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Daniel Agger set for return to Anfield

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 09:59

On the 13th anniversary of his signing for the club, Daniel Agger has been confirmed to play in March's Liverpool FC Legends charity clash with Milan Glorie.

The Dane, a composed and classy defender, joined the Reds on January 12, 2006 from Brondby and went on to make 232 appearances, scoring 14 goals before departing in 2014.

Agger will return to Anfield later this year and join up with the likes of Jamie Carragher, Jerzy Dudek, Robbie Fowler, Luis Garcia and many more for a match that will raise funds for LFC Foundation.

Invoking memories of the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and AC Milan, the Italian side will feature star names including Gennaro Gattuso, Kaka, Paolo Maldini and Andrea Pirlo.

The match at Anfield will kick off at 3pm on Saturday March 23 and tickets are available to buy online now, starting from £5 for juniors – click here for more details.

Hospitality is also available from £70 per person – call 0151 264 2222 or click here.

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Get your special signed Istanbul shirt from the 23 Foundation

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 08:00

Jamie Carragher's 23 Foundation is offering Liverpool fans the chance to get their hands on a special replica 2005 Champions League shirt signed by a pair of Istanbul legends.

These unique souvenirs - entitled 'Working Class Heroes' - feature a special embroidery on the front, with the squads of AC Milan and Liverpool and details of the scorers and match.

What's more, each shirt is personally signed by Carragher and Steven Gerrard.

The boxed version comes with the 23 Foundation certificate of authenticity as well as two iconic images from that famous night in Istanbul.

It costs £185 plus shipping, which is £15 to UK and Europe. The framed version is £245 plus £25 for shipping to UK and Europe.

To order, please click here to visit the 23 Foundation's charity web-shop or email Mike Lepic via mike@jamiecarragher.org.

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Stats: Sadio Mane set for LFC milestone at Brighton

Sat, 01/12/2019 - 07:00

Sadio Mane could make a milestone appearance in Saturday's Premier League clash at Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Senegal international, who joined Liverpool from Southampton in June 2016, will play his 100th match for the club if selected at the Amex Stadium.

Mane has scored 42 goals for the Reds, against 23 different opponents, but is yet to find the net against Brighton.

For more need-to-know pre-match facts and figures, courtesy of club statistician Ged Rea, read on...

Liverpool have won 16, drawn eight and lost only four of 28 meetings in all competitions with the Seagulls. At Brighton, the Reds have won six and lost two with five draws.

The three Premier league clashes have seen Liverpool win them all - scoring 10 goals and conceding once.

Mohamed Salah scored the 100th goal in matches between the two clubs to secure a 1-0 Premier League win for the Reds at Anfield earlier this season.

Liverpool are four goals short of recording 50 in the league against the Seagulls.

The Reds have kept two consecutive league clean sheets against today's opponents. They have never secured three in succession.

Virgil van Dijk could make his 50th appearance for Liverpool in all competitions if he features against the Seagulls.

Premier League leaders Liverpool lost to second-placed Manchester City last time out, they have never lost two in a row in the top-flight under Jürgen Klopp. 

Current Brighton boss Chris Hughton has lost all six previous meetings with Liverpool as a manager, conceding 25 goals.

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The view from Brighton: Jules Breach on Seagulls v Reds

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 22:00

Liverpool travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday seeking to bounce back from their first loss of the Premier League season - and BT Sport's Jules Breach believes they'll find it tough on the south coast.

The league leaders' 20-match unbeaten run in the top flight came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at second-placed Manchester City last week, although Jürgen Klopp's side remain four points clear at the summit.

Meanwhile, Brighton picked up a point at West Ham United to continue a run of form that had seen the Seagulls beat Everton 1-0 and draw 1-1 with Arsenal in their previous two Premier League outings - both at the Amex Stadium.

Chris Hughton's side, who were defeated 1-0 at Anfield earlier in the season, sit secure in mid-table and booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round with a 3-1 win over AFC Bournemouth at the weekend.

So, what can Liverpool expect from the Seagulls on Saturday?

We caught up with Brighton fan, presenter and journalist Jules Breach (@julesbreach  / julesbreach) to find out...

We last spoke back in August when you gave your expectations for the season, so what's your half-term report on Brighton?

I can't believe we're halfway through the season already, it's flown by! But it's been a great first half for both Brighton and Liverpool.

The Seagulls are in decent shape - 13th in the Premier League and through to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a winnable home tie. The aim for Brighton, though, is always safety. That and progress, and I'm seeing good signs for both.

We've come up with some big results, my favourite being the derby victory versus Crystal Palace. And we got a decent return from the games over the festive period too, including draws with Arsenal and West Ham and a win at home to Everton.

There's certainly more depth in the squad, and as fans we're witnessing the improvement in players week by week, which is further evidence of what Hughton is continuing to work on at the club.

It's been an encouraging five months and looking at the upcoming fixtures there's definitely opportunity to put more points on the board and get closer to the magic number for safety.

