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What's on: This week's LFC community events

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 11:00

Check out a schedule of local community events planned by the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams in the coming week.

For more information on these activities, and the work of the two organisations, follow @LFCFoundation and @Red_Neighbours on Twitter or click here.

Monday March 11

Premier League Kicks sessions

Walton Hall Park - 7pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Speke Community Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11+)

Respect 4 All Ability Counts session (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-12), 7pm-8pm (age 13+)

Tuesday March 12

Premier League Kicks session

Toxteth Firefit Hub - 5.30pm-6.30pm (age 8-13), 6.30pm-7.30pm (age 14-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+) 

Red Neighbours Walking Football  

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 3pm-4pm

Open Goals

Seaforth in Bowersdale Park (meet at Bowersdale Resource Centre) - 5pm-6pm

Wednesday March 13    

Premier League Kicks sessions

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 7-11), 6pm-7pm (age 12-17), 5pm-6pm (age 8-13 girls only)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5+)

Open Goals

Crosby in Coronation Park (meet at Alchemy Crosby Youth & Community Centre) - 4.30pm-5.30pm

Thursday March 14

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17)
Gateacre School - 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-16)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 8pm-10pm (age 13+)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 7pm-8pm (age 5+)

Military Veterans

Netherton Goals - 5pm-7.30pm

Friday March 15

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree - 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)
Croxteth Sports Centre - 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)
Kirkby Leisure Centre - 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-8pm (age 14-17)
Netherton Activity Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 8-11), 7pm-8pm (age 12-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 6pm-7pm (age 5-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+)

Red Neighbours Walking Football  

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Netball 

Anfield Sports and Community Centre - 11.30am-12.30pm

Saturday March 16

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Woodchurch High School - 10.30am-11.30am (SLD Child), 11.30am-12.30pm (Ability Counts), 12.30pm-1.30pm (SLD Adults)

Open Goals 

Wavertree Sports Park - 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm 
Stanley Park - 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm 
Norris Green Park - 1.30pm-3pm
Jubilee Sports Bank - 1.30pm-2.30pm

Sunday March 17   

Open Goals    

Walton Hall Park - 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm
Belle Vale Park - 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm 
Doric Park - 11am-12pm

Military Veterans 

LFC Academy - 3pm-4.30pm

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Matthijs de Ligt sends transfer message to Liverpool

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 10:58

Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt has talked up a move to Liverpool by admitting a transfer to Jurgen Klopp's side 'could happen'.

The 19-year-old is expected to be one of the most in-demand players during the upcoming transfer window following his sublime performances for Ajax.

De Ligt, who is valued at £60 million by the Dutch club, has been linked with several top European clubs including Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool.

De Ligt has played alongside Virgil van Dijk for Netherlands national side and the centre-back has suggested he would welcome the chance to continue that partnership at club level.

‘Virgil is a player who has experience in the top leagues,’ De Ligt told Omnisport.

‘Of course you want to learn from him.

‘It’s very useful to play next to him in the Dutch team.

‘It could happen [joining Liverpool]. He plays for Liverpool. A nice club.

‘But I’m not focused on this. I focus on Ajax. And then I will see where I will end up.’

Source: Metro

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

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U23s reaction: Critchley on Ox, Phillips and bouncing back

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 10:29

Neil Critchley took plenty of positives from Liverpool U23s' 3-1 victory over Derby County on Friday afternoon - not least the returns of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nathaniel Phillips.

England international Oxlade-Chamberlain played for the opening 40 minutes of the Premier League 2 encounter in his first outing in 11 months.

Phillips, meanwhile, made his comeback after ankle surgery and completed the first half at the Derby Training Centre.

The young Reds got back to winning ways following Monday night’s mini-derby defeat by Everton at Anfield, with Curtis Jones scoring twice and Rafael Camacho once.

Read Critchley’s thoughts on the match below…

Watch: Extended highlights of the 3-1 win

On the return to action of Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phillips…

I thought both of them were very good and it was nice for them to get back on the pitch. I thought they both showed what good players they are and I’m sure they will benefit from this. Hopefully tomorrow when they both wake up they will both not be feeling how I feel when I wake up in the morning!

