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Updated: 56 min 55 sec ago

Watch every goal from LFC U18s' tournament win

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:55

Watch all the goals from Liverpool U18s' Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup success on LFCTV GO now.

The young Reds came out on top in the prestigious indoor tournament in Stuttgart, Germany, over the weekend.

Having qualified from a group also including Atalanta United, VfB Stuttgart and FC Schalke 04, Barry Lewtas' side went on to beat Bayern Munich in the last four and Rapid Vienna in the final.

Registered LFCTV GO users can watch every goal scored along the way to their trophy win above.

Get your first month of LFCTV GO free with the code GOFREE1819>>

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Who is Ki-Jana Hoever?

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 11:08

Ki-Jana Hoever completed his move to Liverpool from Ajax in September 2018.

The Netherlands U17 international, who is equally comfortable playing at centre-half or right-back, started his Academy career under the tutelage of Barry Lewtas with the club's U18s.

Also a regular for the Reds' U19s in the UEFA Youth League, Hoever made the step up to U23 level in November 2018, impressing on his debut for Neil Critchley's team in their 1-0 victory over Everton at Goodison Park. 

And, with a number of senior defenders struggling with injury, Jürgen Klopp duly called the Amsterdam-born teenager up to train with the first team at Melwood.

Hoever was subsequently named in the squad for Liverpool's FA Cup third-round tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers in January 2019 - and an early injury to Dejan Lovren resulted in Klopp summoning the youngster from the bench.

Partnering Fabinho at the heart of the Reds' backline, Hoever produced an assured performance while becoming the third-youngest debutant - and youngest ever in the FA Cup - in the club's history at the age of just 16 years and 354 days.   

Speaking after his side were defeated 2-1 at Molineux, Klopp said of Hoever's display: "He did well. He came on and did well. That’s how it sometimes starts - when you are really needed then it is only about if you are good enough and not how old you are."

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Shaqiri: We've got the quality to bounce back

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 08:57

Xherdan Shaqiri is certain Liverpool have the quality in the ranks to respond to their FA Cup elimination when they return to Premier League duty this weekend.

The No.23 was brought into the starting XI at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night as one of nine changes made by Jürgen Klopp for the third-round tie at Molineux.

Things did not go the Reds’ way, though, with goals by Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves overcoming Divock Origi’s strike early in the second half to knock Liverpool out.

Shaqiri felt fortune did not favour the visitors – his free-kick was tipped onto the upright and bounced clear at 2-1, for example – who included three debutants.

But the Switzerland international insisted there is adequate depth in Klopp’s squad to produce a positive performance against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

“Of course, we are disappointed after this game because we lost, first of all, but I think we didn’t deserve this result because we tried to play football,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.

“We tried to come back. We tried everything until the end and you cannot say the attitude wasn’t there until the last minute. We tried everything.

“Sometimes you need luck also and the free-kick was very unlucky. I saw the ball inside already, but it never went in.

“We obviously had a lot of young players and a lot of players in who didn’t play for a long time. We wanted to win this game to go to the next round, but the FA Cup is like this: you lose the game and you are out.

“So, we close this game now and are looking forward to the weekend and the Premier League.”

Asked if Liverpool will need to ‘dig deep’ at Brighton to ensure a response, Shaqiri added: “I think we have enough players who can jump in.

“This season we have the depth. There are a lot of players who are going to come in and give everything and the quality is still there.”

Despite the disappointment of the final outcome, the match marked a milestone occasion for three debutants who have emerged from the Academy.

Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones started the tie at Molineux, while Ki-Jana Hoever replaced the injured Dejan Lovren after just six minutes.

The latter became the third-youngest player in Liverpool history when he came off the bench, and gave an assured display in central defence.

“He is very nice,” said Shaqiri.

“He is still very young, you see that on the pitch also. He came on and he tried everything. He is going to be a very good player in the future.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Wolves 2-1 Liverpool: Jürgen Klopp's reaction

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 22:37

Jürgen Klopp explained the factors he felt caused Liverpool's elimination from the FA Cup after their 2-1 defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

Goals from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves knocked the Reds out in the third round on a night when Divock Origi briefly brought the visitors level and Xherdan Shaqiri later struck the woodwork.