Which player has surprised you most so far this season?

Recently, it has to be Jürgen Locadia. What a turnaround.

He's not set the Premier League on fire, but considering most fans were expecting him to potentially be gone in this transfer window, he's really worked hard and I'm pleased he's made the most of his game time.

He looks confident, sharp, and it seems to suit him playing wide. With two goals in his last three games, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts on Saturday. He's earned it.

It was a close game at Anfield, how will Hughton approach the match at the Amex?

It's no secret that Brighton seem to be a different animal at home. We've only lost one game at the Amex in our last seven, and that was to Chelsea. Our home form is impressive, but this statistic still surprised me: The Seagulls have only lost six home games since winning promotion in 2017.

So, I think it'll be tight against Liverpool, but Hughton will approach the match like any other home game. We want the three points and we have the advantage at the Amex.

Brighton have earned a reputation for scoring from set-pieces, is this deserved?

They all count! When you've got two absolute powerhouse defenders in the box in Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, plus top scorer Glenn Murray causing the opposition problems, I'm not surprised that other teams are wary of Brighton's threat from dead-ball situations.

Our last three goals have come from set-pieces and that is a facet of the game that we are rightfully making the most of - although I would like to see more from open play. Work in progress.

Will that be the Seagulls' best weapon against the Reds?

Brighton must play to their strengths against a team as good as Liverpool. Luckily for the Seagulls, it looks as though the Reds might have a reshuffle at the back with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren all out.

Brighton will want to make the most of that, and set-pieces could be key in getting the breakthrough.

What have you made of Liverpool's season so far?

They've been magnificent to watch. For me, they're the best team in the league this season. To get to January unbeaten was a real feat. We all know that in the last 10 years the only team to be top at Christmas and not go on to win the title was Liverpool (twice), but I think this season is different. 

With Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, the defence is so vastly improved, it surpasses any other team in the league - I mean, they've still only conceded 10 goals. There's been a tiny blip and Manchester City are ridiculously good too. It's a daunting task with how well the rest of the top four are doing, but I just think it's Liverpool's year.

Which key player battle could turn the game?

The Seagulls need to make the most of Liverpool's unsettled defensive partnership. The reshuffle at the back could cause problems for the visitors against a strong home side. I thought Ki-Jana Hoever did really well against Wolves in the FA Cup, but if he does start, his lack of Premier League experience could show. 

If Fabinho moves into the back four, it's still a defensive unit Liverpool aren't used to and whoever Hughton starts up top will want to cause that defence problems. I think it could be a key Murray v Fabinho battle as I think he'll get the nod ahead of Hoever.

Which one Liverpool player would you like to see lining up as a Brighton player?

The Egyptian magician, surely! Mo Salah is just spellbinding. I love that he's proved everyone wrong: he isn't a one-season wonder. He's a massive talent that brings fear to every defence he's up against.

How do you expect the Seagulls to line up?

I can't see many changes from the last Premier League game against West Ham.

Chris Hughton will stick to his usual system: David Button in goal in Mat Ryan's continued absence at the Asia Cup; Martin Montoya, Dunk, and Duffy at the back and if Bernardo isn't back fit from his knock then I'm guessing Gaetan Bong will come in at left-back.

It'll likely be Solly March, Davy Propper, Dale Stephens, Pascal Gross, and Locadia in midfield, and then the only real question mark I have is who Hughton plays up front. 

Murray hasn't scored in six Premier League games now, but he tends to score most of his goals at the Amex. Hughton could opt for Florin Andone for more pace, but in my opinion, against Liverpool I think he should go for Murray for the start of the game, his wealth of experience against an untried defence could be the difference.

If that fails, then Andone can come on and change the game with his energy. Positive thinking!

What is your prediction for the game?

I've been struggling with this one because you can look at it two ways: it could be a good time to play Liverpool off the back of two defeats with a weakened defence; or, with the title race now so close, the Reds could come to the Amex totally fired up with Klopp demanding a reaction from his men.

No team has really torn apart Brighton this season, though, and if the Seagulls exploit Liverpool's defensive issues, I do think it could be close again. But, if Liverpool's front three click, they could run rampant and we could see a repeat of the 5-1 scoreline last season.

So here goes with my actual prediction: Brighton will score, but Liverpool will be so desperate to win this, I think they might just have too much. Brighton 1-2 Liverpool.

Premier League 2018-19 Premier League 2018-19

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Match report: U18s beat Sunderland to go top

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 21:08

Luis Longstaff’s classy second-half goal saw Liverpool U18s move top of the table with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.

The young Reds dominated Friday’s match at the Academy from first whistle to last against opponents they dispatched 6-1 on the opening day of the season, but their unrelenting pressure was not reflected on the scoreboard until just after the hour mark.

Leighton Clarkson was the architect as his quick thinking from a corner found Longstaff in the box, with Liverpool’s No.11 duly jinking his way onto his right foot and burying a shot from around 16 yards out.

