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Leicester City v Liverpool: Team news

Tue, 19/09/2017 - 09:00

Jürgen Klopp has confirmed there will be starts for Marko Grujic, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Ward against Leicester City this evening.

Ward gets his first chance between the posts this term, having returned to Liverpool following a successful season on loan with Huddersfield Town, as the Premier League sides face off in the Carabao Cup.

Oxlade-Chamberlain is set for a maiden start since joining the Reds from Arsenal on transfer deadline day, while midfielder Grujic earns an opportunity after he ‘made a big step in his development’ according to the manager.

The third-round tie at King Power Stadium could provide an opportunity for Jon Flanagan, too, with the defender to be part of Klopp’s matchday squad and ‘in the mix, for sure’.

Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren is expected to be available for the cup contest after dropping out of the XI on Saturday due to a sore back, and Danny Ings could come into contention having not being involved in the U23s’ win at West Ham United on Monday.

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Craig Shakespeare has fitness issues to contend with as four Leicester first-team players look likely to miss out on the sides’ first meeting of two this week.

Jamie Vardy has not been ruled out but will have a groin problem assessed before a decision is made on his involvement, the Foxes boss explained to the media ahead of the tie.

“He has had continuous treatment and we will give him every opportunity to be fit but he won’t be one to risk,” said Shakespeare. “We will assess him [on Tuesday morning], but I am very confident he will be fit for Saturday.”

Christian Fuchs (eye) and Matty James (Achilles) are unavailable, while defender Robert Huth is expected to miss out after ankle surgery in the summer.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jürgen on AOC development, squad size and delivering at Anfield

Tue, 19/09/2017 - 00:30

Jürgen Klopp was quizzed on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's prospective development, his squad's capability to deal with multiple competitions and the pressure of playing at Anfield in the embargoed section of his press conference on Monday.

Read on for a full transcript of the boss' thoughts ahead of the Reds' trip to face Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.

Oxlade-Chamberlain said he came here to develop as a player, how do you plan to help him achieve that?

"A new start is, very often, kind of a relief. You are in a situation in your old club - I don’t say it now for Alex especially but in general it's like this - you are in a specific position and you accept it at some point and then it’s difficult to make the next step. I thought it made complete sense for Alex to change club, especially to come here. So far, I can see that he has settled in perfectly. He knew at least all of the England players and a few others and he's a really nice lad so it is easy for him to settle in the team. He takes the situation like it is. He knows he played all the games for Arsenal from the beginning and now he's coming here and sitting on the bench - it looks like it was not the best deicision. But it’s about a long-term and we already can use him, that's good, but we want to prepare him also, that’s all. It's all good from this side at the moment."

Can your squad deal with the League Cup as well as other commitments?

"From today's perspective, yes - we will see how it is in January. What is my alternative? To go to Leicester with a white flag? Or say, 'If you want to go to the semi-finals in January, then do it because we don't want to be part of it'.  We had a few line-ups and everything was good in the last few years when we went through this competition in different games and then, at one point, we didn't have the opportunity to line up the strongest side and [people said I did not] respect the cup competitions. That's obviously not so nice. In this moment, we have the players for it and I think the squad is wide enough to play in different competitions and to come as far as possible and that's the plan at the moment. No player who is involved tomorrow is involved because I hope we go out of this competition. We are really there to win the game. It will be difficult enough but this competition is good. The final was good when we played there, the semi-final last year with Southampton [came at] the wrongest possible moment but we couldn't change that. We will see how it is in January but, in this moment, I feel quite comfortable when I think about different opportunities to use the players and to bring the players in different games."

What did you say to Oxlade-Chamberlain about how he could improve?

"I’m not sure if it’s something for the public when I speak to a player. We play different to Arsenal, that's clear. It doesn't mean better or worse it just means different. At least, being involved in different football is already development because it helps you to react in different moments, so that’s doing not always the same [thing]. Arsenal changed a lot since Oxlade is there, I'm sure they didn't play always with three at the back and wing-backs and stuff like this. I played against Arsenal when Alex was in centre-mid, I played against Alex when he was on the wing, I played against Arsenal when he was wing-back. He played different positions and that is all highest quality; if you can play in the Premier League on different position it says a lot about you. It is a judgement from outside that you don't develop but playing different positions is already development. Probably, when Alex was 18 or 19 people thought he could be 'the man', like a lot of people think a lot of times pretty early. But, as I always say, you immediately put a rucksack on their back and that makes development not easy. So, hide them as long as it makes sense and send them out as soon as possible. That's the plan. But he is now the perfect age and still is able to make big steps. I thought he played in the last game like a Liverpool player - highest intensity, all good, was not fixed in a position, flexible, half-left, half-right, in the box. I saw already a lot of things and, at the end, he didn't score a goal so probably a lot of people will say that's not a proper Liverpool player. But I’m really happy to have him here and I hope he is also happy to be here."