On the good reaction shown by his side following their defeat in the mini-derby…

There were lots of positives to take from that performance. We knew Derby would come out after us and we knew that if we weren’t right at the start of the game they would cause us problems. I thought we handled the start of the game really well and always carried a threat going forward. We scored some good goals. It was a bit disappointing not to keep a clean sheet but I thought second half, especially our ability to run forward off the ball, which is something we highlighted before the game, we did extremely well. So, a good performance and nice to come away and win the game.

On his side defending well and getting the second goal at a good time…

We knew Derby would come back at us because they are a really good team with a good spirit. We knew that from previous games against them and they keep going, so you have to match that will they have and I thought we did that. The second goal came at a really crucial time for us, it was a good goal and we got bodies forward into the box. We might have scored one or two more goals from the situations we created. We were a little bit open at times in the second half and didn’t manage the game as well as we could have done, but overall generally pleasing.

On the aim to finish the season strongly with just three games remaining at U23 level…

We want to finish strongly. We have been on a decent run which obviously came to an end on Monday night. Our focus is always to give our individuals the right opportunities at the right time, develop them and progressing them. Sometimes the team takes a bit of a back seat to that but it’s important when we get on the pitch we show the right type of characteristics you’d expect from a Liverpool team and I thought we did that today.

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Revealed: The goal you voted LFC's best in February

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 09:58

Sadio Mane's brilliant backheel against Watford has been voted Liverpool's Goal of the Month for February.

The impudent piece of skill, which helped the Reds on their way to a 5-0 victory at Anfield, narrowly edged out the flowing team move finished by Mohamed Salah in the home win over Bournemouth.

Georginio Wijnaldum's delicate lob in the latter match clinched third place in a poll on Liverpoolfc.com, with Mane's header past Watford fourth and Jemma Purfield's long-range hit into the top corner for LFC Women against MK Dons Ladies taking fifth.

Enjoy the top five strikes in February again above.

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Virgil van Dijk: Why we're staying calm in title race

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 08:30

Virgil van Dijk explained Liverpool's reaction to changing positions in the Premier League table with Manchester City is one of calmness with nine games still left to contest in the race for the title.

The Reds’ goalless draw with Everton at Goodison Park last Sunday meant they ended the weekend in second place in the standings, one point behind Pep Guardiola’s side – the first time since December Jürgen Klopp’s men had not been stationed at the summit of the division.

However, with effectively a quarter of the league term still to be played, Van Dijk insisted remaining cool is the best way for Liverpool to continue to go about their business, starting against Burnley at Anfield on Sunday.

Asked what the players’ reaction to moving to second in the table is, the No.4 told Liverpoolfc.com: “Stay calm. Personally, I am always calm because you can’t get influenced by the media or by fans from different clubs or what else.

“You just need to stay calm. There are nine games left and anything is possible. I think a lot of people forget [there’s a quarter of the season to go]. One point is not a lot, but it is something because it’s Man City. We’ll see.

“The next challenge for us is Burnley and it’s going to be a tough one, so we’ll see after that how it is going to be. We have Champions League coming up, we have the international break coming up, so there are so many things that can change over the time. We’ll see what it brings us.

“It’s very important [to get a win against Burnley]. At this stage, it’s the most important thing – to get the three points. It doesn’t really matter how, but we want to show good football as well.

“That’s what we’re going to try but if that doesn’t work, we’ll try with hard work and hopefully be able to get the points.”

Van Dijk knows picking up a victory over Burnley will be easier said than done, given the Clarets’ recent form – which includes a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor.

Indeed, Sean Dyche’s team have lost just one of their last five away games in the Premier League.

“We know how tough they can be,” the Netherlands captain considered. “When we played them away, it was a very difficult game.

“They’re very direct, with a lot of hard work, they put good pressure on opponents, so it’s going to be tough – but we want to show why we’re in this race and make sure we’re going to be more than ready to give everything for the three points.

“Burnley deserve all of the respect they get because they are a good team, they work hard, the manager has a specific way of playing that suits them very well, so it’s going to be very tough.

“But I know it’s going to be very tough for them as well. If we are at more than 100 per cent, like we want to be, then we have a great chance to get the points, but you still need to be at that level. We want to be at that level, so let’s just show it.”

