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Egypt coach: Salah has final say over Olympics

Thu, 02/13/2020 - 07:10
Shawky Gharib: "We cannot force Salah to participate with us because FIFA regulations do not compel him to participate"

Last Updated: 13/02/20 7:26am

Mohamed Salah could be included in Egypt's squad for Tokyo 2020 Mohamed Salah could be included in Egypt's squad for Tokyo 2020 Mohamed Salah could be included in Egypt's squad for Tokyo 2020

Mohamed Salah's potential involvement at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be a decision for the player himself and Liverpool, Egypt's Olympic coach has confirmed.

Salah faces the prospect of missing the start of the next Premier League season if he plays in the tournament in Japan, with the final due to be held on August 8.

The coach of Egypt's U23 side, Shawky Gharib, intends to include Salah as one of the team's three over-age players but he admits he cannot force him to accept a call-up to the national side.

"Salah's participation with the Pharaohs team in Tokyo is a decision to be taken only by Salah, his club Liverpool and his coach Jurgen Klopp," said Gharib.

"We cannot force Salah to participate with us because FIFA regulations do not compel him to participate."

Gharib has confirmed he will include Salah in a preliminary 50-man squad for the Olympics, with the final 18-man squad to be announced in June.

Salah is set to be named in a preliminary 50-man squad for the tournament Salah is set to be named in a preliminary 50-man squad for the tournament Salah is set to be named in a preliminary 50-man squad for the tournament

"Salah is one of the top three players in the world and any team hopes to have a player of his capabilities and skills in the squad… I have chosen Salah in an expanded list of 50 players to select 18 players heading to Tokyo," he said.

"The final list that will include 18 players will be sent next June, so it is too early to talk about the names of the 18 players."

However, Salah's agent Ramy Abbas says "no decision has been made yet" over his involvement.

"The agent's comment does not offend anyone... what he said is the same truth," added Gharib.

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Revealed: Your Man Utd '99 vs Liverpool '20 XI

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 12:00
Gerard Brand

@gedbrand10

Six Man Utd players and five Liverpool players make up side

Last Updated: 12/02/20 6:44pm

We asked you to pick your combined XI from Manchester United's 1999 Treble-winning side and today's dominant Liverpool team, and the results are in...

You picked six Manchester United players in the combined XI, including the entire four-man midfield that helped Sir Alex Ferguson's side to the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League in the 1998/99 season.

However, only one United defender makes the side, with both of Liverpool's full-backs involved, and an Anfield forward line of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah.

Peter Schmeichel won the battle of the goalkeepers by quite some margin, while Virgil van Dijk partners Jaap Stam in a centre-back partnership to be feared.

Sky Sports' very own Gary Neville makes the bench, alongside team-mate Andy Cole and three Liverpool players in Alisson, Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino.

Results from 11.30am, February 12

Combined XI: Schmeichel, Alexander-Arnold, Stam, Van Dijk, Robertson; Beckham, Scholes, Keane, Giggs; Salah, Mane

Subs: Alisson, G Neville, Henderson, Firmino, Cole

And who would win?

We also asked you which side would come out victorious if the two went head-to-head, and predictably, the result was as tight as it gets.

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Manchester United just about come out on top with 52 per cent of the vote, from just under 100,000 votes.

Steve McClaren's view: Only Van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk is the only Liverpool player to make Steve McClaren's combined XI

Speaking on Sky Sports News, Steve McClaren, who was Ferguson's assistant manager in 1999, believes only Netherlands centre-half Virgil van Dijk would fit into United's 1999 XI...

Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson made the side, but Andrew Cole, Dwight Yorke and Denis Irwin didn't Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson made the side, but Andrew Cole, Dwight Yorke and Denis Irwin didn't Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson made the side, but Andrew Cole, Dwight Yorke and Denis Irwin didn't

"Virgil van Dijk next to Jaap Stam, that would be invincible. Nobody would get past them.

"But for me, seriously, only Van Dijk would get into that team. When you look at that Manchester United team, that is leadership throughout the whole team, and leadership was the key.

"Liverpool are developing that now."

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Anfield plans on track for 2022/23

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 12:00
By Vinny O'Connor

Last Updated: 12/02/20 11:30am

Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion

Liverpool are on course to raise Anfield's capacity to 61,000 in time for the start of the 2022/23 season.

The runaway Premier League leaders are aiming to start expansion work on their Anfield Road stand before the end of the year and have now taken the next step in the proposed £60m project with the launch of their second stage public consultation, which will will support their planning application, due to be submitted in March.

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The first consultation stage received over 800 responses, 93 per cent of which were in support of the plans.

Liverpool's chief commercial officer Andy Hughes said: "The feedback of our local residents has been essential to the planning process of this proposed expansion.

Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand

"We have been very clear from the start that we will only proceed with this project if we have their co-operation; we have a financial model which offers economic stability and we can navigate the complex planning landscape."

The project will accommodate 7,000 additional seats. The number of general admission seats has gone up to 5,200, 400 more than the 4,800 proposed in the first stage consultation, while the remaining 1,800 seats will be lounge/sports bar style hospitality.

Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion

Latest images released show a look best described as 'the smaller brother' of the Main Stand.

There are similarities when it comes to the construction process as well with Liverpool not expecting to lose much in the way of capacity during the build.

Like the main stand expansion, the lower terrace will remain and the footprint will be increased around the back of the current stand with the addition of a new upper terrace and roof.

Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion Computer generated images showing proposed Anfield Road Stand expansion

While the majority of feedback from stage one was positive, there was some criticism from local residents over the prospect of closing Anfield Road.

In response, the club's second stage plans will now see Anfield Road rerouted around the outside of the expanded stand.

Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand

It is proposed that this will become a private road, which will be maintained by the club, with electronic bollards operating on match days similar to the system that is already in use.

Hughes added: "These updated plans reflect that we have listened and we thank all of those people who took the time to share their views with us in the initial stage of this process and look forward to more thoughts on the updates we have made.

0:53 Sadio Mane returned to training with Liverpool on Monday as chairman Tom Werner watched on Sadio Mane returned to training with Liverpool on Monday as chairman Tom Werner watched on

"We've always said the progress of this build will depend on three things - reaching agreement with the local community; a successful planning application and making sure it is financially viable. There's a lot of steps still to go but we have made good progress."

The second stage of public consultation will consist of three public drop-in events at Anfield:

Wednesday 12 February until 8pm - The Kop Bar
Thursday 13 February 4pm-8pm - The Kop Bar
Monday 24 February - The pop-up information stand, Anfield Road.

Updated proposals can also be seen at www.liverpoolfc.com/anfieldroadexpansion - stage two public consultation ends at midnight on February 28.

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The eight records Liverpool could break

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 10:00
Ron Walker

Digital Football Journalist

Watch Norwich vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League this Saturday from 5pm; kick-off at 5.30pm

Last Updated: 12/02/20 4:35pm

Liverpool are on course to smash a host of records Liverpool are on course to smash a host of records Liverpool are on course to smash a host of records

It looks a matter of when, not if, Liverpol lift the Premier League title - and they could become record-breakers along the way.

With a 22-point lead over their nearest rivals, Jurgen Klopp's side are already enjoying the best season in history of any club from Europe's top-five leagues in terms of points won.

"I keep telling everyone to really savour this, the record that we have kept so far - I don't think it is going to come along again so quickly," chairman Tom Werner said after their most recent victory, a 4-0 battering of Southampton last weekend - and their 16th three-point haul in a row.

There are plenty of reasons for Werner to enjoy the moment - Liverpool are still in the Champions League and FA Cup, as well as remaining on course for the first unbeaten Premier League season since Arsenal's invincibles in 2004, but that's far from the only record they could be rewriting by the end of the campaign.

The records Liverpool are chasing down...