And that would prove enough for Barry Lewtas’ team to resume their U18 Premier League campaign with a victory that lifts them two points clear of Everton at the summit of the division, albeit having played one game more than their neighbours.

Liverpool - who were missing Bobby Duncan with the U18s’ top scorer set for U23s duty on Monday - pushed and probed during an authoritative start that saw second-bottom Sunderland unable to advance much further than the edge of their own penalty area.

Rhys Williams headed Jake Cain’s corner over in the early stages and Clarkson went close twice in quick succession midway through the half.

First, the ensuing scramble from another Cain set-piece ended with Remi Savage teeing the midfielder up, but his shot from close range was diverted wide by a last-ditch block.

Clarkson then took aim from distance, but Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Pattison was equal to his low attempt that skidded up off the turf.

With the game being played almost exclusively in the visitors’ half and the young Reds’ purposeful passing pulling their opponents this way and that, it felt like a matter of time before the opening goal arrived.

But a combination of Sunderland’s defensive discipline and a brilliant reaction save from Pattison in stoppage time - the ‘keeper somehow clawing away Paul Glatzel’s powerful volley from Williams’ knockdown - ensured it was all square at the break.

There was no discernible change in the pattern of the match following half-time and Sunderland’s resistance was finally broken in the 63rd minute.

Clarkson’s clever set-piece found Longstaff, who deceived his marker with some neat footwork and planted a firm strike beyond Pattison at the ‘keeper’s near post.

Longstaff very nearly had an assist to his name soon after.

The 17-year-old wriggled free down the right and set up Elijah Dixon-Bonner on the edge of the box, but the substitute’s attempt - a first-time curler struck well with his instep - went narrowly wide. 

Pattison was forced into another save from Jack Bearne’s snap-shot in the closing minutes, but Longstaff’s moment of quality had, it turned out, already settled a one-sided encounter.

Liverpool U18s: Jaros, Walls, R Williams, Savage, Larouci, Clarkson (Dixon-Bonner, 65), Sharif, Cain, Longstaff (Ritaccio, 86), O’Rourke (Bearne, 77), Glatzel.

Unused substitutes: B Williams, Brookwell.

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Sadio Mane: My 100th game for LFC will mean a lot

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 18:30

Sadio Mane has described playing for Liverpool as ‘something incredible’ as he prepares to make his 100th appearance for the club.

The No.10 will reach his century should he be selected against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, with his 99 Reds matches to date yielding 42 goals.

“Of course, it means a lot to me,” Mane told Premier League Productions of the prospect of representing Liverpool for the 100th time.

“To play at a club like Liverpool is something incredible. I always said, I am very happy to play for this club. Every single day I enjoy being here and I’m looking forward to playing my 100th game. It will mean a lot. 

“Thank you to everybody - the club, the fans and the coach for the trust. I will try to do everything with my teammates to win something for this club.”

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Jürgen Klopp’s side head to the south coast on the back of successive 2-1 defeats to Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Last Thursday’s loss at Etihad Stadium reduced the Reds’ advantage at the top of the Premier League to four points, while the reverse at Molineux four days later saw them eliminated from the FA Cup.

Mane, though, senses a determination within the squad to get back to winning ways at the first opportunity versus Brighton.

“The manager is very, very positive,” the forward said. 

“He has a lot of experience and he knows in football [defeats] can happen. The reaction is the most important thing. Everybody is more focused and knows what it would mean for us to win on Saturday. 

“We know it will not be easy but we have quality and we’re going to try to do everything to win the game.”

Earlier this week, Mane attended the 2018 CAF African Player of the Year awards in his homeland Senegal.

For the second year in succession, the 26-year-old finished second behind Mohamed Salah in the running for the prize, but he believes his teammate merited top spot.

Mane continued: “Honestly, he deserves it. He had an incredible season for us last year and scored many, many goals. 

“I think he deserved it and I’m happy for him. Sadly, I didn’t win it - but it’s no problem. I will work harder and harder, and hopefully next time.”

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Salah scoops Standard Chartered POTM for December

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 17:05

Mohamed Salah today collected his second Standard Chartered Player of the Month award of the season after being voted Liverpool’s star man for December.

The Egyptian was presented with the trophy at Melwood on Friday in recognition of his sparkling form throughout the final month of 2018, pipping Virgil van Dijk and Xherdan Shaqiri to the prize following a poll on Liverpoolfc.com.

Salah netted seven goals in eight appearances during December to help the Reds maintain their push for Premier League and European success.

He struck a hat-trick during a 4-0 victory at Bournemouth before bagging the crucial only goal of the game to move the Reds into the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win against Napoli at Anfield.

The No.11 also found the target against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United and Arsenal as Liverpool ended the year with eight straight victories.

Watch: Salah on winning POTM award

Upon being presented with the award, Salah told Liverpoolfc.com: "I think was a good month for all of us and I’m very happy about it. Being able to help the team to win games is the most important thing for all of us.

"Now we need to carry on. We have show a good reaction after the last league game against Man City. It will be very important for us as a team and as a club.

