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Updated: 25 min 11 sec ago

LFC Foundation and NSPCC unite to protect local children

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 10:00

LFC Foundation will support the NSPCC in its work to educate and protect children and young people in 2019.

The Foundation’s football coaches will be utilising their relationships with Merseyside schools and local young people to support the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children charity in its ongoing commitment to educate children and adults about the signs of neglect and abuse and provide help to those that need it. 

Jenny Stewart, interim head of LFC Foundation, said: “The NSPCC is without doubt the most well-informed and respected authority in child protection. The principles of their best practice guidelines in safeguarding are embodied in every aspect of the LFC Foundation’s work.

“We plan to use our excellent local connections to help capture the attention of children and adults alike and, alongside the expertise of the NSPCC, increase understanding around the important issues of child welfare and safety, encouraging anyone to speak out or seek help if they are worried.”

The Foundation will also be promoting the NSPCC’s ‘Light For Every Childhood’ campaign at the Boxing Day fixture against Newcastle United at Anfield.

The campaign highlights child neglect, an issue that often goes unseen and unnoticed, leaving children feeling unloved, invisible and alone. Nearly a third of all calls to the NSPCC Helpline last year were related to neglect - a figure that’s even higher at Christmas.

Prior to the game, NSPCC representatives will be in Anfield’s Family Park with information about the campaign, and will be providing free face-painting to help young supporters ‘get their sparkle on’.

Alex Modder, a service centre manager at NSPCC’s Liverpool base, said: “I am delighted that the LFC Foundation is lending its support to the NSPCC’s efforts to shine a light on neglect.

“Liverpool FC is a family-driven football club and I know its supporters will help us to raise awareness of this issue and provide support to local children that may need it. I am certain that this will be the start of a powerful collaboration that will change children’s lives for the better.”

If you are worried about a child or you work with children and need advice or information, call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000. Children and young people can get free information from Childline by visiting their website or calling 0800 1111.

For more information about the NSPCC’s ‘Light For Every Childhood’ campaign, click here 

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Christmas Day quiz: The answers

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 09:00

We set you 25 questions, some easy and several quite hard, to test your Liverpool FC knowledge.

Here are the answers...

1. Who scored Liverpool's first goal of 2018?

Sadio Mane

2. Who netted the winner in Liverpool's first victory of 2018?

Ragnar Klavan

3. Who scored a dramatic winner on his LFC debut in the first home game of 2018?

Virgil van Dijk

4. Who scored Liverpool's first hat-trick of 2018?

Sadio Mane

5. When the Reds last faced Bayern Munich in the European Cup, who scored the vital away goal to take them into the final?

Ray Kennedy

6. Who scored Liverpool's first Premier League hat-trick of 2018?

Mohamed Salah

7. Against which team did Trent Alexander-Arnold net his first LFC goal?

Hoffenheim

8. Which treble hero celebrates his birthday on December 25?

Gary McAllister

9. How many goals did Ian Rush score against Everton for Liverpool?

25

10. Of those goals Rush scored against the Blues, how many of them were in cup finals?

4

11. How many goals did Steven Gerrard score in Merseyside derbies?

10

12. Which team did Gerrard score the most goals against for Liverpool?

Aston Villa

13. How many goals did John Aldridge score for LFC against Everton?

1

14. Against which team did Mohamed Salah register his 40th Reds goal?

AFC Bournemouth

15. Which former Liverpool captain was nicknamed 'Vitch'?

Ronnie Whelan

16. Which Istanbul hero wore the No.16 squad number for the Reds?

Dietmar Hamann

17. Ian Callaghan made a record-breaking 857 appearances for the club - who was his last game against?

Borussia Moenchengladbach

18. Against which team did Sir Kenny Dalglish make his final LFC appearance?

Derby County

19. Who came off the bench to score twice when Liverpool beat CSKA Moscow to win the UEFA Super Cup?

Djibril Cisse

20. Who netted the Reds' final Premier League goal of 2017-18?

Andy Robertson

21. Former Liverpool No.21 Djimi Traore only scored one goal for the club. Who was it against?

Steaua Bucharest

22. Which England international recently made his 100th appearance for the Reds?

Nathaniel Clyne

23. When Liverpool last won the league title, who netted the winning goal from the penalty spot?

John Barnes

24. How many goals did legendary 'Super Sub' David Fairclough score for the Reds from the bench?

18

25. Who was in goal for Barcelona when Gary McAllister netted the winning goal in the 2001 UEFA Cup semi-final?

Pepe Reina

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Out now: LFC x New Balance Sportswear Collection

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 09:00

© Copyright 2018 The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited. All rights reserved.