The next four fixtures are away from home - what impact will that have on your side's form?

"I love playing at home, we all do. So, no, it’s not cool that we now play four away games in a row. I think everybody can feel it, can hear it, that's how it is. It's [up to] us to deliver, we have to deliver, we know that. If we win the game on Saturday three or four nil, it would have been outstanding, but we went 1-0 down. But there was a big [reaction], especially the Kop was there with 'We Are Liverpool'. We had the similar situation against Sevilla - [conceding an] early goal is not cool but the reaction from the stand was outstanding. We equalised in both games, one game we took the lead but I couldn’t feel a lot of frustration after the first Champions League game around me, [I'm] not sure how it was but I didn't feel it. Burnley, people were not too happy, that’s normal but we cannot do more than give our best. I'm sure this team can make the people happy more often than we did it so far. If you want, you can enjoy watching this football team, that’s how it is in all the games so far. Yes, we have to improve results-wise, but I think if the video ref would be involved in England too we would have had for sure two points more and maybe four. That’s how it is. Just my example, my former club Dortmund played yesterday, and they got a goal from the video ref that was not even a goal... funny! That’s the next level, you don't have to score and we get it with the video ref! We have to perform and we have to deliver, we know, and we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. It's all good, we love playing at Anfield, no doubt about it."

Categories: LFC NEWS

Match report: Wilson brace maintains U23s' perfect start

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 22:57

A first-half double from Harry Wilson ensured Liverpool U23s maintained their 100 per cent start to the Premier League 2 season with a 2-0 victory over West Ham United on Monday.

Neil Critchley’s side travelled to Dagenham looking to record a fifth consecutive league victory - and they duly did just that in impressive fashion, despite the absence of the likes of Danny Ings, Ben Woodburn and Marko Grujic ahead of the first team’s game at Leicester City on Tuesday.

Wilson struck twice in the opening 21 minutes at the Chigwell Construction Stadium - his first a low drive from the edge of the area and his second a neat finish to round off a delightful team move - before Kamil Grabara made a brilliant penalty save to preserve Liverpool’s lead before the break.

Herbie Kane and the lively Rhian Brewster both went close to extending the young Reds’ advantage and West Ham goalkeeper Nathan Trott made two excellent stops to prevent Wilson from completing his hat-trick in the second half.

But that mattered little, as Liverpool - who play Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Friday evening - continued their perfect opening to the campaign.

The visitors took the game to their hosts right from the first whistle and Ovie Ejaria forced the home ‘keeper into a save with just 11 seconds on the clock.

Brewster raced onto Matty Virtue’s lofted throughball and unselfishly pulled back to the onrushing Ejaria, whose low shot was palmed away by Trott.

But the young Reds didn’t have to wait long to open the scoring through Wilson.

Trott initially made a fine save to deny Brewster but, after Ejaria and Cameron Brannagan kept the ball alive from Wilson’s corner, the young Welshman cut in on his left foot and rifled a shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

And nine minutes later, Wilson had his second when he finished coolly after linking up with Brewster to devastating effect as part of a sweeping Liverpool move.

West Ham were offered a route back into the game almost immediately when Conor Masterson conceded a penalty, but Grabara kept Liverpool’s two-goal lead intact with a stunning save low to his right from Toni Martinez’s spot-kick.

Critchley’s team could have taken full advantage of that reprieve in first-half stoppage time, but Kane blazed over the bar after being set up by Wilson.

Liverpool twice went close to extending their advantage early in the second half, with Brewster flashing a powerful left-footed drive narrowly wide and Wilson being denied his third by Trott’s fingertip save after an eye-catching dribble.

And Trott again got down well to thwart another Wilson attempt and then made sprawling save to claw away substitute Yan Dhanda’s effort in stoppage time as the young Reds eased to a comfortable win.

Liverpool: Grabara, Whelan, Phillips, Masterson, Johnston (Juanma), Virtue, Brannagan (Dhanda), Kane, Ejaria, Wilson, Brewster (Adekanye).

Unused subs: Kelleher, Jones.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Now: Watch live as LFC U23s face West Ham

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 20:30

Liverpool U23s take on West Ham United in Premier League 2 at Dagenham and Redbridge FC on Monday - and you can watch the match live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.30pm BST.