Longest consecutive run of wins - 18 (Manchester City, 2017/18)

When could Liverpool break it? Watford (A), February 29

A perfect half-season between draws with Everton and Crystal Palace set Manchester City on their way to a record-breaking points tally back in 2017/18 - more on that later - but Liverpool have that total in their sights now with a run of wins stretching back to late October.

Victories, at Norwich, at home to West Ham and then at Watford - a trio they beat by a combined 8-1 scoreline in the reverse fixtures - will break City's record.

Will Liverpool go unbeaten in a season like Arsenal's Invincibles? Will Liverpool go unbeaten in a season like Arsenal's Invincibles? Will Liverpool go unbeaten in a season like Arsenal's Invincibles?

Longest unbeaten run - 49 (Arsenal, 2002/03-2004/05)

When could Liverpool break it? Aston Villa (H), April 11

When Arsenal racked up 49 games unbeaten, it was questioned whether there would ever be a team to surpass Arsene Wenger's Invincibles.

There have been impressive unbeaten runs since then - Chelsea were beaten only once in the season that magnificent run came to an end, and Manchester City lost only twice en route to the title in 2017/18.

Liverpool's route to a half-century
  • vs Norwich (A) - February 15, live on Sky Sports
  • vs West Ham (H) - February 24, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Watford (A) - February 29, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Bournemouth (H) - March 7
  • vs Everton (A) - March 16, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Crystal Palace (H) - March 21, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Manchester City (A) - April 4
  • vs Aston Villa (H) - April 11

But Liverpool have not tasted defeat since their ultimately costly 2-1 reverse at the Etihad last January and the Reds will become the first team to go 50 Premier League games unbeaten if they can get something from each of their next eight league matches.

The 50th game is set to be their home clash with Aston Villa on April 11, but pending FA Cup progression could also be away to Brighton a week later.

Most wins - 32 (Manchester City, 2017/18 and 2018/19)

When could Liverpool break it? Brighton (A), April 18

Manchester City ripped up the record books when Pep Guardiola lifted his first Premier League title in 2018, with the kind of dominating season the league had never seen before. Despite City winning all-but six games across the entire campaign, and repeating that feat last season, Liverpool are well on-course to not only beat City's record haul, but potentially better it.

If they keep up their stunning run of wins, which would include beating both City and Everton away, they could break Guardiola's wins record at Brighton in mid-April and potentially end up with a mammoth 37 wins by the end of the season. They can still afford to drop points in four games before the end of the season and overtake City.

Liverpool can surpass Man City's points record Liverpool can surpass Man City's points record Liverpool can surpass Man City's points record

Most points - 100 (Manchester City, 2017/18)

When could Liverpool break it? Burnley (H), April 25

Gabriel Jesus' last-minute winner for Manchester City at Southampton on the last day of the season in 2017/18 didn't mean much in a title race that was long-since over but Guardiola's celebrations on the touchline at St Mary's told their own story about how significant reaching the target of a three-figure points tally was for the manager.

Most points in a Premier League season Team Season Points Manchester City 2017/18 100 Manchester City 2018/19 99 Liverpool 2018/19 98 Chelsea 2004/05 95 Chelsea 2016/17 93 Manchester United 1999/00 91

City were only two points away from matching that last season, but Liverpool can afford to drop 11 points between now and the end of the campaign and still beat that incredible figure. But to put that into context with respect to their current form, it's taken them since January 3 2019 to drop their last 11 points.

At present, Liverpool could smash past 100 points against Burnley on April 25, and could even afford one draw up until that point to still break the record.

Most away wins in a season - 16 (Manchester City, 2017/18)

When could Liverpool break it? Arsenal (A), May 2

Winning all-but two away games in a Premier League season sounds like a fantasy to most - after all, even the highest-points winners in the division's history, Manchester City's 2017/18 team, dropped points on three of their road trips.

Liverpool's remaining away games
  • vs Norwich - February 15, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Watford - February 29, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Everton - March 16, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Manchester City - April 4
  • vs Brighton - April 18
  • vs Arsenal - May 2
  • vs Newcastle - May 17

But Liverpool are potentially six matches away from beating that record. They could make history against Arsenal at the Emirates - a ground where they have picked up three points only once in their last six visits.

Liverpool can afford to drop points in only one away game before the end of the season to better City's record - and still have to travel to Manchester City and Everton, as well as that visit to Arsenal.

Liverpool have won all of their Premier League home games so far this season Liverpool have won all of their Premier League home games so far this season Liverpool have won all of their Premier League home games so far this season

Most home wins - 18 (Chelsea, 2005/06; Manchester United, 2010/11; Manchester City, 2011/12 and 2018/19)

When could Liverpool break it? Chelsea (H), May 9

This could prove a tough one for Liverpool to beat - winning every single home game in a Premier League season takes some doing. That said, there are only six more games to go for Klopp's men to become the first team to ever manage the feat.

Liverpool's remaining home games
  • vs West Ham - February 24, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Bournemouth - March 7
  • vs Crystal Palace - March 21, live on Sky Sports
  • vs Aston Villa - April 11
  • vs Burnley - April 25
  • vs Chelsea - May 9

Of those six, five are against teams currently in the bottom half with only fourth-placed Chelsea, their last league opponent at Anfield, and the afternoon where they will likely be presented with the Premier League trophy, inside the top 10.

Liverpool have not lost a league game on home soil since Crystal Palace beat them in April 2017, and have since won 43 and drawn 10 across what's approaching three unbeaten years.

Longest time unbeaten - 537 days (Arsenal, 2002/03-2004/05)

When could Liverpool break it? Newcastle (A), May 17

Not so much an Invincibles record as an incredible timespan - if Liverpool end the Premier League season unbeaten they will guarantee they surpass Arsenal's all-time record duration of almost 18 months, which would automatically be exceeded without a ball being kicked, during the close season on June 23.

Whether Klopp will view this as a record worth chasing, especially if Liverpool are still fighting in the Champions League and FA Cup, remains to be seen, but it would certainly give them something extra to take into next season, by which point they would have already exceeded Arsenal's record by 46 days.

Biggest title-winning margin - 19 points (Manchester City, 2017/18)

When could Liverpool break it? Manchester City (A), April 4

Liverpool are currently 22 points clear and will probably break this record as long as they only drop two points more than Manchester City and four more than Leicester before the end of the season.

Liverpool could already be crowned Premier League champions by the time they visit the Etihad in early April, but in theory they could rub their predecessors' noses in it by ensuring they win the title by a record-breaking margin with victory in their nearest league rivals' backyard.

However, for this to happen, Man City, Leicester and the teams below them in the table would need to drop significant numbers of points with Liverpool winning all of their games - and even then they would have to wait to seal the record if their league game with Crystal Palace on March 21 is re-arranged and due to the FA Cup.

It is far more likely they will seal this record in the final games of the season.

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Lovren hopes Liverpool replicate Barca trophy spree

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 18:00
Lovren: "I especially want that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [something like] 20 trophies."

Last Updated: 11/02/20 6:12pm

1:33 Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren hopes the team can build a dynasty under Jurgen Klopp Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren hopes the team can build a dynasty under Jurgen Klopp

Dejan Lovren says he wants Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool to replicate Barcelona's trophy spree and be remembered as one the greatest teams in history.

After missing out to the title to Manchester City by a point last season, Liverpool are 22 points clear of Pep Guardiola's men with an astonishing 24 wins from 25 Premier League matches this term.

European champions Liverpool have already won the European Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup this season and are now just six victories away from claiming their first domestic title in 30 years.

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Lovren says everything has fallen perfectly into place this season and he now hopes Liverpool can emulate Barcelona and deliver trophy after trophy.

"I've been there from the beginning with Jurgen and it took quite a while, two or three years to build everything up," Lovren told Sky Sports News at a club event at Anfield to support Safer Internet Day 2019.

"Let's say, we clicked this year - maybe even last year - but we missed out by one point.

Jurgen Klopp has won three finals and lost three finals as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has won three finals and lost three finals as Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has won three finals and lost three finals as Liverpool manager

"Now we understand each other, what we need, what we want. And I especially want, that we are remembered maybe like the Barcelona team that won in four years [something like] 20 trophies.