2018-19 2018-19

Kick-off for Sunday’s clash is set for midday, but Van Dijk is hoping Liverpool supporters can produce similar atmospheres to the ones generated in the recent home fixtures with Bournemouth, Bayern Munich and Watford.

Indeed, the 27-year-old has outlined just how Reds fans can positively impact what unfolds on the pitch with their backing.

“I would say to them bring your A-game as well, just like we have to bring our A-game,” Van Dijk replied when asked what he’d say to supporters attending the Burnley clash.

“We want to give everything we’ve got, especially in these last nine games. We’re in a position not many clubs are in so we just need to enjoy it, all of us. Like everyone knows, the help of the fans, the atmosphere, helps us so much. They’ve been showing it throughout the whole season and hopefully we can show it on Sunday as well and help us get the three points.

“We need every one of you – and everyone that supports Liverpool – to be ready and also sometimes be a little bit patient and not get frustrated. We have to be patient at times because it is not easy to break teams down, but I think the last game we played at home against Watford the atmosphere was outstanding. And in the game before that, it was very good as well against Bournemouth – unbelievable.

“We have to keep that going. For us, we have to get results and make sure the performances are good, then we will see.”

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Liverpool v Burnley: Team news

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 07:00

James Milner's fitness will be monitored ahead of Liverpool's meeting with Burnley - a game in which Dejan Lovren could make his return from injury.

Jürgen Klopp confirmed during his pre-match press conference that Milner’s availability for Sunday’s match at Anfield is uncertain due to a ‘little muscle issue’, but centre-back Lovren is back in full training following a two-month lay-off due to a hamstring problem.

“Millie we will have to see. It is Millie, so everything heals quicker with him!” the boss said on Friday.

“He was already outside yesterday. He had a little muscle issue, but there are still two days to go until the game. I think if you ask Millie he would say, ‘I will be ready’ but we have to see.

“Dejan, we have to see. He was out for a while, so we have to see how his fitness is exactly. He is not injured anymore, he is fit - but how fit, we have to see.”

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A lower leg fracture has sidelined Joe Gomez since the Reds’ 3-1 win in the reverse fixture at Turf Moor in December and, while the defender is not ready to feature this weekend, Klopp hopes he’ll be back in contention after the international break. 

Rhian Brewster is also progressing well in his recovery from a long-term ankle injury.

The manager stated: “Joe is now running with 100 per cent of his weight, because we have different opportunities to run. Now he is really at 100 per cent and it’s good, it looks good.

“Rhian trained, looked really good, but he is in the situation Ox was maybe three weeks ago or so. He is in a really good way.”

The Clarets, meanwhile, will be without Steven Defour and Aaron Lennon at Anfield.

Sean Dyche told the media on Friday that midfielder Defour is unlikely to play again this season after undergoing calf surgery, and Lennon is still out with a knee complaint.

Last time out

Everton v Liverpool (March 3): Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Origi, Mane.

Burnley v Crystal Palace (March 2): Heaton, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor, Hendrick, Westwood, Cork, McNeil, Barnes, Wood.

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Klopp explains Keita and Shaqiri situations

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 06:23

Jürgen Klopp has revealed the reasons behind the limited game time for Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri in recent weeks.

The pair, new recruits last summer, featured for six and 19 minutes respectively in the past three matches as Liverpool were held to goalless stalemates at Manchester United and Everton either side of a 5-0 thrashing of Watford.

“It is about our situation in training and what’s needed individually for the next opponent. That is all that we think about,” said Klopp of the opportunities for Keita and Shaqiri.

“We don’t stick to one formation or the other, but the boys need to offer. Sometimes it is more possible and sometimes it is not possible for different reasons.

“Sometimes we don’t have the sessions. Then it’s more difficult to offer something. It’s all part of the decision-making.”

The manager continued: “It’s just that we have to think about a lot of things before a game. We played quite a few teams with really good set-pieces, stuff like that. We needed to make sure that we had the right line-up and set-up for that.

“Naby is actually in a good moment and has trained well. It’s only been the last three games he didn’t play too much.

