Liverpool will go top of the Premier League on Sunday if they extend their winning streak against Fulham.
The Reds have won each of the last five meetings with the Cottagers across all competitions - a new club record run versus the London side.
Should Jürgen Klopp's men take all three points at Craven Cottage this weekend, they would move two points clear of Manchester City having played a game more than Pep Guardiola's side.
For more pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on...
Liverpool have won 17, drawn four and lost six of their 27 Premier League meetings with the Cottagers.
At Fulham, the Reds have recorded eight victories and five losses - there is yet to be a draw at Craven Cottage in the Premier League era.
Liverpool have kept 10 clean sheets in the last 17 meetings with Fulham home and away.
Mohamed Salah is one goal away from scoring 50 in the Premier League in fewer games than any other player in Liverpool history.
If selected, this would be his 67th game and the record is currently held by Fernando Torres (72 matches).
Sadio Mane has scored four goals in his last three league games and eight in eight in the top flight.
The Senegalese forward has moved to within one goal of Liverpool's top scorer Salah in both the league and all competitions this season. Mane has 16 in the Premier League and 19 in total.
Eleven goals have been scored by Liverpool substitutes against Fulham. Only Stoke City (13) have conceded more to players coming off the bench for the Reds.
Liverpool are four goals short of recording 400 under Klopp in all competitions - this is his 196th game in charge.
After 30 games of a Premier League campaign Liverpool currently have their best goal difference (+51), have conceded the fewest goals (17), have gained the most points (73), and hold their joint-highest league position (second).
A victory at Fulham will see the Reds beat last season's points total for the whole of the 38-match campaign (75). Their current tally of 73 beats their total in 18 previous complete Premier League seasons.
Liverpool have won the last two league visits and are looking to complete a third successive win at Fulham for the first time.
Xabi Alonso scored his debut goal for Liverpool to help secure a 4-2 comeback victory over Fulham in October 2004, but can you remember the starting XI from that day?
The Reds headed into the clash at Craven Cottage seeking their first Premier League away win under Rafa Benitez, but found themselves behind to a Luis Boa Morte brace at the break.
Trailing 2-0, Benitez made a half-time change: Alonso came off the bench to play alongside Didi Hamman - and an incredible second-half salvo followed.
A Zat Knight own goal brought Liverpool back into the game after 50 minutes and, when an Alonso cross was eventually prodded in by Milan Baros, the Reds were level and on the charge.
Then, with 13 minutes still to play, Josemi was sent off.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, the Reds went in front when Alonso curled a free-kick past Edwin van der Sar and substitute Igor Biscan made it 4-2 in added time with a rocket into the top corner.
The seemingly unlikely victory would not be the most memorable comeback in 2004-05 - that would arrive in Istanbul seven months later - but it helped kick-start a season that would end in glory.
Man of the Match Alonso helped change the game, but who did he replace at Craven Cottage and which other players made up the starting XI that day? Can you fill in the Missing Men below?
Click the Next button below to reveal the Missing Men...
Liverpool travel to Craven Cottage on Sunday to face a Fulham side struggling to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The Reds secured a superb 3-1 win at Bayern Munich in midweek to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but their focus now quickly switches back to domestic duties.
Jürgen Klopp's men are just one point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, who are in FA Cup action this weekend, and would reclaim top spot with a victory in west London.
Liverpool won the reverse fixture 2-0 in November, but much has changed at Fulham since then. That game at Anfield was Slavisa Jokanovic's last in charge and his successor Claudio Ranieri was replaced by Scott Parker at the end of last month.
So, what can we expect from the Cottagers on Sunday? We caught up with Fulham season ticket holder and host and founder of the Fulhamish podcast, Sammy James (@MrSammyJames), to find out.
Fulham lost at Anfield earlier this season - what have been the main issues on the pitch since then?
Defence. We just cannot stop leaking goals. When Ranieri was brought in, his key aim was to sure up our leaky back-line, but he just wasn't able to do so. We've conceded two or more goals in every game since the turn of the year and no team stays up with a defensive record like that.
How has Parker changed the team's approach?
He's attempted to revert back to a more passing style of football that Fulham became synonymous for last season when we got promoted. To do that, he's restored some of the play-off winning side back into the team, including Kevin McDonald, Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney.
What are your expectations for the final eight games of the season?
At this point, I'd really just like to just go down with a bit of pride. At the moment, it's feasible that we could potentially be the second team in Premier League history to get relegated in March, and that would just be quite difficult to stomach.
Parker has brought a bit of fight back into this team, so I'm hopeful that a humiliating exit can be avoided.