Neil Critchley's side have won their opening four games in Premier League 2, and the young Reds will hope to continue their excellent form against the Hammers.

For the best build-up, join Rob Jones alongside former Liverpool strikers David Fairclough and Neil Mellor from 6.30pm.

For more information about subscribing to either LFCTV or LFCTV GO, click here.

Categories: LFC NEWS

On demand: Millar grabs a hat-trick as U18s beat Middlesbrough

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 18:47

Liam Millar netted a hat-trick as Liverpool U18s beat Middlesbrough 4-3 on Saturday, and LFCTV GO subscribers can now watch the highlights on demand.

Steven Gerrard's side played some sparkling attacking football at times in their opening U18s Premier League Cup clash.

Rafael Camacho was also on the mark with another brilliant individual goal.

Click play below to watch the action on LFCTV GO now. Need a subscription? Sign up here.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch free: Jürgen Klopp's pre-Leicester press conference

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 17:11

Jürgen Klopp previewed Liverpool's Carabao Cup clash with Leicester City at Melwood on Monday - and you can watch the boss' press conference in full for free.

Klopp's media briefing ahead of the tie was streamed on the club's official YouTube channel and can be viewed again via the embedded video below.

The manager discussed the third-round clash with the Foxes, provided an update on his squad, and outlined the Reds' ambitions in the tournament.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

JK on Leicester clash, cup importance and finishing chances

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 16:59

Jürgen Klopp looked ahead to Liverpool’s Carabao Cup tie with Leicester City on Tuesday evening and underlined his side’s commitment to trying to win the trophy.

The Reds travel to the King Power Stadium for the clash and while the manager has revealed he will make changes to his team with the likes of Danny Ward and Marko Grujic set to start the fixture, he insists he’ll field a strong line-up.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference at Melwood on Monday afternoon, Klopp also reflected on the weekend draw with Burnley at Anfield, improving potency in front of goal and the integration of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain into his plans.

Read on for a summary of some of his key points from the media briefing…

On how much importance will be placed on the Carabao Cup…

The same as every year. It’s the only competition we play tomorrow night, so there is 100 per cent focus on that game. It’s a big competition, I don’t care how people see it or whatever. As long as we can line up strong line-ups, we’ll line up strong line-ups! It’s a good moment, of course it’s a little bit strange that we play Leicester again at the weekend, and I am sure both sides will make a few changes – that makes sense for the players. But again, and I said this a few times, it’s not to go with weakened team in this competition, only to bring in fresh legs and give a few players the opportunity to play football, with a clear plan to win the game.

On whether Liverpool feel any added pressure to win a trophy…

No. Not on me, I am not sure if there is pressure on us because of this. I don’t know about things like this, so I don’t feel pressure - I feel the opportunity, I feel the chance to do something really good. I see the opportunity to win a very, very interesting cup competition, that’s all. How I said, I probably have pressure, yes, but it cannot be bigger than the pressure I put on myself and I’m used to that. I watch the games of United and City because it is interesting to see, but it is not my job to count points in this moment and say now they have this lead or this. They are obviously in good shape at the moment, but a season is sometimes like this and as long as you are really focused, as long as you’re ready, as long as your attitude is at 100 per cent, as long as you are greedy, you don’t have to look at other teams until you play against them then you have to look but the rest you have no influence [on]. [I] ignore it.

On whether he pays attention to how other Premier League rivals have begun the season...

I am absolutely not interested in other teams. I think it’s not a surprise City and United are in [good form]. In the end, probably it will be like it was a lot of times – the same names in different positions. We will see how it is, but it is not my job to think about this. I can also not say always what everybody wants to hear, so if I am disappointed, if I am frustrated with something then I probably would tell it. But if I am fine with a lot of things then I say it also. A lot of people don’t want to hear, I know that. If I am happy about performance in a lot of moments and if I want to build on the good things, it’s my decision to do it. I cannot change my opinion every day because out there, there are 500 million different opinions. I am not overly happy with our situation, but I know why it is like it is and so then it’s my job to work on this, to change that and to use our chances more often in the games. First of all – as I’ve said it a few times and you know it, [because] you are also long enough in the business – it’s all about creating these situations. Then you have to score, I know that, and we have to avoid goals of the opponent. We actually do this most of the time, but sometimes obviously not. In these times, that’s how it is and I cannot change that. I can only work with the boys, that’s what we do and we love working together, we enjoy this team and this situation in the moment, but we also know there’s a big responsibility. We are strong and that means we need to deliver and that’s what we are working on.