Developed and maintained by the LFC Technology and Transformation Team

Match Statistics supplied by Opta Sports Data Limited. Reproduced under licence from Football DataCo Limited. All rights reserved.

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Milner: Benitez will have a plan - but we're flexible

Wed, 12/26/2018 - 08:17

James Milner has cited tactical flexibility as an important factor behind Liverpool's formidable record so far this season.

The Reds head into their Boxing Day fixture with Newcastle United at Anfield four points clear at the top of the Premier League following last Friday’s 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Jürgen Klopp’s team remain unbeaten in the top flight this term and have amassed 48 points from their 18 league matches to date.

Milner expects Rafael Benitez, Newcastle’s manager who spent six seasons in charge at Anfield between 2004 and 2010, to have drawn up a typically-astute game plan for this afternoon’s match.

However, the vice-captain believes Liverpool have proven their ability to both carry out and overcome a variety of strategies during 2018-19.

“He’s obviously shown over the years that he’s very good tactically and a very good manager,” Milner told Liverpoolfc.com of Benitez.

“He’ll set his team up and he’ll no doubt watch a lot of our games so he’ll know where he thinks our strengths and weaknesses are, so it’s down to us to be able to adapt. 

“I think we’ve done that well this year, finding different ways to win games. You can’t always play free-flowing, attacking football and be on the front foot for 90 minutes in every game. 

“It’d be nice if you could be but you can’t. You have to adapt and find a way to win and find the right way to play in each game, and that dictates how we play on the day but also how the opposition sets up and how the manager wants us to play. 

“I think that’s a good quality within the group. We have that, we have different ways of playing, we can play different formations, and we have a very strong squad with a lot of good players and also players who can play in different formations and styles of play.”

While Liverpool sit top of the Premier League, Newcastle visit L4 looking to strengthen their bid to avoid relegation.

Milner, though, insists there will be no sign of complacency in the home dressing room today.

“It’s an old, boring cliché, but there are no easy games in the Premier League,” the No.7 stated.

“That’s the fact, whether you’re at the top or the bottom or a team in the middle, everyone wants the points. Liverpool’s a big club and a big scalp, and teams know what a test it is to play us and they’re going to raise their game playing against us as well. 

“So we have to be ready for that and we know how difficult it’ll be, but hopefully our qualities come through.”

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Jürgen Klopp on Newcastle, the title race, being top and more

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 22:29

Jürgen Klopp has provided an in-depth analysis of how he sees the Premier League title race shaping up.

But the boss’ immediate concern is Liverpool’s Boxing Day fixture against Newcastle United, not the bigger picture of the table.

Klopp’s league leaders go into Wednesday’s meeting with Rafa Benitez’s side four points clear of Manchester City, who in turn have a two-point advantage over Tottenham Hotspur.

Ahead of the Magpies’ visit to Anfield, the manager faced the media at Melwood, where he was questioned at length about the situation at the summit of the top flight.

Read on for a full transcript of what Klopp had to say…

On whether being top creates a different kind of feeling and pressure in the dressing room…

I think I told you all the time that we never think about City, right? So now we start thinking about City? That would be silly. It’s not interesting, we don’t watch the table first thing in the morning or something like that. I didn’t expect that City would lose against Crystal Palace, of course not, but it was clear that, like it can happen to us, it could happen to them. That’s football, I am too long in the business and know things like this can happen. Crystal Palace obviously deserved it in a specific way - three shots or four shots on target, I think City had a few more. That’s it. We are in December, nothing changed, absolutely nothing. We were focused so far always on the next game and that didn’t change since Saturday.

In the moment when people are not involved, but emotionally involved like friends and stuff like that and they see City lose 3-2 and you get all these messages - ‘wow, unbelievable, blah blah blah’ - and I don’t even feel it. In the job you know they still have 20 games to play. I’m a sportsman since I was five years old, I was running races and [doing] light athletics and stuff like that and if you think after 300m ‘I have him’, you are silly and you can never win. So why should you even think before you’ve won something that you maybe win something? We are not children anymore, we are just in a situation.

On Sunday when you saw Tottenham, with all the things being said about us and Man City, how can anybody forget Tottenham? That was impressive and they said it by themselves I think after the game: ‘Everybody is talking about the other two.’ That’s a nice situation. So for us we don’t do favours for anybody, you [the media] do sometimes favours because you talk only about us and them [City] and you give Tottenham a chance to come from the back and overtake you. All these things are not important. Obviously we play a very good season so far and it gives us a much better basis for the second part of the season than we had last year. That’s all, nothing else. So there is no celebration, no happiness [or] more happiness than before only because we are now a few points ahead of Man City with 20 games still to play. Really, really a lot of things can happen and always in the moment when you think it’s OK then something happens and it’s not that OK anymore. We all have to fight.  

