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Team news: Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Sheffield United

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 18:59

Naby Keita returns to the starting line-up for tonight’s Premier League clash with Sheffield United at Anfield.

The midfielder replaces Adam Lallana in the only line-up alteration made to the side deployed against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

The recalled Nat Phillips is named on the substitutes’ bench.

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Subs: Adrian, Milner, Lallana, Origi, Phillips, Jones, Elliott.

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Alisson Becker wins Samba Gold prize

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 18:12

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has won the 2019 Samba Gold award for the best Brazilian player in Europe.

Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup triumphs with the Reds sandwiched Copa America glory for his country for the stopper last year, earning him of a series of individual honours.

And Alisson has now become the first goalkeeper to win the Samba Gold prize – selected by a combined poll of fans, journalists and former players – with 35.54 per cent of the vote.

He finished ahead of teammate Roberto Firmino, the 2018 winner, in second (23.48 per cent) and Thiago Silva in third (10.46 per cent). Liverpool midfielder Fabinho was fourth.

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Liverpool monitor Norwich duo as they consider double swoop

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 13:54

Liverpool are reportedly keeping close watch on Norwich duo Emiliano Buendia and Jamal Lewis with a view to a double transfer.

The pair have been regular performers for their side in the Canaries' first season back in the Premier League.

As reported by the Athletic, Liverpool are keen on both players and are considering a move in the summer.

Left-back Lewis, 21, is seen as a potential back-up to current first-choice Andy Robertson, with midfielder James Milner the current go-to deputy in the Scot's absence.

Buendia meanwhile has attracted attention for his creativity, having provided more chances than any other player in the top flight, apart from Man City's Kevin de Bruyne.

The Argentine has also racked up the second highest number of assists - again behind de Bruyne - setting up seven goals for his team.

His impressive start to his debut season in the Premier League comes off the back of a solid showing in the Championship last year, where he notched eight goals and 17 assists.

The 23-year-old only joined Norwich in 2018, having cut his cloth at Spanish La Liga outfit Getafe.

Norwich have no interest in selling either player in the midst of their relegation battle, but could have their hand forced if they fail to beat the drop come May.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has also all-but ruled out any further business for the Reds in January, having already added Takumi Minamino to their squad from RB Salzburg.

Klopp said: "Every year we have the same situation. It is always tricky – we will probably not be too busy.

“We will see what happens, but it is not likely.”

One man who could be on the move however is former Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, who has been linked with a switch to Aston Villa just six months after departing Anfield for Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Source: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Vote now: Liverpool's Goal of the Month in December

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 11:59

It's time to choose your Liverpool Goal of the Month for December.

We've whittled the contenders down to a top-class shortlist of 10 strikes, which you can watch in the video above.

Once you've made up your mind, cast a vote below...

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Liverpool v Sheffield United: Live build-up from Anfield

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 11:30

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Follow all of the build-up, action and reaction as Liverpool host Sheffield United in the Premier League.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Missing Men: Sheffield United 2007

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 09:00

Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler combined for three of Liverpool's four goals in a 4-0 win over Sheffield United at Anfield in 2007, but can you recall the rest of the line-up from that February afternoon?

Fowler put away two first-half penalties won by the captain and, after Sami Hyypia had made it 3-0 after the break, Gerrard added a fourth from the striker’s assist.

The Reds legends took the headlines, but can you fill in the rest of the Missing Men below?

Fill in the answers in the quiz below, or click Next at the bottom of the page to reveal the Missing Men...

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Liverpool v Sheffield United: TV channels and live coverage details

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 08:00

Liverpool host Sheffield United in the Premier League on Thursday, with kick-off at Anfield scheduled for 8pm GMT.

The match will be shown live on BT Sport in the UK.

Extended highlights will be available on LFCTV GO from midnight.

You can listen to the game live with our free audio commentary service and follow the build-up, action and reaction as it happens with’s live matchday blog.

For Reds fans outside of the UK, global TV listings for the game can be found here.