“The team is in a good moment and we feel in a good moment so it’s difficult if things are working out well in midfield.

“If we play the system we usually play most of the time then there are only three positions [in midfield]. Somebody has to be out but it’s all good. They are all fit and we can use them all.

“It’s similar with Shaq. He had a little injury and was out [for Bournemouth at home]. There was something with his back and he needed a little time.

“I remember the moment when he got the injury – he won a heading challenge near the sideline. His body wasn’t used to that! It affected him.

“With the line-up we had and system-wise, it wasn’t difficult but we have to change a little bit if Shaq is playing. For the last few games we didn’t do that. He’s fully fit now.”

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fitness update

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 17:36

Liverpool will assess the muscle issue Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain felt during his 40-minute appearance for the U23s on Friday afternoon.

The midfielder made his comeback from a long-term knee injury in the 3-1 victory for Neil Critchley’s side at Derby County.

Having started the Premier League 2 encounter, Oxlade-Chamberlain was taken off five minutes before half-time as a precautionary measure.

“He obviously had a bit of an issue but hopefully it’s nothing major,” said Critchley. “The bonus for him is that it’s not his knee, so he’s delighted there are no problems with that.

“He was enjoying himself, he was happy to be back playing. Hopefully when he wakes up in the morning, fingers crossed it’s nothing and only a precaution.

“The idea was only ever to play him for 45 minutes at most anyway. He nearly got that, as well.

“Hopefully it’s not as bad as it first looked. He was looking over [to the bench] and we weren’t sure. It’s maybe some kind of muscle problem and maybe one to assess tomorrow.

“What was good is that he was sensible. He came off quite quick. He has handled that situation quite well.”

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Match report: Jones hits double as U23s defeat Derby

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 16:07

Curtis Jones scored twice as Liverpool U23s claimed an impressive 3-1 victory over Derby County in Premier League 2 on Friday afternoon.

The attacker netted once in each half, sandwiching a clinical finish by Rafael Camacho after half-time, as Neil Critchley’s side immediately bounced back from a loss against Everton earlier this week despite a last-minute concession.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took the latest significant step in his rehabilitation from the knee ligament injury he suffered 11 months ago by playing 40 minutes for the young Reds at Derby Training Centre.

Critchley was also able to field Nathaniel Phillips – who completed the first half – in central defence for the first time since November on a positive afternoon all round for the U23s.

Derby made the more promising start to the encounter, with Jayden Mitchell-Lawson a particularly troublesome thorn in Liverpool’s left-hand side in the early exchanges.

But it was the visitors who made the breakthrough on 16 minutes.

It was an opportunistic goal by Jones, the Scouser sensing an advantage in a high press on Ethan Wassall, stealing the ball and running clear in a smooth motion to prod a neat finish to the right of the goalkeeper and inside the post.

The Reds No.11 almost made it two soon after.

Jones ran through to collect a flick-on into the right channel and carried the ball away from a recovering defender but, with the shooting angle narrowing with every yard, his low drive was repelled by Derby goalkeeper Henrich Ravas.

Adam Lewis went close with a long-range blast that whistled the wrong side of the right post, while Louie Sibley clipped a cross-shot off target after finding space at the other end.

Perhaps with a point to prove after Monday’s mini-derby defeat, Liverpool were attacking confidently and Ki-Jana Hoever’s excellent 39th-minute cross along the six-yard box agonisingly evaded his waiting teammates.

Derby once again took the initiative at the outset of the second half, pushing the Reds back in search of an equalising goal, but the away side soon made their quality count.

The clock showed 61 minutes when Ben Woodburn’s angled hit from the right corner of the area rolled to Jones at the back post and though his attempt to convert yards out was thwarted by Ravas, Camacho pounced on the loose ball to fire high into the net.

Hoever was fortunate to avoid an own goal when he scuffed a clearance inches wide of the post in preventing Sibley from an effort after more good approach work by Mitchell-Lawson.

But within moments, Liverpool put the game beyond their opponents.

A combination of technique and fortune created Jones’ second of the day. Connor Randall’s brilliant reverse pass freed Camacho inside the area and his delivery took two deflections en route to his fellow forward at the far post for a straightforward tap-in.