"We have to show how to react. I am very excited about tomorrow [at Brighton] and I think it’ll be a very good game."

Salah's seven strikes throughout December showcased his ability to score different kinds of goals. So which one was his favourite?

"I think I would go for the one against Napoli," he replied. "It was the most important game in that period and I am happy I was able to score, so I’d pick that one.

"I was very happy to get the hat-trick at Bournemouth, but I think I’d go for Napoli because it was such a big game for us to carry on in the Champions League. It was very important."

Earlier this week, Salah was recognised for his outstanding form throughout 2018 by winning the African Player of the Year award for the second year running.

He said: "I am always very happy to win that award – it’s always been special to me to win it. I have to also say that Sadio also deserves it because he had an unbelievable year, but I’m happy about the award."

Standard Chartered Player of the Month winners 2018-19

August: Virgil van Dijk
September: Daniel Sturridge
October: Mohamed Salah
November: Trent Alexander-Arnold
December: Mohamed Salah

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Taiwo Awoniyi joins Mouscron on loan

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:59

Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has joined Royal Excel Mouscron on loan for the rest of the season, subject to international clearance, after his spell with KAA Gent was ended early.

Having signed a new contract with the Reds in the summer, the 21-year-old linked up with Gent in Belgium’s top flight for 2018-19.

Awoniyi made 22 appearances for the club in all competitions and scored three goals, before an agreement was reached to conclude his stay this month.

And the Nigeria youth international has immediately sealed a loan move to fellow Belgian side Mouscron - where he spent the whole of 2017-18, scoring 11 goals - ahead of the resumption of their campaign on January 20.

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Klopp: Manager of the Month award 'the icing on the cake'

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:07

Winning the Premier League Manager of the Month award represents the ‘icing on the cake’ of a fruitful December for Jürgen Klopp.

Liverpool’s boss received the accolade on Friday having led his side to victory in all seven of their top-flight matches throughout last month.

The Reds scored 22 times and conceded just three during those games, with that impressive record leading Klopp to describe December as ‘special’.

“It’s nice, the icing on the cake,” he said, upon being presented with the prize.

“It was a very successful but difficult month. Each game felt like the most important one of the season. It was unbelievable. The intensity was massive but that’s what made it a special month.”

Klopp and Van Dijk win Premier League awards for December

Klopp also saluted the efforts of his backroom team without whom, he insisted, such success would not be possible.

“One hundred per cent teamwork. I know a few things about football but my best skill is to bring really good people together,” he continued.

“I lead that group, that’s true, and I have to make final decisions but I can only make good decisions if the information I get is brilliant.

“With the group I have here, if you can mix up the potential of the group with the best attitude you can get and you get quality. That’s what we did in December.”

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Brighton v Liverpool: Team news

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:00

Liverpool will check on the fitness of Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip ahead of Saturday's Premier League meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Reds captain missed the FA Cup tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week due to a knock sustained in the previous game at Manchester City.

But he was set to resume training at Melwood on Friday, revealed Jürgen Klopp, after centre-back Matip – who has not played since December 11 – did so on Thursday.

“Joel trained [on Thursday] for the first time with the team, which is already really good but we have to see,” said the manager at his pre-match press conference.

“We have to decide it day by day how he is doing, I am not 100 per cent sure. He feels good and that’s good for us, of course. Hendo will train [on Friday] for the first time, we will see what that then means exactly.”

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Dejan Lovren is unavailable after picking up a hamstring injury at Molineux, however, and the game also comes too soon for Adam Lallana, while Joe Gomez remains sidelined.

Having made nine changes on Monday to combat fatigue and minor illnesses, Klopp added: “All are improving obviously, that’s clear. I don’t know if a few are available and for a few I know they are not available, so that’s the situation.”

Sadio Mane is in line for his 100th Liverpool appearance and Virgil van Dijk will reach a half-century of games for the club if he features at Amex Stadium.

Brighton will be without two players due to injury on Saturday – left-back Bernardo (hamstring) was forced off against West Ham United in the Seagulls’ previous Premier League match, while Jose Izquierdo (knee) remains sidelined.

Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Mathew Ryan are also unavailable as they compete in the AFC Asian Cup.

Chris Hughton’s side are unbeaten in their past four games in all competitions and beat Bournemouth 3-1 away from home in the FA Cup last time out.

“It’s about how you perform on the day,” Hughton said ahead of the Reds’ visit. “They will be big favourites, as everybody would imagine, and it will be us doing as well as we can on the day.

“I’d certainly rather be going into the game in good form than in bad form. In this game, people won’t expect us to get anything and anything we do get will be a bonus.”

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Last time out

Bournemouth v Brighton and Hove Albion (January 5): Steele, Bruno, Bong, Duffy, Balogun, Stephens, Knockaert, Bissouma, Kayal, Locadia, Andone.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Liverpool (January 7): Mignolet, Camacho, Lovren, Fabinho, Moreno, Milner, Keita, Jones, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi.