It's early days, but is there a player who epitomises Parker's Fulham?
I guess the obvious answer is McDonald: an industrious central defensive midfielder who has great positional awareness, is strong in the tackle but also an intelligent passer of the ball.
He hasn't quite got the movement that he once did, which is a shame, as I think he really possesses all the quality to have been a Premier League defensive midfielder.
Which player will be the dangerman against Liverpool on Sunday?
The obvious answer is Aleksandar Mitrovic. Fulham have only won this season when he's got on the scoresheet, and when he's on form he can be unplayable. However, a lack of great service to him this season has often meant he looks bereft for large parts of games.
The other player I expect to potentially start on Sunday is Floyd Ayite. He came off the bench in the last match against Leicester City, scored a goal and caused Ben Chilwell all sorts of problems. I expect Andy Robertson to bomb forward for much of the match, and it would be great if Floyd could exploit the gaps that could potentially leave.
In what areas will the game be won and lost?
It's just a question of whether our back four can handle Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah. It's one of the strongest attacking trios in the world right now, and I just don't have the confidence that we can keep them out.
It will also be interesting to see who starts in midfield for you, and whether Cairney can find some space to work his magic. He's back fully fit and given time and space, he has the ability to hurt any team.
What have you made of Liverpool this season?
It's been phenomenal how you've been able to compete toe-to-toe with Man City during this title race. City are probably one of the strongest teams the Premier League has ever seen, but you've been able to match them all the way.
For the past few seasons, everybody knows that Liverpool can be deadly on their day, but I've been very impressed how this season Klopp has managed to coach the team how to grind out games.
I expect the title race to go down to the final two games, and ultimately I think it could be a little bit of luck that decides which way the trophy goes.
How do you expect Fulham to line up?
I expect Scott to keep the 4-2-3-1 formation that he's used against Chelsea and Leicester City. Mitro will be working hard up top to bring Cairney, Ryan Babel and probably Ayite into play.
What is your prediction for the game?
I hate predicting defeats, but this is one where I think it's necessary. I think we will score, but ultimately I just can't honestly see us getting anything out the game. I think Liverpool might just nick it 2-1.
Liverpool's preparations for their clash with Fulham featured finishing practice, a keepy-up challenge and rondos on Friday - watch exclusive footage from Melwood in the latest edition of Inside Training.
The Reds visit Craven Cottage on Sunday knowing that a win would take them back to the top of the Premier League.
Take a look at how their Friday afternoon workout unfolded above.
Check out a schedule of local community events planned by the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams in the coming week.
Monday March 18
Premier League Kicks sessions
Walton Hall Park - 7pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Speke Community Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11+)
Respect 4 All Ability Counts session (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-12), 7pm-8pm (age 13+)
Tuesday March 19
Premier League Kicks session
Toxteth Firefit Hub - 5.30pm-6.30pm (age 8-13), 6.30pm-7.30pm (age 14-19)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)
Red Neighbours Walking Football
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 3pm-4pm
Seaforth in Bowersdale Park (meet at Bowersdale Resource Centre) - 5pm-6pm
Wednesday March 20
Premier League Kicks sessions
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 7-11), 6pm-7pm (age 12-17), 5pm-6pm (age 8-13 girls only)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5+)
Crosby in Coronation Park (meet at Alchemy Crosby Youth & Community Centre) - 4.30pm-5.30pm
Thursday March 21
Premier League Kicks sessions
Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17)
Gateacre School - 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-16)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 8pm-10pm (age 13+)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 7pm-8pm (age 5+)
Netherton Goals - 5pm-7.30pm
Friday March 22
Premier League Kicks sessions
Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)
Croxteth Sports Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Kirkby Leisure Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-8pm (age 14-17)
Netherton Activity Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-19)
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)
Red Neighbours Walking Football
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11am-12pm
Red Neighbours Walking Netball
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11.30am-12.30pm
Saturday March 23
Respect 4 All (Disability)
Woodchurch High School - 10.30am-11.30am (SLD Child), 11.30am-12.30pm (Ability Counts), 12.30pm-1.30pm (SLD Adults)
Wavertree Sports Park - 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm
Stanley Park - 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm
Norris Green Park - 1.30pm-3pm
Jubilee Sports Bank - 1.30pm-2.30pm
Sunday March 24
Walton Hall Park - 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Belle Vale Park - 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Doric Park - 11am-12pm
LFC Academy - 3pm-4.30pm
Jürgen Klopp has discussed his plans for the summer transfer window.
And the Liverpool boss sees no reason to invest heavily on new signings this year, given the quality and potential of the squad already at his disposal.