"Why should we not do that? I think we can do it and I want that we are remembered as one of the best teams that have played - not only for this year, but for many, many years."

1:09 Lovren told Sky Sports News in November that if Liverpool didn't win the Champions League last season, he would have considered leaving the club Lovren told Sky Sports News in November that if Liverpool didn't win the Champions League last season, he would have considered leaving the club Lovren: Hunger and greed makes us special

Lovren insists the atmosphere in the dressing-room this term is like nothing he has experienced before, and says their selfish desire to win matches is what makes this Liverpool squad special.

"It's not a lie. It's a privilege to be in the dressing-room and to see smiley faces, but it's not just about smiley faces - it's about how we are still reacting on the training ground," Lovren said.

2:11 Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says he is enjoying a 'dream' season as the club close in on their first Premier League title Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says he is enjoying a 'dream' season as the club close in on their first Premier League title

"We are still hungry, still greedy and this is what makes us special to be honest.

"I think many other teams would go easy now with a 22-point lead but we don't look at these 22 points. We are just focused game-by-game and this I think is the simplest way to be the best.

"It is a good experience also for the younger ones, to understand that even if you are on top you still need to work as hard as if you were in the middle of the table or in last position."

0:53 Sadio Mane returned to training with Liverpool on Monday as chairman Tom Werner watched on Sadio Mane returned to training with Liverpool on Monday as chairman Tom Werner watched on Lovren: I have five more years at the top

After losing his place a regular first-choice centre-back, Lovren looked to be on the verge of an exit from Liverpool last summer.

The Croatia international admits he finds it difficult not being in the team, and while he is thrilled with the team's performances over the last 12 months, Lovren cannot guarantee he will be at Anfield last season.

"I'm patient. I'm working behind closed doors a lot and sometimes it is frustrating when you don't play," he added.

0:58 Lovren explains the importance of children adopting caution when using the Internet as Liverpool hosted hundreds of local schoolchildren for the fourth year in succession at Anfield on Safer Internet Day Lovren explains the importance of children adopting caution when using the Internet as Liverpool hosted hundreds of local schoolchildren for the fourth year in succession at Anfield on Safer Internet Day

"You are fighting with yourself in your mind, asking 'Why not?'. But you are accepting it, you are moving on and from my personal point of view I want to be better every day in the training sessions.

"The day will come when I will get again the chance so I am happy that I am not injured - which is the most important thing - and I'm also happy that we are all together and we have a full squad at the moment.

"Of course I want to be in the team that wins many trophies. I think, and I feel, that I have quite a lot of years to give especially in professional football. I'm 30, so another good five years.

"I don't think I'm just a throwaway. If the club needs me I am here, I am happy. But you never know what can happen in the summer. At the moment I am just focused on the point where I can say I made it [as part of a great team]."

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Pick your Man Utd '99 vs Liverpool '20 combined XI

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 11:37
Gerard Brand

@gedbrand10

"Only Virgil van Dijk would get into Man Utd 1999 team," says Steve McClaren. Disagree? Have your say...

Last Updated: 11/02/20 6:39pm

How many players from the current Liverpool side would make Manchester United's Treble-winning side of 1999? And which team would win?

As Liverpool close in on a first title in 30 years, we make the comparison between Jurgen Klopp's side and Sir Alex Ferguson's 1998/99 infamous Treble-winners, who remain the only English side to win the FA Cup, European Cup and top-flight title in a single season.

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Steve McClaren's view: Only Van Dijk Virgil van Dijk is the only Liverpool player to make Steve McClaren's combined XI Virgil van Dijk is the only Liverpool player to make Steve McClaren's combined XI Virgil van Dijk is the only Liverpool player to make Steve McClaren's combined XI

Speaking on Sky Sports News, Steve McClaren, who was Ferguson's assistant manager in 1999, believes only Netherlands centre-half Virgil van Dijk would fit into United's 1999 XI...

"Virgil van Dijk next to Jaap Stam, that would be invincible. Nobody would get past them.

"But for me, seriously, only Van Dijk would get into that team. When you look at that Manchester United team, that is leadership throughout the whole team, and leadership was the key.

"Liverpool are developing that now."

Who makes your team?

It's a tricky one, given Manchester United played a 4-4-2 formation and Liverpool play 4-3-3, but you are the boss, so you decide.

Alisson or Schmeichel? Do Liverpool's influential full-backs get in over Neville and Irwin? Does anyone break United's Class of '92 midfield? And how do you fit Liverpool's front three in?

Check back here on Wednesday as we reveal your most popular combined XI...

Who would win the game?

Now, forget the combined XI. Who would win?

Vote below, and we'll reveal the results on Wednesday...

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Mane returns to Liverpool training

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 14:20
Premier League leaders preparing for Saturday evening's clash at Norwich, live on Sky Sports Premier League

Last Updated: 10/02/20 2:24pm

0:53 Sadio Mane returned to training with his Liverpool team-mates on Monday morning Sadio Mane returned to training with his Liverpool team-mates on Monday morning

Sadio Mane has returned to Liverpool training after recovering from a hamstring injury.

The Senegalese forward returns after 18 days out following the injury he picked up in the 2-1 win at Wolves.

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Mane missed Premier League matches against West Ham and Southampton plus the FA Cup tie against Shrewsbury.

Mane and James Milner, who has also been recovering from a hamstring injury, took part in the session, watched by chairman Tom Werner.

0:31 Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool squad posed for photos and signed autographs for fans at their Melwood Training Ground Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool squad posed for photos and signed autographs for fans at their Melwood Training Ground

Liverpool's first-team players have had an eight-day break following their 4-0 win over Southampton on February 1.

Their under-23 side took part in the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury, which they won 1-0 to set up a fifth-round tie at Chelsea next month.

The fixtures come thick and fast for Liverpool, who are preparing for their trip to Norwich on Saturday in the Premier League before they travel to Spain for their Champions League last-16 first-leg tie with Atletico Madrid.

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When can Liverpool win the PL title?

Mon, 02/10/2020 - 10:05
Gerard Brand

@gedbrand10

Liverpool could claim their first title in 30 years at Goodison Park or the Etihad Stadium - but has Storm Ciara changed things?

Last Updated: 10/02/20 10:11am

It's becoming inevitable that Liverpool will claim their first title in 30 years, but when exactly will it happen? And can they secure it at the home of a rival?

Here, we do the maths on the possibilities, how they can win the title at rivals Everton or Manchester City, and what records they could break along the way...

What if Liverpool and Man City keep winning?

Following Manchester City's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham, Liverpool need 18 points from their remaining 13 games to secure the Premier League title - that's six wins.

So if both Liverpool and City keep winning from this point, Liverpool's sixth win, as the current schedule goes, would be at Anfield against Crystal Palace on Saturday, March 21, live on Sky Sports.

You say 'as the current schedule goes'... Liverpool could win the league at the Etihad Stadium against Man City on the weekend of April 4 Liverpool could win the league at the Etihad Stadium against Man City on the weekend of April 4 Liverpool could win the league at the Etihad Stadium against Man City on the weekend of April 4

There could be some fixture confusion if Liverpool keep winning on all fronts.

If Liverpool, who beat Shrewsbury in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Tuesday, make it to the quarter-finals of the competition by beating Chelsea in the fifth round, their home match with Crystal Palace on March 21 will be moved.

City's Premier League game at Chelsea on March 21 will also be moved if they win at Sheffield Wednesday in the fifth round (played week commencing March 2), while their home games with Arsenal (changed for Carabao Cup final) and West Ham (postponed due to Storm Ciara) are still to be re-arranged.

It's hard to see both of these games being moved before the Man City vs Liverpool game on the weekend of April 4, with an international break straight after the FA Cup round.

Therefore, the sixth game - if Liverpool and City keep winning - could be against Manchester City at the Etihad on the weekend of April 4.