Wednesday is a very important game. Everybody is in a Christmas mood apart from us. Everybody in England wants Boxing Day games, good, but then don’t be in a Christmas mood on the 26th. Come in and for these one-and-a-half hours give all you have because we need again an exceptional atmosphere to beat a very-difficult-to-beat team. Take nothing for granted. Don’t think that because we have that number of points and they have that amount of points… If you think that, that’s the moment when things go wrong. It can still go wrong, that’s how life is, but we have to be focused, we all have to be focused, not kind of nervous.

I heard all these things [about Liverpool being the only club to not go on and win the league when top at Christmas in the last 10 seasons] - wow, you are afraid to say it because you think then I know it, but it’s all just stories. What does it mean? It’s a different team, it was a different time, everything is different. It’s not interesting. If that would not have been the case and Liverpool would have been champions twice, would I then think now ‘halfway through, job done’? No, of course not. Nothing happened so far, we don’t have to think about May. What we have to do it think about December 26 against Newcastle, let’s try everything we have to win that game. After that, Arsenal is coming. You don’t have to go home after the Newcastle game, you can stay in the stadium because they are coming. So, all good. It’s a very intense time, let’s enjoy it, how we did all the time, and then it can be good or not.

On whether he senses a hunger for success within his squad…

For the second half of the season? We are. We smelled it a little bit last year how it could be. We were close a few times, that’s how it is, and if you are not silly that shows you that we are not bad, so let’s try it again, let’s try to be as successful as possible. In no sport in the world can you be successful without any kind of hunger, it’s not possible. If you are satisfied with something then you must be a genius and maybe there are a few of them out there [who] don’t need the perfect attitude and can still win things [but] usually, no chance with that. I think that’s fair play, that’s how it should be.

On whether the growing maturity in his squad can help them take the ‘final step’…

Not alone but as a piece, yes. Why not? It’s not that we want to make ourselves smaller than we are, but I can feel it that nobody here is obviously used to dealing with the success of Liverpool, but a lot of you feel for that club. I think after the [Wolves] game somebody asked me whether it is now ours to lose - we were one point ahead or whatever and he asked me that! Wow, that’s really crazy! If you want to have guarantees, go for another sport. If you want to be sure in May that it will be something really special but you don’t want to see the way to that day, make a holiday. I don’t know where the Premier League is not broadcasted but you will maybe go there! But if you want to enjoy the ride, to try everything you can to be as successful as possible, welcome. Let’s go for it, that’s all we can do, nothing else. And not because our grandfathers did it or didn’t do it, that has no influence.

On his players dealing with the pressure of being top at Christmas…

There is no pressure, I don’t see the pressure. Yes, there is pressure of course because we want to win against Newcastle, which is difficult enough. But now if I would listen to the pre-match interviews [before the Newcastle match] and I hear a player talking and someone is talking to him about May, I would take the mic and throw it somewhere! Only because that’s not fair. We have to play football and it’s not to think about what can we do in the summer. All these games are very difficult, they are really difficult and only because we won a few of them, that doesn’t mean it was easy. It wasn’t, you saw them all. It needs all our focus and that’s what we have to do. There’s no test for the boys. If we are not first in the table anymore on January 3 or whatever then maybe we lost a game, probably we lost a game until then. If we lose a game one day and everybody starts immediately saying ‘Wow, they showed they cannot deal with the pressure’, there’s still 17 games to go or something like that. So if you are excited, good. I am completely relaxed with the situation to be honest, that’s how it is in this moment. I am not relaxed around the games because I am really on my toes, I would say, but from all the things around, the stories and all that stuff, it’s all cool. There’s no extra pressure on us because of a four-point gap.

On what he will tell his players about what is required to win a title, after his successes with Borussia Dortmund…

Nothing new. That’s what I tell them since we are together - I don’t expect more than we can really do. The only thing is that I don’t think that we are already there, that’s all. We don’t have to think about other teams, other teams do not think about us and if they do, that will never help so they don’t do it. If you think about another game then it’s only for motivation, like Tottenham on Sunday: ‘Everybody is talking about City and Liverpool, let’s see that happens.’ That’s a nice situation. But all these kind of poker games, we don’t play. The thing is, you have to make the most of what you’ve got, that’s it, and we have a really good squad and we could so far always line up proper, proper teams. As long as you are not injured, don’t look for excuses and play the best football you are able to in that specific moment, build on that and do it in the next game again. Of course we know much more about us in this moment than we did in the summer, because we now know a few things work really well together, a few things we still need to work on, how it always is. I can’t think of specific line-ups that didn’t work out well so far but that will be in the future, so we need time for that and for the rest we only need all our energy, all our belief in this thing here, in this project, how ever you want to name it. It’s a nice and pretty good situation, but a lot of other teams have good situations as well, that’s it. I realise in the moment I have not enough English words to explain to you all to relax.