On how Liverpool go about becoming ‘more ruthless’…

If you look at the 125 years of history of Liverpool, that’s a little bit of problem that everybody knows still when it was better and nobody knows anymore when it was worse. That means obviously everybody feels a little bit of this pressure and when we don’t score the first goal, then it’s already ‘Again, like this’ and I think you can feel it in the stadium. We have to do it again, do it again, do it again and do it again. I am not 100 per cent sure about the word ‘ruthless’, but I didn’t see a lack of being ruthless. They wanted [it] and were in the right positions. It’s pretty clear, for example, Daniel Sturridge usually in a game like this, with the situations he had, will score. So will I go now to him and say, ‘Daniel, what was your idea in this game?’ It’s just about rhythm, feeling and stuff like this, then the boys will do it. Other chances – Dom Solanke came in and had a fantastic impact and, yes, he hit the crossbar. Do I really have to talk to him about crossbar or not crossbar? I’m not sure that really makes sense, but it is the world outside who talks about this, they forget these situations and the fantastic saves of the goalkeeper, [Nick] Pope. The opponent feels like they defended fantastic. We have to take the criticism, the blame, whatever – that’s how it is. In the end, it’s not allowed for us to be kind of happy or satisfied after a game like this, but we cannot question everything after a game like this because it is not for this. I am actually quite good in this – I am not sure if I am good enough, but I am good in this. I can see the good things and the bad things and work on both. Of course, we do finishing [in training] – we did it already by the way, not because we didn’t get the goal and we [will] now start increasing this. It’s just like it is; prepare for the next game and go for it.

On players gaining rhythm against Leicester….

We have enough games that the players can gain rhythm step by step. It’s a situation [in which] we have to make changes, we have to rotate, that’s 100 per cent clear. With a player like Sadio suspended it’s not 100 per cent possible, but we could line-up with the all the time with the same team. We could have done that so far, apart from the suspension, and then wait until somebody is injured and cannot play anymore, so another player comes in. But we have to do it [rotate] because we are convinced about this squad, so that’s why we gave different players an opportunity. In the early stage of the season there are different reasons why it’s not that easy, but we will reach that point, I’m 100 per cent sure. Daniel [Sturridge] had not that many games or minutes, but it was really good [to play] 90 minutes. He was physically really strong, always in the dangerous areas, involved in pretty much everything. That’s really good and he made a really good game, but in the end if you talk about finishing and how we can train this, I don’t think I can give Danny a lot of tips on how he could score more often. He is an outstandingly good striker when he is fit and everybody knows that.

On Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s integration into his plans…

We work on it, we sit together with him and the analysts and show him how we want to play him in this position or that position. It is work to do but there is no rush and that’s how it is. It is really good that he is here, but as always it would have been better – and next year it will be like this – that if a new player comes in, he is in for the season. Maybe not for the pre-season, which would be ever better, but for when the season starts. Now we are really in this three-games-a-week rhythm and in the international break he is with the national team, so it is not easy but it takes time and that’s all. We will not wait for the next two or three years. It’s all good and already on the weekend he came on in a difficult situation, it was pressure and we wanted, and tried, to do something without giving him too many opportunities. We took a lot of risks in this game, he was involved in it and did really well.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp on Solanke: He's full of joy and quality

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 15:54

Jürgen Klopp has praised Dominic Solanke's short cameo against Burnley on Saturday, describing the young striker's showing as 'full of joy and quality'.

The 20-year-old came agonisingly close to earning the Reds all three points as he hit the bar in the final five minutes of a frustrating 1-1 draw - missing out on a goal his all-action performance arguably merited.

Regardless of that near-miss, Klopp was pleased with Solanke's contribution from the bench and says he is excited by the potential the Englishman has shown in the early stages of his Anfield career.

"It's exciting, absolutely exciting. I'm really happy to have him around. He's a wonderful kid, that's how it is," the manager told reporters.

"He takes the minutes - each minute - as an opportunity. That's the benefit of [his] age.

"When you are this age and you didn't play so often in the Premier League then it's a Premier League game in the stats, whether it's one minute, two minutes, it's five, it's 20. He doesn't care too much about this. 

"You can see this, he's full of joy and quality, it was nice to see."

Categories: LFC NEWS

Clyne and Lallana take positive steps in injury recoveries

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 15:44

Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana have made encouraging steps in their recoveries from injury, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

While the Liverpool pair remain out of contention for first-team action as yet, both are progressing well from respective back and thigh issues.

