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  1. #1
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    Liverpool FC | 2020/21 Season

    2020-21 Premier League fixtures revealed

    Liverpool will have to hit the ground running when they begin the defence of their Premier League title.

    After their season opener against Leeds, Jurgen Klopp's side then travel to Chelsea on 19 September before hosting Arsenal on 26 Sepember.

    They then travel to Aston Villa before the first Merseyside derby of the season against Everton at Goodison Park immediately after the international break on 17 October.

    The return clash against Everton incidentally is scheduled for 20 February 2021.

    Liverpool's first five games:

    12/09/2020 Leeds United (H)
    19/09/2020 Chelsea (A)
    26/09/2020 Arsenal (H)
    03/10/2020 Aston Villa (A)
    17/10/2020 Everton (A)


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  2. #2
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    The English, European and World champions will be there or there about's again challenging for the top honours. We can only sign the strongly linked Thiago if we manage to sell a midfielder. With Lallana already out perhaps a Wijnaldum will not be with us next season. Ox who hasn't done much either may also be shown the exit door otherwise there will not be any further additions. We don't over pay for rubbish like other clubs do, will only sign a player if he really adds something to the side. Looking forward to seeing Kostas in action once the season starts. We are a successful football team not a show pony like other clubs. It is imperative to get off to a good start.
    Last edited by PakLFC; 20th August 2020 at 20:02.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  3. #3
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    Saturday's Community Shield will kick off "one of the most intense seasons" for Premier League champions Liverpool, says manager Jurgen Klopp.

    The traditional Wembley season opener, against FA Cup winners Arsenal, comes just 34 days after the end of the extended league season.

    "Would I want to play a proper game after two weeks' preparation? No," said Klopp.

    "But it's not a friendly, it's a proper match against Arsenal."

    Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a championship last month, finishing a massive 43 points above FA Cup winners Arsenal.

    The Gunners have had even less time off - their FA Cup win came just four weeks ago - and Klopp expects both sides to go all out for a win.

    "For us, like Arsenal, we prepare for a whole season - one of the most intense, probably, we have ever experienced in our lives because of the amount of games and the time we have for that," he said.

    "It will be intense but nobody is moaning. We are happy we can play at all.

    "It's as perfect as we can be and we will try everything to win the game and Arsenal will do the same."

    This year, the women's game will also be played at Wembley, with a 12:30 BST kick-off live on BBC One.

    It is the first time the Football Association has held back-to-back Community Shield matches and it will be the first time the women's contest takes place at Wembley.

    Centre-back Virgil van Dijk will be fit despite suffering a head injury in Tuesday's friendly against Salzburg, but right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold may not feature due to a minor injury.

    Captain Jordan Henderson, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Joel Matip all remain sidelined.

    Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno is back in training after a knee injury and could start, with defender William Saliba expected to make his debut.

    Liverpool's Wembley wait - the stats

    Arsenal and Liverpool will meet in the Community Shield final for a fourth time (previously in 1979, 1989 & 2002), with the Merseyside club winning the first two such encounters and the Gunners winning the most recent meeting in 2002 (1-0).
    Liverpool and Arsenal will meet at Wembley for the first time since the 1989 Community Shield, which Liverpool won 1-0 courtesy of a first-half Peter Beardsley strike.
    This will be the latest date a Community Shield final has been staged since Bolton Wanderers beat Wolves on 6 October 1958 (4-1).
    Arsenal have won seven of their last nine Community Shield appearances, including each of the last three in a row.
    Arsenal ended a 10-game winless run against Liverpool in all competitions, beating them 2-1 at the Emirates in July - the Gunners will be aiming to win back-to-back matches against them for the first time since September 2012.
    Excluding league games, Liverpool have won just one of their last seven matches at Wembley (D3 L3) and remain winless since a 2-1 victory against Merseyside neighbours Everton in the 2012 FA Cup semi-final (D2 L2 since).
    Excluding league games, Arsenal have lost just one of their last 12 matches at Wembley (W9 D2), a 3-0 defeat to Man City in the 2018 League Cup final.
    Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored a double in each of his last two appearances at Wembley for Arsenal (vs Man City & Chelsea) - only Alexis Sanchez (5) has scored more goals for the Gunners at Wembley Stadium than the Gabon international (4 - level with Aaron Ramsey).
    Liverpool's Sadio Mane made his debut in English football against Arsenal in September 2014 (for Southampton) - since then, he has only scored more goals against Crystal Palace (9) in all competitions than against the Gunners (6).

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/53871874


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  4. #4
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    Arsenal vs Liverpool: Community Shield sees start of Premier League champions' pursuit of more silverware

    Some fans will still be celebrating, but just 37 days after Liverpool lifted the Premier League trophy they will match-up with Arsenal in the Community Shield at Wembley on Saturday afternoon, kicking off a new season and a new pursuit of silverware.

    It is a quicker-than-usual turnaround for the Premier League champions, with a condensed off-season set to be followed by a condensed, busy campaign. "The most intense, probably, we ever experience in our lives," predicted Jurgen Klopp.

    Typically, captain Jordan Henderson has spoken this week about moving on from the triumphs of 2019/20 and focusing on what can be achieved in the future. But, with just a couple of weeks of training and a couple of friendlies under their belt, there is no doubt Liverpool will go into Saturday's showpiece with their preparations far from complete.

    "I would be very surprised if this will be the best game we play this season," Klopp said with a smile in his pre-match press conference. "But we should be ready to fight for a result because the opponent has a similar situation."

    Indeed, that limited preparation may be enough to see them past an Arsenal side also feeling their way back to full fitness - although, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front following his back-to-back doubles at Wembley at the end of last season, the Gunners - who beat Liverpool after the restart in July - will provide a stern test.

    More importantly, Klopp and Liverpool supporters will hope to see signs the Reds are not too far off where they need to be come their opening Premier League fixture with Leeds United in a fortnight's time.

    With international fixtures to take place between now and then, Klopp's training-ground time with his players really is at a premium prior to the start of their title defence.

    Beneficially, Liverpool have made few changes to the squad which dominated the league last time out. Kostas Tsimikas may make his first competitive Liverpool appearance at left-back and Rhian Brewster, who has scored three goals in their two friendlies, may be handed a start. But Klopp's squad know the demands and know what is expected of them in this side.

    Ultimately, success or defeat in the Community Shield has mattered little in terms of what comes next in the Premier League. Just eight Community Shield winners out of 28 have gone on to claim the title. And with an extra week before the Premier League gets under way on September 12 separating the start of the season and Saturday's showpiece, there will still be time to refresh and refine before Liverpool begin the defence of their crown.

    But this Liverpool side have become used to winning. They feed off it, and last season they did it most times they stepped onto a pitch. Henderson will want another trophy lift and victory would help set the tone for what's to come.

    If Liverpool are off the pace, Manchester City and the other Premier League hopefuls will be there to capitalise on any early slip-up. But Liverpool will be keen to remind them just why they are the ones to catch.