On whether he can transmit his own experiences of being involved in a title race to his players…

I don’t know. I think so, but I don’t know. It worked out really well in 2012, [but] 2013 not that good. But it’s not about that. I am for sure the reason for a few things that are not that good because I am far away from being perfect, but my experience or not experience will not be key. Then City has the biggest advantage because they were last year champions all together, they know how it works and what to do: do it again and it will happen. It’s not about that and it’s not about being champions, it’s not about sitting here and now we are first we only talk about being champions at the end of the season - why should that be? We collected so many points, it’s a new record I think, so let’s go on that path further on and then we will see where this path ends.

Liverpool v Newcastle: Team news>>

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Stats: Klopp aims for 100th win as Liverpool manager

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 17:00

Jürgen Klopp could achieve the 100th win of his Liverpool reign when Newcastle United visit Anfield on Boxing Day.

The match is the German's 181st as Reds boss and he will celebrate a century of victories if the Premier League leaders can overcome the Magpies.

Success against Rafael Benitez's charges would see the home side secure an eighth consecutive league win for the first time under Klopp.

For more pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on…

[embedded content]

This will be Liverpool's 89th Boxing Day fixture; they have won 41 and lost 23 previously, while at Anfield they have won 24 of 43 and are unbeaten in the last 11.

If the Reds avoid defeat they will extend their unbeaten home league run to 30 games, having won 20 and drawn nine since losing to Crystal Palace in April 2017.

A win or draw would see Liverpool record their joint-third-longest unbeaten run from the start of a league campaign. It is their longest since 1987-88, when they suffered a first loss in their 30th game.

Klopp's side have 48 points from 18 league games - the best start to a season in the club's history. It has never previously taken Liverpool fewer than 23 matches in the Premier League era to achieve the 48-point mark.

Liverpool's next goal will be their 50th of the season in all competitions.

The Reds have scored in 22 consecutive home matches against Newcastle - a Premier League-record run - while they have scored in 35 of the last 36 in the top flight at Anfield.

Liverpool have won more home games against the Magpies - 18 - than against any other team in the Premier League era.

There has not been a goalless draw in any of the last 64 meetings between the sides, a run dating back to February 1974 and a clash in the north east.

Benitez has been the visiting manager at Anfield four times in his career, winning once, losing once and drawing twice. In three of those games, his team scored twice.

The Spaniard took charge of three matches at Anfield on Boxing Day as Liverpool manager - winning all three by an aggregate of 7-0, including a 2-0 victory over Newcastle in 2005.

James Milner played 136 times for the Magpies, scoring 11 goals, during a spell on Tyneside from 2004 to 2008. His first strike in senior football came 16 years ago to the day of this game, in Leeds United's 2-1 victory at Sunderland; Robbie Fowler netted the winner from the penalty spot.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored 11 goals in 40 games for Newcastle in his one season with the club before joining the Reds in 2016.

Virgil van Dijk is set to make his 100th Premier League appearance; the first 67 came with Southampton.

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Christmas Day quiz: 25 questions to test your LFC knowledge

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 08:30

Test your Liverpool FC knowledge with our annual Christmas Day quiz.

There are 25 posers for you below - some easy and some not - and we'll reveal the answers on Boxing Day...

1. Who scored Liverpool's first goal of 2018?

2. Who netted the winner in Liverpool's first victory of 2018?

3. Who scored a dramatic winner on his LFC debut in the first home game of 2018?

4. Who scored Liverpool's first hat-trick of 2018?

5. When the Reds last faced Bayern Munich in the European Cup, who scored the vital away goal to take them into the final?