“Clyney had the third or fourth run outside yesterday, not the highest intensity but a big step and he coped well so far with this,” Klopp told reporters at Melwood.

“Adam is close to going outside and running. For the next step, I’ll give you another update in the next press conference!”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp's team news update: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ward, Lovren, Grujic and Flanagan

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 15:15

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Ward are set to start for Liverpool in Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie with Leicester City, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.

Deadline-day signing Oxlade-Chamberlain has made three substitute appearances for the Reds to date but is in line to be named in Klopp's XI for tomorrow's third-round clash.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for Alex. He had a wonderful impact in the last game," Klopp told his pre-match press conference on Monday.

Klopp also announced that goalkeeper Ward - who has not played in a competitive fixture for Liverpool since May 2016 having spent last season on loan with Huddersfield Town - and Marko Grujic are set to feature in his team at the King Power Stadium.

Dejan Lovren is expected to be fit after missing Saturday's game against Burnley with a back problem, while Jon Flanagan will be included in the Reds' squad for trip to the Midlands.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Match preview: Premier League 2 action for U23s at West Ham

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 13:06

Liverpool U23s take on West Ham United in Premier League 2 on Monday night - a match you can watch exclusively live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.

Neil Critchley’s charges have won their opening four Premier League 2 fixtures to top the table.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of their latest outing...

Where is the game being played? The match is at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, home of Dagenham and Redbridge FC, with kick-off set for 7pm BST.

How can I watch the game? We are showing this game live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO with our coverage starting at 6.30pm.

Previous encounters: The Hammers won promotion back to Premier League 2 Division 1 this season, after beating Peter Beardsley’s Newcastle United in the play-off promotion final last term.

The last meeting between the teams at this level was March 2016 when West Ham beat the Reds 3-2 in the semi-final of the Premier League Cup, an encounter that saw Martin Skrtel sent off.

The last league meeting at this level was March 2015, when the young Reds thrashed the Hammers 5-0 at Chester, with Ryan McLaughlin (two), Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan and Sergi Canos on the mark.

View from the manager, Neil Critchley

“This is a challenge for us playing two games in the space of five days this week but this is what we want for the boys. The boys are at the age now where they are expected to perform well in every single game and we want a games programme that nearly replicates the first team. Hopefully if these boys one day get the opportunity to play for Liverpool then you are expected to play over 40 games a season, probably closer to 50 or 60 sometimes. West Ham got promoted last season to Premier League 2 Division One and they are always difficult to play against. They have made a good start themselves so we are expecting it to be a physical challenge. We are top of the league and everyone wants to try and beat us but we want our run to continue for as long as possible, but we know it is going to be an extremely difficult game on Monday night.” 

View from the player, Nathaniel Phillips

“We have started the season really well and we can’t wait to play every game that’s coming up. We had a really good pre-season and we’ve managed to form a decent chemistry together as a group. I’m really enjoying playing alongside Lloyd Jones and our partnership at centre-half is going well. We didn’t play too much last season together because Lloyd was on loan, but things have gone well so far and we want to keep that going. It’s great to have Harry Wilson back in the team. He brought a lot of goals to the side last season and helped us out massively.”

Categories: LFC NEWS

Live and free: Watch Klopp's pre-Leicester press conference

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 11:43

Jürgen Klopp will preview Liverpool's Carabao Cup clash with Leicester City at Melwood on Monday - and you can watch the boss' press conference live and free here from 1pm BST.

Klopp's media briefing ahead of the tie will be streamed on the club's official YouTube channel and can be viewed via the embedded video below.

The third-round clash takes place at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday evening (7.45pm BST kick-off).

[embedded content]

Categories: LFC NEWS

Wijnaldum hails Salah and Oxlade-Chamberlain additions

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 11:30

Gini Wijnaldum believes Liverpool's summer signings Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have improved the squad in two vital areas: pace and strength in depth.

Salah, who sealed a move to Anfield from AS Roma in July, has taken his impressive pre-season form into the new campaign, scoring five goals in his first eight appearances for the club.

But the manner in which the Egyptian has settled into the squad is just as pleasing for Wijnaldum.

The Dutchman told "[He brings] a lot of pace and speed! He is technical. 

"He is not only a guy who scores goals but is also a team player, trying to defend with the team and trying to let other players score. 

"He’s a great signing for Liverpool and he is also a good person. 

"He has settled in really quick because he is a person who socialises with other players and loves to speak with other players, which makes it easier for him and for us to accept him."