Fixtures could also change with FA Cup semi-finals scheduled for the weekend of April 18.

Liverpool's remaining PL fixtures Game Opponent Date 3 Norwich (A) Feb 15 Live on Sky 4 West Ham (H) Feb 24 Live on Sky 5 Watford (A) Feb 29 Live on Sky 6 Bournemouth (H) March 7 7 Everton (A) March 16 Live on Sky 8 Crystal Palace (H) March 21* Live on Sky - *Possible FA Cup 1/4 final 9 Man City (A) April 4 10 Aston Villa (H) April 11 11 Brighton (A) April 18* *Possible FA Cup 1/2 final 12 Burnley (H) April 25 13 Arsenal (A) May 2 14 Chelsea (H) May 9 15 Newcastle (A) May 17 But what if Liverpool keep winning and City don't?

Not an impossibility, given City's run of fixtures before the weekend of April 4 includes Leicester (away) and Manchester United (away).

City's fixtures before playing Liverpool Game Opponent Date 1 Leicester (A) Feb 22 Live on Sky 2 Man Utd (A) March 8 Live on Sky 3 Burnley (H) March 14 4 Chelsea (A) March 21 *Possible FA Cup 1/4 final 5 Liverpool (H) April 4 Arsenal (H) TBC Rearranged due to CC final West Ham (H) TBC Rearranged due to Storm Ciara

The very earliest Liverpool could win the title is at home against Bournemouth on Saturday, March 7. However that would mean Liverpool winning all of their matches, City slipping up in all, and Leicester beating City but not winning any other game.

The earliest Liverpool could win the league is against Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday, March 7 The earliest Liverpool could win the league is against Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday, March 7 The earliest Liverpool could win the league is against Bournemouth at Anfield on Saturday, March 7

At that point, Liverpool would have nine games remaining, smashing the record for most games remaining when a title has been secured (five - Man Utd 2000/01 and Man City 2017/18). Man Utd also hold the record for the earliest title-winning date - April 14 in the 2000/01 season.

More realistically, if City get less than three points compared to Liverpool between now and 14 March, the Reds can claim the title at Goodison Park on the weekend of March 16, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

Goodison?! Tell me more! What has to happen for Liverpool to win the league at Everton? Liverpool could also win the title at the home of their rivals Everton on the weekend of March 14 Liverpool could also win the title at the home of their rivals Everton on the weekend of March 14 Liverpool could also win the title at the home of their rivals Everton on the weekend of March 14

If Liverpool keep winning, City drop three points and Leicester drop any points between now and the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp's side would claim the title at Goodison Park on March 16.

Storm Ciara's role in the postponement of Man City's home game with West Ham has helped Everton fans ever so slightly, in that it gives City one less game to drop points.

If Liverpool did secure the title at Goodison, it would be only the second time a team have secured the Premier League title at the home of their local rivals, after Arsenal won the league at White Hart Lane in 2004.

Wait, all of this depends on Liverpool winning every game. What if they slip up a couple times?

We're going with current form, so you can't blame us. But of course, it would take an incredible effort for Liverpool to keep winning, and they would be smashing records along the way.

There are many possibilities if Liverpool drop points here and there, so it's important to keep tabs on those 18 points that Liverpool need, and work from there.

Don't forget about Leicester, either. The maths changes slightly if the Foxes overtake City in the coming weeks; they're currently two points behind.

We're still seven weeks away from the clocks changing, and Liverpool could win the title pretty soon. What records could they break? Liverpool are well on course to beat Manchester City's records from 2017/18 Liverpool are well on course to beat Manchester City's records from 2017/18 Liverpool are well on course to beat Manchester City's records from 2017/18
  • The points record of 100 (Man City 2017/18) could be smashed; Liverpool will have 112 points if they win every game, and their current points-per-game rate has them finishing on 110.
  • The biggest points gap between first and second is 19 points (Man City 2017/18) - the gap now is 22. City need to better Liverpool's results between now and the end of the season to protect that record.
  • Liverpool need nine wins from their final 13 games to beat the win record of 32 (Man City 2017/18).
  • Liverpool are two games shy of equalling the most consecutive wins (18 - Man City August to December 2017).
  • However, Liverpool need another 46 goals to break the record for most goals, which is 106 (Man City 2017/18), and their current goals-per-game rate would have them finishing on well short on 89.
Follow the action with Sky Sports

Liverpool are back in Premier League action on February 15 at Norwich, live on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 5.30pm. We'll also have a live blog and full-time highlights of the trip to Carrow Road.

Liverpool's other February games against West Ham (home - Feb 24) and Watford (away - Feb 29) will be shown on Sky Sports, as well as their March fixtures against Everton (away - March 16) and Crystal Palace (home - March 21).

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Kaka: Firmino, Suarez best strikers in world

Sun, 02/09/2020 - 11:45
Kaka also praises Alisson and Fabinho; Brazilian admits he could see Lionel Messi leave Barcelona at some point

Last Updated: 09/02/20 3:13pm

3:27 Roberto Firmino and Luis Suarez are the 'best strikers in world' Roberto Firmino and Luis Suarez are the 'best strikers in world'

AC Milan and Brazil legend Kaka believes his compatriot Roberto Firmino is the best striker in the world, along with Barcelona’s Luis Suarez.

As well as Firmino, fellow-Brazilians Alisson and Fabinho have formed the backbone of a Liverpool team that has taken the Premier League by storm this season.

That is a source of pride for Kaka, who also admitted he could see Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona one day when he was asked about the current dispute between him and Barca sporting director Eric Abidal.

Roberto Firmino and Luis Suarez are the best strikers currently playing, according to Kaka Roberto Firmino and Luis Suarez are the best strikers currently playing, according to Kaka Roberto Firmino and Luis Suarez are the best strikers currently playing, according to Kaka

"Alisson is the best goalkeeper in the world right now, Fabinho is one of the best midfielders, and Firmino and [Luis] Suarez are the best strikers in the world," the 2007 Ballon d'Or winner told Sky Sports News.

"Firmino understands his place on the field and changes his position. He doesn't stay in the box the whole time, he comes and gets the ball and creates the plays.

"For me, as a Brazilian, it's really good to see them having this great success in the Premier League."

Kaka also described Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as a "pioneer coach" but warned it will be difficult to replicate the successes of this season again.

"It's good to see a team playing this way because it's just one season," he added.

3:03 Kaka admits he does not know the full situation at Barcelona but says he can see Lionel Messi leaving the club one day Kaka admits he does not know the full situation at Barcelona but says he can see Lionel Messi leaving the club one day

"I am not saying Liverpool are bad but in a competition like the Premier League, it's hard to have a season like this.

"It shows that Liverpool are in very good shape and have a very good coach and players.

"Jurgen is a pioneer coach. He's not afraid to change and try something different. The Premier League is very good because of the coaches that are in this league."

As for the Messi situation, Kaka admitted he could see the Argentina forward leaving the Nou Camp at some point, although not necessarily as a result of his current dispute with Abidal.

Kaka said: "From outside it's really hard to say something you don't know. I don't know if Messi wants to leave or if he just wants to protect the players as a captain.

"Abidal is in the club's position and he is speaking as the club's sporting director."

Lionel Messi was involved in a dispute with Eric Abidal Lionel Messi was involved in a dispute with Eric Abidal Lionel Messi was involved in a dispute with Eric Abidal

Asked whether he could see Messi playing for a club other than Barcelona, Kaka added: "I think so. It's not going to be a problem for him in the Premier League or a top club in the top three leagues in the world.

"It depends on what he wants for his career. It's hard to see him play for another club but [he might say], 'it's ok, it's time for me to change, I'm going to have another experience.

"'I will be the best football player in the world at another team.'

"When [Cristiano] Ronaldo left Real Madrid, it was sad and a lot of [fans] regret that he left.

"But I think everybody understood at the time, 'it's ok, for him it's another challenge and he needs to move.