Klopp had made nine changes to his starting XI – and was forced into another on six minutes, with 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever replacing the injured Dejan Lovren – and detailed why they were necessary during his post-match press conference.

He also reflected on the efforts of youngsters Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones, who each made their senior debuts for the club, and more.

Read on for a summary…

On whether he had to make nine changes for the game...

It was for different reasons. After the City game we immediately had a few players who were ill, who showed a sore throat and all you can have in this period of the year. A few of them were not even in after the City game, so there was no chance. Pretty much all the players who were not here today had little problems, apart from Ali. So we had to make late changes; yesterday, Adam [Lallana] was in our plans, like Hendo was in the plans. Dejan was not in the plans, he should only have been on the bench and then what happened, happened. That doesn’t help a lot and we had to change again. We wanted to control the game because we were completely new, especially defensively. So it makes sense that you keep the ball. The wind didn’t help with that, to be honest, obviously everybody on the pitch struggled a bit with controlling the ball and the first touch was, very often, not that good. They lost a lot of balls, we lost a lot of balls. In the end, one of the balls we lost was a counter-attack and they score a goal.

Second half, we wanted to start new, finding a positive approach again, do it just a little bit better than the first half. We scored a goal. Then Neves from long range with the wind at his back, nice little shot. We hit the crossbar and the story of the game was done. We brought Mo and Bobby on and it looked obviously a little bit different. But the intensity of the last few games gave me the information it was not possible to start with these three up front. Only Dejan played a lot of games in the last three or four weeks, pretty much all the games, that’s why he was not involved [in the original plans]. He played today and was injured; Hendo yesterday; Millie had his injury already. That’s the situation – not too cool. It was not really to change for today. That’s the story of the game.

On the chances given to young players…

We are not here to be new world-record holders for the youngest team. It’s nice. The boys are around and train with us because we think they are good enough. If we play 10 v 10 [in training] they are on the other team and, believe me, they play much better than they did tonight. Today the game started not so cool with the change, which immediately changed the mood. If you are out there and the coach tells you to play football, [but] the wind is blowing from different directions, you control the ball and become a bit nervous, you have no rhythm. These boys played because they are in our squad and are good enough, that’s all. They did well but they can do much better. It’s not that I say they can do now in this moment much better. In a game which suits them a bit more, if you are 2-0 or 3-0 up, bring them on and they can really make a difference – that’s 100 per cent. Today they did the job and that’s OK.

On the performances of Liverpool’s more experienced players…

All these things that came out are really my responsibility, so it’s about rhythm. Of course, you know they have rhythm. Div, can he have rhythm? No, not really. Daniel, maybe a bit more. Alberto, no, no rhythm. That of course doesn’t help footballers against a [tough] opponent. We played Wolves here two or three weeks ago and they are really strong. We won, yes, but we knew it was really tough here. Now we played today, they didn’t change a lot – if they changed something – so that’s not easy. Do I expect? I always expect a lot more from the players. Do I think they could have delivered [more] today? I am not 100 per cent sure. It’s not my job to say now, ‘that was not good enough, that was not good enough’ because I know they can do much better. I changed a lot because I thought we had to, not because I wanted to and to say, ‘come on, let’s have a look at how that works’ because it was clear Wolves would not change a lot. The problem is, we played a similar line-up and had three tough games in the last couple of weeks, so it was clear we had to change. That’s it, that’s all.

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Klopp on Lovren injury latest and Hoever debut

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 22:15

Jürgen Klopp confirmed Dejan Lovren sustained a hamstring injury during Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup on Monday night.

The centre-back was forced from the field after just six minutes of the third-round encounter at Molineux, with the Reds needing to call upon 16-year-old Ki-Jana Hoever to replace him.