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Liverpool v Sheffield United: Team news

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 07:00

Liverpool are set to select from the same squad that faced Wolverhampton Wanderers when Sheffield United visit Anfield for the first game of 2020 on Thursday night.

Jürgen Klopp confirmed during his pre-match press conference the Reds had no fresh injury concerns ahead of the clash with the Blades.

New signing Takumi Minamino is ineligible to make his debut due to transfer registration regulations.

Meanwhile, despite making steady progress in their recoveries, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip remain absent.

“When you have only three days in between it is tricky and you saw that against Wolves, but four days is a proper recovery and that’s OK, so you don’t have to think too much about it,” Klopp said on Wednesday.

“After that there is another game immediately and only three days, which is tricky again, but it’s the job to do.

“It is not only about rhythm and who plays together with who, we don’t have in all positions massive alternatives, so a few of them have to go again and hopefully they can. Apart from that, it’s just about the opponent and shape.

“They are all in a good shape, so I’m happy with that. It is not the biggest number and it’s not always easy to make the right decisions.”

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Blades boss Chris Wilder, meanwhile, is unsure whether John Lundstram will be fit after the midfielder missed Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Manchester City due to an ankle injury.

“I believe John will take part in a full training session today [Tuesday], so we’ll see how he comes through that,” Wilder told the media.

Other than the doubt over Lundstram, the visitors are set to have a full complement available at Anfield.

Wilder added: “We had the report on everyone and we came through the City game well, health-wise. We’ve got a full quota to pick from.”

Last match

Liverpool 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (December 29): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Manchester City 2-0 Sheffield United (December 29): Henderson, Basham, Egan, O'Connell, Baldock, Stevens, Norwood, Fleck, Besic, Robinson, Mousset.

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'We're all made up to see how Joe Gomez has stepped up'

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 06:30

Jordan Henderson feels the recent contribution of Joe Gomez serves as a fine example of the perseverance that runs deep through the Liverpool dressing room.

The centre-half has put in eye-catching displays to help produce six clean sheets in his last seven appearances for the Reds in all competitions.

And Henderson believes Gomez's first-class attitude has put him in a position to thrive when opportunities have arrived, having found his game-time somewhat limited at the start of the campaign.

In his column in the official matchday programme for tonight's fixture with Sheffield United, the captain writes: "Inside the dressing room we have a lot of good leaders, a lot of big characters, who every day are pushing each other on to make sure the level doesn't drop in training, that we're pushing ourselves to improve even further. We look to do that in every single training session, to make sure it's at 100 per cent.

"It wasn't that long ago there was a lot of focus on our lack of clean sheets. I can tell you now that mattered to all of us, not just the defenders. Our expectation of ourselves was to do better in that area and we have seen an improvement. But we don't feel content about it - we want more.

"Set a standard, meet it, then look to exceed it. Never stop focusing on what we can do better. That's our mantra.

"An individual who has embodied that recently for us has been Joe Gomez. The start to his season wasn't straightforward. He had setbacks to contend with and challenges to face.

"We all know what a massive talent Joe is, but at this level it's also about perseverance. It's meant the world to all of us to see how he's stepped up yet again and is playing with such confidence and control.

"Joe isn't someone who is bothered about individual praise and he'll be the first to say that, in terms of contribution to the team, he has even more to give.

"But I think his situation is a great example to any player that hard work and only hard work is the path to achieving something special - be it as a person or a team.

"Regardless of all the external talk around us at this moment, I can promise Liverpool supporters that we won't change our approach at any point during this campaign.

"Until the very last kick of the very last game our only objective is to be better in the next match than we were in the one before it.

"It's been an attitude that's served us well until now and there is no chance we're going to change it."

Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium, or subscribe online by clicking here.

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Jürgen Klopp: The here and now is our everything

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 06:00

The only thing Jürgen Klopp reviewed as 2019 ended was the strength and characteristics of tonight's opponents, Sheffield United.

The Reds kick off 2020 with a home encounter against Chris Wilder's side in the Premier League as they look to take their impressive form into the new calendar year.