"I think it's more the way, if it's going to happen, the way that it's going to happen."

Kaka was speaking as part of adidas' 'Rent-A-Pred' campaign, which saw 'ringers' help London footballers in need of an extra player for their team.

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Ancelotti's big Liverpool title fear

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 15:33
Watch Everton vs Crystal Palace highlights on the Sky Sports App, website and Sky Sports Football YouTube channel

Last Updated: 07/02/20 4:55pm

Manager Carlo Ancelotti says he is hoping Everton will not have to watch local rivals Liverpool clinch the Premier League title at their Goodison Park home.

With Liverpool 22 points clear at the top of the table, thoughts have turned to when they could clinch a first title in 30 years.

If Liverpool keep winning, Manchester City drop three points, and Leicester drop any points between now and the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp's side can potentially claim the title at Goodison Park on March 16, live on Sky Sports.

Asked what he thought of that prospect, Ancelotti said on Friday, ahead of Saturday's match against Crystal Palace: "The thought is that Liverpool is going to win the Premier League - I hope not at Goodison Park!

"There are a lot of stadiums, why in Goodison?"

But former Liverpool striker Ian Rush was unsurprisingly more interested in the possibility of a title celebration at the home of one of their greatest rivals.

Andre Gomes is closing in on a return to action Andre Gomes is closing in on a return to action Andre Gomes is closing in on a return to action

"I think it would go down well for the Liverpool supporters - I'm not sure about the Everton supporters," Rush told Sky Sports.

"It would be nice to win it on Merseyside but I would like it to be at Anfield.

"But, if it's going to be at Goodison Park, I don't think any Liverpool supporters would be angry with that.

"One thing for sure is that Everton will be trying to make certain they don't win it there, so that will be a really entertaining game."

2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win against Watford in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Everton's win against Watford in the Premier League

Everton midfielder Andre Gomes may yet play in the derby in March.

Gomes could make a comeback from a fracture dislocation of his ankle when Everton play Arsenal later this month.

The Portugal international sustained an horrific injury against Tottenham on November 3 but has made such rapid progress there are plans in place for him to feature in a friendly to test his fitness ahead of the team's return to action after the mid-season break.

"We are going to organise a friendly game for us when we come back from the holidays and everything is OK with him," said Ancelotti.

How could Liverpool win the league at Goodison?

If Liverpool keep winning, Man City drop three points and Leicester drop any points between now and the Merseyside derby, Jurgen Klopp's side would claim the title at Goodison Park on March 16.

It would be only the second time a team have secured the Premier League title at the home of their local rivals, after Arsenal won the league at White Hart Lane in 2004.

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FA halts probe into Liverpool spying claim

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 14:00

Last Updated: 07/02/20 2:35pm

The FA has closed an investigation into allegations that Liverpool employees hacked into Manchester City's scouting system.

The FA asked both Premier League clubs for information concerning the matter, with Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards and staff members Dave Fallows and Julian Ward alleged to have hacked into a player database used by City.

It was alleged the login belonging to Manchester City scout Rob Newman was illicitly used by Liverpool staff on hundreds of occasions between June 2012 and February 2013.

However, due to the age of the allegations and the FA saying the matter was the subject of a £1m settlement between the clubs, the investigation will not go further unless new information comes to light.

An FA spokesperson said: "The FA has carefully considered the evidence it received in this matter, including information provided by both clubs involved, and has decided not to progress the investigation.

"This is due to a number of factors, including the age of the alleged concerns and the settlement agreed by the two clubs involved.

"As per standard protocol, should The FA receive further information or evidence, the decision not to progress the investigation may be reviewed."

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Aguero, Klopp win January PL awards

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 11:15
Aguero wins record seventh POTM award, overtaking Steven Gerrard and Harry Kane; Klopp sets record for most MOTM wins in a single season with five

Last Updated: 07/02/20 12:39pm

Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has been named the Premier League's Player of the Month award for January, while Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has scooped up the Manager of the Month award.

The Argentina international scored six times and registered an assist in three appearances in January, breaking numerous records including overtaking Thierry Henry as the Premier League's top foreign goalscorer after his hat-trick in the 6-1 win at Aston Villa.

Aguero overtakes former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who each received the prize on six occasions.

The treble at Villa Park was Aguero's 12th hat-trick in the Premier League since arriving at City back in 2011 and it took him past former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer's record of 11.

The 31-year-old fought off competition from Liverpool duo Alisson and Jordan Henderson, Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure, Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, Leicester's Ayoze Perez and Southampton's Jack Stephens.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has set a new record for most Manager of the Month awards in a single season with five, after having won in August, September, November and December.

Only Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard was able to prevent the German from winning all managerial awards this season, claiming the accolade in October.

Klopp guided Liverpool to yet another perfect month in the Premier League, setting another 100 per cent record with wins over Sheffield United, Tottenham, Manchester United, Wolves and West Ham.

The 52-year-old beat Manchester City's Pep Guardiola, Southampton's Ralph Hasenhuttl and new Watford boss Nigel Pearson to the award.

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Liverpool chairman: Savour our dream season

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 17:00

Last Updated: 06/02/20 6:22pm

2:11 Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says he is pinching himself as the club move closer to a near-inevitable Premier League title win Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says he is pinching himself as the club move closer to a near-inevitable Premier League title win

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner says the club's fans should savour their "dream" season as they close in on potential record-breaking Premier League title triumph.

Jurgen Klopp's side are 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League, dropping only two points from their opening 25 top-flight matches. They are well on course to surpass records including most points, most wins and most goals.

2:58 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Southampton in the Premier League FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool's win against Southampton in the Premier League

Werner acknowledges the job is still unfinished but said because such a historic campaign is unlikely to happen again in the near future fans should enjoy it while they can.

"As a supporter this has been a dream season so far, every weekend we seem to find a different star to laud. As Jurgen says, we haven't finished the job yet, we'll have time to enjoy this even more at the end of the season," he said.

"We haven't accomplished anything yet but at the same time everybody, not just Liverpool fans, can appreciate the brand of football that is on display.

Liverpool are well on course to beat Manchester City's records from 2017/18 Liverpool are well on course to beat Manchester City's records from 2017/18 Liverpool are well on course to beat Manchester City's records from 2017/18

"I keep telling everyone to really savour this, the record that we have kept so far - I don't think it is going to come along again so quickly. We're just enjoying the experience and looking forward to the next match.

"To me it's about the pleasure of watching so many talented players every week execute at such a high level. The competition is so great you think eventually we are going to have an off-day, but it hasn't happened yet.

"I am [pinching myself]. I'm just enjoying every weekend.

"This is a team that really enjoys playing football and there is a certain character quality that they have on the pitch and off the pitch."

'Stress on players is a concern'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was absent from Anfield for their FA Cup fourth-round replay win over Shrewsbury on Wednesday in protest at the replay being staged during the winter break from the Premier League.

The youngest team in Liverpool's history beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round The youngest team in Liverpool's history beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round The youngest team in Liverpool's history beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in the FA Cup fourth round

Werner reiterated those concerns saying the football calendar is currently putting too much stress on players.

"We all have to look at the calendar," said Werner, after attending a Premier League shareholders' meeting for representatives of all 20 clubs.

"We are all concerned at the amount of stress we are putting on our players. It is a bigger issue and I am not competent to know what the solution is."

When can Liverpool win the Premier League title?

It's becoming inevitable that Liverpool will claim their first title in 30 years, but when exactly will it happen? And can they secure it at the home of a rival?

Here, we do the maths on the possibilities, how they can win the title at rivals Everton or Manchester City, and what records they could break along the way...

What if Liverpool and Man City keep winning?

Following Manchester City's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham, Liverpool need 18 points from their remaining 13 games to secure the Premier League title - that's six wins.

So if both Liverpool and City keep winning from this point, Liverpool's sixth win, as the current schedule goes, would be at Anfield against Crystal Palace on Saturday, March 21, live on Sky Sports.