Caoimhin Kelleher had to deny the dangerous Mitchell-Lawson with an outstretched leg as the Derby man surged free into the box in the closing stages.

The Liverpool stopper was beaten when he dropped Sven Karic’s cross into his own goal in the last minute, but the young Reds had long done enough to secure a win that moved Critchley’s charges within a point of third-placed Derby in the Premier League 2 table.

Liverpool U23s: Kelleher, Hoever, Juanma, Phillips (Whelan, 46), Johnston, Lewis (Masterson, 78), Camacho, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Christie-Davies, 40), Woodburn, Randall, Jones.

Unused substitutes: Atherton, McAuley.

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Photos: Oxlade-Chamberlain makes LFC return for U23s

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 15:45

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain played for Liverpool U23s during Friday’s meeting with Derby County - take a look at a selection of photos of his return below.

A 40-minute run-out in the Premier League 2 fixture at the Rams’ Training Centre represents Oxlade-Chamberlain’s first match action since he sustained a knee injury in April last year.

View 21 photos of the Reds’ No.21 on the day of his long-awaited comeback below...

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Fulham v Liverpool: Further ticket sale details

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 15:38

Liverpool have released a further ticket sales notice for the forthcoming Premier League fixture with Fulham, to be played at Craven Cottage on March 17, kick off 2.15pm.

We have received an additional minimal allocation from Fulham.

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.

Attendance at 14 games: from 11am until 1.45pm on Monday March 11.  

Only in the event tickets remain…

Attendance at 13 games: from 2pm on Monday March 11. 

Tickets will be available online only.

Supporters can purchase one ticket per qualifying supporter for up to a maximum of four tickets per transaction.

Tickets purchased during this sale are subject to availability on a first come, first served basis and no guarantee can be given that tickets will be available to all who apply.

For further information before travelling please click here.

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LFC hosts Show Racism the Red Card event at Anfield

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 13:49

Liverpool FC hosted its annual Show Racism the Red Card event at Anfield on Thursday.

One hundred and thirty youngsters from local schools attended the educational pro-equality workshop, which featured guest appearances from Reds players past and present and club representatives.

Robbie Fowler, John Barnes and Howard Gayle were joined by LFC Women's stars Jess Clarke and Leighanne Robe and the club's Director of Communications Susan Black on the panel of special guests and fielded questions from the pupils in a press conference style Q&A. 

Pupils were also shown a new educational film created by Show Racism the Red Card, which features Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Paul Kearns, Deputy Chief Executive at Show Racism the Red Card, said: “Show Racism the Red Card are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with Liverpool FC.

“Having three club legends and two Women’s players to help young people from the city explore issues around racism will make a big difference and can only help to further promote equality.’

Show Racism the Red Card is an educational charity which uses the high profile of professional footballers to convey a strong anti-racism message to young people. Liverpool FC hosts an event each year at Anfield to educate local young people on racism and encourage them to celebrate difference. 

In 2016, the club was inducted into the Show Racism the Red Card Hall of Fame in recognition of its commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. LFC was also the first Premier League Club to receive the Equality Standard Advanced Level, the Premier League’s highest accolade. 

At the upcoming home game against Tottenham Hotspur on March 31, LFC will activate its Pro-Equality Weekend, which will include a celebration of equality and diversity throughout the stadium and across club channels. 

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LFC supports Livergirls campaign

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 13:44

Liverpool FC is supporting a special initiative which aims to contribute to empowerment, diversity and equality in football and to help build stronger networks for female fans, players and staff.

The Livergirls International campaign – the brainchild of Reds fan, football author and local hotelier Ragnhild Lund Ansnes – was started five years ago by LFC’s official Norwegian supporters club.

“We believe in building better meeting arenas and awareness of equality and diversity in a campaign for women worldwide to help meet, build a stronger network and friendships, exchange ideas, discuss improvements and expose more of the female voices in football, the world’s biggest sport,” she said.

“By this campaign, we want to break down stereotypes in football and boost the confidence for more women to get involved in football clubs and raise their opinion, and for more women to work in the industry as pundits, in the boardrooms, as journalists, coaching staff and more.