While 2019 brought ever-lasting memories for Klopp and his players, the boss is in no mood to reflect due to the unfinished business that remains with half the season left to play.

In his programme notes, the 52-year-old writes: "I spent a lot of the post-match interviews after Wolves being asked about my reflections of 2019 and even though it was a year with a lot of happy memories, from a football perspective there isn't anything 'new' we have to think about. There is no pause and certainly no stop.

"Our professional life works in 'seasons' rather than calendar years, so in this moment I am not in the reviewing mood.

"We are exactly halfway through a league campaign, with two cup competitions to fight for also. So, we are right in the middle of something and nowhere near an ending.

"The only reviewing we are doing in this moment is with regards to our next opponent. We have reviewed Sheffield United extensively, but that is all.

"I spoke after the Wolves game about how the team and the supporters are a unit in this moment in how they view the current situation and I think this is an important point.

"The world we live in means that we are constantly presented with invitations to see conclusions where there are none.

"For the players, my staff and I, it is very easy to maintain the concentration we need because of how hard the challenges we face are.

"How do you stay focused? That's easy - look at how strong Sheffield United are. If you were in danger of distraction, spending time analysing our opponents soon sharpens the senses."

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Highlights | Reds win reverse meeting at Bramall Lane

Klopp continues: "I referenced the supporters after Sunday's game because I think their understanding and intelligence was a critical factor in us getting the result we did.

"We have all long since learned we can achieve nothing alone, but the Wolves game was a perfect case study in terms of the importance of players and supporters being one.

"Anfield is our greatest asset because of the role our supporters play. They are in this moment with us and they know their job so well.

"Like the players, it's important we maintain this now. Arrive at every game with the attitude of making the 90-plus minutes the most important of their lives.

"Don't look ahead, don't dwell on what is behind. The here and now is our everything on the pitch and in the stands.

"I know we need it again tonight. This game is going to be a battle where every second matters."

Pick up your copy of the official LFC matchday programme at the stadium, or subscribe online by clicking here.

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Jürgen Klopp on rotation, the reason for changes and being honest

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 22:29

Jürgen Klopp outlined the thought process behind his line-up changes as Liverpool prepare for their latest Premier League task on Thursday night.

The Reds kick off 2020 with a home fixture against Sheffield United having posted successive wins over Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers since becoming world champions in Qatar.

After rotating more heavily in the early stages of December, Klopp made only a single change to his starting XI for each of those league matches.

Asked if that recent consistency of selection is a result of the alterations at the beginning of last month, during his Sheffield United preview, the boss said: “[Xherdan] Shaqiri would have played the last game [but for injury], so it would have been two [changes] probably, but it didn’t work out.

“Rotation is only one thing you think about; how do you change a line-up because of freshness? Yes, when you feel it’s really busy then you have to make changes, but in other situations what we try to make sure is the pieces we put on the pitch fit together.

“So, when we played Everton at the beginning of the month and made five or six changes, we were sure this offensive line, for example, will click together. That’s why we did it.

“Then we had the games after that, more intensity, we get numbers and all that stuff. It’s not that I sit there and think, ‘Come on, let’s play them today.’ It’s just how it can work together and sometimes, and not very often, but sometimes the next game as well is a little bit in mind if it’s only three days.

“You have to make sure you have line-ups for all the games but the focus is always on the next game, obviously. We did it because we could do it and we will do it when it’s appropriate, that’s how it is.”

Liverpool emerged with three points from a hard-fought affair against Wolves on Sunday, settled by Sadio Mane’s goal late in the first half.

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And Klopp explained why, despite being satisfied with the final result, it was important he and his players acknowledged the performance could have been better.

“We were not happy with all parts of the game; we were happy with the result but the game gave us a lot of space for improvement. You don’t have to be a super football brain to see that,” said the manager.

“We had a very good first half, a long period where we really played around their formation and others when we were direct, and we caused them a lot of problems. Then we didn’t do that anymore and it was immediately a different game.

“They changed a little bit at half-time; they were kind of angry and came out like this, a bit braver. They changed the game and you feel that. They had not a lot of shots on target but they missed the target by a pretty small margin in some moments. We felt that.