“For sure there's no need for that level,” Klopp said, regarding the recruitment of Naby Keita, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker ahead of the 2018-19 season.
“I don’t want to talk exactly what we will do, but I don't think this is a team at the moment where we have to spend the big money or whatever.
“The best way to do it is bring together a group of players, try to develop them altogether and then stay together for a while.
“That was maybe the main problem of Liverpool for the last decade. When they had a good team after a season they went all over the world. That will not happen this year for sure.”
The manager went on to state that his side can still improve, despite the fact they have amassed 73 points from 30 Premier League games so far this season and have a Champions League quarter-final against FC Porto on the horizon following their impressive midweek win over Bayern Munich.
On the space for further development, he continued: “It's massive. I think the steps are really obvious but it is still about a natural confidence.
“We have to start looking at ourselves like how other teams see us. When you think about how Bayern faced us here, I saw Bayern playing a lot of times in the last years but I never saw them being that defensive-orientated.
“When Manchester City came here it was similar. Wow. They had a lot of respect for us but I am not sure we always have the same amount of respect for ourselves.
“The team believing in itself is a normal part of development. It is better everybody else says you look good rather than you running around saying: ‘I look really good.’ It is still the same information but it's different!
“It is a good sign of character, but it is normal that we have to get used to our potential. For sure it will come, step by step, that is why I was so happy for the game at Bayern.
“There was a little sign at least for that. All the other things, the boys have so much space for improvement in all departments. [There are] So many things to come.
“For the future we have to be lucky that they all stay healthy and we can work with them and use the little time we have in training to bring the group together so that we don’t have to develop only in games which is modern football.
“In pre-season if we have three weeks altogether that would be great. We can make a step in that department. It is all positive in how the club is at the moment.”
Barry Lewtas has told his players to enjoy the Anfield experience and make it a day to remember when Liverpool host Watford in the FA Youth Cup semi-final on Sunday.
The likes of Paul Glatzel and Bobby Duncan are set to play their first games in front of the Kop as the young Reds look to secure the club's first appearance in the Youth Cup final since 2009, where they would face Manchester City or West Bromwich Albion.
Kick-off at Anfield is at 12pm GMT on Sunday and if you'd like to attend the match on the Kop, tickets must be purchased in advance before the ticket office closes at 10am on Sunday. Click here for ticket information.
Read on for Lewtas’ thoughts on the opportunity to play at Anfield, the chance to bounce back from the UEFA Youth League exit in midweek and the threat posed by Watford...
On the heartbreak of losing on penalties to Dinamo Zagreb in the Youth League…
We spoke to the boys after the game and we said 15 of them can play again in the competition for us next year. We did have a young side out and over the course of the season a few boys have had an opportunity to play in this tournament. It was a tough game against good opposition. Sometimes the teams that come through the qualifier have done it the hard way because they have won their league. It was a great atmosphere and the pitch was difficult - it was difficult for both teams as well, but it did affect us a little bit with the way we wanted to play. Then it goes to penalties and that’s the way it goes sometimes. We have picked the lads back up from it and we will go again. I haven’t had much time to reflect on that tournament because of the amount of games we have still got to play but I’m sure I will look back on it with fond memories at the end of the season. It was a shame it ended so early but I look back at some our performances, especially at home, we have seemed to play ever so well, scored a lot of goals and had a lot of attempts at goal as well.
On the opportunity to get back to winning ways at Anfield...
I certainly won’t be complaining about the pitch this time! It’s fantastic for us to get this chance to play at Anfield. Again, the boys have done ever so well to get to the semi-finals. We have had some real tough ties and games where people have been expecting us to win so that carries its own pressure. We have come through a number of tests in the rounds so far, we’ve played some good football under pressure and we’ve had to dig in when we have had to and shown some resolve and a bit of character as well. It has been a really exciting journey and the aim is to go a step further and get to the final, but we know how tough it will be against a good Watford side.
On managing a Liverpool team at Anfield...
I’m really excited. The beauty of our schedule at the minute is you don’t have much time to think about it, but I’m really excited for the players. I’m really proud of what they have done so far this year, they've played some really good football and been a pleasure to work with. I don’t want to say this is a reward to play at Anfield because it’s only the semi-final and we want to get to the final. But I’m really pleased that they have this opportunity to play at our first-team stadium. We don’t just want to be guests at Anfield and we have to make sure we go out and play. We know what the surface is like, we know what we can produce so let’s see what happens.