6. Who scored Liverpool's first Premier League hat-trick of 2018?

7. Against which team did Trent Alexander-Arnold net his first LFC goal?

8. Which treble hero celebrates his birthday today, December 25?

9. How many goals did Ian Rush score against Everton for Liverpool?

10. Of those goals Rush scored against the Blues, how many of them were in cup finals?

11. How many goals did Steven Gerrard score in Merseyside derbies?

12. Which team did Gerrard score the most goals against for Liverpool?

13. How many goals did John Aldridge score for LFC against Everton?

14. Against which team did Mohamed Salah register his 40th Reds goal?

15. Which former Liverpool captain was nicknamed 'Vitch'?

16. Which Istanbul hero wore the No.16 squad number for the Reds?

17. Ian Callaghan made a record-breaking 857 appearances for the club - who was his last game against?

18. Against which team did Sir Kenny Dalglish make his final LFC appearance?

19. Who came off the bench to score twice when Liverpool beat CSKA Moscow to win the UEFA Super Cup?

20. Who netted the Reds' final Premier League goal of 2017-18?

21. Former Liverpool No.21 Djimi Traore only scored one goal for the club. Who was it against?

22. Which England international recently made his 100th appearance for the Reds?

23. When Liverpool last won the league title, who netted the winning goal from the penalty spot?

24. How many goals did legendary 'Super Sub' David Fairclough score for the Reds from the bench?

25. Who was in goal for Barcelona when Gary McAllister netted the winning goal in the 2001 UEFA Cup semi-final?

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Video: Merry Christmas from Liverpool FC!

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 07:30

Liverpool FC would like to say Merry Christmas to supporters celebrating the occasion around the world.

And several members of the Reds squad have sent their own festive wishes to fans this Christmas Day in a special video message.

Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk are among the senior players to feature in the clip, which you can watch above now.

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Jürgen Klopp's Christmas message to Liverpool supporters

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 07:00

Jürgen Klopp has shared a special message for Liverpool supporters around the world on Christmas Day...

As always, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our supporters a very happy and peaceful Christmas Day, however they choose to mark this time of year.

As a club, Liverpool have fans from all over the world, all of whom will have their own individual customs, beliefs and traditions and will choose to mark today in their own way.

As I have said before, this is the same for us at Melwood – we have a wonderful and diverse mix of cultures and backgrounds, all coming together. There’s something really special about this.

However you spend today, I hope you have a wonderful day with family and friends. This, for me, is important and what I love about this time of year.

For us as a team, today is another day in our preparations. We will train this morning at Melwood, go home to our families this afternoon and then return to the hotel tonight ready for tomorrow’s important game with Newcastle.

This is my fourth Christmas as the manager of this incredible football club and although I am not the kind of guy to allow myself to look backwards, I think it is fair to say we have had an incredible ride in 2018 with some real highs and a couple of disappointments.

That’s what gives me the confidence and belief there is more to come from these boys in 2019, that there is more to come from this journey we are all involved in.

We can – and should – all be proud of what the team have done so far this season, but this is only the beginning and there is still such a long way to go, both this season and in terms of what this group of players can achieve.

The best thing about these boys, and what has helped us have such a good start to the season, is they do not listen to the noise; they are 100 per cent every single day in training and every single matchday. We know when we say ‘one game at a time’ some people might consider it football talk, but that really is the way for us. It is the philosophy that has got us to where we are currently.

We cannot promise anything for 2019 except we – the players, my staff, the people who work at the club and me – will do everything we can to try to make it a special year.

When I look back at this year, one of the things that gives me the most pride is that we have shared our journey with our supporters every step of the way.

I will never forget those nights at Anfield in the Champions League that helped us reach the final; I will never forget some of the special scenes we had celebrating with you at the final whistle in the away games in the tournament; and I will never forget the scenes in Shevchenko Park in Kiev when you showed the absolute best of Liverpool Football Club. When I watched the footage on YouTube and the documentary on LFCTV… wow. What can I say? I don’t think I have the right words! But it shows this club is very special.

Of course, there were many great days and nights domestically, too. We are all aware of the individual sacrifices you make to follow us and so it is important to say that we do not take it for granted. We absolutely appreciate it, 100 per cent.

We are all on this journey together.

I would also like to take a moment to highlight the work of those in our community today, who will dedicate their time to helping others.

Our annual visit to Alder Hey is always an emotional but inspiring experience and this year was no different. It is a place the city of Liverpool can be incredibly proud of, with absolute world-class staff supporting those brave children and parents fighting some of life’s most important battles. I cannot tell you how high my respect and admiration is for everyone there. I will be thinking about you today.

This year has also continued to see the foodbank initiatives continue to support families and individuals across the city who are less fortunate than others. I really love this idea that Fans Supporting Foodbanks is a joint initiative by both Liverpool and Everton fans. I also was delighted to hear about how many donations were received at the recent Anfield derby.

