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Updated: 2 days 13 hours ago

In pictures: Xherdan Shaqiri's first Liverpool training session

Wed, 25/07/2018 - 22:03

Xherdan Shaqiri took part in his first Liverpool training session on Wednesday after linking up with the squad in New Jersey.

The Switzerland international completed his move to the Reds earlier this month but has now concluded his post-World Cup holiday.

And our photographer was there to capture his very first work alongside his new teammates as they prepared to face Manchester City in the International Champions Cup.

See the full gallery below.

Photos by John Powell

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Shaqiri starts Liverpool career after joining USA tour

Wed, 25/07/2018 - 01:04

Xherdan Shaqiri's Liverpool career is now under way after the summer signing arrived in New Jersey to join the club's tour of the United States.

The Switzerland international, who sealed a deal to join the Reds from Stoke City earlier this month, has completed his holiday following participation in the World Cup.

Having arrived on Tuesday, he will now join up with Jürgen Klopp’s squad for the second leg of their stay in America and begin pre-season training ahead of 2018-19.

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Klopp gets cooking with local kids in Charlotte

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 20:56

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp took time out of his busy pre-season schedule to learn some cookery skills with local kids in Charlotte on Monday.

Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Street Soccer USA, the club’s community team invited a group of youngsters to create a delicious and nutritious breakfast, under the guidance of the Reds’ head of nutrition, Mona Nemmer.

Assisted by the club’s first-team chefs and chief executive officer Peter Moore, Nemmer showed Klopp and the kids how to make a range of healthy breakfast options – granola bars, fruit pots, sandwiches, smoothies and wholesome muffins.

The fun and educational session was enjoyed by all who attended, with the kids taking away cookery skills and memories they’ll treasure forever.

The event was part of Liverpool’s visit to Charlotte for the first leg of their pre-season tour of the United States, where they played Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup.

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Photo gallery: Legends visit Roush Fenway Racing

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 19:32

It was the Liverpool legends' turn to visit Roush Fenway Racing on Monday.

Two days after the first team took on a special challenge at the team's base in Charlotte, the quartet of Reds greats travelling with the squad followed in their footsteps.

See how Robbie Fowler, Sami Hyypia, John Arne Riise and Ian Rush got on in the photo gallery below...

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Manchester City v Liverpool: Watch live

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 19:15

Watch Liverpool's International Champions Cup clash with Manchester City live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.

The Premier League rivals face off at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday at 8.05pm local time – which is 1.05am BST on Thursday morning.

The Reds are expected to have the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane back in the squad as they continue to step up preparations for the new season.

Our build-up gets under way 65 minutes earlier with exclusive previews from the USA.

Fans in the UK and Republic of Ireland can watch live on LFCTV or LFCTV GO, while supporters across the rest of the world can watch live on LFCTV GO.

For information on subscribing, click here.

To watch the game live, click here.

LFCTV is available on Sky channel 425 and Virgin Media channel 544.

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Georginio Wijnaldum fitness latest

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 18:59

Georginio Wijnaldum is available for selection again after illness.

The Liverpool midfielder has yet to play since returning to pre-season training earlier this month, due to a muscle issue that was followed by a virus.

But Wijnaldum is now in contention to begin clocking up minutes ahead of the new campaign.

The Reds face Manchester City on Wednesday night in New Jersey before rounding off their United States tour by taking on Manchester United in Ann Arbor on Saturday.

Watch all of Liverpool's pre-season games live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply)>>

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Joel Matip injury update

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 00:14

Joel Matip will leave Liverpool's pre-season tour of the United States to undergo rehabilitation on the muscle injury he sustained against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

The defender picked up the issue midway through the first half of the International Champions Cup fixture and was immediately substituted.

Though the muscle injury suffered in his upper leg is not considered to be a long-term concern, Matip will not be available for selection in the remaining two games in America.

He is therefore returning to Merseyside and will continue his recovery at Melwood.

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'Keita has surprised me - he's got everything'

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 21:59

Naby Keita has caught Daniel Sturridge by surprise with the breadth of his abilities.

The pair have struck up an instant rapport in the Liverpool dressing room and on the pitch since Keita joined the club this summer, linking up repeatedly when they have been in action simultaneously during pre-season so far.

The Guinea midfielder’s reputation went before him ahead of his transfer from RB Leipzig but Sturridge was not fully aware of the complete package he brings.

“I love that guy. I’m surprised how good he is actually, if I’m honest. I knew he was good but I don’t watch German football too often,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.

“I haven’t seen a midfielder like him for a while, he is something different. It’s crazy. The things he can do with the ball – he can defend, he can pass, he can dribble, he is fast, he is strong. He has got everything.