    Read more: https://www.skysports.com/football/n...ore-silverware


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  5. #5
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    #LUFC have signed Spain international Rodrigo for a club-record transfer fee from Valencia on a contract that will run until the summer of 2024.


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  6. #6
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    Liverpool are reportedly ready to launch a bid for speedy winger Ismaila Sarr


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  7. #7
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    Georginio Wijnaldum and Thiago Alcantara transfers would signal midfield shake-up at Liverpool

    It has been a quiet transfer window for Liverpool so far. Improving a title-winning side is not easy. In fact, sticking with what you already have is sometimes the best policy. Last season's success is proof of that.

    But as summer turns to autumn and the October 5 deadline draws closer, speculation is intensifying that changes are coming. Specifically, in midfield. Liverpool's pursuit of Thiago Alcantara reportedly continues. Suggestions from Barcelona are that Georginio Wijnaldum could be the man to make way.

    Thiago's starring performance in Bayern Munich's Champions League final win over Paris Saint-Germain raised excitement levels on Merseyside about the prospect of his arrival at Anfield. But at the same time the uncertainty around Wijnaldum's future has caused some trepidation.

    Outside of Liverpool, Wijnaldum does not receive anything like as much acclaim as many of his team-mates. He even tends to be overshadowed by his fellow midfielders. Jordan Henderson is their leader, the FWA Footballer of the Year. Fabinho and Naby Keita were nearly twice as expensive.

    But Wijnaldum is arguably more important than any of them.

    Since his arrival from Newcastle in 2016, he has played more minutes than any other Liverpool player except Roberto Firmino and it is no coincidence.

    Wijnaldum has only missed four Premier League fixtures in the last two seasons. During that time-frame, Liverpool's win rate in all competitions drops from 77 per cent to 54 per cent in games he does not start.

    Wijnaldum's contribution on the pitch can be difficult to measure.

    At Newcastle, and indeed in his first season at Liverpool, his value was most apparent in the stream of goals and assists he provided. He has had his moments since then - his double in last year's Champions League win over Barcelona will not be forgotten - but his overall numbers have dropped.

    Wijnaldum plays further back now, on the left-hand side of a three-man midfield commonly described as workmanlike, and yet he does not rank highly for tackles or interceptions either.

    Watch Wijnaldum play in this Liverpool side, however, and it soon becomes clear what he gives them - and why Klopp has previously described him as "the perfect midfielder".

    If he does not make as many tackles as other players, it is only because he does not need to. Instead, Wijnaldum excels at putting himself in the right positions. When Andy Robertson bombs forward from left-back, he is there to provide cover behind him. When an attack breaks down in the final third, he is alert to the danger, shutting down passing lanes and preventing an opposition breakaway.

    Wijnaldum boasts impressive resilience and immense stamina, allowing him to shuttle between his own box and the opposition's, covering more than 11km per game, contributing in both defence and attack, and exerting his influence with the ball as well as without it.

    Indeed, while Wijnaldum is no longer a primary source of creativity for Liverpool, he remains one of their most technically skilled players. In fact, last season, his 91 per cent passing accuracy rate was the highest of any Liverpool player and the third-highest among Premier League midfielders behind only Manchester City pair Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan.

    Even in Klopp's "heavy metal" Liverpool there is a need for composure, a need for someone who can knit the chaos together, and right now that someone is Wijnaldum. Klopp loves his ability to keep the ball in tight spaces. He feels the same way about his resistance to pressing.

    The problem, of course, is that, if Liverpool do intend to buy Thiago, they must sell first, and Wijnaldum's contractual situation - he only has a year remaining on his current deal - coupled with the interest of his countryman Ronald Koeman at Barcelona, make him the most likely candidate for an exit.

    Klopp will let him go reluctantly but, as Jamie Carragher recently put it on Sky Sports News: "Thiago would bring something different."

    The Spain international is a playmaker of the highest order, a penetrative passer and someone who would add a new dimension to Liverpool's midfield. He would allow them to attack in a different way, perhaps even play in a different way. In addition to his imaginative distribution, he possesses outstanding dribbling ability.

    He would also bring fresh impetus and plenty of excitement. Motivation has not been a problem for this Liverpool side, but there is a fine line between stability and going stale. Last year, it was about consolidation. This year, however, there is a feeling that more action is required.

    "The only worry for Liverpool is that the team hasn't changed too much," added Carragher. "Sometimes you just need a bit of freshness adding to it, mentally as much as anything."

    Thiago, a serial trophy-winner whose leadership on the pitch was plain to see during last month's Champions League final, would certainly keep his Liverpool team-mates on their toes. It is also worth noting that, at Bayern, he has already shown he can thrive in a high-pressing team.

    Thiago is rarely talked about for his off-the-ball work - in fact it is often framed as a weakness in his game - but what he lacks in outright athleticism, he makes up for in positional intelligence and work-rate.

    Last season, in fact, he averaged more ball recoveries per 90 minutes than any of Liverpool's current midfielders. In the Bundesliga as a whole, he ranked second for possessions won in the middle third of the pitch.

    Those numbers suggest that, as well as giving Liverpool something different, Thiago would fit in with principles Klopp has already put in place. It is why this midfield shake-up may be the best way to improve Liverpool - even if it means sacrificing a player as important as Wijnaldum.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...p-at-liverpool


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  8. #8
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    Four Liverpool players are on the six-man shortlist for the Professional Footballers' Association Players' Player of the Year award.

    The Premier League champions have last year's winner Virgil van Dijk on the list, as well as Jordan Henderson, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

    Runners-up Manchester City are represented by Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

    There are four Chelsea players in the Women's Player of the Year category.

    Beth England, Sophie Ingle, Guro Reiten and Ji So-yun are all included.

    Holder Vivianne Miedema and her Arsenal team-mate Kim Little complete the list.

    As well as the main men's award, Liverpool defender Alexander-Arnold also features on the young player list.

    The winners will be announced on Tuesday.

    Reaction to the PFA awards nominations
    All the shortlists
    Men's player of the year

    Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool

    Kevin de Bruyne - Manchester City

    Jordan Henderson - Liverpool

    Sadio Mane- Liverpool

    Raheem Sterling - Manchester City

    Virgil van Dijk - Liverpool

    Women's player of the year

    Beth England - Chelsea

    Sophie Ingle - Chelsea

    Kim Little - Arsenal

    Vivianne Miedema - Arsenal

    Guro Reiten - Chelsea

    Ji So-yun - Chelsea

    Men's young player

    Tammy Abraham - Chelsea

    Trent Alexander-Arnold - Liverpool

    Marcus Rashford - Manchester United

    Mason Greenwood - Manchester United

    Mason Mount - Chelsea

    Bukayo Saka - Arsenal

    (Nominees had to be 21 or under on 1 July, 2019)

    Women's young player

    Erin Cuthbert - Chelsea

    Lauren Hemp - Manchester City

    Chloe Kelly - Manchester City

    Georgia Stanway - Manchester City

    Lauren James - Manchester United

    Ellie Roebuck - Manchester City

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54020807


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  9. #9
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    @MMHS I can see why you are against FSG so much. They don't want to spend anything at all. They want Liverpool to sell before they buy. Everyone talks as if FSG are geniuses for not spending in the last 2 windows. But they want a major player to be sold otherwise they won't spend.