Klopp told his post-match press conference: “[It is his] hamstring, is what I heard - without any signs before. I asked everybody, no signs, nothing, just out of the blue, so that’s the decision you have to make.

“I am not sure what you all would have said if immediately from the beginning if our centre-half situation was Fabinho and Ki-Jana; then probably a few very smart people would tell me that I don’t respect the competition or whatever.

“So, we tried to do all the things [we could]. Of course, on the other hand it doesn’t make sense to bring in a 16-year-old boy from the start. You don’t bring him, you wait until he is completely ready, but he did well. He came on and did well. That’s how it sometimes starts - when you are really needed then it is only about if you are good enough and not how old you are.

“He did well, so that was all OK. That’s it.”

Asked about the potential length of time Lovren is facing on the sidelines, Klopp replied: “I don’t know in this moment.”

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Match report: Reds knocked out of FA Cup by Wolves

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 21:39

Liverpool were eliminated from the FA Cup in the third round as Wolverhampton Wanderers won their tie 2-1 at Molineux on Monday night.

Raul Jimenez put the home side ahead at the conclusion of a clinical counter-attack in a first half otherwise notable only for the Reds debut off the bench of Academy defender Ki-Jana Hoever.

Divock Origi levelled the score six minutes after the break for Jürgen Klopp’s men but Ruben Neves’ wallop quickly restored Wolves’ lead and ultimately decided the match.

Team news

Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones made their senior Liverpool debuts at Molineux as part of nine changes made by Klopp from last Thursday’s Premier League clash with Manchester City.

Fabinho was deployed at centre-back, while Hoever was named on the bench.

First half

Liverpool’s hopes of finding early rhythm against their fellow Premier League side were disrupted by an injury to defender Dejan Lovren in the opening minutes.

The Croatia international limped off with six on the clock and was replaced by Hoever, who became the third-youngest player ever to debut for the Reds, aged 16 years and 354 days.

That aside, however, there was little flow to the tie in the first half.

Wolves did forge an incisive attack on 11 minutes, with Diogo Jota’s run through the left channel preceding a pass across the area to the supporting Jonny Otto for a strike that deflected off Alberto Moreno and wide of the right post.

As the visitors settled after the enforced reshuffle, chances were few and far between.

One did come Xherdan Shaqiri’s way on the half-hour – the ball falling to the Liverpool No.23 when Ryan Bennett could not deal with James Milner’s loft into the box – but he dragged his effort wide.

Instead, it was the hosts who broke the stalemate.

Jota pounced on hesitation by Milner at the halfway line and when he evaded Fabinho’s tackle to knock the ball to Jimenez on the right flank, the Wolves No.9 surged inward into the vast space left behind and swept a finish across Simon Mignolet from 10 yards.

Second half

Klopp’s frustrations on the touchline during the first half were clear but the manager’s instructions at the interval yielded the desired response from his players.

Their equaliser came from the left boot of Origi, who collected the ball after Milner’s battling inside the area and dug out a precise punt that sailed between Wolves stopper John Ruddy and the right post.

But parity lasted only four minutes.

Neves took advantage of the time and space he needed around 25 yards from goal and smacked a shot that bounced inside Mignolet’s left post and put the Reds back at square one.

Shaqiri – and the Liverpool supporters inside Molineux – thought the second equaliser was in the bag when the Swiss arced an excellent free-kick over the wall and towards the top right corner, but the ball was flicked by Ruddy onto the post and went out at the other side of goal.

Klopp immediately sent on Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah to freshen up his forward line and the Reds pressed as Wolves began to rely on breakaways.

The latter drew an awkward save from Ruddy at the end of a neat move generated by Hoever’s composure in bringing possession out from his own territory.

But Liverpool could not find the goal they required to keep the tie alive and they bow out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage.

Match stats

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Ki-Jana Hoever becomes LFC's third-youngest player ever

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 20:04

Ki-Jana Hoever has become the third-youngest player to represent Liverpool, after being introduced as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Dutch defender, who joined the Reds from Ajax earlier this season, took to the field six minutes into the FA Cup tie at Molineux due to an injury to Dejan Lovren.