On the difference the supporters on the Kop can make to the team…
I know the first team are playing in the afternoon so all eyes will on them and rightly so. It will be great if we can have a few supporters in to cheer on the lads. The lads just want to play at Anfield, their families will be there so I know it will be a proud moment for them.
On the challenge posed by Watford…
They have enjoyed a fantastic run and beaten the likes of Birmingham, Southampton, Ipswich and Leicester after extra-time. If you get to the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup, you are a good team and certainly the teams Watford have beaten so far suggest they can play, they have good players and have that little bit of resolve as well, which they showed against a good Leicester team. We are under no illusions as to how tough the opposition will be, they will come out and try and disrupt our game, so it’s about us being as good as we can be on the day - and we are confident we can play the way we want to play.
On the team's run to the semi-finals...
I think the real plus point for us so far is in all of the games when we’ve had tough moments we have seen them through. Also, when teams have let us in we have managed to punish them. That has been the real difference for us and I think we have really executed at the key times. In other moments where we have had to defend it hasn’t been by luck and we’ve defended well. It has been a real cup journey and sometimes the scorelines doesn’t tell the full story of those games.
On the confidence in the side with Glatzel and Duncan, who have scored 53 goals between them so far this season, up front…
I’d take anyone to score on Sunday, but Paul and Bobby obviously have been a big part of what we have done. We are fortunate we have got good players here. They are both good players who have worked hard to forge that relationship. There is a lot of goals between them and as the season has gone on that has continued. It doesn’t really matter who scores because it’s about the team. When you get that close to an FA Youth Cup final it doesn’t matter who scores the goals as long as we win the game - that will be fine for me.
On his final message to the players before they step out at Anfield…
We talk a lot about not playing the occasion and playing the game we are in. We are very aware of what Watford are going to bring and we are prepared for it. Nerves are good because it means you care, but we can’t take that out onto the pitch. We’ve got to make sure they use that energy and get control of the game for us and get into our rhythm as early as we can. We are comfortable in possession and out of it as well, so I think when you can combine those two things there should be no surprise. If Watford have periods of possession in the game we will be ready but I certainly hope we will have big chunks of the game and impose ourselves on them. We have been consistent all year and hopefully we can be again on Sunday.
The variety in the manner in which Liverpool are scoring goals is giving the squad extra confidence going into games – and making Virgil van Dijk a ‘happy man’, Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed.
The Reds have found the back of the net from set-piece situations more frequently in recent weeks, including one in the 3-1 win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in midweek.
That effort came via a thumping header from Van Dijk, which was his third goal in his last four games.
“It is really important because we can score in different situations; we can score from set-pieces, we can score from good football, we can score from counter-attacks, we have all different kinds of qualities that can help us to score goals,” Wijnaldum told Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood.
“It gives more confidence to the team because it gives us more opportunities to score. In the last few games, we’ve scored quite a lot with the set-pieces – and Virgil is a happy man because he’s scored a few!
“It is good if you have those qualities and you’re aware of them. We’re aware of our qualities we have, so we try to use them in every game.
“It is really important and it helps the team, but it doesn’t matter who scores or who plays good, it is just good if someone scores. Most of the time it is the front three, but now also Virgil is scoring, Trent can score and Robbo is getting closer.
“It’s always good if more players can score other than the front three to help the team.”
Van Dijk’s intervention in Munich was the latest significant contribution the centre-back has made since arriving at Anfield from Southampton in January 2018.
The No.4 has established himself as one of world football’s elite defenders – but Wijnaldum isn’t surprised in the slightest.
“I already saw it [coming],” he said. “I had thought about it because I play with him for the national team, I had seen him make steps and progress a lot during the years.
“He has had a big impact since he came in and has helped the team a lot, so I think he was a really good signing for us.
“He is a big character, a person everyone loves. Everyone loves him in the dressing room, at Melwood and the fans love him. We’ve made a step forward with Virgil in the team.”
The emphatic manner of Liverpool’s win over Bayern was cause for celebration among supporters.
But what was it like inside the Reds’ dressing room at the Allianz?
“To be fair, I don’t really know what happened in the dressing room after the game because I had to go into the doping control room, so I didn’t see it because when I came into the dressing room, it was empty,” Wijnaldum smiled.
“But at dinner we were all happy with the result. We talk about the game – what we did good, what we could have done better – but overall it was a good game, a good result, so we were all happy. We show to each other we are happy with each other and also the result.
“The team is in really good shape right now, plays good games and we play good as a team, so it makes it easier for all the players to perform – including me. It’s going quite good right now.”
Naby Keita could return for Liverpool’s clash with Fulham, but the Reds will be without Jordan Henderson at Craven Cottage.