    Liverpool have a lot of key players who are near 30 and this team has been played a high level of intensity for a while. Liverpool need refreshing.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    @MMHS I can see why you are against FSG so much. They don't want to spend anything at all. They want Liverpool to sell before they buy. Everyone talks as if FSG are geniuses for not spending in the last 2 windows. But they want a major player to be sold otherwise they won't spend.

    Liverpool have a lot of key players who are near 30 and this team has been played a high level of intensity for a while. Liverpool need refreshing.
    And, this is after the Club has posted record profit for their history and now probably has crossed MU as the most valued English Club. Only behind the two Spanish giants and may be Bayern. This is a team with most of the players at their prime between 23 to 29, but in a year or two time, may be even in coming season, that thin squad depth will strike - I am not saying LFC to do what Chelsea or MU or MCity is doing, but at least there are minimum requirements for the standard. They are planning a full season, squeezed two months for CV, with 3 forwards, backed by Origi and few academy kids!!!!! And, probably Gini will leave at the dead end of the window for FSG to steal that money.

    At least three players were essential for this season - couple of forwards, Gini's replacement and Lovren's replacement. Players are there as well - if not Warner or Osmane Dembele or Havaratz, there is Ismailia Sarr, Adama Trarore, Alcantra and a solid back-up centre back for 10-12mn. Net, net max 100mn to spend for a Club likely to cross half a billion mark in gross revenue this year.

  11. #11
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    The lack of activity in this transfer window is worrying - some of the current lot look tired & jaded. Post lockdown, LFC have looked poor. I really hope the desire is still there & not just one season wonders.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    And, this is after the Club has posted record profit for their history and now probably has crossed MU as the most valued English Club. Only behind the two Spanish giants and may be Bayern. This is a team with most of the players at their prime between 23 to 29, but in a year or two time, may be even in coming season, that thin squad depth will strike - I am not saying LFC to do what Chelsea or MU or MCity is doing, but at least there are minimum requirements for the standard. They are planning a full season, squeezed two months for CV, with 3 forwards, backed by Origi and few academy kids!!!!! And, probably Gini will leave at the dead end of the window for FSG to steal that money.

    At least three players were essential for this season - couple of forwards, Gini's replacement and Lovren's replacement. Players are there as well - if not Warner or Osmane Dembele or Havaratz, there is Ismailia Sarr, Adama Trarore, Alcantra and a solid back-up centre back for 10-12mn. Net, net max 100mn to spend for a Club likely to cross half a billion mark in gross revenue this year.
    I agree with you. I don't understand why Liverpool won't just pay the money for Thiago. He isn't expensive for a player of his quality.

    If Liverpool don't strengthen I wouldn't expect them to be as good as the last 2 years.

  13. #13
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    Transfer Talk: Thiago Alcantara would give Liverpool midfield a creative spark, says Melissa Reddy

    Thiago Alcantara would give the Liverpool midfield a creative spark, Melissa Reddy told the latest Transfer Talk podcast as she makes the case for his signing.

    The Bayern Munich midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield after shining for the Bundesliga club in another successful season and is expected to move this summer.

    But does Jurgen Klopp need another body in midfield? Reddy, senior football correspondent for The Independent, believes Thiago offers something different to the current options but admits a space would need to open up for him.

    She told the Transfer Talk podcast: "Part of the job when you are at the top is to stay there and one of the ways to do that is to make sure you're evolving, reinventing yourself in certain respects while staying true to the fundamentals that got you to the pinnacle in the first place - and Thiago would do that. He is the anthesis of everything they have at the moment, which I think is the entire point.

    "He's so progressive on the ball, pressure resistant and against deep defences especially, he would open them, with his incredible range of passing with both feet. While it's true that Liverpool largely funnel all their play through their full-backs, who are the creative heartbeat of the side, they know that clubs are trying to deny them that avenue. They're working really hard to put pressure on the full-backs to funnel all their play inside.

    "Liverpool's midfield is incredibly industrious, tactically astute and their job really is to cover the areas when the full-backs go and are left vacant to make sure they're offering protection, but if you can have somebody in the midfield as well who can function in that creative capacity, it makes sense to do it.

    "Thiago is an incredible thinker of the game as well, when he talks about the art of passing. He was schooled at two clubs [Barcelona and Bayern] where the pressure and expectation is so much, so moving to a club where that's also the case wouldn't really hamper him too much.

    "But in essence, when you look at Liverpool's midfield, they're already struggling to give everyone a fair crack at appearances and it is their most well-stocked area. For Jurgen, the biggest thing is squad harmony. He thinks a big reason they are where they are is, yes the evolution of the team and being able to win in different ways, but that's possible because of the squad harmony, the way the group get along and he's very conscious of keeping that, adding to the group but not destabilising that harmony.

    "Interestingly with Thiago, Georginio Wijnaldum is in the exact same position in terms of having a year left on his contract to run and Barcelona under Ronald Koeman want Wijanldum. There has been no secret of that.

    "I don't think it is impossible to imagine a scenario where Barcelona move for Wijanldum, freeing up Liverpool to move for Thiago or if both clubs think 'the window ends in October, that's not too far from January' where a pre-contract can be agreed and both clubs go down that route. At the moment, Liverpool are comfortable, patient and relaxed to see what happens.

    "When you speak to the club, they say he's a spectacular player, the club likes him a lot but look at the places in midfield, they have to try and keep everyone happy. If a vacancy opens up, I'm sure they'll go for Thiago. I know there is a lot of anxiety among the fanbase as the club have done so little but there's a long way to go in the window still."

    Read more: https://www.skysports.com/football/n...-melissa-reddy


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  14. #14
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    Chelsea and Man City are favourites imo.

  15. #15
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    Liverpool are considering allowing Rhian Brewster to leave on a permanent deal in this transfer window, with the possible protection of a buy-back clause.

    Newcastle made an enquiry to see what Liverpool's plans were for the 20-year-old, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Swansea.

    However, any subsequent offer from Newcastle would have been rejected, as Liverpool believe Brewster's opportunities at St James' Park would have been limited.

    Up to six Premier League clubs have expressed an interest in the forward, with Aston Villa, Brighton and Sheffield United three of those clubs.

    Rhian Brewster's second goal against Red Bull Salzburg was clinically dispatched from 20 yards out. See full highlights from the game on LFCTV, Sky channel 425.