In doing so, Hoever set a new club record as the youngest player ever to feature for Liverpool in the FA Cup, aged 16 years and 354 days.

That makes him the third-youngest to play in any competition for the Reds, behind only Jerome Sinclair (16 years and six days) and Jack Robinson (16 years and 250 days).

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Listen live: Free commentary on Wolves v Liverpool

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 19:35
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Ovie Ejaria joins Reading on loan

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 19:34

Liverpool midfielder Ovie Ejaria has joined Championship side Reading on loan for the remainder of the season.

The 21-year-old spent the first half of the campaign with Scottish club Rangers, scoring two goals in 28 appearances.

He returned to the Reds in December and has now agreed terms on a temporary switch to the Madejski Stadium until the end of 2018-19.

Ejaria has played eight times for the Liverpool first team since his debut in September 2016.

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Klopp explains Hendo, Lallana and Van Dijk absences at Wolves

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 18:54

Jürgen Klopp has explained the reasons for his nine changes at Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight, including the enforced absences of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Virgil van Dijk.

Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones make their senior debuts in the FA Cup third-round tie at Molineux, with only Dejan Lovren and James Milner remaining from the XI that started at Manchester City last time out.

Henderson, Lallana and Van Dijk are not part of the squad as precautions due to minor injuries, revealed Klopp, who also confirmed Fabinho will start at centre-back.

“I had to make these changes. A few players were really ill and then in the last session yesterday we lost Adam Lallana with a minor thing, but it’s enough not [to be able] to play – and Hendo had something from the Man City game,” he said.

“We had to make a few changes already, it was clear. Virg cannot play; he is at home and hopefully it is nothing, but he has played all the games so far, so we had to try to find a solution for that – and we found it, hopefully, with Fabinho.

“For all the rest, a few guys I want to see and we are able to do that, but of course we have to be sensitive with our situation. We came through a very intense period quite OK. The next intense period is waiting.

“I know people want to win every game and see the same players week in, week out, but somebody has to make the decisions and in that case, I am the man for [doing] that.”

On the chances handed to Camacho and Jones, the boss added: “It’s very exciting for them and for us as well.

“We cannot be successful as a squad if we don’t have high quality in our training. These boys are constantly in our training; I’ve had them in training with us since February last year I think, when the transfer window closed.

“We’ve had these boys with the squad and they’re versatile, can play different positions, and that makes it really interesting. In that age group you grow physically and it’s really cool, and on the other hand side you adapt to the quality of the other players.

“It’s really good, really exciting, but they still have a lot to come. It’s really nice having them around, but now it’s time to show up – it’s a situation where we need them 100 per cent, so let’s try it.”

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Team news: Confirmed Liverpool line-up v Wolves

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 18:29

Rafael Camacho and Curtis Jones make their senior Liverpool debuts in the FA Cup tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight.

The pair – long-term members of the first-team training squad at Melwood – are handed chances for the third-round clash at Molineux.

Jürgen Klopp makes nine changes in total, with Dejan Lovren and James Milner the two men to retain their places from the Premier League defeat at Manchester City last Thursday.

Academy talents Isaac Christie-Davies and Ki-Jana Hoever are included among the substitutes.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Camacho, Fabinho, Lovren, Moreno, Milner, Keita, Jones, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi.

Substitutes: Kelleher, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Hoever, Christie-Davies, Alexander-Arnold.

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Liverpool respond to Abdulkadir Omur transfer swoop reports

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 15:46

Liverpool have no intention of making a move for Trabzonspor midfielder Abdulkadir Omur.

The Reds have been linked with a £27million swoop for the talented 19-year-old who has been dubbed the 'Turkish Messi'.

However, the ECHO understands that Omur is not currently a target for Jurgen Klopp, who is unlikely to add to his squad during the January transfer window.

Asked about the rumours in his homeland, Omur said: “Liverpool are a great club, one of the greatest in the world. These offers are something Trabzonspor need to discuss.