Midfielder Keita missed the 3-1 Champions League win over Bayern Munich in midweek due to a minor injury, although Jürgen Klopp is hopeful regarding his potential availability for Sunday.
Henderson, however, is out of the meeting with Scott Parker’s team after he suffered a twisted ankle in the early stages of Wednesday’s victory at the Allianz Arena - but the captain’s longer-term prognosis is encouraging.
“Naby, we have to see if he can train today,” Klopp said on Friday.
“[He had] a couple of checks - it was positive until now but we have to see if it stays positive when he goes outside.
“With Hendo, we made further assessment and we know now that it’s serious enough probably to rule him out for the weekend and the international break will be long enough, hopefully, to bring him back.
“It’s a little one with the ankle, how it looked in the first place. It was the best scan we could get, I would say, but still not good enough. It’s not good but OK.”
The boss was also asked for the latest on the fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the midfielder sustained a muscle issue on his comeback for Liverpool’s U23s last week.
“Oxlade, I heard nothing new about it so there’s no rush now,” he continued. “Of course not [available] for the weekend anyway, but in general after international break he will be 100 per cent fit.”
From Fulham’s perspective, Parker reported no fresh injury concerns during his media briefing on Friday.
Andre Schurrle has missed the last four games with a virus, and Marcus Bettinelli’s knee problem has ruled him out of the previous six.
Defender Alfie Mawson, meanwhile, has not played since December because of a knee injury of his own.
On the task facing his team, who sit 19th in the Premier League, on Sunday, Parker said: “It's going to be a massive challenge.
“Liverpool is a team that is fighting at the right end, in terms of fighting for the championship. They're a team full of individual quality and are up there with the world's best.”
Last time out
Leicester City 3-1 Fulham (March 9): Rico, Odoi, Nordtveit, Ream, Bryan, Chambers, McDonald, Cairney, Babel, Sessegnon, Mitrovic.
Bayern Munich 1-3 Liverpool (March 13): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino.
It was back to business for Liverpool's squad on Friday afternoon - and our photographers were at Melwood to check in on their preparations for the weekend trip to Fulham.
The Reds travel to Craven Cottage on Sunday with their sights re-set on the Premier League title race following Wednesday's superb Champions League victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Jürgen Klopp and his coaching team oversaw Friday's session - 54 photos of which you can see below.
Check out the full LFC training range and buy your own by clicking here.
Photos by John and Andrew Powell
Liverpool FC chief executive Peter Moore met fans at the Official Liverpool Supporters’ Club in Austin, Texas on Thursday.
A special fan event was held at BD Riley’s Irish Pub in the Mueller neighbourhood of the city, where the Austin Reds meet to watch every single LFC game.
Moore delivered an update on the status of the club and its future plans, before spending time chatting to supporters and learning about their love for the Reds and their passion for the local community.
The branch also held a foodbank drive for the Central TX Foodbank during the event.
OLSC Austin was recognised as an official branch in 2013 and now has 130 registered members and a following of over 1,000 on social media.
After eight years of service across the world, military veteran Paul Fallows has benefited greatly from his involvement with LFC Foundation.
When the 42-year-old ex-serviceman first returned to the UK, he suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, through attending LFC Foundation’s Military Veterans programme, Paul has transformed his outlook.
Paul first attended the Military Veterans weekly football sessions around five years ago and has found the open communication and comradeship extremely valuable in aiding his recovery.
He said: “I served in the military for over eight years, travelling all around the world. Upon my return from service, it was a great boost for me to hear about the LFC Foundation’s work in the local community and their dedicated project for ex-military service men and women.
“The Military Vets sessions improve my physical activity and exercise levels, whilst helping my mental wellbeing through the formation of new friendships with like-minded people.”
Since then, Paul has furthered his involvement with LFC Foundation - first becoming a volunteer coach for its Kicks sessions and then progressing to goalkeeping coach for the U18 development squad.
Tony Cosgrove, LFC Foundation project lead, said: “Paul has been absolutely fantastic – his friendly and encouraging approach is second to none and he’s fitted right into our team of coaches. He’s even created his niche coaching area through goalkeeping.
“Working with young people has helped Paul massively, in both his physical and mental health wellbeing. His confidence has improved, his relationships with young people and staff has been excellent.”
Paul has now gained his FA Goalkeeping Level 1 coaching badge and is passing his knowledge and skillset onto young LFC Foundation participants, including 13-year-old Harry Galvin.
Harry said: “I’m a goalkeeper and play football at Kicks every week. Since Paul has been here, he’s really boosted my confidence as a goalie and developed my skills.