Minamino in CL squad, Spurs name five keepers Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool in January Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool in January Takumi Minamino joined Liverpool in January

Clubs have been confirming their Champions League squads for the knock-out phase of this season's competition with Liverpool including new signing Takumi Minamino.

Follow the action with Sky Sports

Liverpool are back in Premier League action on February 15 at Norwich, live on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 5.30pm. We'll also have a live blog and full-time highlights of the trip to Carrow Road.

Liverpool's other February games against West Ham (home - Feb 24) and Watford (away - Feb 29) will be shown on Sky Sports, as well as their March fixtures against Everton (away - March 16) and Crystal Palace (home - March 21).

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PL sets blanket bans for abusive behaviour

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 16:53
"Unacceptable conduct towards players, fans, club employees or referees will not be tolerated by the Premier League"

Last Updated: 06/02/20 5:38pm

All 20 Premier League clubs have committed to a league-wide ban for anyone who is found guilty of discriminatory, abusive or violent acts.

Last season, in England and Wales the number of matches where a hate crime was reported increased by 47 per cent, from 131 matches to 193, according to Home Office figures.

This week, a football supporter who made monkey gestures at Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and spat towards rival fans has been banned from attending matches for four years.

A supporter has been banned for racially abusing Tammy Abraham A supporter has been banned for racially abusing Tammy Abraham A supporter has been banned for racially abusing Tammy Abraham

A 17-year-old Bournemouth fan has also been given a three-year football banning order after pleading guilty to chanting racist abuse during a match against Tottenham.

A Premier League statement read: "At today's Shareholders' Meeting, Premier League clubs united against all forms of violent, threatening and abusive behaviour.

"Following recent events, the 20 clubs committed to introducing a League-wide ban for anyone banned by their club for discriminatory, abusive or violent acts.

"Unacceptable conduct towards players, fans, club employees or referees will not be tolerated by the Premier League or its clubs".

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PL moves transfer deadline to September 1

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 14:55
PL clubs voted at shareholders' meeting on Thursday; 2020/21 Premier League season to start on August 8

Last Updated: 06/02/20 5:06pm

1:12 Bryan Swanson explains why Premier League clubs have decided to keep the summer transfer window open until 1 September. Bryan Swanson explains why Premier League clubs have decided to keep the summer transfer window open until 1 September.

Premier League clubs have decided to change their summer transfer window to bring it back in line with the rest of Europe.

It means this summer's transfer window will close on September 1 at 5pm for Premier League clubs.

The Premier League has also confirmed the 2020/21 season will start on August 8.

A statement from the Premier League regarding the transfer window change read: "At a Shareholders' Meeting today, Premier League clubs voted to adopt a change to the Summer Transfer Window closing date for season 2020/21.

This will move the closing date back to the traditional point at the end of August/early September. The 2020 closing date will therefore be 17:00 BST on September 1 (August 31, 2020 being a UK Bank Holiday).

Romelu Lukaku left Manchester United to join Inter Milan in the summer Romelu Lukaku left Manchester United to join Inter Milan in the summer Romelu Lukaku left Manchester United to join Inter Milan in the summer

Clubs agreed after discussing the topic at length at previous Shareholders' Meetings.

In 2017, Premier League clubs voted to close the transfer window a day before the start of the new season, abandoning the European-wide deadline at the end of August.

Premier League managers have bemoaned the changes, suggesting it leaves clubs in England at a disadvantage with European teams still able to sign their players once the window has closed domestically.

When the vote took place two years ago, only Manchester United, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Watford and Swansea voted against the amendment.

0:59 PL chief Richard Masters spoke to SSN about the vote earlier this week PL chief Richard Masters spoke to SSN about the vote earlier this week

The Premier League's new chief executive, Richard Masters, spoke to Sky Sports News ahead of the vote and said Britain's exit from the European Union could be a deciding factor in clubs' thinking.

"One of the reasons is because the immigration system is going to change and it may be that it's the last window where freedom of movement is possible, clubs may want to take advantage of the longer window to make sure that they've taken full advantage," he said.

Liverpool chairman welcomes change

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner welcomed the development, telling Sky Sports News: "We felt it was in the best interests of the league to be in sync with the other leagues and extend the window until the end of August.

"I understood the reason for [bringing the deadline forward] but it put a lot of pressure on all of us to make decisions and it gave an advantage to other leagues, so it's good to be consistent."

0:43 Liverpool chairman Tom Werner and West Ham's David Gold reacts to the news the transfer window will move back in line with the rest of Europe Liverpool chairman Tom Werner and West Ham's David Gold reacts to the news the transfer window will move back in line with the rest of Europe 'Common sense has prevailed' 0:35 Danny Higginbotham says 'common sense has prevailed' after Premier League clubs realigned their transfer window with the rest of Europe. Danny Higginbotham says 'common sense has prevailed' after Premier League clubs realigned their transfer window with the rest of Europe.

Former Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham agrees the move is a largely positive one for Premier League clubs.

"Common sense has prevailed," said Higginbotham on Sky Sports News.

"Why would you want Premier League clubs to be at a disadvantage compared with their European rivals? You want to give teams the best opportunity to be successful - it's a no-brainer.

"Yes, it is a concern that players will potentially being unsettled but teams in Europe have two weeks to do that now anyway. We want our teams to flourish in Europe and we want it to be a level playing field."

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'Jones' potential obvious - like Alexander-Arnold'

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 12:55
Aldridge on Curtis Jones: "The lad can be a star. I've always known that and now that he has been given a couple of opportunities by Jurgen things have come to fruition."

Last Updated: 05/02/20 5:00pm

0:47 Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones has star quality and can save manager Jurgen Klopp a lot of money in the transfer market, says John Aldridge Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones has star quality and can save manager Jurgen Klopp a lot of money in the transfer market, says John Aldridge

Curtis Jones is treading the same path as Trent Alexander-Arnold and the homegrown talent can save Liverpool a lot of money in the transfer market, says John Aldridge.

Jones, who scored a stunning winner in the FA Cup third-round Merseyside derby tie against Everton, was instrumental in Liverpool's fourth-round replay win against Shrewsbury.

Aged 19 years and five days, the Scouse teenager became Liverpool's youngest captain in Tuesday's 1-0 win over The Shrews as the Reds set up a fifth-round tie against 2017-18 FA Cup winners Chelsea.

Jones celebrates his winning strike in the FA Cup tie against Everton Jones celebrates his winning strike in the FA Cup tie against Everton Jones celebrates his winning strike in the FA Cup tie against Everton

Former striker Aldridge, who was part of the last Liverpool squad to win the league, thinks Jones could be the ideal replacement for Adam Lallana and says the 19-year-old has a great future in the game.

"I've been watching Curtis for some years now since he was 15. And you could see - very much like Trent Alexander-Arnold - the potential that the lad had," Aldridge told Sky Sports News.

Jones was also on target in last month's 2-2 fourth round draw at Shrewsbury Jones was also on target in last month's 2-2 fourth round draw at Shrewsbury Jones was also on target in last month's 2-2 fourth round draw at Shrewsbury

"He is just a quality footballer with natural ability and a good arrogance. He knows he is good and he does things the right way.

"But the lad can be a star. I've always known that and now that he has been given a couple of opportunities by Jurgen [Klopp] things have come to fruition.

"It looks like Adam Lallana is leaving at the end of the season after his contract expires. This lad will save the manager a lot of money because he can step right into the squad and you can always depend on him.

"He's got a fantastic future."

Neco Williams' (L) cross was turned in by Ro-Shaun Williams as Liverpool beat Shrewsbury Neco Williams' (L) cross was turned in by Ro-Shaun Williams as Liverpool beat Shrewsbury Neco Williams' (L) cross was turned in by Ro-Shaun Williams as Liverpool beat Shrewsbury Williams: I'm learning off Trent

At the age of just 18, right-back Neco Williams made his fourth senior Liverpool start and was named man-of-the-match in the win over Shrewsbury.