“If the club give the go-ahead, talks can be held. The club's interests take precedence. I'll do whatever is in the club's best interests.

“If the club say leave, I'll leave. If they say stay, I'll stay.

"We are having a great season. We are in the title race and on course to make the Turkish Cup final.”

Omur, who is under contract until 2022, enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2017-18 as he clocked up 32 senior appearances for Trabzonspor.

Source: Liverpool Echo

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

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Liverpool considering move for Brighton star Pascal Gross

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 15:11

Liverpool are lining up a potential £15 million bid for Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross, according to the Mirror.

Jurgen Klopp is said to be considering a move for Gross as he attempts to strengthen his side’s attacking power for the rest of the campaign.

The Liverpool manager is an admirer of Gross from when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund, with the midfielder plying his trade at fellow German club Ingolstadt at the time.

Now, Klopp has the opportunity to bring Gross in instead to Anfield if he we so wishes as he looks to bolster his side with a busy end to the season coming up.

Last season, Gross was voted Brighton’s Player of the Season after his seven goals and eight assists contributed heavily to the side surviving relegation in their first season in the Premier League.

However, despite signing a new four-year deal in the summer, the midfielder has been hampered by injury over recent months and could be set for a move to Liverpool, if Brighton want to cash in.

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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'Turkish Messi' reveals Liverpool interest

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 14:19

Turkish midfielder Abdulkadir Omur has admitted that he would be very keen on a move to Liverpool, with the Reds reportedly lining up a £27m move for the Trabzonspor star.

Having emerged as one of the brightest young players in his native Turkey, the midfielder has apparently attracted widespread interest around Europe. Manchester City are said to be among the clubs interested in Omur.

However, the 19-year-old – who has been dubbed the ‘Turkish Messi’ – has apparently been lined up for a potential swoop by ​Liverpool. Speaking to ​CNN Turk regarding the rumours, Omur said: “Liverpool is a very important club, but the most important thing is Trabzonspor’s interests.

“If my club tell me that I can go, I’ll go and if they tell me to stay, I’ll stay. We will see.

“My priority is Trabzonspor but I have a dream of playing in Europe. I hope I play there one day. My dream is to succeed here and then go to Europe.”

Omur has scored twice and laid on four assists in 16 Super Lig appearances for Trabzonspor this season.

Source: 90min.com

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

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LIVE: Wolves v Liverpool - FA Cup third round build-up

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:33

Team news

We won't know for sure who's playing tonight until later on, of course, but Jürgen Klopp has already confirmed that Simon Mignolet and Alberto Moreno will start for the Reds.

"We have to [make changes]. That’s clear. We came through the intense period now somehow OK, but of course we have to make changes. How many I don’t know, but we have to. There is no chance for anything else," the boss told the media on Saturday.

Wolves, meanwhile, have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Watch Klopp's pre-match press conference in full below...

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Mohamed Salah named PFA Player of the Month

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 10:59

Mohamed Salah has won the PFA Player of the Month award for December.

The Liverpool forward scored six goals to help his side win all seven of their Premier League matches last month, a run that took the Reds clear at the top of the table.

And a fan poll saw Salah came out on top over Eden Hazard, Harry Kane, Ricardo Pereira, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford to land the prize.

The No.11 becomes the third Liverpool player to receive the PFA’s monthly accolade this season, after Sadio Mane (August) and Virgil van Dijk (November).

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Loan watch: Clyne 'excellent' on Bournemouth debut

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 10:40

Nathaniel Clyne’s AFC Bournemouth debut ended in defeat but Eddie Howe was impressed by the Liverpool loanee’s performance.

The full-back made a temporary move to the Vitality Stadium until the end of the season last Thursday and went straight into the Cherries’ starting line-up for their clash with Brighton and Hove Albion 48 hours later.

Howe’s team were knocked out of the FA Cup by virtue of a 3-1 home loss but the Bournemouth boss praised Clyne, who completed the full 90 minutes, after the match.

“It was a good performance from Nathaniel,” he said. 