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LFC to host legends game in support of Sean Cox appeal

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 16:00

Liverpool Football Club will host a special legends game at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday April 12 in aid of "SupportSean", the Sean Cox appeal.

A squad of former Reds will line up against an Ireland XI team, with proceeds raised from the match donated to the Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust.

Sean’s wife, Martina Cox, said: “Sean has been supporting Liverpool all of his life and to have this match in Dublin in his name will be a special day. It’s going to be a very long and slow process for Sean’s recovery and I’d like to thank the overwhelming support Liverpool fans have shown.

“I’d also like to thank the club, players and those former players who will be playing in the match for their continued support. We are also working with LFC on a number of other initiatives that will help to support Sean’s care in the years ahead.”

Earlier this season, during the Reds’ Premier League fixture against Cardiff City, the club and fans came together to show their support for the appeal with volunteers from LFC and Spirit of Shankly staging a bucket collection at Anfield which was match-funded by LFC Foundation, the club’s official charity, taking the overall total to £59k. The club and first-team players are also supporting the appeal privately.

Peter Moore, chief executive officer at LFC, said: “We’re all behind Sean and his family. We hope this unique legends game in Ireland’s capital will be a huge success and help generate vital funds to support Sean’s rehabilitation. The solidarity shown from supporters throughout the world for Sean is incredible and we thank everyone for their continued support, including the Football Association of Ireland and its CEO, John Delaney, in helping to arrange this game.”

Stephen Felle, chairman of the Sean Cox Rehabilitation Trust, added: “As well as being a fantastic event in honour of Sean Cox, it will be a special opportunity for Irish Liverpool fans, and Irish sports fans generally, to see a myriad of legends play in the Aviva Stadium. To coincide with the visit of LFC to Dublin, we are also planning a gala dinner in aid of the SupportSean campaign in Dublin on the evening prior to the match.”

Full details of the game, including the squads and ticket sales, along with the gala dinner, will be announced in due course.

Reds fans can also support the appeal directly by visiting: www.gofundme.com/SupportSeanCox.

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Van Dijk: I've still got a lot to learn

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 15:01

Virgil van Dijk made a pledge as he collected the Premier League's Player of the Month award for December: "There is still so much to get better at."

The Liverpool centre-back was in imperious form as 2018 drew to a close, featuring in every game as the Reds surged to the summit with seven consecutive league wins.

Van Dijk helped secure four clean sheets and also broke his Premier League duck for the club with a calm finish in the 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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The Dutchman saw off strong competition to claim the individual honour for his performances and is the first defender to scoop the award for almost six years.

“I didn’t know that but I’m very proud to win this,” he told Premier League Productions upon receiving the trophy at Melwood on Friday.

“All credit to everyone that helped me win it and the fans who have been supporting me. December was a great month and hopefully we can keep going.

“It was a fantastic month for all of us, there were some great games. I enjoyed every bit of it. The Arsenal game was a great game to play in – it was obviously a fantastic win.”

December saw Van Dijk mark the one-year anniversary of the announcement an agreement had been reached for him to join Liverpool from Southampton.

The No.4’s influence on the team during 2018 was significant and he has quickly become a fan favourite due to his dominant displays at the back.

But the Netherlands captain demands more of himself.

“I’ve improved in every aspect of my game but there is still so much to learn and to get better at,” he said ahead of Saturday’s league meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion.

“I’m working every day to get to where I want to be – I want to get the maximum out of myself. That’s [done] by working every day and making sure that you give everything for the team and for your club.”

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Klopp and Van Dijk win Premier League awards for December

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 15:00

Jürgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk have today been named as the Premier League's Manager and Player of the Month for December.

The pair were presented with their prizes at Melwood on Friday in recognition of Liverpool’s outstanding end to 2018.

The Reds won all seven outings in the division to move to the top of the table, with 22 goals scored and three conceded.

Van Dijk figured in each of those fixtures, helping the team to four clean sheets and also netting his first top-flight strike for the club in the 2-0 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Klopp beat Nuno Espirito Santo (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham United), Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham Hotspur) and Maurizio Sarri (Chelsea) to the accolade.

Meanwhile, Van Dijk saw off competition from teammate Mohamed Salah as well as Felipe Anderson (West Ham United), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) and Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur).

Klopp was last named Premier League Manager of the Month in September 2016. It’s the first time both awards have gone to Liverpool since March 2014 when Brendan Rodgers scooped the manager gong and Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard jointly accepted the player prize.

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LFC's potential Youth Cup fifth round opponents confirmed

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 14:56

Liverpool's potential opponents in the FA Youth Cup fifth round have been confirmed.

The young Reds host Accrington Stanley in the fourth round on Monday January 21.

If they win that tie, they will progress to face either Hull City or Wigan Athletic in another home match.

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Klopp on Brighton challenge, bouncing back and cup exits

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 13:25

Jürgen Klopp is confident Liverpool’s confidence hasn’t been dented by successive defeats to Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers as he backed his players to return to form they showed at the end of 2018.