The Wrexham-born youngster credits training with Alexander-Arnold and the rest of the first team for his rapid development despite his tender years.

"He's obviously one of the best right-backs in the world right now so every day I'm training with him I'm picking up little things each day and trying to bring it into my own game," Williams said of Alexander-Arnold.

"Being there every day is a learning day for me and to train with one of the best teams in the world, if not the best team in the world right now, is going to make you a better player.

"Each day as it goes I don't take for granted. I'm just grateful to be there every day."

Pedro Chirivella has made 11 appearances for Liverpool since joining the club Pedro Chirivella has made 11 appearances for Liverpool since joining the club Pedro Chirivella has made 11 appearances for Liverpool since joining the club Chirivella: My mentality has changed

At the age of 22, Pedro Chirivella was comfortably the eldest Liverpool player on the pitch against Shrewsbury.

The central midfielder, who joined the club from Valencia, is finally beginning to fulfil his promise under Klopp although his contract on Merseyside expires in the summer.

"Mentally I feel ready. I train every day with the first team and I feel I am getting closer to the level (required of a Liverpool player)," Chirivella said.

"I came (to the club) very early, when I was only 17, and maybe I was not ready yet. Now I feel I am getting there.

"I am getting very good feedback from the players. My mentality has changed and hopefully I can carry on."

1:39 Liverpool's U23s team fully deserved their FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, says head coach Neil Critchley, who reveals Jurgen Klopp had already messaged his delight Liverpool's U23s team fully deserved their FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, says head coach Neil Critchley, who reveals Jurgen Klopp had already messaged his delight Klopp 'buzzing' with FA Cup kids

Jurgen Klopp sent messages of congratulations after staying away from Anfield as Liverpool's youngest-ever side beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

The manager and his squad were controversially absent on their scheduled mid-season break but the German still maintained contact with the coaching staff and the players, with stand-in chief, U23 coach Neil Critchley, revealing Klopp was thrilled with the performance.

"The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of advice and encouragement," added Critchley after former Manchester United academy graduate Ro-Shaun Williams' own goal settled the tie midway through the second half.

"We had a message from the staff that he is delighted with the performance and is buzzing. We have given him a game against Chelsea to look forward to.

"He just gives you total clarity, belief, play the Liverpool way, go for it. And that is what the first team do. This is us, this is how we play, this is what we stand for and you had better be ready for it.

"We played the game with real maturity. I was really impressed with how we stood up to the physical side of the game, first balls, second balls, much better than the Aston Villa game," added Critchley.

"Over 90 minutes we had the better chances and were just about the deserved winners."

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Klopp 'buzzing' over FA Cup kids

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 23:45
James Milner in the dressing room while his team-mates are on holiday

Last Updated: 05/02/20 10:57am

1:39 Liverpool's U23s team fully deserved their FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, says head coach Neil Critchley, who reveals Jurgen Klopp had already messaged his delight Liverpool's U23s team fully deserved their FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, says head coach Neil Critchley, who reveals Jurgen Klopp had already messaged his delight

Jurgen Klopp sent messages of congratulations after staying away from Anfield as Liverpool's youngest-ever side beat Shrewsbury 1-0 in their FA Cup fourth-round replay.

The manager and his squad were controversially absent on their scheduled mid-season break but the German still maintained contact with the coaching staff and the players and had an able deputy in James Milner offering his experience and expertise at close quarters.

While his team-mates are currently on holiday, Liverpool's veteran midfielder remained at home for a few extra days to continue his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury before he takes a break but wanted to offer his support in a more substantial way.

"He trained with us yesterday and he asked whether he could come along. I think the answer is 'Yes, of course you can.' It was very respectful to ask," said under-23s coach Neil Critchley, who led the team at Anfield in Klopp's absence.

"He then said 'Can I come in the dressing room?'. What do you think? 'Of course'.

"He was giving words of advice, he was getting right behind the players. He was vocal in the dressing room. He was animated. He was vocal behind me, I could hear him.

"He was genuinely delighted at how the boys performed and I can't thank him enough."

Klopp, as he did back in December when he was away with the first team at the Club World Cup in Qatar, watched the game from afar and offered his backing via phone.

"The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of advice and encouragement," added Critchley after former Manchester United academy graduate Ro-Shaun Williams' own goal settled the tie midway through the second half.

We have given Jurgen a game against Chelsea to look forward to.

Neil Critchley

"We had a message from the staff that he is delighted with the performance and is buzzing. We have given him a game against Chelsea to look forward to.

"He just gives you total clarity, belief, play the Liverpool way, go for it. And that is what the first team do. This is us, this is how we play, this is what we stand for and you had better be ready for it."

Liverpool's starting line-up had an average age of 19 years and 102 days, contained three debutants and had 36 senior appearances between them yet they dominated a game and fully deserved their victory and a lap of honour in front of a sell-out 53,000 crowd.

"We played the game with real maturity. I was really impressed with how we stood up to the physical side of the game, first balls, second balls, much better than the Aston Villa game," added Critchley.

"Over 90 minutes we had the better chances and were just about the deserved winners."

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Youngest-ever Liverpool edge into fifth round

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 21:59
Liverpool will face Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round after slender win

Last Updated: 05/02/20 10:21am

Liverpool's young team edged past Shrewsbury to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup Liverpool's young team edged past Shrewsbury to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup Liverpool's young team edged past Shrewsbury to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup

The youngest team in Liverpool's history justified the faith Jurgen Klopp placed in them when he absented himself and his first team from their FA Cup fourth-round replay by beating Shrewsbury 1-0 at Anfield.

Former Manchester United academy player Ro-Shaun Williams' 75th-minute own goal proved to be the difference, moments after the League One visitors saw David Edwards' header ruled out by VAR.

Klopp had been accused of disrespecting the cup when he chose to honour the mid-season Premier League break by sending all his stars on holiday rather than play in this game.

Ro-Shaun Williams' own goal was the difference between the two sides Ro-Shaun Williams' own goal was the difference between the two sides Ro-Shaun Williams' own goal was the difference between the two sides

But their replacements did themselves, Klopp and the club proud with a performance full of confidence and commitment which belied their tender years.

With an average age of 19 years and 102 days, three debutants, 36 senior appearances between them and squad numbers ranging from 46 to 93 this was a very inexperienced team at any level never mind a somewhat controversial cup tie in front of almost 53,000 at Anfield.

There was at least some first-team representation at the match with James Milner, who has remained behind to continue his rehabilitation work at Melwood rather than going away, sat in the first row behind the dugout.

Ki-Jana Hoever challenges Shaun Whalley during the first half Ki-Jana Hoever challenges Shaun Whalley during the first half Ki-Jana Hoever challenges Shaun Whalley during the first half

Kick-off was delayed by 15 minutes due to an accident closing the M62 motorway which immediately prompted numerous jokes on social media about the Liverpool youngsters being out late on a school night.

Coincidentally a number of these players were scheduled for an 'education' session on Wednesday morning but for this night it was Shrewsbury who got a schooling.

Curtis Jones became Liverpool's youngest captain at 19 years and five days after being handed the armband to lead a youthful team.

The side named by U23 manager Neil Critchley contained four players -Jones, Harvey Elliott, Neco Williams and Pedro Chirivella - from the originaltie in Shropshire.

League One Shrewsbury named 10 of the side which started the original tie with Liverpool.

When striker Liam Millar, a Canada international with eight caps, robbed Ethan Ebanks-Landell just outside his own penalty area in the first couple of minutes, the tone was set.

The youngsters buzzed about the Anfield pitch not overawed by, for most, the biggest occasion of their short careers and dominated possession - as high as 78 per cent in the first half.

Shaun Whalley thought he had given Shrewsbury the lead but it was ruled out Shaun Whalley thought he had given Shrewsbury the lead but it was ruled out Shaun Whalley thought he had given Shrewsbury the lead but it was ruled out

They were not lacking in confidence either with first-half individual highlights of Curtis Jones, who became Liverpool's youngest captain at the age of 19 years and five days, including a drag-back nutmeg on Ro-Shaun Williams and a rabona cross.