Reds and Blues coming together to help others is something special, something – again – the city should be very proud of, and I know both clubs invest a lot themselves in community work.

And there are plenty more organisations and individuals who will spend today helping and supporting others – too many to mention individually, in fact – as well as those people who will continue to work their day jobs for the care and safety of everyone.

To all of you, you have my absolute respect and all of us at Melwood say thank you and Merry Christmas.

So, finally, we look forward to seeing quite a few of you at Anfield on Boxing Day for another important match, in which your support will be absolutely key to us getting the result we want. We also know that all across the world, many more will be following the game by other means.

I have said before, I absolutely love the idea of people all over the planet all being invested in our 90 minutes of football. There is something very comforting and special about this and again highlights my point about this being a collective effort – players, staff and supporters.

However you spend today, I hope you have a wonderful day.

You’ll Never Walk Alone,
Jürgen

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Gladbach fans to make annual Anfield visit

Tue, 12/25/2018 - 00:30

A group of Borussia Moenchengladbach supporters will be arriving at Anfield on Boxing Day to continue a special relationship with Liverpool FC which has thrived since their maiden visit in 1992.

The two teams met in three European ties during the 1970s, beginning with the 1973 UEFA Cup final.

And in a poignant gesture following the Hillsborough disaster, Gladbach supporters donated approximately £7,000 to the families of the 96 fans who lost their lives as a result of the tragedy in 1989.

The German side's official supporters' club will cheer on the Reds as the Bundesliga pauses for a winter break, taking in the home clash with Newcastle United.

Showing incredible dedication, the 75 visitors are due to depart Germany by coach at 6pm on Christmas Day and are scheduled to arrive on Merseyside at 12pm on Boxing Day.

On Thursday December 27, there will also be a pub tour as supporters from both clubs mark the festive celebrations, led by organiser Graham Agg.

Any Liverpool fans interested in joining the event should contact Agg via his email address: grahamlfc@aol.com.

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Liverpool v Newcastle: Team news

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 17:00

There was a double fitness boost for Liverpool ahead of their Boxing Day meeting with Newcastle United at Anfield.

Midfielder Naby Keita trained with his teammates on Monday after being forced off during the Reds’ 2-0 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers due to a series of knocks.

Trent Alexander-Arnold has also returned to training and is back in contention having missed the wins over Manchester United and Wolves with injury.

“Trent is back in training, in full training. We will see,” said Jürgen Klopp, who also confirmed Liverpool have no fresh fitness concerns but Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are not close to comebacks, at his pre-match press conference.

[embedded content]

The Reds boss anticipates Newcastle – managed by Rafael Benitez – will field a back five for the Premier League clash on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was really, really happy when I saw the attitude we had for that game [against Wolves],” he said. “That’s what we need: stay angry, stay greedy, stay really in the job. That’s what we have to do against Newcastle again.

“It’s now the third time probably we’ll play against a back five, but still always different. We need to adapt to the different things they offer.

“Rafa, with all his quality, can organise a defence pretty well. That’s not so cool. It’s good for him, not so good for us, but we will still try to beat it.”

James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum face one of their former clubs, while Virgil van Dijk is set to make his 100th Premier League appearance.

Newcastle will definitely be without midfielder Ki Sung-yueng, who is joining up with South Korea for the forthcoming Asian Cup.

Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow and former Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey missed the Magpies’ most recent match, a goalless stalemate at home to Fulham on Saturday.

Benitez, who guided the Reds from 2004 to 2010, has managed a visiting team at Anfield on four previous occasions, with one win, one defeat and two draws to date.

On the hectic festive schedule, the Spaniard said: “You don’t have time to recover, so everybody has to be ready because we may need them. We have to manage the squad in the best way possible.”

Last time out

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Liverpool (December 21): Alisson, Milner, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.

Newcastle United v Fulham (December 22): Dubravka, Dummett, Schar, Lascelles, Manquillo, Ritchie, Ki, Diame, Atsu, Perez, Rondon.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Video: Christmas Eve rondos at Melwood

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 14:53

© Copyright 2018 The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited. All rights reserved.

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Match Statistics supplied by Opta Sports Data Limited. Reproduced under licence from Football DataCo Limited. All rights reserved.

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Liverpool and Chelsea handed Christian Pulisic boost

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 14:33

Liverpool and Chelsea's hopes of landing Christian Pulisic have been handed a boost.

German giants Bayern Munich have also been monitoring the American winger during the last 18 months.

But the Bavarians, looking to overhaul an ageing side in 2019, have switched their attention from Pulisic to Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz.