“I’m excited to see what he does in the Premier League and the Champions League.

“I sit next to him in the changing room and we have a lot of banter; my French is terrible but I try my best. His English is OK. We share some good times and have a lot of laughs together. I like him a lot, he’s a good guy.”

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Daniel Sturridge: Liverpool feels like home again

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 21:59

"I'm enjoying myself and enjoying my football. I can't ask for any more."

The words of Daniel Sturridge will come as music to Liverpool fans’ ears.

After spending the second half of last season away from the club as the Reds narrowly missed out on Champions League glory, the striker is back.

Back and in brilliant form, on and off the pitch.

“I love it here. I love the lads and the banter in the group is unbelievable. I feel at home again,” he tells Liverpoolfc.com at the team hotel in Charlotte, the day after he impressed again in the International Champions Cup meeting with Borussia Dortmund.

Sturridge speaks with a smile that seems to have grown increasingly since returning for pre-season training on July 2.

Each appearance so far this summer has provided a glimpse of the No.15’s natural ability to influence a game. “The second half without Daniel would have looked completely different,” said Jürgen Klopp on Sunday.

His role is evidently changing, too, with greater emphasis – self-imposed – on dropping deep to fashion as well as finish goalscoring chances.

“I’m probably just doing more. It’s important for me to try to get involved,” he explains.

“Playing on the shoulder is what I like to do but it’s also important to come and get involved and get in and around the opposition’s No.6. It’s adding more strings to my bow and giving the manager more options if he needs to play me deeper.

“But wherever I play, it doesn’t matter – it’s just important to get the minutes.”

It’s an evolution that has occurred naturally rather than on instruction.

“It has just happened. I think I’ve always been capable of doing that but I’ve always been on the shoulder, so I haven’t done it as often as I am now,” adds Sturridge.

“But it doesn’t matter where I play or which role I’m in, as long as I’m out there and pushing myself to my limits. The minutes are important in pre-season, putting your best foot forward and working as hard as you can.”

FREE: Sturridge on being back 'home' at LFC

While Liverpool were reaching the heights of the Champions League final in the last months of the season, Sturridge’s loan switch to West Bromwich Albion did not work out as hoped.

The 28-year-old played only six games for the Baggies as they suffered relegation from the Premier League.

Understandably, the experience has sharpened the Englishman’s desire to come back and be part of Klopp’s project. And he returns with greater appreciation for its nuances.

“It was important for me to get my head in the right place and evolve as a person. I had things that I needed to sort out with my family and things like that,” he says.

“I’m just happy to be back and to push myself and be part of the group again.

“When I went away I learned too. That’s also a good thing. When you’re not involved in the environment you learn a lot about yourself, the team, watching from afar and seeing how the team are playing. You can learn more when you’re outside the environment.

“I learned a lot watching the games the boys were playing in and also being away and being in a different team’s environment and seeing how they work too.”

Sturridge’s pre-season form, coupled with the late returns of the Reds’ World Cup participants, could present the striker with an opportunity.

The Premier League campaign gets under way in three weeks’ time and claims can be staked for a place in Klopp’s starting XI against West Ham United at Anfield.

But the man himself is not getting hung up on specifics. His is a long-term plan.

“My ambition is to train hard and work hard in pre-season,” Sturridge concludes.

“There are a lot of running sessions and a lot more pre-season games to go. And there’s no pressure. There are a lot of games during the season so it’s about giving your all when you get your minutes.

“I’m not putting any pressure on myself or the management or my teammates. It’s about enjoying myself. I’m part of an unbelievable group, we have a chance to be successful this season. Everybody is pulling together and being part of that unity – being together as one and trying to make this team successful – is what it’s all about.

“We want to win trophies and we want to be successful. It starts now and it’s a long season.

“It doesn’t matter whether you play the first game or the 50th game – as long as you’re involved in the journey that’s all that matters.”

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Photo gallery: Liverpool's first session on Monday

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 20:08

Liverpool's first session of two on Monday was held inside the team hotel as the squad recovered from their opening International Champions Cup fixture.

The Reds were beaten 3-1 by Borussia Dortmund in Charlotte yesterday but were back to work hours later with games against Manchester City and Manchester United to come.

Their initial workout of the day involved a series of stretching exercises under the watch of head of fitness and conditioning, Andreas Kornmayer.

Photos by John Powell

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Frustration for Lewis as England U19s suffer France defeat

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 20:00

There was disappointment for Adam Lewis as England U19s lost 5-0 to France in their final group game in the European Championship on Monday.

The Liverpool youngster played the full game at left-back, but the defeat meant the Young Lions failed to qualfiy for the semi-finals.

Paul Simpson's side only needed a draw to qualify for the last four, but came up against an impressive France team managed by former Liverpool winger Bernard Diomede.