The Reds have begun the New Year with 2-1 reversals at the Etihad Stadium and Molineux in the Premier League and FA Cup respectively.

Nevertheless, Klopp is convinced his squad have put those losses behind them as they aim to maintain their grip at the summit of the league standings, starting at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Read on for a summary of what the boss had to say in his pre-match press conference at Melwood on Friday morning…

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On what the compact nature at the top of the table says about the league…

I think it says that statistics from the past have no relevance in the present. It is always different and that is what we’ve always said. We don’t think about the season before or 20 years ago or whatever. It’s our season and so far it’s really good. Now we have to carry on. It is not important what happened, so far it is only important as a basis. I cannot change it and we have to use it – and that’s what we try to do. Two weeks ago everybody was so excited about the distance between [Liverpool and the teams below] and stuff like that. We all are really in the job and it is just one [piece of] information in of 2,000, it’s not more. We’ve had now two games we lost and that’s not nice, but it is not a real problem because these games are gone as well. Now we have to prepare, which we already did of course, for Brighton and going there and trying our best again. We only talk here [in the press conferences] pretty much about the points, the distance and all that stuff. We never do that during the week because it is just not relevant. We have to only train as well as possible with as many players as possible that are fit, then we have to play the next game. That’s it.

On how the schedule will help with fewer games to play…

If you have the full squad together it is massive. It is really good, it’s my preferred rhythm to be honest. But especially if you play in Europe, then in each league in the world you have a lot of games in midweek. It’s not that we decided to go out of the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup and thought, ‘it’s not important’ – that’s not how it is. We got Chelsea at home, which was probably – as I’ve said before – for Chelsea and ourselves the most difficult game. It was pretty tight that game and we could have won it, but we lost it. Now at Wolves, it was the situation - we had to make changes after the most intense month of the year in December. If we would have played – with all respect – a League Two team or whatever, then probably the offensive line could have played because the intensity is different then. You have the ball most of the time, you can play and all that stuff. Against Wolves, it was clear with their style of play that they would make the pitch unbelievably big; they play diagonal balls over 60 metres and stuff like that, so you have to run. You cannot have the ball all the time, so that means you have to understand the expected intensity of the game and then you have to make a line up. That’s what we did with a few injury problems on top because a lot of players couldn’t have played. We lost there, that’s all. I would love to still be in these competitions, but we are not and now we have to make the best of the time we have now. I know Pep [Guardiola] said already he prefers to be in four competitions – yes, I would prefer the same, but we are not in so now we have to make the best of the time we have now and get as many points as possible.

On the job Chris Hughton has done at Brighton…

Chris is outstanding. It is unbelievable. I don’t know exactly when and where he started with Brighton, but is it right when he went there they were fighting to stay in the Championship? So, that says all about the improvement of Brighton under him. It is pretty special, and people forget sometimes things like that. It is just a tough one to go [to]. The kind of defending they do and the style of play they have when they have the ball, makes them special. It is really difficult in this Premier League to have the position they are in with not massive money to invest. They do it really smarty. In Dunk and Duffy, they have an outstanding centre-half pair. Balogun, who I know from Germany, is a fantastic boy to step in if he’s needed. Full-backs, they are always really, really smart in bringing boys in from wherever. Midfield, I think Propper is playing his best season since he is in England – he is really, really good and full of confidence. Together with Stephens, it is a good pairing. Having Gross around them playing in midfield or a bit higher, then they are really creative. Murray or Andone are brilliant strikers. Then on the wing, you have March, Knockaert or Locadia, different players but again speed and technical ability. It is just a good team. Usually in goal, I didn’t know him [Matthew Ryan] really before I came to England, but Mitch Langerak was my second goalkeeper at Dortmund and I always thought is it possible for Australia to have a better goalkeeper than him? Yes, obviously because Ryan is fantastic on the line. It is just a really good team. He is just doing a brilliant job there, I really like that. But still, we want to go there and want to show we are a good team as well. We have to make life as difficult as possible for them and try everything to win that game.

On what challenges face Liverpool after losing their unbeaten record in the Premier League…

The normal challenges. Now we go for the big stakes. Always you prepare bases, bases, bases. The less games you have, the better it is. You have already all your points, the points you need. Then you play each other or not, but it is normal and every year the same. It is like last year when we fought for the Champions League [qualification], everything was fine and then Chelsea found their feet back and it was really difficult in the end. We had to fight, that’s how it is. It’s the situation but nothing on top of that; it is just the normal thing. As long as you can stay completely focused, completely with yourself and be concentrated on what you have real influence on, the better is it. That’s what we try to do and so far it was pretty easy for us to stay focused – and it’s what we have to show – and will show again. There is no game in the Premier League where you can go and count the three points before you’ve played the game. I like that, it’s good. In the moment it should be OK line-up wise, but we already have problems. I saw the semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham, I saw both benches were full with players I know – that means they have full squads, lucky them! We have to make sure that we prepare ourselves as good as possible for this last part of the season. It has not started yet, but it will be from end of February. It will be there and we are still creating bases day by day. The best way to do that is to get points.