“I told the boys what I think we should have done better, of course, immediately after the game. But it’s not about that – I was really happy about the result. But, of course, we have to work on performances.

“We never did, and should not start, lying to ourselves that everything is fine when it’s not, because we have to make sure we improve. We will do, 100 per cent.”

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'Be the guy who played against us like crazy' – Jürgen Klopp on Takumi Minamino

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 15:02

Jürgen Klopp has told Takumi Minamino to be the player that impressed so much for Salzburg during their two Champions League encounters with Liverpool earlier this season.

Minamino arrived at Melwood on Tuesday for his first day as a member of Jürgen Klopp's Reds, having agreed a switch from the Austrian champions last month.

Watch: Takumi Minamino trains with LFC teammates at Melwood

The Japan international is ineligible to feature in Thursday's Premier League fixture with Sheffield United, but Klopp stated it won't be long before supporters see the 24-year-old in action. 

Read on below as the boss discussed Minamino's arrival on Merseyside at a press conference on Wednesday... 

On how Minamino is settling in and how long before he's considered for selection...

This time we are not allowed. From the next moment on, we are thinking about bringing him into the squad. Yesterday he was here, we had a very light session and he enjoyed it a lot. The boys were incredible with him – Sadio, Naby with the Salzburg genetic or DNA whatever. It was really nice. If I would like to be a new player, I would like to be a new player in that group because they welcome you with open arms. That's really nice, I think he felt that. I'm not sure if [it] was a surprise, but he felt it. Communication-wise is really good, so his English is absolutely OK but the German is really good – it doesn't help the team much but me! We can talk, we didn’t do it yesterday too much, just a little bit because it's now important that he really settles. We signed the player he was at Salzburg, so that means he doesn't have to change in the moment, just be who you are. Then we start working on that, that’s how it is. I'm looking forward to it.

On whether there's anything he can do to fast-track the No.18's integration to the squad...

Not really. That was the little talk we had, that I told him that we really signed Takumi Minamino from Salzburg, the guy who played against us like crazy, who was self-confident like crazy. Just be that and everything else is fine. Then we will see how we will fit him in. In this period of the season especially, there will not be like 15 weeks until we use him, that's how it is. Is it then the finished article in March? I don't know. We start learning about each other from now on and that's exactly what we want to do. He will have all the time he needs. But how much time he needs, I have no idea. 

On allowing Minamino an adaption period... 

It would be crazy if you wouldn’t do that. That would be really nice if you could give him some time. We have a really good football team already and he's an offensive player. Offensively, we have some of the best players probably in the world. But we didn't bring him in to accept like, 'I’m number five, six, seven, eight or only four'. He can play different positions. I think after the last press conference when we spoke about him, somebody made a headline that he's really good but I have no clue where I can bring him. What I wanted to say was, I have many options with him and that's clear. I don't know where he will start now, when he starts because I don’t have to know it in this moment. We can really work on that and we want use his natural skills. That's why I said we will not start filling him now with information immediately and, 'You have to do this and that'. We want him to be as natural as possible. We will see how long. But it would be nice if you and all the other people could give him time. 

On Minamino's personality...

Super kid, super boy. We knew that before. He was the player of my former player, who is now manager of Gladbach. Whatever I wanted to know I could ask Marco Rose and he was very positive about him, so there was no doubt. That’s all good. We can start now. He will learn English really quick, I'm sure, and he speaks already a little bit. Yesterday he was in the rondo with all the English guys and there's a lot of talk. I'm not sure he got a word because when Milner, Robertson and Trent Alexander speak to each other, I'm not sure if any English guy would understand that! But he adapts 100 per cent, everything is fine. How I said, yesterday was the start, now he's here and now he can work.

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Jürgen Klopp on January transfer window and Adam Lallana future

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 14:21

Jürgen Klopp discussed the January transfer window and Adam Lallana's future during his pre-Sheffield United press conference today.

The boss spoke to the media at Melwood ahead of Thursday’s fixture at Anfield – the Premier League leaders’ first of 2020.