“It’s very difficult to come into the team when you haven’t had a training session with your teammates, but he acquitted himself well. He learned on the job regarding how we play. Defensively, he was excellent.

“He’s a player with huge experience and undoubtable ability so he was the obvious candidate for us when the transfer window opened.”

Another on-loan Reds player enjoyed a better FA Cup third-round result, however, as Herbie Kane’s League One side Doncaster Rovers beat Championship outfit Preston North End 3-1 away from home.

Meanwhile, Sheyi Ojo played 80 minutes of Stade Reims’ 2-0 victory over Lens in the Coupe de France.

Klopp explains Clyne and Solanke transfer decision>>

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Stats: Mane and Van Dijk on brink of Liverpool landmarks

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:40

Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk will each reach appearance landmarks should they feature in Liverpool’s FA Cup third-round meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Forward Mane’s next game will be his 100th for the Reds, while an outing at Molineux would represent centre-back Van Dijk’s 50th match for the club.

Read on for more need-to-know pre-match facts from LFC statistician Ged Rea…

[embedded content]

Liverpool recorded their 50th victory over Wolves in all competitions last month when Mohamed Salah and Van Dijk scored in a 2-0 win at Molineux.

That result meant Jürgen Klopp has beaten all 32 of the British teams he has faced as Liverpool manager.

The Reds have won on each of their last three visits to Wolves without conceding a goal, and are unbeaten in their last six trips to Molineux.

However, Wolves came out on top the last time the teams met in the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at Anfield in the fourth round of the 2016-17 competition.

The last Liverpool hat-trick in the FA Cup was scored by Yossi Benayoun against Havant and Waterlooville in the fourth round 11 years ago. It is one of 19 trebles netted by a Reds player in the tournament.

Wolves v Liverpool: Team news>>

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Mignolet on bouncing back, Wolves test and FA Cup focus

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:30

Liverpool’s desire to respond positively to their first Premier League defeat of the season will be apparent against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Simon Mignolet has pledged.

The Reds travel to Molineux for the second time in a little over a fortnight on Monday for an FA Cup third-round tie.

That pre-Christmas trip to face Nunu Espirito Santo’s side resulted in a 2-0 top-flight win, but Jürgen Klopp’s league leaders head to the West Midlands this time on the back of a 2-1 loss to second-placed Manchester City.

Thursday’s narrow reverse at Etihad Stadium ended the Reds’ unbeaten run in this season’s Premier League at 20 matches - but Mignolet, who will start at Molineux, has informed Liverpoolfc.com of the determination within Klopp’s squad to get back to winning ways immediately. 

Read on to hear the goalkeeper’s thoughts ahead of the beginning of Liverpool’s 2018-19 FA Cup campaign...

On the importance of bouncing back…

Yeah, obviously we’ve got a lot of games coming up and it’s always nice to respond straight away. It’s in a different competition so it’s slightly different, but I think we want to put things right. I think that’s also what was said straight after the game inside the dressing room: yeah, we lost against City in a great fixture, probably one of the best fixtures in the Premier League, but in the same way we’re still four points ahead and the one thing we can’t do is drop our heads. The way to do that is by responding and getting the victory and going through to the next round of the FA Cup.

On whether the team’s record of recovering strongly from previous setbacks this season proves their strength of character… 

Exactly, and also the mindset in this moment of time. We want to win the next game. We’re only thinking about that, and we want to take it step by step. But of course, when you get a knock then you have to get up again, look forward and try to win the next match and that’s what we’ll try to do.

On the opportunity to get Thursday out of the system quickly…

The game is coming quickly to us and it’s the best way to respond, especially with the fact that we’ve been having a good go for the last couple of weeks and the longer you win, the more games you win, you actually come closer to the one game you’re going to lose. So to get back on track, we’re looking forward to the next game against Wolverhampton and to [hopefully] get in the next round.