    However, Liverpool maintain no final decision on Brewster's Anfield future has yet been made.

    Last month, Brewster made a substitute appearance in Liverpool's Community Shield defeat to Arsenal and missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out.

    Sky Sports assess Brewster's attributes and explain why the Liverpool striker, 20, is set to be a star of the future in English football.

    "He just looks very comfortable and with the composure that he shows in front of goal, he is lethal," says Andrews. "His general build-up play maybe needs to be worked on but there's going to be aspects of every part of his game that slightly need to be worked on. The biggest thing he's got going for him is the fact that he's an instinctive finisher. He doesn't thrash at things, he's very composed and he has a knack for heading as well. He can't overpower 6ft 2in centre halves, he has to out-cute them. He has to get in between areas and he does that very well."

    And Goodman has been equally impressed, saying: "He's got this explosive burst of pace and he seems to have really good football intelligence, so his movement is very clever and, when I watch clips of him finishing, there's such a variety.

    "I had a real good chat to [Swansea boss] Steve Cooper about him and the work ethic, he said, is right up there as one of his best attributes and that comes down to mentality. He's likeable, he's got a big heart and he's a bit of a joker, apparently. All the things that make you popular in the dressing room. He also said that he's confident in his own ability but without being too far because when that goes too far, it turns into arrogance."

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...uy-back-clause


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  16. #16
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    Jürgen Klopp may need to freshen up his squad if they are to retain the focus and consistency that made them unstoppable

    Guardian writers’ predicted position: 1st (NB: this is not necessarily Andy Hunter’s prediction but the average of our writers’ tips)

    Last season’s position: 1st

    The 30-year wait for the 19th league title had only just ended when Jürgen Klopp started fielding questions about creating a dynasty at Liverpool. To say they cheesed him off would be an understatement. Reasonably, he wished to savour a moment generations of Liverpool fans had dreamed of rather than demand even more from his relentless squad, but within a week of winning the Premier League he too was contemplating sustained domination.

    “Next season we will not defend anything … we will attack,” Klopp said, six days into his reign as champion of England, Europe and the world. “I don’t feel finally satisfied. We are just in the middle of something.” Just do it – again, as Liverpool’s new kit suppliers might say. It is not that simple, although Klopp’s team made it appear so last season.

    The champions demolished the opposition en route to claiming the league with 99 points, two more than when runners-up to Manchester City in 2018-19 and a tally that might have been greater but for easing up with the title won. The coveted prize was effectively sewn up before Covid-19 threw everything into disarray. In the end Klopp embraced the asterisk that rivals wanted attached to Liverpool’s undisputed achievement. It would be recognition, he argued, of triumph in a historic season, made even more so by Liverpool wrapping up the title with seven games to spare – a record – and remaining unbeaten at Anfield for a third consecutive league campaign – a club record.

    Liverpool’s superiority was reflected in an 18-point winning margin. That is a forbidding gap for any opponent to bridge. It may prove an impossible one, too, should Klopp’s team retain the extraordinary focus and consistency that have delivered 196 points over the past two seasons. There have been only four league defeats, two sustained after the pursuit of the title was finally over.

    Klopp’s conviction that this team are in the “middle of something” was backed up by his decision to sign a five-year contract extension in December. The talk of attacking next season’s title is no surprise – it is Liverpool’s way under Klopp – but it is in defence where the champions have a solid and settled advantage over City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

    Liverpool won the league with the tightest defence, one that is established, has another year’s experience and, as the influence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson demonstrates, continues to improve. Kevin De Bruyne was the only player to produce more assists in the Premier League last season than Liverpool’s potent full-backs. The champions were mentally stronger than City, too, resilient and singleminded enough to rack up wins on below-par, difficult days. And unlike Frank Lampard or Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Liverpool’s manager does not have to concern himself with the unknowns of a team in transition.

    There are a few concerns all the same. Sustaining those remarkable levels for a third successive Premier League campaign is chief among them. Liverpool have strengthened their left-back cover, with Kostas Tsimikas, and although the desire for Thiago Alcântara is no secret, the commanding midfielder remains a Bayern Munich player at the time of writing. Liverpool are not in desperate need of additions, clearly, and Klopp warned from the outset the pandemic would affect his spending, as the aborted move for Timo Werner confirmed. But there is a need to freshen up and inject new competition into a squad relatively unchanged for almost three years. Tsimikas and Takumi Minamino are the only senior outfield players signed since the big-spending summer of 2018. There is a question of depth, too, with Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana moving on, doubts surrounding the futures of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri, and a condensed, intensive season ahead.

    Improvement, however, can emerge from within. Naby Keïta gave several overdue reminders of his talent after the restart, Minamino has impressed in pre-season (after a challenging time alone in England during lockdown) and Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Rhian Brewster and Neco Williams are among a clutch of youngsters who excite Klopp. The aim is number 20 and the incentive is also clear: to lift the Premier League trophy in front of supporters inside Anfield this time.

    The manager
    On the touchline: Ebullient would be a nice way to put it. Frenzied, incessant, capable of raging at match officials/own players/own fans in an instant would be a broader and more accurate description. And to think the 53-year-old claims he’s mellowed.

    On Zoom: What you see is what you get with Klopp and he is no different in the current weird world of press conferences. Continues to give long, considered answers to a wide range of questions and to take the Michael when the opportunity arises.

    The key
    Virgil van Dijk. The defensive pillar is indispensable to Liverpool. Van Dijk played every minute of the title-winning campaign and his fitness record has been impeccable at Anfield. Given the lack of cover for that position, his availability is vital to defending the title.

    Kit story
    Liverpool wore Everton’s old blue and white shirts for their first four seasons until switching to red in 1896. It was not until 25 November 1964, when Anderlecht visited in the European Cup, that Bill Shankly introduced matching red shorts to make his team look more powerful. The all-red strip was completed with the socks in the away leg on 16 December.

    The owners
    Fenway Sports Group, owner of the Boston Red Sox, acquired Liverpool in an acrimonious high court battle with Tom Hicks and George Gillett in 2010. Led by the principal owner, John W Henry, the chairman, Tom Werner, and the president, Mike Gordon – who is heavily involved in the day-to-day running of Liverpool – the company has transformed fortunes on and off the pitch.

    Young blood
    There is widespread interest in Rhian Brewster and understandably so after his prolific loan at Swansea. Brewster scored 11 goals in 22 appearances after his move in January and, while Klopp has yet to decide on the next step, Anfield may provide the best platform after the decision not to pursue Werner and given doubts over Origi’s future.

    New blood
    Thiago is the target who captivates but, at the time of writing, Tsimikas is Liverpool’s only reinforcement. Klopp has wanted cover for Andy Robertson for some time and, after Norwich stood firm on their £20m valuation of Jamal Lewis, the Greece international was signed for £11.75m from Olympiakos.