“He’s improved my decision making in one-on-ones, my communication with defenders, my confidence with the ball at my feet and taking goal kicks.”
LFC Foundation’s Military Vets’ free football sessions give participants the chance to increase their physical activity and exercise levels, whilst improving their mental wellbeing. The sessions run every Sunday between 3pm-4pm at LFC Academy and every Thursday between 6pm-7pm at Goals Liverpool North.
Georginio Wijnaldum reflected on Liverpool’s pairing with FC Porto in the Champions League quarter-finals and outlined why he believes it’ll prove a 'different' tie to the meeting last term.
The Reds overcame the Portuguese champions en route to reaching the final in Kiev in 2017-18 at the last-16 stage, winning the first leg emphatically by scoring five times without reply at the Estadio do Dragao.
A goalless draw at Anfield in the return confirmed Jürgen Klopp’s side progression into the last eight – and while Wijnaldum feels their performance away from home was one of their finest of the campaign, he contends the complexion of the contest will be much changed this time around.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “They are a good team, we played them last season and this season it will be difficult and different to last. We will analyse them and see how we have to play against them.
“The first game we played against them last season was a really good game. The first goal we were a little bit lucky, but after that we had a lot of confidence and played a really good game, scoring five goals. It was really good, one of the best we played last season.
“It has an advantage for both teams because they know what they can expect from us and we know what we can expect from them.
“It is going to be more difficult than last season because they know how we play and our threats, but every game is different. For them and for us. Both teams have to adapt to the situation.
“We can be a threat for everyone – but everyone can be a threat for us. If we don’t give 100 per cent or not focused we can be beaten, but if we are focused and give 100 per cent we can beat anybody.”
Liverpool will host Porto at Anfield on Tuesday April 9 before the return in Portugal on Wednesday April 17.
The Reds are one of four Premier League representatives in the last eight of this season’s tournament – and Wijnaldum believes that is testament to the strength of England’s top division.
“Especially this year, you can see the competition is really tough in the league,” said the No.5.
“If you look at the teams that are playing to win the league this year, it is a big competition. In the middle of the league is a big competition and the teams fighting against relegation are in a big competition.
“Every game, you will play against a team who will fight for something so that makes it more competitive. I think it’s the best league in the world now, the Premier League.”
New additions to the Liverpool FC x Levi's capsule collection are available to buy now.
An array of wardrobe staples are included in the latest lines to be added to the exclusive range, which can be purchased online and in the club stores at Anfield and Liverpool ONE.
The perfect style choice for matchdays, LFC x Levi's items feature understated club branding woven into the fabric.
Online orders can be shipped across Europe.
Sadio Mane has won the Champions League Goal of the Week award for his first strike against Bayern Munich.
The forward set Liverpool on their way to an impressive 3-1 win at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday - a result that secured their place in the competition's quarter-finals.
Mane went on to net the Reds' third of the evening in Germany, taking his tally to 10 in his last 10 appearances.
Watch the No.10's brilliant, award-winning goal from six angles below...
Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum have been called up for international duty by the Netherlands.
The Liverpool duo were included in the 25-man Oranje squad for their opening Euro 2020 qualifiers against Belarus and Germany on Friday.
The Netherlands begin their qualification campaign versus Belarus in Rotterdam on Thursday March 21 before hosting Germany in Amsterdam three days later.
Liverpool's 3-1 triumph over Bayern Munich will take its place among the club's catalogue of fine European nights and our cameras captured the full story of the Reds' latest special adventure.
Thousands of supporters revelled in another trip to the continent for the last-16 second leg, painting the local area red ahead of the clash at the Allianz Arena.
Jürgen Klopp’s side rose to the occasion on the pitch, with Sadio Mane’s double and Virgil van Dijk’s header marking an assured performance worthy of a quarter-final spot.
Now, take a behind-the-scenes look at the journey to Munich through our extensive access before, during and after the match itself in the video above.
Jürgen Klopp discussed a variety of topics during a wide-ranging press conference on Friday.
Liverpool’s boss spoke at Melwood ahead of Sunday’s trip to Fulham and, as well as providing an update on the fitness of a trio of his players, spoke about subjects including re-focusing after Wednesday’s Champions League win over Bayern Munich, the possibility of lifting two trophies this season and the form of Sadio Mane and Joel Matip.