In contrast, Oxlade-Chamberlain has been restricted to just two substitute outings for the Reds so far, having only joined from Arsenal on deadline day.

However, he was notably bright during a short cameo against Burnley last weekend, and Wijnaldum believes the No.21's versatility will prove crucial as the season progresses.

"The same as Mo – he is also really fast. He is a good team player, a player who can play in different positions," he added.

"That makes it easier for the manager and for us as a team; if something happens in a game you have a few players who can play more positions. That can help us as a team."

Of course, the addition of two new players puts extra pressure on Wijnaldum as he looks to secure a place in Jürgen Klopp's starting XI.

But the 26-year-old welcomes the competition.

He explained: "It helps me to be a better player because if you train with better players and play with better players, it automatically makes you a better player. 

"That helps me personally but also the team. We have to realise we are playing for Liverpool, a big club and a club that will always sign big players and good players. 

"You’ll always have to compete for your space but you have to be happy that you have to compete, because that means you have a good squad and play for a good team."

Categories: LFC NEWS

6.30pm BST: Watch live as LFC U23s face West Ham

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 10:51

Liverpool U23s take on West Ham United in Premier League 2 at Dagenham and Redbridge FC on Monday - and you can watch the match live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.30pm BST.

Neil Critchley's side have won their opening four games in Premier League 2, and the young Reds will hope to continue their excellent form against the Hammers.

For the best build-up, join Rob Jones alongside former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor from 6.30pm.

For more information about subscribing to either LFCTV or LFCTV GO, click here.

Categories: LFC NEWS

50 Men Who Made LFC: Tommy Smith

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 10:45

Liverpool legends don’t come tougher than the ‘Anfield Iron’.

Widely recognised as one of the game's hardest-ever players, Smith’s reputation goes before him – as anyone unfortunate enough to have been on the receiving end of one of his bone-crunching tackles would no doubt testify.

Bill Shankly once claimed that his centre-half “wasn’t born, he was quarried” but, contrary to the claims of his critics, Smith was not your archetypal clogger.

Over 600 first-team appearances for the Reds and a glittering array of winners medals are ample proof of that fact.

As a defender who possessed determination, power and raw aggression in equal abundance, not to mention a lot more skill than he was given credit for, he was a key figure during Liverpool’s reign of supremacy in the 60s and 70s.

A former Anfield apprentice, he skippered the club to league and UEFA Cup glory in 1973 and famously headed home the second goal in Rome four years later.

Click through our 50 Men Who Made LFC countdown below

Categories: LFC NEWS

Danny Ings availability latest

Mon, 18/09/2017 - 10:27

Danny Ings is ready to continue his positive progress from long-term injury after being withdrawn as a precaution with Liverpool U23s last weekend.

The striker was taken off during the first half of Neil Critchley’s side’s clash with Manchester City at Prenton Park, purely as a safety measure.

But Ings has resumed training with the first team during the past week and will hope to gain minutes in the coming days as the U23s travel to West Ham United on Monday night and the senior Reds face Leicester City in the Carabao Cup.

“We would be delighted to have him but if we don’t get him and he’s not with us then maybe that means he’s involved with the first team, which would be fantastic as well,” Critchley told

“If we can help him and get Danny closer to the first team and back on that pitch at Anfield then we will be delighted to assist him in that because he’s been fantastic since he’s been with us.

“He’s a credit to the profession and everyone wants the best for him.

“He came off last Sunday but that was just a precaution. He’s been back training this week and if we get him we’ll be delighted, but if not he might possibly be involved with the first team against Leicester, which would give him a big lift as well.”

Ings has featured in five competitive games for the U23s so far in 2017-18, scoring once, as he builds up match fitness following the second long-term knee injury that sidelined him last season.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Academy column: Two games in five days will test us, but the lads are ready

Sun, 17/09/2017 - 15:00

In our latest Academy column, we speak to Liverpool U23s' head of development analysis and assistant coach Tim Jenkins about the unbeaten start to the season and the test of playing two games in five days - starting with Monday's trip to West Ham United.

It has been a very pleasing start to the season and the lads are full of confidence after winning our opening five games, including four straight victories in Premier League 2. Neil Critchley, Mike Garrity and myself have been delighted with the attitude and application of the boys and they have got their rewards for the hard work they have been doing on the training field. Playing two games in five days, starting with an away trip to West Ham, will test the boys but if they aspire to one day play for our first team this is exactly what they have got to get used to. Neil, Mike and myself have very similar ideas and we have just tried to keep our play as simple as possible really and I think the players have responded quite well to it. We have pressed well, we have been organised and I think that is one of the reasons why we have been successful in our opening games.