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West Ham United v Liverpool: Away ticket details

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 13:00

Liverpool FC has released the following information regarding away ticket sales for the Premier League match against West Ham United on Monday February 4 at 8pm GMT.

We have received a total allocation of 3,000 stand tickets for this ALL ticket fixture at the London Stadium.

Supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel.

Ticket prices

Adult - £30
Over 65/16-20 years - £25
15 and under (Juniors) - £25

Please be aware that supporters in possession of concessionary tickets will be asked for ID at the turnstiles. If supporters are not able to provide the relevant ID, they will be refused entry.

Hospitality Members

Sir Kenny Dalglish Box holders, Premium Level and Centenary Club members should contact the Hospitality Department on 0151 264 2222, option 2.

Disabled Supporters

Within the allocation, we have received 21 pairs of wheelchair and personal assistant tickets. Ambulant and personal assistant tickets are also available, concessions apply - please click here.

Ticket Sales

The below sales will take place online only.

Tickets will be available to Season Ticket Holders, Official Members and Fan Card Holders based on attendance at Premier League away fixtures during Season 2017-18 on the following days:

Attendance at 11 games: From 8.15am on Wednesday January 16 until 10.45am on Thursday January 17.

Supporters are guaranteed a ticket during this sale and can purchase one ticket per person, up to a maximum of 10 tickets per transaction.

The following sales will then take place on a first come first served basis, subject to availability, and supporters can purchase one ticket per person up to a maximum of four tickets per transaction.

Attendance at 10 or more games: From 11am until 1.45pm on Thursday January 17.

Attendance at nine or more games: From 2pm on Thursday January 17 until 10.45am on Friday January 18.

Attendance at eight or more games: From 11am on Friday January 18.

Should there be any tickets remaining following the initial sales, Liverpool FC will make a further announcement. Supporters are advised to check here for sale updates.

For ticket fulfilment (Delivery & Collection of Tickets), click here.

For coach travel, click here.

For visiting supporters guide, click here.

For away support information, click here.

For general information, click here.

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Klopp on Fabinho at centre-back, Van Dijk form and squad depth

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 12:38

Jürgen Klopp has discussed the situation of his squad options and the challenges Liverpool will have to embrace in the second half of the season.

The Reds resume their Premier League campaign as leaders on Saturday, when they face Brighton and Hove Albion away from home.

With fatigue and injuries affecting the players after a frantic run of fixtures, Klopp made nine changes for the FA Cup defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers earlier this week.

The manager reflected further on that decision – and the reasons for it – as he previewed the trip to Brighton during his pre-match press conference.

He also assessed the form of Virgil van Dijk, the prospect of Fabinho playing at centre-back at the Amex Stadium, and the consequences of being eliminated from the FA Cup.

Read his answers on those topics below…

On whether Van Dijk is already one of the best centre-backs in Premier League history…

I think much more positively about my players than I talk to you about them; the problem I have is if I follow your path with praising things, we create headlines. They don’t make sense. In the end, if Virg looks back on his career in, hopefully, he’s a centre-half so he can play maybe until 39 or so. There is a lot to come. If everybody is looking back then and says he was the best centre-half in Premier League history, then he did a lot of good things during his career. He has outstanding potential. He is a fantastic person, he is physically strong and has all the technical things you need as a centre-half. So many things were already good and many things he can still improve. That’s the situation. I don’t have to judge him now and compare with other players in the past. Most important is that he is fit, so far constantly – that helped a lot. It helped him a lot as well because he could get rhythm and stay on track and all that stuff. I really like him as a player and a person, good boy.

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On having to use players out of their ‘natural’ positions…

If you speak about Fabinho, if he has to play as a centre-half, for example – which is not sure in the moment – but if, he played it before. We do that [planning and adaptation] on the training pitch. With a lot of information you have – and I have it obviously – you can complicate things. What we want is the natural understanding of the game because it’s still only football; if you are a holding six or a centre-half, with the ball it’s easier, without the ball it’s different because you don’t have a line behind you. But they are pretty much the two most important things, so use one and be prepared for the other, and everything will be fine. You have help from players around, one player usually can’t decide a game up front; it happens from time to time, but in defence you always need the boys around you. We speak a lot during the week but we try to make it not more complicated than it is.

On the benefits of some senior players being ‘rested’ on Monday…

We had to make changes for the Wolves game. The players we didn’t line up in that game were either a little bit injured, or injured, or played all the games in December, plus the City game at the beginning of January. Bringing them again in that moment, as you saw with Dejan [Lovren], who played pretty much all these games as well, is a risk – it’s a proper risk. We judged that it was difficult and we had to try differently. That’s now the situation. We don’t have a massive squad at the moment in training. They are not out for long. The question will probably come: ‘What about centre-halves?’ It’s not cool in this moment but probably in two weeks it will look completely different; I cannot make a decision for today and then in two weeks I created a problem with my decision today.