    Notes from an empty stadium
    The club worked with fan group Spion Kop 1906 to bring a touch of familiarity to the Kop and it was covered in flags that paid tribute to, among other things, European glory and the Hillsborough victims. Another banner was later added to the upper tier of the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand: “Liverpool FC – Champions Again.”

    Euros vision
    Premier League minutes may be hard to come by for Williams but the 19-year-old right-back has done enough to impress Ryan Giggs. The teenager received his first senior Wales call-up for the Nations League fixtures against Finland and Bulgaria.

    https://www.theguardian.com/football...o-11-liverpool


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  17. #17
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    Liverpool don’t need to spend like Chelsea, says Klopp

    Spending huge amounts of money in the transfer market, like Chelsea have done this summer, does not guarantee success as clubs must do the hard work on the training ground to integrate new signings, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has said.

    Chelsea, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, have spent around 200 million pounds ($259.88 million) to bring in Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Ben Chilwell, while Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr arrived on free transfers.

    Premier League champions Liverpool, who finished 33 points ahead of Frank Lampard’s side last season, have signed only left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiakos Piraeus.

    “We live in a world at the moment with a lot of uncertainty,” Klopp told BBC. “For some clubs it’s less important how uncertain the future is: those owned by countries, oligarchs, that’s the truth. We’re a different kind of club.

    “We got to the Champions League final two years ago, we won it last year, and became Premier League champions last season by being the club we are.

    “We cannot just change overnight and say, ‘So now we want to behave like Chelsea’. They are signing a lot of players. That can be an advantage but that means they have to fit together pretty quickly.

    “You cannot bring in the 11 best players and hope a week later they play the best football ever. It’s about working together on the training ground.”

    Liverpool begin their title defence against newly-promoted Leeds United on Sept. 12 while Chelsea face Brighton & Hove Albion two days later.

    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2263376...sea-says-klopp

  18. #18
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    Georginio Wijnaldum has held positive talks with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp over his future at Anfield.

  19. #19
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    Liverpool transfers: Jurgen Klopp says Reds cannot 'behave like Chelsea' in market

    Manager Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are a "different club" to some rivals in the transfer window as they are "not owned by countries or oligarchs".

    The Premier League champions have only signed Kostas Tsimikas for £11.7m, while Chelsea have spent about £200m.

    Klopp says "uncertainty" created by Covid-19 is "less important" for some.

    He said the Reds have had success "by being the club we are", adding: "We cannot change that overnight and say 'now we want to behave like Chelsea'."

    Klopp told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Clubs are in different situations and we are living in uncertainty in the world.

    "For some clubs it seems to be less important how uncertain the future is because they are owned by countries, owned by oligarchs, and that is the truth.

    "We are a different kind of club. We reached the Champions League final two years ago, won it the following year and won the Premier League by being the club we are."

    Liverpool spent £1.3m on young Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg from PEC Zwolle last summer, as well as signing goalkeepers Adrian and Andy Lonergan on free transfers, before adding Red Bull Salzburg's Japan forward Takumi Minamino for £7.25m in January.

    Klopp's side finished 18 points clear of Manchester City as they won their first league title in 30 years, with Chelsea 33 points behind in fourth.

    Chelsea were unable to make any signings last summer because of a Fifa transfer ban, but it was halved on appeal in December 2019 to allow them to bring in players from January this year.

    Frank Lampard's side have signed Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech for £33.3m, RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner for about £48m, Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz for £71m, Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell for £45m and also brought in Paris St-Germain centre-back Thiago Silva on a free transfer.

    Last season's runners-up Manchester City have signed Bournemouth centre-back Nathan Ake for £40m and Valencia winger Fernan Torres for £21m - but have sold Germany winger Leroy Sane to Bayern Munich for about £45m.

    Klopp pointed to the post-lockdown form of midfielders Naby Keita and Curtis Jones and the fact Minamino "looks completely different" after settling in since January as reasons Liverpool do not need to make numerous signings this summer.

    The German also says he is focused on improving the players in his squad rather than bringing new ones in.

    He added: "We always want to improve the squad but there are different ways - one way is to sign new players and the other way is to work together, improve the things you were good in and try to nullify the things you are not good in.

    "That is football. No-one wants to talk about training and only about signings."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54098364


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  20. #20
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    Wijnaldum wants to stay at Liverpool and hopes an offer of a contract extension from the club will be the result of a productive conversation with his manager, who is keen for him to stay.


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  21. #21
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    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he was "surprised" by the decision to revert to three substitutes when the Premier League starts this weekend.

    Premier League managers were allowed to name 20 players and make five substitutions when the 2019-20 season resumed from its coronavirus shutdown.

    But unlike other leagues in Europe, the Premier League will revert to squads of 18 with three allowed changes.

    "My concern is only about player welfare and nothing else," Klopp said.

    "I don't know why we had to discuss it. The whole of Europe is doing it."

    Champions Liverpool host promoted Leeds on Saturday (17:30 BST) and given the season starts late because of the disruption caused by coronavirus, Klopp is concerned players will face new demands in completing a campaign in a condensed period.

    "I thought from a common sense point of view that this year, and only this year, not forever, we would have 20 and five.

    "It's not about having an advantage because we can bring five top players on. I don't like that we dealt with this thing based on the wrong facts.

    "It's about player welfare and it's about having the highest quality in the games for all teams. I was really surprised when I heard the league decided against it.

    "So you have to rotate more, you need numbers, I don't know if you need more players but you need fit players to rotate and face these challenges."

    Klopp's first challenge of the season against Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds side arrives as clubs continue to conduct business in the summer transfer window.

    Liverpool's lack of an eye-catching acquisition has been hotly debated by some supporters and Klopp refused to be drawn on links with Bayern Munich's Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara.

    "It's nice we are linked but that is pretty much it," added the German, who has only signed left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas from Olympiakos this summer.

    "A good player linked to a big club, that is nice and all that I can say on it."

    Klopp also said he is yet to decide which players in his squad can leave on loan and insisted midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum was "absolutely fine" at the club despite being in the final nine months of his contract and heavily linked with a move to Barcelona.

    "I can't speak about a few years, but it's all good for the moment," Klopp added. "You know the situation - between me, Gini and the club, everything is fine."

    'We will attack title, not defend it'
    Klopp's side led last season's Premier League from August until its delayed completion in July and ended with an 18-point gap over Manchester City in second place.

    Despite the cushion, City start the new campaign as odds-on favourites with bookmakers to regain the title.

    "Winning the league last year is the best problem you can have," Klopp added. "If it's a problem then I don't know it, but everybody else is giving me a feeling that it should be a problem.

    "I didn't understand the term 'defend the title'. Maybe I'm not smart enough.

    "We showed we can go for it in the last two years. We don't take that for granted, but if the title is out there then we attack it. That's how I've always understood it so why should that change?

    "It doesn't mean we will win it but it is there to be attacked. That is how I understand it. No games, no points, let's go for it."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54114033


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  22. #22
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    Champions again surely, unless they suffer major injuries or make a total mess.