“We also want to fight the bullying some girls experience in football and communicate to the world that gender does not decide your worth in football or in the world in general.

“The percentage of female members in Norway has grown from eight per cent to 12 per cent as thousands of new girls have joined the Norwegian supporters club during the Livergirls campaign.”

Peter Moore, LFC’s chief executive officer, said: “We’re delighted to support such a great campaign which was founded by our supporters in Norway.

“Our progress in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion has been recognised recently and we are proud to be the first club to have been awarded the Premier League Equality Standard Advanced Level.

“We will continue to set the tone and pace on this incredibly important subject and look forward to working with the Livergirls campaign.”

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LFC Women go back to school to inspire next generation ahead of IWD

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 13:26

Liverpool FC Women built up to today’s International Women’s Day by trying to inspire the next generation in local schools.

Manager Vicky Jepson headed to West Derby with star striker Courtney Sweetman-Kirk and midfielder Niamh Fahey to meet pupils at Broughton Hall Catholic High School.

All three took part in a question and answer session with GCSE students, who had prepared questions for them, before leading a coaching session at the school.

Jepson said: “It was great to go back into schools and help inspire young females to be involved in the beautiful game of football.

“All students that took part were a credit to their school and we hope to see them at our next home game.”

Liverpool Women’s Academy manager Julie Grundy also went back to school, taking part in a talk and Q&A with Year 7 and sixth form pupils at Rainhill High School, alongside entrepreneur Emma Spruell.

The Liverpool Women players were back in training today ahead of their home game at Prenton Park against Chelsea FC Women next Wednesday night (March 13), with kick off at 7pm.

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A glimpse into LFC's past on International Women's Day

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 12:13

On International Women's Day, these archive images reflect the dedicated support Liverpool FC has received from female fans since the club's earliest years.

The pictures show examples of the specially-designed season ticket folders for ladies who attended matches at Anfield in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mrs Meadows not only attended every league and reserve fixture but also collected playing stats, while Mrs Ransom was also ever-present for league football.

International Women’s Day takes place on March 8 each year, celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements, as well as supporting the call for gender parity.

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Steven Gerrard's title-race advice: 'Enjoy it, believe in yourselves'

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 12:12

Steven Gerrard’s advice for Liverpool’s players as the Premier League title race nears its conclusion is simple.

“Don’t overthink it, just enjoy it, believe in yourselves. I’ve been in touch with a few of them but it’s more, ‘Good luck’, ‘All the best’, ‘Keep going’. Encouragement,” the legendary former Reds captain and current Rangers manager told The Times.

Jürgen Klopp’s team sit one point behind Manchester City with nine games remaining after Pep Guardiola’s side assumed top spot last weekend. 

Such is the relentlessness of their ongoing competition with City, it’s possible that Liverpool could end the campaign without being champions despite having amassed a total of up to 97 points.

And that fact, Gerrard asserts, proves that significant progress has been made this term, regardless of where the Premier League trophy ends up.

“Certain people around the world will see it as failure but there’s nothing you can do about that,” he said.

“For me, as a fan, Jürgen has taken the team and the squad forward giant strides. He’s doing everything he can. Sometimes, if someone beats you to it just, sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say the better team won. 

“I hope that is not the case but I don’t think you can be too critical if you have been fantastic and have done ever so well to be in it in the first place.

“There are some nerves about, which is understandable. There is such a big prize up for grabs. I’ll be honest, it was difficult for me at times. I was local, a supporter who’d been there since I was seven. 

“I’d won a lot of things but wasn’t lucky enough to win the Premiership. I think now in the Liverpool dressing room, they can use experiences of what has gone before to help them in the run-in. 

“They have a great leader in Jürgen who, I’m sure, is trying to take a lot of pressure and anxiety away from them.”

Watch Gerrard play at Anfield again for Liverpool FC Legends versus Milan Glorie on Saturday March 23.

Tickets for the game are priced at £22 for adults, £5 for juniors and £15 for over 65s. They are available to purchase online only at: http://www.liverpoolfc.com/tickets/tickets-availability.

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Klopp on Burnley threat, training plans and 12pm kick-off

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 11:13

Jürgen Klopp has provided his analysis of the threat posed by Burnley this Sunday and explained why Liverpool will need an atmosphere at Anfield for the 12pm kick-off.