On the special nature of the weekend of the FA Cup third round…

Yeah [and it’s] just after new year, after a very busy period as well. You look forward to [seeing] who you get drawn against. Wolves away is a tough fixture, we’ve seen that in the Premier League, and in the FA Cup it will be like that as well. So it won’t be easy but of course we want to keep fighting both in the Premier League and the Champions League and hopefully in the FA Cup as well.

On whether the focus of the squad is now completely on this tie, not the Premier League…

Exactly [that], and also after a defeat you want to put things right so that gives you an extra motivation to go into that fixture and be there again, just as we have been throughout the whole of the season. So we have to get back up and try to beat Wolverhampton.

[embedded content]

On the last visit to Molineux proving to be tough game…

It was and there was a lot of rain that day as well! I’m not saying it’s going to be the same but it was a night game also, like we now play on Monday. They are a very good team, they play football and have got some good players. We respect that but we will try to do the same things that we did when we were there a few weeks ago and if we can get the same result we will be very happy, of course.

Mignolet on 'really special' Alisson Becker>>

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The view from Wolves: Liverpool have reached another level

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 03:00

Liverpool's focus switches from the Premier League to the FA Cup on Monday night as they travel to Molineux to take on Nuno Espirito Santo's Wolverhampton Wanderers side in a third-round tie.

Both teams head into the clash having lost their preceding league fixture - the Reds' 20-match undefeated run came to an end in a top-of-the-table clash at Manchester City and Wolves slipped up at home to Crystal Palace - so each will be eager to bounce back.

Liverpool triumphed 2-0 in the league clash at Molineux last month, but Nuno's outfit have an otherwise excellent record against the top-flight's traditional 'big six' this season. The Midlanders beat both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, while Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal were held to draws.

So, what can we expect from the Wanderers on Monday night? We spoke to Wolves season ticket holder and blogger Ben Rasmin to get some answers...  

How important is the FA Cup for Wolves?

With the team going steady in the league, the majority of our fans would love to see us try and go on a cup run. Wolves last won the trophy in 1960 and we haven't been to Wembley for a cup final since our Sherpa Van Trophy success in 1988.

Our local rivals West Bromwich Albion, on the other hand, have graced the national stadium on numerous occasions in recent years, which is always a galling sight to behold. 

What will the manager have learned from the league clash?

Aside from the fact that Liverpool are a very good side, not too much. That being said, Nuno and his team are meticulous in their post-game analysis and will no doubt have identified things to improve on that aren't quite as clear to the untrained eye.

I thought it was a game of fine margins, and that we competed well in the first half. Liverpool stepped up a gear after that and ultimately saw the game out comfortably.

What did you make of Liverpool in that game?

Liverpool are without doubt the best side I've seen at Molineux this season. The speed with which you transition from defence to attack is very impressive, and in Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk you have two genuinely world-class players.

I think this will be the year you finally win the Premier League, irrespective of the result against Man City.

Will we see wholesale changes in personnel?

Possibly. That has tended to be the case in our cup fixtures under Nuno to date. Last year's FA Cup campaign was disappointing, but we have fared well in the League Cup (going out twice on penalties to decent opposition) and will be competitive irrespective of what team is selected. 

How do you expect Wolves to line up?

As with any modern cup tie, it's difficult to say. But if I were to guess, I'd say something along the lines of...

Tell us about former Red Conor Coady...

Coady has been a revelation under Nuno. After two undistinguished seasons in midfield, he's taken to the sweeper role like a duck to water and is good value for an England call-up in 2019.

The raking diagonal passes he often plays to our wing-backs are integral to how we attack the opposition, and his reading of the game is generally excellent. On top of that, he seems a smashing bloke and has captained the side with distinction since receiving the armband.

Which player should the away fans keep an eye on?

We have several talented players but the standout in recent weeks has been Raul Jimenez, who leads the club in goals (six) and assists (five). Ruben Neves showed signs in the recent win at Spurs that he is getting back to somewhere near his best, so he could be influential also.

What is your prediction for the match?

I am an eternal optimist that occasionally borders on the side of delusion, so will go for Wolves to claim a famous 1-0 victory. A man can dream, eh?

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