The Young Lions still have a chance of qualification for the 2019 U20 World Cup and will meet Norway on Thursday in the play-off.

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Reds and Arsenal face battle for Diogo Leite deal

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 17:47

Liverpool and Arsenal reportedly face fresh competition in the race to sign Diogo Leite.

Leite has emerged as one of Europe’s hottest prospects since breaking onto the scene with Porto B.

And his performances in the UEFA Youth League last season turned the heads of scouts from a cluster of Premier League big boys.

German magazine Kicker indicate Liverpool have set their sights on Leite as they look to continue their summer spending.

While Arsenal, as well as Manchester City, have shown interest in prising him away from Porto ahead of the oncoming season too.

Buying Leite from Porto will not come at a considerable cost due to the relatively modest £13.4m (€15m) release clause written into his contract.

However, Liverpool, Arsenal and City have now seen another side enter the fray to secure the highly-rated 19-year-old’s signature.

Kicker have followed up claims that Borussia Monchengladbach are keen on Leite and confirmed the Bundesliga outfit’s desire to get him on-board.

Gladbach are said to have identified Leite as the man to bolster their defence following Jannik Vestergaard’s move to Southampton.

A swoop for the centre-back is apparently “underway” after interest in Barcelona’s Marlon was cooled.

Liverpool, Arsenal and City will therefore have to act fast if they are to add Leite to their ranks for the 2018-19 campaign.

Leite is unlikely to be in contention for a starting spot straight away if he heads for Anfield this summer.

Source: Daily Express

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

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Klopp on Dortmund defeat, Keita's role and Sturridge form

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 02:28

Jürgen Klopp wants Liverpool to learn from the way they suffered a 3-1 defeat against Borussia Dortmund in Charlotte after a second-half comeback.

Virgil van Dijk headed the Reds in front at the Bank of America Stadium before the break and they had the better of the early exchanges when the action continued.

But as tiredness set in, the Bundesliga side levelled through a Christian Pulisic penalty midway through the second period.

The USA forward then put his team ahead one minute from time with a low finish and it was his strike that was parried into the path of Jacob Bruun Larsen for BVB’s third.

After the conclusion of the International Champions Cup clash, Klopp reflected on the performance and result, as well as the individual displays of Naby Keita and Daniel Sturridge.

Read on for a summary…

On whether it was a harsh scoreline…

We’ve said it a few times, football is a results game. We lost, Dortmund scored three and we scored one so that’s then a fair result. For both teams it was obviously very difficult circumstances, the humidity and all that stuff. I think a few players thought after five minutes: ‘Wow, where are we here?’ So that was the football we played in the first half. It’s quite difficult in the moment –Dortmund have exactly the same problems – with these mixed line-ups to get kind of an organisation. We saw this in the first half. Fabinho position-wise should be the guy who organises but with Adam Lallana around him, Curtis Jones and the two wingers it was not easy.

The beginning of Dortmund was good, then we controlled the game kind of but we didn’t create chances. But we scored the goal after a nice set-piece. Set-pieces were probably the most positive thing today. In the second half we played much better against a completely different Dortmund side. Our pressing was much better. Dortmund tried to play football and played our cards, if you want, which helps us a little bit to do this. We won the balls but we didn’t do very good things with the balls we won. The surprise is that we scored the goal in the first half and not in the second half. We had two big chances after set-pieces again with Dom Solanke and Joe Gomez. We had a big, big chance with Ojo. Daniel was in a few good moments. We had these moments and I liked the football we played there.

We had two drinks breaks that were not drinks breaks deep in our own half, around our box. We lost the ball again, had it back and lost it again; Pulisic can go in the box and it’s a penalty. Dortmund scored a similar goal against City. That can happen, I don’t like it but it can happen and it’s easy to explain. On a day like this, you have to stay strong and show desire still or kind of greed that you at least want to keep the result at 1-1.

At one moment we could have scored again and had this very tight offside situation. I watched it back and they were both onside but we cannot change that anymore. It felt like that in the game. It would have been two big chances, James Milner alone in front of the goal. It doesn’t help really and I don’t want to excuse the result but we had these situations and didn’t, or couldn’t, use them. Then Dortmund scored a second and the third was really too much. The fourth would have been possible after we lost the ball again, you could see morale was really down. We have to learn from it, that’s how it is, and then we have to go again.