    I don't see a better first XI in the Premier League.



  23. #23
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    Jurgen Klopp exclusive: If Liverpool find the right player, we can buy

    "It's a big one for all of us. I think it will be tough, tougher, the toughest probably."

    Jurgen Klopp is under no illusions about the challenge ahead as Liverpool look to retain the Premier League in a season like no other.

    Having won their first title in 30 years in bizarre circumstances, Klopp's battle ahead becomes more unique; Liverpool are, now more than ever, the team to beat, with more games packed into a shorter time period, and a winning team difficult to improve.

    In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports' Geoff Shreeves, Klopp outlined the task ahead for the champions, Liverpool's transfer business, and the opening-day clash with Leeds.

    Read more:


    'Toughest season to come'

    "It's a big one for all of us. I think it will be tough, tougher, the toughest probably. From 10 days on, when we play every three days, particularly the top five or six who have qualified for Europe, because European competition will be more intense than ever before.

    "There's nothing experience-wise from the past that is helpful. You go to a different country to play, and two days later you play again. That's from late September to December at least. That's tough.

    "We don't know how long we have to play without supporters, which makes this intense period even trickier, because the crowd can give you a boost in a game, so we have to do that by ourselves pretty much.

    "In terms of being champions? Being Liverpool is always a challenge, wherever you go, they want to win anyway. Our challenge again will be to show again the greed, the desire, the mentality which we showed in the last years, to be successful again, as successful as possible.

    "We spoke very early in pre-season about these challenges. Doing the good things again is part of the answer, try to improve them, and work on the things that didn't work out as well.

    "I didn't change. We tried to put in a lot in this season, because it's the only time of the year we really can train, so we try to create a basis which we can use for the full season. It will be interesting to see where we are exactly.

    "Nobody here looked for one second tired or overly satisfied with the success we had in the past, because that's not possible in the environment we created, because it's a daily push, a daily kick in the butt with the sessions we have.

    "I think we are as well prepared as possible, but it's difficult, really difficult, but the last years were also really difficult. It only looks when you look back and think: 'It was really easy'… it was not for one second easy. It was always a big challenge, and that didn't change."

    'If we find the right player, we can sign them'

    Liverpool have signed just one player in left-back Konstantinos Tsimikas this season, with the window closing on October 5. But how do you improve a side which earned 99 points last season?

    They have been heavily linked with Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, with Gini Wijnaldum's future still not resolved, but Klopp is not concerned.

    "Since I've been here, there has not been one transfer window where I've thought: 'If we don't get this player, we cannot start the season'. Not once. We are in a luxury situation that if we can bring somebody in, it will be a really good player, and if we don't, we have really good players.

    "It's a little bit of theatre, this transfer business, but in all the years I'm here it's always the same. That isn't to say we always did things right, we did things as good as we could do.

    "It depends on different things; one is finding the player, one is having the money and all of these kind of things. But I read this morning that somebody who saw my body language saw 'anxiety, or anger' or things like this. Interesting! That starts really early, judging my body language! I expect that for the season, when we lose a game, when everybody will look if I'm still the funny guy I used to be in some press conferences when we won a game, but this is really early, having not even played a game.

    [If an exceptional player becomes available, can the club do it?] "It was always the case. Always the case. This club, since I am here, and before, spends what we earn. That was always the case. I don't know why this is so surprising now, it's nothing new. Pretty much everything we earn, we spend, if we have to in the moment. If not, we don't, because it makes no sense to throw money away.

    "When I speak about the difficulty of the times we live in at the moment, people might think: 'Really? In football as well?' Yes! Surprisingly enough, in football as well! Uncertainty means uncertainty for all of us.

    "It must fit to the group. Influence from outside, which a transfer is, can help, 100 per cent. If we can find the right player, it will probably happen, if not, then it won't."

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...yer-we-can-buy


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  24. #24
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    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to Sky Sports: "What a game, what an opponent, what a performance from both teams. A proper spectacle, I loved that.

    "It is pretty rare you see that many goals in a game, we have left space for improvement in our defending but that is not unusual for a first game. Our players have played a few days ago for their countries so it is possible.

    "The opponent forced us to make mistakes, we can do better, we will do better but I loved a lot about the game against a well-organised, passionate side like Leeds. We used our skills to cause them problems, we could have scored more and in the end we used set-pieces which is fine by me.

    "It is not like riding a bike, you can lose something in pre-season and it takes time to all come together again. I am really positive about this game. Leeds will have a good season if they can keep up that intensity and they did it in the Championship with more games so why not?"

  25. #25
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    Teams are starting to work out how to play against Liverpool. If they don't add a couple of players , I don't see them winning the tittle this season.

  26. #26
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    Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich for £27m.

    Thiago, 29, joined the German giants from Barcelona in 2013 and played in last season's Champions League final victory over Paris St-Germain.


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  27. #27
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    Jurgen Klopp has fired an ominous warning to Liverpool’s Premier League title rivals by saying his side are ready to evolve to face any new challenges this season.

    Liverpool may have lifted their first title in 30 years last term, breaking a host of records along the way, but the German boss is ready for the threat from a number of sides looking to wrestle the trophy away from Merseyside.

    "It's completely normal that we have to make another step because other teams will make other steps as well," Klopp exclusively told Sky Sports News.

    "It has nothing to do with being champions, we constantly try not to develop but to find solutions to the new challenges before we have the problems with them. That's how football works.

    "But a lot of the good things we did, first and foremost we have to show again so it's not only about changing things it's about finding the right approach and plan again for this season."

    While Liverpool look set to add just their second summer signing to their squad with the arrival of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, other clubs have spent heavily in an attempt to close the gap this term.

    Sunday's opponents Chelsea have spent more than £200m on new recruits in a summer of Stamford Bridge rebuilding and although Klopp insists Liverpool were different from "clubs owned by countries and oligarchs", he has no problem with how Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, or any club, do their business.

    "Between Frank (Lampard) and me there is absolutely nothing - I admired him and loved him as a player and now he is doing a really good job as a coach," Klopp said.

    "So I can't help you with some 'rivalry' between us, we will obviously be rivals on Sunday but apart from that it's all good.

    "We are different clubs, leading in a different way, that's how it is - we invest what we earn and sometimes we invest before we earn but it's still based on these kind of things and it's not like this for other clubs.

    "Whatever they do though I am completely fine with that - they can all do what they want and it's a free world. We have our way of dealing with the club."

    Klopp is wary of the threat Chelsea will pose, not just this season but in the years to come, as he prepares his side for a trip to the capital on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.

    "There's plenty of threats, they've signed really well and already had an unbelievably good team," added Klopp. "We had to suffer a lot against them in the games last season.

    "Christian Pulisic obviously wasn't involved but he'll probably be fit for the game, Mason Mount and I know Kai Havertz from the Bundesliga - he will play a proper role this season.