The manager held his pre-match press conference today, where he gave the latest Reds injury news and discussed Mohamed Salah’s display last weekend.

Read on for a summary of the key points in the rest of his briefing, including the title race situation and how training plans are influenced during the run-in…

On whether Liverpool’s approach will change now that they are behind Manchester City…

The good thing is we don’t have to change really because we never thought about what the other teams are doing. The plan is clear: we have to win football games. That’s difficult enough. City play on Saturday so we will probably know the result before we start our game. There is no reason to make a big fuss of it. We are in a position we like to be in; we liked the position before. It’s not a problem. We always said we wanted to be in a position to fight for the top spot in the league and we are still in it. That’s all we need to be positive, optimistic and excited in a very positive way about the challenge.

Our only problem this weekend is Burnley actually, that’s enough. We have to be really good to beat that team because what Sean Dyche is doing there is just amazing. Since I came in, they always had probably not the best circumstances in the league but keeping that club in the league constantly, and with a difficult start this season and now being five points ahead [of the relegation zone]. They had a good run in the last couple of weeks, maybe the last two results were not that good. But we know it will be really tough and that’s what we prepare for.

On how training sessions are influenced by the intensity of the run-in…

We had a good training week – it’s a long one, that’s good, and we could do a lot of things. Hopefully we can see that in the game. I like that. If you have time to train you always have to really work hard. If you don’t have time to train you cannot work hard in training because you only recover and more prepare slight tactical changes or whatever you have to do for the next game. But this week we could do a lot and we can do a lot today, for example. That’s very important. But you cannot then only play rondos through the week and hope players don’t get injured. You have to be really focused on the things you want to improve or keep for the rest of the season, and there’s a lot. I like the week we had. But now the most intense session of the week should always be the game. We should be ready for that, we have to.

On whether he expects Burnley to play a similar way to the meeting at Turf Moor earlier this season…

For us, the game at Turf Moor is not the most important for analysis because it was three months ago and there were so many games in between. They tried playing five at the back a couple of times; if I’m right, it didn’t work out 100 per cent result-wise. So we should expect four at the back, four in midfield, two strikers. Barnes and Wood are really good, quick, good in the air, deflected balls going in behind. They are good on the wings, coming in behind midfield, pushing up, centre-halves, full-backs, a lot of crosses. That’s what we should expect from that game.

It’s not that they have the majority of possession in the games usually, so that means we need to create, we need to have ideas, we need to be in a very lively way but patient as well – that’s the challenge for all these games. Historically, against Burnley it was always difficult because they have a really high motivation level always, they are really fighting, they never give up. I don’t think they have a lot of high results when they lose, they always stay in the game. When you have to make the analysis and watch the last three or four games, you have to say ‘respect’. They beat Tottenham and that doesn’t happen a lot of times. That was very good, of course. The last two games were obviously slightly different but I’m pretty sure they are really looking forward to the game on Sunday because they see and feel they have a chance. We have to make sure that will not happen.

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On the impact of a 12 o’clock kick-off…

When we play at 12 o’clock, somebody always asks that question. I hope we stopped that; I don’t think our record is that bad anymore, maybe it was. It was for sure because of me because I was not used to it – I think the first time we played the Europa League on Thursday and then we had to go to Swansea. That was the first time I was tired in the meeting. That really doesn’t happen because I wake up early anyway. That’s gone, we don’t have these issues anymore. Our people are very important, we spoke a lot about that – we need atmosphere at 12 o’clock. I said it last time as well – if you have a ticket for the stadium, go to bed at 10pm latest on Saturday night, don’t drink and be on your toes from the first until the last second.

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Klopp on Salah: 'His record is unbelievable'

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 10:47

Jürgen Klopp saw no reason to hold in-depth talks with Mohamed Salah after Liverpool’s goalless draw with Everton.

Last Sunday’s 233rd Merseyside derby ended in stalemate at Goodison Park, with Salah spurning presentable chances to break the deadlock either side of half-time.

Klopp, though, was not concerned by his leading scorer’s uncharacteristic profligacy and does not believe the fact he remains one goal away from reaching 50 in the Premier League for the Reds is playing on the Egyptian’s mind.