Read on for a transcript of Klopp’s media briefing…
On the effect the victory over Bayern has had on his squad…
A much better impact than if you lose, of course, but you can use both. You lose a game like this you say you are focused completely now on the league and now we have to strike back, all that stuff. So you can use always a defeat but it’s better that you win and that’s what we did, in an impressive way. It helps of course, it just shows in that competition that we have made the next step. Last year I think when we came through it was always about a sensational, free-flowing kind of football in a specific way: scoring from all areas, stuff like that. This was, from my point of view, the most mature performance we had so far in all European competitions since I am in and I like that a lot. It was really good. I said after the game, in a game like this it’s pretty rare that one team is shining completely and the other team has a bad hair day or whatever. It doesn’t happen a lot, so you have to work for each yard, for each inch, and that’s what the boys did. In the decisive moments you have to be there defensively and offensively. It was really good, I was really happy and it was not to expect in that way. People spoke about ‘Bayern was not really like Bayern usually is’ - I would say all the credit to my boys because we didn’t let them. That’s all we have to do in game like this.
On the difficulty of facing Fulham following such a high in midweek…
I know my boys now three-and-a-half years and I would say it is tricky in itself because it’s Fulham. I know what you probably expect but we know about that and it’s nothing to do with the Champions League game on Wednesday. It is just a very important game for us. We don’t think about the situation in the table or whatever, we are only focused on our situation. But we know how difficult it is – we only have to take our game against Fulham at home: we need a genius moment from Ali, Trent and Mo to win that game. It is difficult, but we have to see it as an opportunity because it is the next game we play and a very important one. Fulham has a difficult season obviously, but since Scott [Parker] is in you can see the change, it is really kind of a breath of fresh air. They lost the two games against Chelsea, which is a difficult one for all teams in the league obviously, and Leicester with a new manager there. But they were pretty impressive. That’s all in our books, that’s all we know of that and now we have to make sure that we are really spot on from the first second and hopefully we can win that game.
On the belief within the squad that they can win one or two trophies this season…
We are quite a while in that situation so it’s not that we change our mood constantly or whatever. We are focused on the season and the season means for us that we have to play two competitions. On Wednesday it was Champions League, from now on for three or four weeks it is Premier League and no problem with that. For a lot of boys it’s then playing with their national teams but that’s all so it didn’t change. I was happy and I saw and heard in the dressing room after the game the players were happy as well, it was a big one for all of us. But we were always focused and we will stay focused, that’s all what I can say. It’s not that we are surprised about ourselves that we can beat Bayern, about how we did it I’m not surprised but I’m really happy we could prove something like that. So now let’s be completely, completely concentrated on Fulham and don’t think about what happens afterwards or whatever. Just play that game, stay in the same mood like we always were: confident, aggressive, direct, all that you need in a football game. Stay in that mood and everything will be fine.
On the importance of winning a trophy for his personal legacy at Liverpool…
I cannot imagine how less I am interested in that. I never thought about myself in that job. I needed pretty much two years when we became champions with Dortmund and people said "champions’ coach" or whatever - I don’t need that. My job is to do everything I can to help the team so we can be as successful as possible. I’m not searching to be remembered in 50 years or whatever. For me there is no pressure, only opportunity. I love what I do, I think I have a fantastic team out there and that’s all that I need to be a happy person. I respect a lot the desire of all the people and all the players and all that stuff, and I can really can be part of that dream. But it’s not for me in the end, it’s just for the people.
On whether defeats in three previous finals is providing an added motivation for his players this season…
That’s normal that you want to prove things, but it’s not that we wake up in the morning and think we lost in the League Cup final against Manchester City, the Europa League final against Seville and against Real Madrid in Kiev. Yesterday I watched Chelsea in Kiev, it was the stadium where we played obviously, and I didn’t remember one part of the stadium. It’s just not important anymore. What we tried to do after that was to use it in a positive way, that’s 100 per cent. You want to prove things, make things better and all that stuff. But the boys don’t wake up in the morning and think about it, but in the competition it was always clear that the things we did last year helped us of course this year because it is our experience. It’s not that we are the most experienced team but we had a very fresh experience from last year. It helped us a lot in the game against Munich because we lost all three away games in the Champions League this year, we lost the final, and we lost against Roma as well. So the last five Champions League away games we lost and the reason for that was simple: because we didn’t defend how we want to defend, and in Munich we defended like we want to defend, 100 per cent. From this basis you can win away games, you can win each football game. So it helped a lot what we experienced last year. We will see what happens… if there will be a final at the end then good and then we will have to think about the final, but not now.