On Keita’s performance…

He can do much better, that’s clear. He was exhausted, he was really done in the last few minutes when they scored on the counter-attack. Usually Naby is fit and around the situation. I think it was the third goal, he couldn’t do it anymore. But, football-wise, he is in a very good way because he’s a naturally skilled player. In small spaces his first few yards are outstandingly quick, so that changed the situation a lot. He was good in the game and then the last game, maybe the half-time was 10 minutes too long for him. Today it was very intense for both teams; we trained this morning harder than we usually would do on a matchday but that’s how pre-season is. We still could have won the game but we didn’t. We have to talk about it because you ask questions but we don’t have to think too long about it.

On the midfielder’s position…

He is a creative midfield player with discipline; tactical discipline is a big strength of his usually. He’s doing the right things in the right moment, that’s how good players are. I don’t want to give him 500,000 [pieces of] information. We got him because he is the player he is and now we want to work with that. That means first of all we let him go and adapt to our system. I see him as an ‘8’, he can play ’10’ as well, maybe in the future he can play ‘6’ as well. At Leipzig, he played as a winger, that’s for sure not his best position but he can play it because he has the speed for it, he has the football intelligence for it. We see him as a creative No.8 playing the passes and making the runs with the ball. With the ball he has the same speed as without, you don’t have a lot of players with this quality. We know what he’s good in and we try to fit it into our game, but that should not be a big problem.

On Sturridge’s form…

He is in very good shape, that’s true. It was a very intense pre-season so far and he was part of pretty much all the sessions. He looks really good. Who doubts Daniel Sturridge when he is fit? I don’t. He is an outstanding player, hopefully he can stay fit and then the future is bright. He is still young enough, it’s not that he is 30-something. He is experienced as well and has this kind of natural arrogance that you need on the pitch, so you don’t always start anew if something doesn’t work, that you are out of the game for 10 minutes or, even worse, not involved for the full game. He stays in the game and it’s good for us to have him around. You saw it today. The second half without Daniel would have looked completely different. It was that good because we had Daniel in the right spaces and he could lead the group with the ball, if you want. That was really good. I’m fine with him, 100 per cent.

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Virgil van Dijk: We're disappointed, but the work will pay off

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 02:12

Virgil van Dijk acknowledged Liverpool’s disappointment at going down 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund in the International Champions Cup on Sunday night, but is confident they’ll reap the long-term benefits of the pre-season work they’re putting in.

It was a firm header from the centre-back midway through the first half that meant the Reds were leading 1-0 at the interval of the tie at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

However, Dortmund struck back after the break with Christian Pulisic winning and then converting a penalty before grabbing a second goal shortly after.

The Bundesliga club made certain of the victory when Jacob Brunn Larsen swept in a third in the 92nd minute.

Asked whether his overall emotion at the end of the game was frustration, Van Dijk told Liverpoolfc.com: Yes, I think so. There are a lot of things we need to improve but it’s pre-season and we have worked hard to improve other aspects of our game, so it’s bit of a pity that we lose in the last five minutes of the game.

“We still have things to improve on and that’s what we are working on every day.

“It was very humid today, hot, and I think everyone had to dig in. We have trained a lot over the last couple of days, this morning as well, but it’s all part of the pre-season; getting fit and getting better, basically with the hard work we have put in.

“And you want to play today's kind of games and get ready for what’s coming this season.”

Van Dijk’s goal was only his second for Liverpool – with his maiden strike coming on his debut for the club against Everton at Anfield back in January.

He admits he’s hoping to add to his competitive tally during the course of 2018-19, adding: "It’s been a while but it was a great corner from the boys. Robbo [Andy Robertson] put in a great delivery and I’m happy I could score the goal.”

Van Dijk and his teammates have been cheered on by thousands of Liverpool supporters since arriving in Charlotte on Saturday morning.

They showed their appreciation for that backing as they thanked fans inside the stadium after the final whistle.

Van Dijk said: “I’m very proud to play for this club and you see the turnout, it’s fantastic and I’m enjoying every bit of it and hopefully it’s going to be the same in the next few days.”

Watch all of Liverpool's remaining pre-season games live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO (restrictions apply)>>

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Jürgen Klopp offers Joel Matip injury update

Mon, 23/07/2018 - 01:51

Liverpool will need to wait to discover the extent of the muscle injury Joel Matip sustained during the International Champions Cup tie with Borussia Dortmund on Sunday night.

The centre-back limped out of the action after 22 minutes of the 3-1 defeat to the German club at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.

The Reds' medical staff will now assess the issue before determining how severe it is, although it is hoped it is not serious.

Jürgen Klopp told his post-match press conference: “It’s not the same injury. It’s another muscle – it looks like, hopefully, only a little tear.

“We will see, but we cannot say anymore it now. It is of course the most negative thing about the day. It’s not cool. Things like this can happen, but you don’t want them to.

“Maybe tomorrow or the day after tomorrow we will know more, but in this moment we only know that it was too painful for him to carry on.”

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