“We have very often talks and everything and of course when you are a striker or offensive player and you have chances in a game, you want to score with them, that’s clear,” the boss said.

“But as a manager I’m more than used to that, that players don’t score all the time, so that’s how it is. He has an unbelievable record, that’s all. His goals brought us where we are - not only [his goals], but a big part of it. 

“So no, we didn’t really speak about it or whatever because it’s completely normal. We have to create chances and as long as we do that… in a very difficult game against Everton for different reasons, I would say we had four or five proper chances. 

“We had less than that in games when we won against Everton, to be honest, and in this game always one Everton leg was between us and the goal or Pickford or whatever. So that’s the situation but nothing else.”

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LFC injury latest: Updates on Lovren, Milner, Gomez and Brewster

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 10:28

Jürgen Klopp today provided a positive update on the fitness of Dejan Lovren and Joe Gomez, but confirmed Liverpool will need to assess the condition of James Milner ahead of the weekend encounter with Burnley.

Lovren hasn’t figured for the Reds since sustaining a hamstring injury during the FA Cup tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux on January 7; however, he is set to come back into contention having resumed full training.

Meanwhile, Gomez has this week stepped up his rehabilitation programme by running outside with fitness coaches at Melwood.

Klopp told his pre-match press conference: “It’s a rather positive moment, it looks really good.

“Dejan trained yesterday for the first time, [in] full, completely normal.

“Joe is now running with 100 per cent of his weight, because we have different opportunities to run. Now he is really at 100 per cent and it’s good, it looks good.

“Most of the [returns] will probably be after the international break, for example Joe and stuff like that.

“Dejan we have to see. He was out for a while, so we have to see how his fitness is exactly. He is not injured anymore, he is fit – but how fit, we have to see.”

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One fresh injury worry for Liverpool concerns Milner, who has a slight muscle issue.

Klopp confirmed: “Millie we will have to see. It is Millie, so everything heals quicker with him!

“He was already outside yesterday. He had a little muscle issue, but there are still two days to go until the game. I think if you ask Millie he would say, ‘I will be ready’ but we have to see.

“He trained yesterday with the rehab coach and we will see what he is doing today.”

Elsewhere, Klopp reported Rhian Brewster is continuing to make good progress in his comeback from a long-term ankle injury.

The boss said: “Rhian trained, look really good, but he is in the situation Ox was maybe three weeks ago or so. He is in a really good way.”

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Being Red: ‘Gaining my self-confidence’

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 09:37

After becoming a regular at the LFC Foundation’s Premier League Kicks sessions, huge Reds fan Jessie now plays for the Liverpool Ladies Regional Talent Club and has dreams of making it to the top.

The 13-year-old first attended the Kicks sessions over three years ago and hasn’t looked back since. Having impressed with her footballing ability and attitude, she was encouraged to trial for Liverpool and is now an important part of the girls’ U14 development squad.

Jessie said: “Coming to Kicks gives me joy and it keeps me healthy. In the future, I just want to carry on playing football and stay driven to hopefully go and play professional football for Liverpool and maybe be in the World Cup for England Women.”

Participating in the Kicks sessions allowed Jessie to gain self-confidence and bring out the best of her footballing ability, which she is now demonstrating at a high level.

She has already tasted success with the LFC Foundation Kicks team, taking part in and winning three Cruyff UK finals, the most recent of which she was named as captain for.

LFC Foundation coach Stephen Leftley said: “When Jessie first came to the sessions, she was a little bit shy, but she’s just grown - and I think that confidence will help her in her career to come.

“The Friday night sessions are something away from Academy football where she can express herself, it’s just a less pressurised environment. Hopefully there’ll be an England call-up for her in the future!”

Kicks is the Premier League’s flagship community programme which uses the power of football and sport to inspire young people in some of the most high-need areas in England and Wales.

The LFC Foundation delivers 18 Kicks Football sessions each week and over the years the free to play programme has engaged over 100,000 youngsters across the Liverpool city area.

To find out more about Jessie’s story and the great work the LFC Foundation does with PL Kicks, click here.

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