On whether going above Manchester City by winning this weekend would be a mental boost…
Being ahead of City when City have a game in hand is not that important, but we have a game at the weekend and we want to win that game obviously. That we are then ahead doesn’t mean a lot, the game in hand of City is against United, I think, so it’s for sure it’s not an easy one but it’s not decided at the weekend because of that. All the stories will be written and we will accept these stories because that would mean we would have won the game, which is how I said, difficult enough. It’s the only thing we think about. Psychologically we didn’t struggle because we are not ahead of them anymore, that doesn’t change, but we try to be as long as possible in the tunnel to really focus on the football game. If there is something to celebrate at the end of the season we will be the first being involved in the celebration, but until then, let’s play football.
On Mane’s rich vein of goalscoring form and whether he has taken some responsibility off Mohamed Salah’s shoulders…
It is good that we split the goals a little bit, absolutely it’s good. We have 73 points and each goal we scored brought us there, and from time to time it’s clicking for the one [player] more. To explain the situation of Mo a little bit because I think he is in outstanding shape, but the situation he had in the last second [against Bayern] when Sule came – that’s a goal if Sule would switch off. Mo did everything right and nobody can know if Sule is there to put his foot in. That’s the situation he had in the moment a little bit, and for Sadio it is different, thank God. All the goals we scored are really important to us, who scores is not too important but of course it helps if the boys are confident and know what they do. The first goal that Sadio scored in Munich, probably if you have not scored for five or six games then you will not score that goal but it was completely natural the whole thing. At the end everybody criticised Neuer, but it was just world-class from Sadio and we have to accept that as well. So he’s in a good moment, hopefully it stays like this, that’s the most important thing to us. The goals we scored so far are important to us but not so important as the goals we will score until the end of the season.
On Matip’s recent form…
From my side, you cannot get more [praise] because he is an outstanding player. It’s unbelievable how he is doing. We were really unlucky with the situation in the centre-half position because so many injuries is really rare, hopefully that’s now finished. Joe Gomez played the first part of the season and was incredible, Dejan played unbelievably good football for us and Joel is doing as well. One of the best games I saw from him was the game against Napoli when he got the injury in the last second of the game, it was incredible. We had so far a bit of consistency in the position with that pairing. It was important that, thank God, Virg could play most of the time and so he always had to adapt to the other one but it was really good and they do a brilliant job, both of them.
Liverpool have confirmed the dates for their Champions League quarter-final tie with FC Porto following this morning's draw.
The Reds will play host to the Portugese side at Anfield on Tuesday April 9, with kick off set for 8pm BST.
The return meeting at the Estadio do Dragao will be played the following week on Wednesday April 17, also getting under way at 8pm BST.
Stay tuned to Liverpoolfc.com for ticket details for the fixtures.
Jürgen Klopp insists last season’s victory over FC Porto will have little bearing on Liverpool’s performance in the Champions League quarter-final meeting between the teams this time around.
The Reds were paired with the Portuguese side in Friday morning’s last-eight draw, with the first leg due to be played at Anfield on Tuesday April 9 and the return one week later at the Estadio do Dragao (Wednesday April 17).
Klopp’s team prevailed 5-0 on aggregate against Porto at the last-16 stage last year, with all five goals being scored in the initial leg in Portugal before a goalless meeting on Merseyside.
Nevertheless, the manager has outlined why that result will have no impact on what unfolds this time around – and stressed no-one within the Liverpool dressing room will be underestimating their opponents.
Speaking to Liverpoolfc.com at Melwood moments after the draw was made, Klopp said: “What can I say? It’s Porto and we’ve played there already and we know how good we had to be last year.
“The result in the end was a strange one; it was very good for us, of course, but it was a strange one. In the second leg, we saw the character of Porto and the quality they have.
“I could not be further away from thinking it’s the best draw because it isn’t – it is just the draw, it’s the opponent we have to prepare for and that’s all we will be thinking about from when we start preparing for the game.
“We have a specialist for Porto in our own team in Pep Lijnders being there in the past – and he always speaks with so much respect for that club. We will have plenty of information and that’s what you need before a game, but you still have to play it. Now we know it, let’s prepare.”
While Klopp feels the result of last season’s tie won’t have influence on determining who progresses into the last four next month, he does believe it could give Porto a point to prove.
The winners of the tie will meet either Manchester United or FC Barcelona in the semi-finals.
Klopp continued: “100 per cent [it could give them extra motivation]. Porto were not on my ‘wish list’, but now they are our opponent, it is how it is and we have to play them.
“The first thing you have to do is make sure everybody respects the opponent the right way – and we will do that 100 per cent. We will know about the quality of Porto and then we have to play the game. Our supporters are brilliant at that, respecting the opponent.
“I am happy for them because it is a nice trip, a nice city, and the weather will be good then, which is always good for English people! There’s nothing else to say.”