As we have touched on previously I do believe analysis is important in the development of young players. Take Yan Dhanda for example, who is now with us at U23 level and who scored a brilliant late winner last week against Manchester City. When we sit down with a player, we will show them a little compilation video to support some of the messages we are trying to get across to them, what they are good at and areas that they need to improve. We know Yan is particularly efficient with his shooting, particularly from the area of the field that he scored against City, so it’s about highlighting these positives as well as providing him with one or two elements within his game he needs to focus on and improve.

During the pre-season I was fortunate to be invited to travel with the first team to their training camp in Germany, working with the likes of second assistant coach Peter Krawietz and the first team’s head of post-match analysis Harrison Kingston. One of the main reasons for me being there was to see at first hand the manager’s playing philosophy and how he instils it into the players. It was fantastic to be a part of it and seeing how the team set out to play and their positional work. It enabled me to bring that experience back to the Academy and show our players some of the work they need to do as part of their development.

We can show the young players in close detail the way our first team press against a certain opposition, and if we come up against a team that will be similar to that, we can show them some examples of how the first team set up in that scenario. We played a diamond formation in our first Premier League 2 game of the season against Swansea City, and the analysis was important for us because the first team used that formation a few times last season - away at Manchester United and West Ham, so we could show the players exactly how the first team organise themselves when playing in that formation. We played very well at Swansea and got a deserved 2-0 victory and to be fair we could have scored a lot more on the night.

We hope to continue our good form when we take on West Ham at Dagenham and Redbridge on Monday night in Premier League 2. West Ham got promotion last season and as always when you play against them you expect a good football match. I remember the last time we played them when we lost 3-2 in the semi-final of the Premier League Cup back in March 2016, when Martin Skrtel was sent-off. That was a game we should have won looking back and I remember Joao Carlos Teixeira having a great chance to score the winner in the last minute when he was clean through on goal. I also remember when we played against West Ham at Upton Park and Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent scored for us. That was one of the best team performances I have been a part of and it brings back nice memories.

As always our philosophy is concentrating on the next match, but we will have one eye on the Anfield meeting with Tottenham Hotspur on Friday. As I said this represents a challenge for the boys to play two competitive games in the space of just five days. It’s also a great experience for them in terms of playing, recovering and then going again. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the boys to get the chance to play at Anfield and we are all looking forward to these two games.

Watch West Ham v Liverpool U23s live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO on Monday night from 6.30pm BST. Click here to find out more.

Categories: LFC NEWS

'It made us so proud - and I know how much it'd mean to Owen'

Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:15

Watching Liverpool's players warm-up in Owen McVeigh Foundation t-shirts was a surreal, yet pride-filled, experience for Mark McVeigh.

Prior to last month's 4-0 Premier League win over Arsenal at Anfield, the Reds' squad wore t-shirts to support the Foundation - which was established by Owen's parents Mark and Joanne following their son's tragic death in December 2015 - and raise awareness of its cause.

Owen was an ardent Liverpool fan who followed the team home and away before he passed away at the age of 11, shortly after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

And Mark has no doubt that his son would've loved to have seen his heroes wearing the t-shirt - with one Reds star in particular holding a special place in the McVeigh family's hearts.

"It was just a big sense of pride, really. It was a bit surreal seeing it, especially with all the players with it on," he told

"The big one for me was Firmino, because not long before he passed away, about four weeks before Owen passed away, he met him. He sat with him in town and I was looking at the picture that day, seeing him [Firmino] with it on and that, with the understanding that he'd know what it was about, he'd know it was Owen, it was massive."

Mark also explained the significance of a global audience of millions seeing the likes of Firmino wearing the t-shirt.

He continued: "It was of massive importance on two levels - the Foundation level and the human level. The Foundation side of things, it's massive for us, the amount of people that have contacted us that now know what the flag means now, know what work we do, and that enables us to help more children.

"We've had messages from China, from New York, people who want to get involved. Without things like this, people wouldn't know who we were.

"And from the human side of things, the personal side of things, I know how much it would mean to Owen. It'd just be a sense of pride, he was one of them kids who'd say 'how many likes have I got?', whether it be Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

"[This] was probably the first time since he passed away that it became really, really personal with the club and the Foundation. The club just got it so right. I think I've said it once before, but the moral compass was set to perfect with it.

"What was once an idea is now a reality. The amount of children we're helping - how could you not want to do it more?"