    "There's so many good players up front, in midfield, the defensive line and the full-backs - there's not a biggest threat, Chelsea themselves are the threat - that's how it is in football."

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...r-league-crown


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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich for £27m.

    Thiago, 29, joined the German giants from Barcelona in 2013 and played in last season's Champions League final victory over Paris St-Germain.
    Thiago Alcantara: Liverpool agree £25m deal for Bayern Munich midfielder

    Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich for at least £20m, plus £5m in add-ons, on a four-year contract.

    Thiago, 29, joined the German giants from Barcelona in 2013 and played in last season's Champions League final victory over Paris St-Germain.

    He is set to wear the number six shirt at Anfield.

    Thiago would be the Premier League champions' second summer signing, after Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas.

    The guaranteed £20m will be paid in instalments, with the maximum extra £5m depending on the Reds' success in the Premier League and Champions League.

    When asked about a potential move for the Spaniard last week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said: "I cannot end speculation as long as the transfer window is open.

    "It is nice that we are linked with him but that is pretty much it really. It is because he is a good player and Liverpool is a big club, so that is nice."

    Bayern boss Hansi Flick said at a news conference on Thursday: "Thiago is an exceptional player who had huge success here for seven years. He's a great person and an exceptional professional.

    "It was very emotional today when he said goodbye."

    Thiago started his career at Barcelona and was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United when David Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, but went to Germany instead.

    As well as the Champions League, he has won seven consecutive Bundesliga titles, four German Cups and the Club World Cup with Bayern.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54188430


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  29. #29
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    Thiago to Liverpool: Bayern Munich playmaker could transform midfield

    The commentator was just saying how comfortable Paris Saint-Germain were looking when it happened. "They are quite happy for Bayern to have the ball in their half," he said. But it was at that precise moment that Thiago Alcantara weaved his magic, firing a crisp pass between the lines.

    The ball was in the back of the net seconds later. The goal was enough to win the 2020 Champions League for Bayern Munich and while scorer Kingsley Coman was the official man of the match, the role of Thiago in the team's triumph escaped absolutely no one.

    At 29 and reluctant to sign a new contract, Bayern realised they might have to sell. Liverpool are now ready to pounce and it is easy to see why the move might appeal. Jurgen Klopp's side can do almost anything. But they cannot do what Thiago can do.

    "Liverpool's squad is fine in most areas," Jamie Carragher recently told Sky Sports. "But l think there are a couple of glaring areas where it should be better than it is."

    Cover for Andrew Robertson has already arrived. Attacking depth would help. But a midfield creator could be transformative. Naby Keita brings some of those qualities, albeit slightly further forwards, but think of that midfield and one still suspects industry is valued over invention.

    It has hardly been a problem, whether it is Fabinho cracking one in from 30 yards or Jordan Henderson driving the team on to glory at home and abroad over the past 18 months. It has come to be seen as the Liverpool way. A decision to focus on the flanks. A style that works.

    Which is what makes the link with Thiago so fascinating.

    He is the Spanish pass master with Brazilian roots and a Barcelona upbringing. A man at home in the midfield hot house, seemingly born to work in those tight spaces.

    Pep Guardiola gave him his professional debut and it shows. He was the one who first took him to Munich. "He is the only player I want," said Guardiola at the time. "It will be him or no one."

    That was seven Bundesliga titles ago. A period in which Thiago has become a symbol of the shift as Bayern have totally dominated the league - and with it the football.

    He might be seen as a Guardiola player, but he is now expected to find himself in a Klopp team. Even though the German has adapted his own approach in recent years, there remains a difference. Perhaps that is the whole idea. Thiago brings new qualities.

    He averaged 82.6 completed passes per 90 minutes in the Bundesliga this past season - the most of any regular midfielder. He had a pass completion rate in excess of 90 per cent - an accuracy level that does not really reflect the range of his passing with both feet.

    Those numbers hint at the sort of metronomic use of the ball through midfield that has come to characterise Guardiola's Manchester City. Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan completed the most passes per 90 minutes by midfielders in the Premier League last season. They were followed by Chelsea's Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic. No Liverpool player came close.

    That should come as no surprise. It is indicative of Klopp's use of his midfield. The passing networks during Liverpool's title-winning season reveal the plans behind their build-up play.

    The ball is spread from the centre of defence to the full-backs out wide. Their job is to raid forward and connect directly with the team's attackers. The role of the midfielders in this system is often to cover those advances, recycle possession and prevent the counter.

    It is rare that Liverpool use the centre of midfield to penetrate the opposition penalty box directly. The passing sonars for the team highlight the fact that the more ambitious delivery comes from the full-backs and the wide forwards. In midfield, the passes go sideways.

    As a result, the threat level when Liverpool have the ball in the middle of the pitch is indirect. When the ball is in those areas, the plan is to move it out wide once more in search of an opening, stretching the play and creating spaces for Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.

    The contrast with City is illustrated by the through-balls completed by Kevin De Bruyne. He made 13 such passes last season, more than three times that of any Liverpool player.

    Thiago's inclusion would not change all that. He is more than capable of keeping possession and playing his part in this game of ball circulation. Where he could help Liverpool is by moving the ball with one and two touches, opening games up against deeper defences.

    That could be an attraction for Klopp when the wide route to goal has been shut down with opponents content to defend the perimeter of their penalty box. Thiago picks passes others cannot - a consequence of a lifetime spent threading the needle for Barca and Bayern.

    It would be a new challenge, trading his job with the new European champions for one with the reigning conquerors of the Premier League and the world. Thiago would have to adapt to Liverpool rather than the other way around. The ball might not reach him quite so often.

    It is not just the fact that Bayern play more passes than the rest. For every seven passes completed by his team per 90 minutes last season, Thiago was making one of them. For Georginio Wijnaldum, despite being similarly diligent in retaining possession, that number for Liverpool was only one in 12. The patterns of play are different.

    The tendency at Liverpool is to bypass the middle of the pitch more often, playing around them rather than into the feet of the sitting midfielder. It is why other qualities such as winning the ball back and pressing opponents are of such great importance to Klopp.

    Thiago will need some of that but he might just change Liverpool a little too. Perhaps Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez would look to him rather than Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Maybe Mane and Salah would bounce passes back rather than look to go it alone.

    Thiago is not a typical Liverpool player but that is what has made the speculation so intriguing. He would add a new dynamic. And that could be bad news for everyone else.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...form-liverpool


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  30. #30
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    Thiago Alcantara, who has agreed a deal to sign for Liverpool, says leaving Bayern Munich was the "most difficult decision" of his career.

    The Spain midfielder's arrival has not been officially announced by Liverpool, but Thiago, 29, has said goodbye to Bayern in an open letter.

    He is signing for least £20m, plus £5m in add-ons, on a four-year contract.

    "I decided to close this chapter in this marvellous club," Thiago wrote.