Having already completed the signing of Takumi Minamino, Klopp was asked if the opening of the transfer window is currently part of his thoughts.

“I know it,” he replied.

“I think we have every year the same situation: ‘Would you want to buy a centre-half?’ I would say yes. In two weeks? No – because then they are all back. It’s like this, it’s just always tricky.

“So, no, we will probably not be too busy in the transfer window. We will see what happens but it’s not likely.”

[embedded content]

The manager was also asked about speculation regarding the future of Lallana, who made his 14th appearance of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out.

“Everything about Adam Lallana, Adam Lallana knows and I know, and I’m really happy for him that he’s in sensational shape at the moment; that’s what we try to show constantly, as often as we bring him in,” said Klopp.

“He is a very important player in this moment. What will happen in the future, we will see. But for him, wherever it is – here or somewhere else – the only important thing is that he can show he is 100 per cent fit.

“He had some injury problems [that are] completely done; trained, body is super fit, mind in a perfect place, enjoys the time here in the moment. You can see that in each second of training and [when] he plays, very influential.

“But these kind of things we don’t discuss in public, so you have to speculate further.”

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LFC fitness latest ahead of Sheffield United clash

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 13:33

Liverpool have no fresh fitness concerns ahead of Thursday’s Premier League encounter with Sheffield United at Anfield.

Jürgen Klopp reported no new injury worries during his pre-match press conference at Melwood on Tuesday morning, confirming the Reds would have the same squad of players available that faced Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out.

Elsewhere, the manager detailed progress in the recoveries of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fabinho and Dejan Lovren, though they remain unavailable for the visit of the Blades.

More to follow...

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Reds in negotiations with Sevilla over Diego Carlos

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 11:29

Reports from Spain claim Liverpool have already begun negotiations over Sevilla defender Diego Carlos, who Real Madrid are believed to have identified as a replacement for Sergio Ramos.

Brazilian defender Carlos has impressed since joining Sevilla from French club Nantes for just £13.5million in the summer.

The 26-year-old is likely to fetch much more than that when he leaves Sevilla, with Liverpool ready to offer £65million for his services, according to a report from Spanish publication Eldesmarque.

Carlos started every La Liga game for Sevilla this season, helping them to third in the table, and Liverpool are reportedly set to swoop for him in the summer.

Source: Daily Mirror

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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The final vote: Choose Liverpool's Goal of the Decade now

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 09:59

There are 10 remaining contenders for the title of Liverpool's Goal of the Decade - and you can choose the winner now.

Throughout December, we gave you the chance to select the best Reds strike from each year of the 2010s, with the winners progressing to a decisive vote.

We now have our final shortlist of 10, which you can watch again in the video below.

But which was the very, very best? Have your say in the poll below and we'll reveal the No.1 soon...

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Andy Robertson interview | New year aims, unbeaten runs, fitness and more

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 08:00

Andy Robertson senses a determination within Liverpool’s dressing room to surpass the achievements of an ‘incredible’ 2019 in the new year.

The European and world champions, and commanding leaders of the Premier League, begin 2020 with a game against Sheffield United at Anfield on Thursday. 

Last year was, of course, nothing short of glorious for the Reds, with three trophies won and a remarkable tally of 98 points amassed from 37 top-flight matches throughout the 12-month period.

However, Robertson and his teammates have no intention of letting up, with the left-back detailing their intentions for the year ahead during a wide-ranging interview with

Unbeaten runs, his fitness and the threat Thursday’s opponents will pose were topics also discussed when we sat down with the Scotland captain at Melwood...

Andy, let’s start back looking back. It’s fair to say 2019 was a special year for everyone connected with Liverpool Football Club. How would you sum it up?

It was incredible. I think it’s one that probably every Liverpool fan will look back on in years to come and one that will always be special but obviously as a player, it was incredible. For me, at the very start I signed a new contract to commit my future here which was important to me and something that was so exciting for me. Then to follow it up with a record tally and numbers in the Premier League - we fell short [there], but obviously to get our hands on the Champions League trophy was massive. The celebrations and stuff after that is something that we’ll never, ever forget and when teams have that success you always wonder ‘can they keep it going in the following season?’. So far, we have done that so 2019 has been a very successful year for Liverpool and for all of us, and let’s hope 2020 has the same in store.