Click play on the video below to hear more from Mark on the Owen McVeigh Foundation's aims, objectives and future plans...

The Owen McVeigh Foundation aims to enrich the lives of local children suffering with cancer by providing them and their families with money-cannot-buy experiences. To learn more, click here.

Categories: LFC NEWS

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

Sun, 17/09/2017 - 13:00

Find out what's going on in the local community this week with our latest look at a busy schedule for our LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours teams.

For further information on these activities and more, follow @LFCFoundation and @Red_Neighbours on Twitter and visit

Monday September 18
Monday Club - pensioners 
Anfield: 1pm – 4pm 

Premier League Kicks sessions
Toxteth Firefit: 5pm – 6pm (age 8-10) - Football 
Walton: 7pm – 8pm (age 11-19)

Ability Counts session (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm – 7pm (age 8-12), 7pm – 8pm (age 13+)

Tuesday September 19
Premier League Kicks session
Toxteth Firefit Hub: 5.30pm-7.30pm (age 11-19)

Respect 4 All (Disability)
Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm-7pm (age 8-16), 7pm-8pm (age 17+) 

Wednesday September 20

Premier League Kicks session

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

Wirral Hive 6pm-8pm (age 8-12) 

Respect 4 All (Disability)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 6pm-7pm (age 8+)

Thursday September 21

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree: 5pm-6pm (age 8-13), 6pm-7pm (age 14-17).

Gateacre: 6pm-7pm (age 11-17)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

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

Military Veterans

Netherton Goals: 5pm-7.30pm 

Friday September 22

Premier League Kicks sessions

Liverpool Aquatics Centre, Wavertree: 6pm-8pm (age 14-19)

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 7pm-9pm (age 14-19)

Croxteth Sports Centre: 6pm-8pm (age 11-17)

Wirral Hive: time TBC (age 13-17)

Respect 4 All (Disability)

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

Red Neighbours Walking Football

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 11am-12pm

Red Neighbours Walking Football - over 50s

Anfield Sports and Community Centre: 11am-12pm

Saturday September 23

Respect 4 All (Disability)

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

Sunday September 24 

Military Veterans Academy: 2pm-5pm

Categories: LFC NEWS

Robertson focused on bouncing back at Leicester

Sun, 17/09/2017 - 10:36

Andy Robertson is keen to make up for the frustration of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley by helping Liverpool return to winning ways against Leicester City next week.

Despite dominating the game from start to finish, the Reds were forced to settle for a point as Sean Dyche’s team held out for an hour after Mohamed Salah had cancelled out Scott Arfield’s opening goal at Anfield.

Jürgen Klopp’s side now face the prospect of two trips to Leicester in the space of five days, with Tuesday’s Carabao Cup third-round tie preceding a Premier League meeting at the King Power Stadium next weekend.

And Robertson is grateful that Liverpool have the opportunity to get the disappointment of their clash with the Clarets out of their system quickly.

“Of course, that’s the beauty of football and especially playing for a top club like this then you’re playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, and if you have a bad afternoon or a bad night then you’ve got time to put it right,” the Scotland international told

“We’ve got a game on Tuesday in the cup and then another league game against Leicester, so it’s important we get back to winning ways and this whole week we’ll be focusing on that.”

Reflecting on the performance and result against Burnley, a game that involved the Reds having 35 attempts on goal, Robertson said: “From the get-go we knew it was going to be a frustrating afternoon. 

“You know what Burnley give, they don’t change the way they play and at the end of the day, like the manager said before the game, it’s effective and they’re really good at it. 

“So we knew it was going to be frustrating and then it kept on going that way, the goalkeeper’s made some magnificent saves today and we’ve just not got the rub of the green. Sometimes that’s what you need, but I don’t think we were good enough today.”

Watch: Robertson looks ahead to Leicester

Substitute Dominic Solanke came closest to snatching a winner for the Reds when he hit the crossbar from close range in the 86th minute, while Salah saw two claims for a penalty waved away by the referee.

Robertson continued: “I think Mo said at half-time that he didn’t feel the first one was a penalty, I think the guy did well to get a block in, but he came in at the end of the game and he’s adamant that the second one’s a penalty.

“I was too far away, it looked like a penalty from where I was, but the referee obviously didn’t see it. 

“We need to move on from that, but we did make a few good chances. Dom’s one I thought was in all the way, and like I said the ‘keeper’s made an unbelievable save, but we need to do more, put them under more pressure and their goal could probably have been avoided as well.”

Categories: LFC NEWS