We are fine. A season is always like this – whoever deals the best with his problems has the most success. We had problems in the past and dealt very well with it, now we have a few different problems and we tend to deal well with that as well. Then, let’s play football, using the quality and potential of the boys in the best way we can. Use them in the right moment, train all the important things, like different systems. It’s possible if you have a normal week, you can train. Hopefully we don’t have a lot of normal weeks because we want to stay in the Champions League as long as possible, but we don’t know that in this moment. Let’s use what we have and make the best of it.

Inside Training: Reds prepare for Brighton trip

On whether Liverpool will have an advantage by playing fewer games than their rivals in all competitions…

There’s no advantage. If you have all your players available, it’s brilliant that you can always play them, it’s really good – make little changes. Usually, centre-halves don’t have to change too often because they could play pretty much the whole season. You mix it up a little bit here and there, like we did in the first part of the season. It was brilliant, we could make changes, and it’s not different. If we came through December without injuries then everything is fine. Unfortunately, we didn’t come through 100 per cent. It’s quite special if you would bet on having three centre-halves injured in the same moment – you could win a lot of money for that because usually it doesn’t happen. Here it happened, it was a bit of bad luck. That makes it quite a bit tricky. But that’s all.

We have to use our situation, why would we compare it to other situations? The Champions League starts in February and then we talk again completely differently. Other teams played games and now they are still in the competition but they can deal with it, you can see it. We could deal with it as well with the right number of players. That’s how it is. There’s no advantage. We have to use the time; you can do a lot of wrong things when you have a week to train, that’s possible! We have to use the time and really be, week in and week out, in the best shape we can be. Understand the situation right, understand the job right, understand the challenge right and go for it – that’s our job, nothing else.

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Klopp: Rafa Camacho won't leave this month

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 11:35

Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Rafael Camacho will not leave Liverpool during the January transfer window.

The versatile 18-year-old made his senior debut for the club at right-back in Monday’s FA Cup defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Camacho has been a regular member of the first-team training squad at Melwood for the past year and Klopp does not intend to sanction a loan move for the Portugal youth international this month.

“Rafa will not leave,” said the manager at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

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LFC injury latest: Matip, Henderson, Lovren and Lallana

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 11:30

Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Joel Matip and Jordan Henderson will return to training ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Matip, who has been ruled out since undergoing surgery on a fractured collarbone sustained against Napoli on December 11, partook in Thursday’s session with his teammates.

Henderson, meanwhile, will participate in Friday’s training workout at Melwood before the Reds depart for the south coast having recovered from a knock picked up at Manchester City earlier this month.

However, the Reds will be without Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren, while Joe Gomez isn’t yet ready to return as he continues his rehabilitation from a lower leg fracture.

Klopp told his pre-match press conference: “Joel trained yesterday for the first time with the team, which is already really good but we have to see.

“We have to decide it day by day how he is doing, I am not 100 per cent sure. He feels good and that’s good for us, of course.

“Hendo will train today for the first time, we see what that then means exactly. Adam [is] out, Dejan [is] out and Joe, of course, [is] out.

“All are improving obviously, that’s clear. I don’t know if a few are available and for a few I know they are not available, so that’s the situation.”

Lovren became Liverpool’s latest injury concern when he was required to be replaced after just six minutes of the FA Cup tie at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday evening.

Asked how long he was expecting to be without the services of the centre-back, Klopp replied: “I don’t know. It is serious otherwise he would play, but it is not that serious. It is a muscle thing and I would expect him back after maybe Crystal Palace, I am not sure. We have to see.”

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Nat Phillips injury update

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:30

Neil Critchley has confirmed Liverpool U23s defender Nat Phillips remains in rehabilitation after recently undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.

The centre-back, who featured for the first team during pre-season, has not played for the young Reds since the mini-derby win over Everton in late November.

And Phillips is set for a continued spell on the sidelines, according to Critchley, though his return to training is provisionally expected in March or April.

“Nat is going through a period of rehabilitation after having an operation,” the U23s boss told Liverpoolfc.com on Thursday.

“We saw him play 45 minutes against Everton but he wasn’t quite right in that game and didn’t feel right. The physios went down a different route in terms of how to handle his injury.

“He has had surgery and I don’t want to put a timeframe on when he will be back, but we know one thing with Nat is that he is very conscientious with the hard work he does, and hopefully we can have him back before the end of the season, which would be really nice.

“It’s such a shame for Nat – he’s had a frustrating last two seasons with injury. Last year he had a back problem which kept him out for a large part of the season.

“He made his comeback against Manchester United at Anfield back in March and this season, after starting so well for him being in and around the first team, he has had another frustrating time.

“But that is part and parcel of football sometimes and he has got a good support network around him from his family.

“Nat is a humble and down-to-earth boy and realises the bigger picture. He didn’t get too carried away when he did well with the first team and he doesn’t get too down when he is injured either. He has got the right attitude and the right character to come through these setbacks.”

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