Beginning of End of the decade the decade

— andrewrobertso5 (Andy Robertson) 30th Dec 12:10

As the tweet you put out on Monday showed, the last decade was quite a journey for you personally, too...

Yeah, look I think in the decade I’d be very surprised if many lives have stayed still or whatever, but for me it was something to look back on and to go ‘that’s where I was at the start and this is where I am at the end’. The last 10 years have been about hard work and determination and blood, sweat and tears as such. I put absolutely everything into the game and I’m grateful that I got the rewards. I don’t believe you 'deserve' anything, but I got the rewards that my hard work got me to and I’m just delighted to be here and hopefully that can continue.

Looking ahead, it’s going to be difficult but presumably the plan is to try to make 2020 even better than 2019?

Of course, there’s not much point in us standing still. Look, it’s going to be a tough year to top in terms of winning the Champions League and the tally in the Premier League and stuff like that, but that has to be our aim. We’re going into 2020 and we’ve put ourselves in a good position - we’re obviously in the last 16 of the Champions League and we’re in a good position in the Premier League, so it’s up to us to continue that and to not let 2019 be the only year they talk about with this group of boys. That’s our determination and hopefully I’m sitting here this time next year and we’ll go ‘what a year it’s been again’ and then we’ll move on to 2021. That has to be the aim, that’s the determination for all of the boys and now it’s up to us to fulfil it.

2.65 - Liverpool end 2019 having earned 98 points from 37 Premier League matches; their ratio of 2.65 points per ga…

— OptaJoe (OptaJoe) 29th Dec 18:38

The new year begins for Liverpool on Thursday when Sheffield United visit Anfield. A win or a draw would mean you’ll have gone a whole year unbeaten in the Premier League - what would that say about this team? 

It would say a lot. I think it says more about our mentality than it maybe does about our skill because to be able to do it when on a lot of occasions it’s been Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, we’ve had a lot of games. And obviously going far in the Champions League last season, we went right to the end, but to still not lose your focus in the Premier League is so important. For us, I think that would say more about our mentality than it does about our skills or how good we are or whatever. It would be massive for us to go a whole calendar year [unbeaten], but I’d rather a whole season than a whole calendar year because I think that would mean we would be champions. So that has to be our aim and hopefully we can get the result that we need on January 2 to do that [go the year unbeaten], but we’ll let other people talk about that and we’ll just move on because we’ve got no time to waste with a massive FA Cup game in the coming days. 

Do the last two games sum up what this Liverpool side is about? It was a magnificent performance at Leicester City on Boxing Day and then you dug in deep to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers three days later. You seem to have mastered the art of winning any kind of game…

Leicester was a fantastic performance, I think maybe one of the best this season. Then obviously with the quick turnaround – I didn’t see many Premier League games but I think quite a lot of them would have been very similar to that [the Wolves match]: quite scrappy and a lot of tired legs and people just trying to get the win and that’s what we had to do against Wolves. Wolves have been outstanding this season, it was such a tough game. They’re an incredible team with a very good manager, so to get our noses in front it was just then, when your body is a bit fatigued and you’re tired, it’s about keeping your concentration and not making mistakes and I think we managed to do that. We didn’t control the game as much as we’d have liked, but I think over this time of year when the games do come thick and fast then it’s about the three points and I don’t think anyone inside Anfield would have argued us winning 1-0 that night and just getting out of there with the three points.

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It’s now 50 Premier League home games unbeaten, with 17 wins in a row, and you didn’t lose a game in any competition at Anfield in 2019. Those are incredible stats, but what are the reasons behind them?