Bayern have all but dropped their interest in Pulisic; they reckon he would prefer to head to the Premier League and also that BVB would prefer to sell him abroad.

That is giving Premier League sides something of a free run at Pulisic who has just 18 months left on his deal at the Westfalenstadion and is available for the right price in January.

The 20-year-old is no longer a guaranteed first-choice under Lucien Favre - in part thanks to the emergence of Jadon Sancho.

Pulisic has started just one Bundesliga game since September but both Jurgen Klopp and Maurizio Sarri remain big fans.

Sarri is keen to add more pace to his attack at Stamford Bridge and Pulisic fits the bill, while Liverpool's transition back to a 4-2-3-1 formation means Klopp could look to add to his ranks next month - if the right opportunity presents itself.

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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41 photos from Liverpool's Christmas Eve training session

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 13:23

Liverpool picked up preparations for their Boxing Day clash with Newcastle United during a training session at Melwood on Christmas Eve.

The Premier League-leading Reds host the Magpies at Anfield on Wednesday afternoon seeking to further extend their unbeaten record.

Work towards that goal continued in a training session 48 hours ahead of kick-off - and our photographer attended to provide the gallery below.

Like Liverpool's training kit? Click here to check out the full range>>

Photos by Nick Taylor

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Play the LFC Foundation Lottery and help support Military Veterans

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 12:00

The LFC Foundation’s Military Veterans project aims to support and re-engage ex-military service men and women back into civilian life through the power of football.

Over 100 veterans a week take part in football sessions across Liverpool to help recapture the ‘spirit of service’ and comradeship that is so powerful amongst ex-military personnel and is often lost on their return from service.

It gives veterans the opportunity to increase their physical activity and exercise levels, while improving their mental wellbeing through the formation of new friendships with like-minded people. Alongside the training, there is also access to health, educational, employment and volunteering opportunities.

You can help support LFC Foundation projects like the Military Veterans programme by playing the LFC Foundation lottery. The next draw takes place at the Newcastle United game on Boxing Day, and tickets can be purchased either online or at Anfield on matchday.

In addition to a fantastic cash prize, you can also win a pair of tickets to the 2019 LFC Foundation charity match, with Liverpool Legends to take on their counterparts from AC Milan at Anfield on Saturday March 23.

Play the LFC Foundation lottery now by clicking here>> 

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Klopp on Rafa Benitez's return to Liverpool

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 10:51

Jürgen Klopp wants Liverpool to stay 'angry and greedy' when they attempt to overcome a Newcastle United side led by Rafael Benitez at Anfield on Boxing Day.

The Reds established a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a professional 2-0 victory at Wolverhampton Wanderers last Friday.

Klopp’s long-standing respect for former Reds boss Benitez means he understands the formidable obstacle likely to be in the way of three points.

“I have known him for a long time,” said the German when asked about his opposite number during Monday’s pre-match press conference.

“I knew him before I came to Liverpool and he always did a brilliant job. He was very successful, he was outstanding at Napoli, and won different things. That makes him a special person.

“I don’t know too much about Newcastle; from time to time I read a little bit and I heard nobody was really happy with the amount of money they had to sign players. But Rafa is too experienced to carry that through a full season.

“Now they are really settled and are in a good moment result-wise after a difficult start. It was always difficult to play against them, at Newcastle and here at home as well. We know it will be a tough job.

“I knew the Wolverhampton game was a big challenge for us, because playing against United and winning, and before that against Napoli – big stages – and then going to Wolverhampton, not only in players’ minds but in people’s minds it could drop focus a little bit.

“So I was really, really happy when I saw the attitude we had for that game. That’s what we need: stay angry, stay greedy, stay really in the job. That’s what we have to do against Newcastle again.

“It’s now the third time probably we’ll play against a back five, but still always different. We need to adapt to the different things they offer.

“Rafa, with all his quality, can organise a defence pretty well. That’s not so cool. It’s good for him, not so good for us, but we will still try to beat it.”

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Wednesday’s game marks the fifth occasion Benitez, who led Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005, will manage the visiting team at Anfield.

The Spaniard is guaranteed a warm welcome from the home crowd – a sentiment the incumbent boss appreciates each time it happens.

“The supporters of this club are famous for not forgetting people who did an outstanding job here,” said Klopp.

“It’s not only Rafa but it’s Rafa especially because he is still in the Premier League and from time to time around, he is still living in the area. Obviously he became a proper Scouser, which is quite rare for a Spanish guy.

“I like him. He is a fantastic manager and a really good person. I’m happy for him that he always gets this kind of reception, it’s nice. It shows that obviously Liverpudlians don’t forget that easily. It’s good for him, very good.”

