jürgen Klopp as part of its super-draw this Sunday.
Two pairs of tickets to the upcoming LFC Foundation gala dinner – which includes a meet and greet with Klopp – are up for grabs, alongside a signed Liverpool shirt and a large cash prize.
The LFC Foundation Lottery enables UK fans to support the club’s official charity and be in with a chance to win cash prizes, signed merchandise and VIP experiences throughout the season.
Tickets can be bought either at the game or in advance here. Fans can also sign up for multiple draws by selecting ‘subscribe for multi-play’ at the time of purchase.
Draws take place at each home game, across all competitions, and all net proceeds raised are equally split between a single jackpot winner and the LFC Foundation. Winning numbers are announced on the LFC Foundation Lottery website and social media channels.
Last Updated: 10/11/18 12:09pm
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has urged UEFA to take action against any clubs found to be in breach of financial fair play (FFP).
Manchester City have come under scrutiny in recent weeks after allegations were published in Der Spiegel claiming they had struck a secret deal with UEFA in 2014 to avoid a potential Champions League ban for breaching FFP regulations.
Der Spiegel also claimed City owner Sheikh Mansour "supplemented" the club's sponsorship deals in order to comply with UEFA's FFP regulations.
City labelled the allegations as an "organised and clear" attempt to damage their reputation.City rebuke FFP abuse claims
Manchester City brand FFP abuse claims as attempt to damage their reputation
Paris Saint-Germain, who are in Liverpool's group in the Champions League, were also accused by Der Spiegel of artificially inflating sponsorship revenues to comply with FFP.
Klopp has yet to read Der Spiegel's allegations but believes any club breaking the rules should be punished accordingly.
"It is really difficult to comment but what I can say in general is that FFP is a really good thing," Klopp said.
"But we always thought that, if it is in place, they have to do something with it. I have no clue what happens. I know it is about Paris and Man City. I'm not sure if other clubs are being talked about.
"I think FFP is a really good thing because it sets the rules. If everything is fine, then everything is fine.
"If not, then somebody should do something. That's all I can say but I have no clue about the real story."Play Super 6
Predict 6 correct scores for your chance to win £250K.
NASRI'S WEST HAM MOVE IN DOUBT
West Ham’s proposed deal to sign Samir Nasri is in doubt because of concerns over the player’s fitness, SSN understands.
The experienced France forward underwent a medical with the club on Monday and they are worried about how long it will take him to reach the required levels to play in the Premier League after 18 months out.
The Hammers’ initial proposal of a six-month deal with another year’s option, with wages thought to be around £80,000 per week, could therefore be redrawn.
Nasri was banned from the sport for breaching WADA rules in 2016 when he visiting an intravenous treatment centre in Los Angeles, but he can play again from January 1.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini wants to sign Nasri, whom he deployed to great affect during their time together at Man City, and he has been free to train with his squad since the beginning of November.
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – Paul Tierney
Date & Time – Sunday, November 11th @ 12:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 1/10, Draw 8/1, Fulham 22/1Form Liverpool Form
Liverpool slumped to a dismal 2-0 defeat in Belgrade on Tuesday night. The common theme among fans, myself included, is that defeat had been coming. The Redmen have looked to be just about stumbling over the line in recent weeks, suggesting that the extremely difficult opening couple of months’ fixtures has taken its toll on their legs.
Sometimes, it can be hard to differentiate between sluggishness and a lack of confidence. I’m not sure what the problem was on Tuesday in Serbia but there needs to be some sort of determined reply from the team against Fulham.
Convince us that there isn’t an issue. Make us dream, again.
Fulham coach, Slavisa Jokanovic, is now the bookies’ favourite to be the next Premier League manager lose his job. The Cottagers are rooted to the foot of the Premier League with just one win and a total of five points from their opening 11 games this season.
As you can see from the below table, Fulham are on a losing run and a defeat at Anfield on Sunday would be their seventh in a row.
Team News Liverpool Team News
Klopp doesn’t have too many current injury worries besides Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s long-term absence. Nathaniel Clyne and Dejan Lovren are both reportedly ill at the moment but should be fit and ready by Sunday.
Jordan Henderson is almost fully recovered from his hamstring strain so, along with Naby Keita, will also be back in time for the Fulham game.Fulham Team News
Fulham are missing Joe Bryan who is out for the foreseeable future with a hamstring injury. Kevin McDonald is also carrying a slight knock but should be available for selection at Anfield.
Jokanovic has been widely criticised for not having a more Premier League-ready style of play for the newly-promoted side. Fulham seem to still be trying to attack teams like they did last season in the Championship. Arsenal tore them apart at Craven Cottage when Fulham just allowed them to much space to play around in. The same could happen at Anfield this weekend, no matter how poor Liverpool have been playing lately.Predicted XIs
Liverpool XI (4-2-3-1) – Alisson; Gomez, Lovren, Van Dijk(c), Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Fulham XI (4-3-3) – Rico; Fosu-Mensah, Odoi, Le Marchand, Sessegnon; Anguissa, Cairney(c), Seri; Vietto, Mitrovic, Schurrle
When they last met
The last meeting between the sides was Liverpool’s 3-2 win at Craven Cottage during the 2013/14 season. Famous for Stevie Gerrard’s awesome assist for Daniel Sturridge plus the late Gerrard penalty which won the game in extra time.
The Anfield fixture that season was a 4-0 win for The Reds with Luis Suarez bagging two of the goals.Prediction
Liverpool 4 – 0 Fulham
Yes, Tuesday night was horrible. It was one of the worst performances we’ve seen from Klopp’s Liverpool since his first season at the club. However, I expect Liverpool to bounce back with a good, convincing win. For some reason, I’m feeling that Xherdan Shaqiri could be the key to a rampant win on Sunday.
** Please note – “xGA” in the Form Stats tables symbolises “expected goals against” **
**All xG stats courtesy of Understat.com and FiveThirtyEight.comThefootballfaithful.com Below Article