I think there’s a lot of reasons. The team is very good but I think we also use the Anfield crowd. I think the people who come into Anfield are now seeing a team that they are proud of and a team that they can relate to, and I think that’s why the support has been so good and why the supporters can get right behind us. The fans have been incredible, in 2019 they’ve been incredible. The stuff we’ve won unfortunately means they’ve had to travel a bit further and dip into their pockets and pay a lot on tickets and flights and things like that, but I’m sure it’s all been worth it for them. We can’t thank them enough for their support and hopefully it continues into 2020 because we don’t want that run to end. Anfield’s been a tough place to come - nobody likes coming to Anfield and that’s proven by the results, but it’s now up to us to not rest on that and think people will come and fear it as it is. No, we need to keep putting performances in that people are scared of and we need the crowd as loud as they can to make it intimidating because every Premier League ground we go to, every Champions League ground we go to, they try and do the exact same to us. So the fact we’ve got Anfield behind us always gives us that slight advantage.

It was obviously a very busy, and very successful, December. How are you feeling fitness-wise after such a demanding month?

I think if you asked any Premier League player if they are tired at this time of year, then yeah, we are. Of course we are, the Premier League put on a hectic schedule with a lot of games and they’re all crammed in, so I would very much doubt that anyone’s feeling fresh but we look after ourselves and that’s why we have so many staff in Melwood looking after us. They’re top in everything that they do and our recovery is so important. It’s all about looking after yourself and luckily we’ve all done that so for me, fitness-wise and mentally-wise, I’m feeling strong and feeling fit. [Against] Wolves I was pretty tired I think, but tiredness starts in your head and I was just trying to knock that out and I think a lot of the lads were trying to do that. Luckily we managed to get through it but I feel as good as I can be and that’s the most important thing for me.

Sheffield United have had a brilliant first half of the season, and it was a real battle at Bramall Lane back in September. What is it that makes them such tough opponents?

They’re so hard to play against. You know you are coming up against a team with 11 lads who are drilled very well and they buy in to everything that their manager does. That’s the key to it for me, I know a couple of the lads through Scotland and they all love playing their football. It’s maybe a similar feeling to here, we love coming in to train every day, we love playing games, and I think that’s what Sheffield United have this season. They’re in the top half of the table when at the start of the season they’d probably have been a lot of people’s favourites to go down, and they’ve proved everyone wrong. Fantastic team, fantastic manager, and like you said, the Bramall Lane game was one of our toughest this season. It probably had 0-0 written all over it until their ‘keeper made a fortunate mistake for us, unfortunate for them, but there was nothing between us. We know that we have to be better than we were that day because they are a better team than they were then and they have more experience as a Premier League team. We know what we’re coming up against but I’m sure they do as well and if we’re at our best then we believe we can win the game.

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Their defeat at Manchester City on Sunday was their first away loss in the Premier League this season. That just underlines what a difficult game it will be on Thursday, doesn’t it?

Yeah, [it’s] incredible for a newly promoted team to have that stat going into December of not getting beat away from home. I’ve been in a newly promoted team and you usually rely on your home form because that’s where you’re comfortable, but for them to go away from home and pick up points here and there and beat some big teams, it’s incredible and that’s what we need to be wary of. Man City have got the better of them but they only won 2-0 and I think Pep Guardiola said after the game ‘why criticise City, why not give Sheffield United praise?’. They’ve been unbeaten away from home and I think it might only be us that have a similar record. Most teams have been beaten away from home so that shows you how good they are. They’re not scared about going to the Etihad, they’re not scared of coming to Anfield. They’ve been to Goodison and won, they’ve been to places and won so they’ll come to Anfield and I’m sure they won’t fear us, but it’s up to us to put in a performance that [means] they hopefully don’t go away with anything. 

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1.30pm GMT: Watch Jürgen Klopp's pre-Sheffield United press conference

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 06:00

Jürgen Klopp will hold a press conference at 1.30pm on Wednesday to preview the Premier League fixture with Sheffield United – watch it live with us.

The table-topping Reds kick off 2020 with a home encounter against Chris Wilder's side on Thursday.

Return to this page shortly before the start time to see the boss field questions from journalists ahead of the game.

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Categories: LFC NEWS