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Jürgen: How world-class Mohamed Salah is evolving

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 10:42

Jürgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah’s all-round game has evolved as he’s adapted to playing in a slightly different position for Liverpool this season.

The forward has struck 14 times so far this term to lead the Reds’ scoring charts, netting most recently with a deft finish at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night.

Salah was again deployed as the furthest player forward at Molineux – a position he’s operated regularly in 2018-19 – and produced an outstanding display, which also included an assist for Virgil van Dijk’s second-half goal.

“It’s good,” Klopp told reporters at Melwood on Monday morning, when asked about the Egyptian’s development. “He had to adapt a bit to the slightly different positions; it’s not that much different, but it is different from time to time.

“We need him as a link-up player as well and that’s a very important part of our game, but he is still with the desire and with his speed. His speed in the first few yards is just impressive. He is a very important part of our finishing situation in general, how we prepare them, how we come into the situations.

“Of course, he is young enough to involve a lot more things in his style of play. It is not just speed, it is not just finishing, it is between the lines, there are a lot of things, there is keeping the ball, but you need your body for that. That was the only problem Mo had a little bit at the beginning of the season, a part of his body was not perfect.

“If you work in an office and your shoulder is not 100 per cent, if it is not your writing hand then it should be OK, but if you are a professional football player in this moment it just keeps 10 or 15 per cent away.

“He is a world-class player, but we all knew we had to wait for the moment when everything is fine – that is already a few weeks ago and so it’s all good.”

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Jürgen Klopp's update on Liverpool's January transfer plans

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 10:20

Circumstances will dictate whether Liverpool are active in the January transfer window, which opens on New Year’s Day.

Jürgen Klopp was asked for an update on his plans in terms of potential incomings during Monday’s press conference to preview the Boxing Day meeting with Newcastle United at Anfield.

The boss said: “I’m very happy with what I’ve got and what I have, but how I said, we don’t know and that’s the only little bit why I keep the door open because if some things happen then we need to have a look. 

“Well, if a few more things happen then we need to have a look because there are a monstrous number of games still and it’s really important that we can always react. 

“But as long as we can react then it’s all good, but how I said, if something will dramatically change then we need to have a look, that’s all. If nothing happens, then I would say we will not do anything.”

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LFC fitness update: Naby Keita and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 09:38

Jürgen Klopp is hopeful Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita will be available for Liverpool’s Boxing Day clash with Newcastle United at Anfield.

Alexander-Arnold has resumed full training after missing the Reds’ last two matches due to a foot issue sustained against Napoli earlier this month.

Keita, meanwhile, was forced from the field during Friday’s 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the rib and foot injuries he picked up during the contest are not serious.

Klopp told his pre-match press conference at Melwood: “Trent is back in training, in full training. We will see.

“Nothing new [on Keita] because it is pretty early, [but] nobody said to me so far he cannot train. I expect him back in training.”

Elsewhere, Klopp reported no other fresh injury concerns ahead of the visit of Newcastle, though confirmed Joe Gomez and Joel Matip remain sidelined.

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Christian Pulisic update as Dortmund make transfer contact

Mon, 12/24/2018 - 09:05

Christian Pulisic could be on the move in January after Borussia Dortmund made contact with Borussia Monchengladbach over a replacement.

Pulisic has been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea and is approaching the final year of his contract.

Dortmund have been insistent he will not leave in January despite the cut price he would go for in the summer if he remained.

Pulisic is keen on a move to the Premier League and is said to prefer a switch to Liverpool.

And the Reds may have been given a boost with Dortmund now making a move for their replacement.

According to RMC Sport Dortmund have contacted Borussia Monchengladbach about Thorgan Hazard.

The former Chelsea man, and Eden Hazard’s brother, has been in fine form in the Bundesliga this term.

Some have suggested Chelsea still have a buyback clause to resign Hazard, but Speaking in 2016, Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl dismissed the suggestion.

"There is no clause," he told Express.de .

"I do not want to comment on any contract content. But we also do not need to make any secrets about it.

"If we get such a top player from Chelsea, then Chelsea has, of course, always the opportunity, in whatever form, to think about this player."

The 25-year-old has scored nine times in 17 games and has six assists.

Monchengladbach are third in the Bundesliga behind Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

Pulisic’s game time at Dortmund has been reduced this season following the emergence of Jadon Sancho.

The England ace has become the newest star on the block and has pulled ahead of the American in the pecking order.

But Chelsea and Liverpool remain keen on Pulisic and are expected to test the waters next month.

Source: Daily Express

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

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