But they lacked a cutting edge, right-back Neco Williams going closest with an angled drive wide of the far post, and with the visitors - starting 10 players from the original tie - showing little intent to go forward, the half ended goalless.

Attacking the Kop in the second half the impressive Neco Williams should probably have scored soon after the break but was denied by goalkeeper Max O'Leary's outstretched foot, coming just seconds after Callum Lang's rare foray into the Liverpool penalty area ended with him going down after a tangle with Ki-Jana Hoever.

Whalley celebrates his goal but his finish was from an offside position Whalley celebrates his goal but his finish was from an offside position Whalley celebrates his goal but his finish was from an offside position

If playing at Anfield was a new experience for Liverpool's side, VAR was a novelty for Shrewsbury and it came to the hosts' rescue on the hour when Shaun Whalley nodded in Edwards' rebounded shot only for the referral to rule it out for offside.

Harvey Elliott and Jones both fluffed a close-range range attempts as the home side began to add some threat to their dominance but when the goal eventually arrived it came with some considerable assistance.

Revised FA Cup fifth round draw

Sheffield Wednesday vs Manchester City

Reading vs Sheffield United

Chelsea vs Liverpool

West Brom vs Newcastle

Leicester vs Birmingham

Derby vs Manchester United

Southampton/Tottenham vs Norwich

Portsmouth vs Arsenal

Neco Williams' long ball forward was aimed at Elliott but namesake Ro-Shaun intervened, heading back over his own goalkeeper from the edge of his own penalty area.

It was then credit to Liverpool's youngsters that they saw out the remainder of the game with few alarms and were still attacking in added time.

Chelsea at Stamford Bridge await in the last 16, when Klopp and some of his first-team stars will be back.

What the managers said

Liverpool U23s boss Neil Critchley: "The maturity that those young boys showed to play that game was remarkable. They actually calmed me on the side and over 90 minutes, I think we had the better chances, and were just about the deserved winners on the night.

"The boss was in touch this afternoon with some words of advice and some encouragement, which was really nice of him.

"I've not checked my phone, but we had a message from the staff at the end there saying he's absolutely delighted with the performance and he's buzzing. We've given him a game against Chelsea to look forward to."

1:39 Liverpool's U23s team fully deserved their FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, says head coach Neil Critchley, who reveals Jurgen Klopp had already messaged his delight Liverpool's U23s team fully deserved their FA Cup win over Shrewsbury, says head coach Neil Critchley, who reveals Jurgen Klopp had already messaged his delight

Shrewsbury boss Sam Ricketts: "I feel a little bit flat to be honest with you as we struggled to get going tonight. We've played so many games. That was our 39th of the season, and we looked like a side who just couldn't quite get going.

"Liverpool moved the ball really well. They're bright, lively and played well. We just weren't at it. You can't play at 95 per cent.

"We had a spell after half-time where we had a goal disallowed, asked a few questions, but we were too passive."

Analysis: 'Klopp has got away with it a bit' Shrewsbury's Aaron Pierre vies with Curtis Jones for possession Shrewsbury's Aaron Pierre vies with Curtis Jones for possession Shrewsbury's Aaron Pierre vies with Curtis Jones for possession

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy told The Debate:

"I don't think he needed to vindicate his reasons for not fielding the first team with everything that's going on. Considering the opposition, he clearly felt the kids could do a job, and they've done the job.

"In terms of him not being there, I suppose he's got away with that a little bit. If they'd lost the game, it would've been highlighted a little more.

"He would've motivated the younger lads naturally. The intensity always goes up, but those questions about his absence have now been nullified."

Opta stats
  • With an average age of 19 years and 102 days against Shrewsbury, Liverpool named their youngest ever starting XI in all competitions for the second time this season, surpassing their line-up for the League Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa in December (19y 182d).
  • Shrewsbury have scored two own goals against Liverpool in the FA Cup this season, the first time the Reds have benefited from two own goals by the same opponent in an FA Cup campaign since Brighton scored three in a 1-6 defeat at Anfield in February 2012.
  • Liverpool are now unbeaten in 40 games at Anfield in all competitions (W35 D5), winning each of their last seven home matches without conceding a single goal.
What's next? Norwich vs Liverpool

February 15, 2020, 5:00pm

Live on

Liverpool now have their mid-season winter break, returning to action in the Premier League against Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday February 15; live on Sky Sports. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Shrewsbury return to Sky Bet League One action this weekend, hosting MK Dons on Saturday at 3pm.

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FA Cup fourth-round replays LIVE!

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 15:04

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp's faith in Liverpool U23s 'unbelievable'

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 14:00
"We're going to have players who are eligible to play in the U18s. People say we are a U23 team, we’re not. We're U19-U20 at best." By Liam Grace

Last Updated: 03/02/20 3:54pm

0:40 Liverpool U23s boss Neil Critchley admits that the side to face Shrewsbury in the FA Cup will be 'U19-U20 at best' Liverpool U23s boss Neil Critchley admits that the side to face Shrewsbury in the FA Cup will be 'U19-U20 at best'

Neil Critchley has thanked Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp for his "unbelievable support" ahead of the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury on Tuesday, with the U23s set for a "unique" night at Anfield.

Liverpool's U23s will represent the first team in the replay, with their manager Critchley in the dugout, as he was when the club fielded the same squad for their 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Shrewsbury's Official Supporters Club accused Liverpool and Klopp of a lack of respect towards the Sky Bet League One team and the competition itself, after two-goal hero Jason Cummings secured the shock second meeting, with a trip to Chelsea awaiting the winners in the fifth round.

Jurgen Klopp has handed FA Cup duties to the club's U23s boss Critchley Jurgen Klopp has handed FA Cup duties to the club's U23s boss Critchley Jurgen Klopp has handed FA Cup duties to the club's U23s boss Critchley

U23s boss Critchley defended Liverpool's decisions and admitted he did not think he would get another opportunity to lead the team.

"I never thought it would happen once, let alone twice," Critchley said. "I'm really looking forward to what will be a special night. The young players will get a unique opportunity.

1:11 Shrewsbury captain Dave Edwards says he's disappointed that Liverpool boss Klopp won't be on touchline for their FA Cup replay, but admits it gives them a better chance of getting through to the next round Shrewsbury captain Dave Edwards says he's disappointed that Liverpool boss Klopp won't be on touchline for their FA Cup replay, but admits it gives them a better chance of getting through to the next round

"I think the manager has made it quite clear with his statement and what he said prior to the game. He gives myself, and the staff, unbelievable support.

"I can speak to him whenever I like. He supports the young players unbelievably well, as he has shown so far this season.

"His presence is always felt even if he isn't there. Especially by our younger players, and me myself.

3:07 Klopp defended his choice to play the club's U23 side against Shrewsbury Klopp defended his choice to play the club's U23 side against Shrewsbury

"I also think that the way we played against Aston Villa, he may have felt that the boys deserved another opportunity."

Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt was critical of Liverpool's decision to play the U23s, accusing them and Klopp of "killing the FA Cup", while the Premier League leaders have slashed ticket prices for the replay.

"We're going to have players who are eligible to play in the U18s," Critchley added. "People say we are a U23 team, we're not. We're U19-U20 at best.

0:54 Georginio Wijnaldum understands why Klopp is not prepared to play his senior players against Shrewsbury Georginio Wijnaldum understands why Klopp is not prepared to play his senior players against Shrewsbury

"There are always people talking about young people not being given an opportunity in this country, well these players are getting an opportunity tomorrow night and they already have this season, because that's what this manager does.

"Is there more pressure on Shrewsbury to win the game now? Possibly. But that might work in our favour."

Quizzed on injury news, Critchley said: "Other than Yasser no that's it. I could mention names but most of you probably don't know who they are!"

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