    "The club where I grew and developed myself as a player during the last seven years.

    "Victories, success, joy moments and some hard times as well. But what I am most proud of is having arrived in Munich being a young man full of dreams and leaving completely fulfilled and identified with a club, a history, a philosophy, a language and a culture.

    "Here I learnt how to love and respect a tradition which I say goodbye now but I will never forget."

    As well as winning the Champions League with Bayern last season, Thiago has won seven consecutive Bundesliga titles, four German Cups and the Club World Cup.

    He will be Premier League champions Liverpool's second summer signing, after Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas joined from Olympiakos.

    "My decision is purely sports related," Thiago said.

    "As a football player, I want and I need new challenges in order to develop myself as I did here."

    Source BBC


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  31. #31
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    Thiago is an excellent signing. His ability to have the ball in tight spaces and under pressure is unreal. He will be able to break lines through his passing and dribbling ability. He gives Liverpool another dimension.

  32. #32
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    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  33. #33
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    Diogo Jota is on the verge of leaving Wolves for Liverpool, deal very close, fee upwards of £35m

  34. #34
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    Liverpool have agreed to sign Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Diogo Jota for £41m in a deal that could rise to £45m with add-ons.

    The move for the 23-year-old Portugal winger follows Liverpool's £20m capture of Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.

    In a separate deal, Wolves are set to sign 18-year-old Dutch defender Ki-Jana Hoever from the Reds.

    Hoever's move is expected to be worth £9m, with a possible further £4.5m in add-ons and a 15% sell-on clause.

    Jota can play across the forward line and would provide further cover - in addition to Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi - for Liverpool's vaunted front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

    The former Atletico Madrid player joined Wolves on loan in their 2017-18 Championship-winning campaign before making a £12.8m permanent switch in 2018.

    Jota has made 131 appearances for the Molineux side, scoring 44 goals, including hat-tricks in last season's Europa League victories against Besiktas and Espanyol.

    He is in line to become Liverpool's third summer signing following the arrival of Spain midfielder Alcantara and Greece left-back Kostas Tsimikas for about £11.7m.


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  35. #35
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    It was a transfer that came virtually from nowhere.

    Just days after the rumours first started to surface, Liverpool have added to their attacking options with the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers in a deal worth up to £45m.

    With Liverpool already boasting one of the best attacks in football in Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, where does Jota fit in?

    BBC Sport takes a look at what Jota brings to the club, whether Liverpool really need him and why Wolves would let him go.

    What kind of player are Liverpool getting?Jota, right, struck up a deadly partnership with Raul Jimenez at Wolves

    Jota first arrived in England three years ago when Wolves were in the Championship and made an immediate impact, enjoying a prolific season in which he scored 17 goals as Nuno Espirito Santo's side secured promotion to the Premier League.

    His two years in the top flight have not been quite so prolific, with a very credible nine goals two years ago followed up by seven last season.

    Jota did, though, contribute heavily in the Europa League, scoring nine goals in just 14 games and his arrival at Anfield will certainly give Jurgen Klopp more options in what will undoubtedly be a tiring campaign both domestically and in Europe.

    It is for that reason that Match of the Day pundit and former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes Jota will prove to be an astute addition.

    "It is brilliant business," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

    "You do get the feeling that if there is any part of Liverpool's team that gets overused it is that front three. Klopp very rarely rotates those players and this signing will keep them fresh.

    "We are going into a season that will be very specific in terms of any season we have had, where rotation is going to be key. The games are going to be coming so thick and fast.

    "This is a team that will feel they have won probably everything they have wanted to win at Liverpool and they need to feel on their toes."

    Why do Liverpool want him and where will he fit in?Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino scored 46 goals between them in the Premier League last season

    BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty:

    For all Liverpool's insistence they would not be spending big money, it was never likely they or Klopp would simply rest on the team that gave them their first title in 30 years last season.

    Thiago Alcantara was never off the radar at any point so it was no great surprise when that deal was done with Bayern Munich.

    But this £45m move for Jota is more surprising.

    It makes sense, however, given Liverpool felt Watford were asking too much for Ismaila Sarr and 23-year-old Portugal international forward Jota also fits the bill perfectly.

    He has proven himself at Premier League level, although he scored more heavily in the Europa League last season, and provides pace and the versatility that enables him to play across all three front positions in Liverpool's preferred system.

    Klopp will see Jota as a tried and trusted Premier League player who can not only flourish in his own right but also reduce the burden on Firmino, in particular, as well as Mane and Salah.

    Liverpool are determined to repeat last season's Premier League win so while the messages on transfer business were low-key it was never going to be a summer of total inactivity at Anfield.

    The club, in line with Klopp's public statement about their levels of spending, will no doubt now move to balance the books, with teenage defender Ki-Jana Hoever already moved on to Wolves in a £13.5m deal.

    Of more interest, perhaps, is whether Jota's arrival brings the end of other more high-profile Anfield careers much closer.

    It would certainly appear the likes of 2019 Champions League final goalscorer Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri will see their opportunities reduced, while highly rated 20-year-old Rhian Brewster is a target for other clubs such as Sheffield United, who want to sign him on a permanent deal.

    Liverpool are weighing up their options in that case, but expect departures after a frantic 24 hours of transfer activity.

    Why have Wolves let him go?

    BBC Sport's Simon Stone:

    After starting with an apology for his behaviour in a post-match press conference on Thursday, during which he refused to explain the reason for Jota's non-appearance in the Carabao Cup defeat by Stoke, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo was pretty insightful in his latest media briefing on Saturday lunchtime.

    "A good deal for everybody," was how he described it. That can be translated as "don't think this is simply a case of a bigger club coming to cherry pick one of our players".

    Nuno's squad is evolving. Jota can be outstanding on his day. But the manager has already spoken this season about the drive for greater consistency. Jota scored 16 goals last season. But he only scored in 10 games. By the time Wolves reached the end of the season - and crucial matches against Olympiakos and Sevilla in the Europa League - he was only used as a substitute.

    At Sheffield United, in the opening game of this season, Jota remained on the bench throughout. In Daniel Podence - a January signing from Olympiakos - and Pedro Neto, Wolves had alternative foils for Raul Jimenez. Nuno had decided in the summer if a decent offer came in for Jota, the 23-year-old could go.

    Wolves added to their attacking options with the capture of the highly rated Fabio Silva this summer

    The arrival of 18-year-old Fabio Silva is another sign the squad is evolving.

    Nuno needs a replacement for Matt Doherty, who left for Tottenham, and the money Wolves receive from Liverpool will help pay for it.

    It is ludicrous to say Wolves were in control of this situation because Liverpool are - and probably always will be - a bigger club. Few players turn down the opportunity to join them.

    But, as Nuno says, the deal suits everyone - and that most definitely includes Wolves.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54217890
    Last edited by MenInG; 20th September 2020 at 12:46.


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  36. #36
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    Jordan Henderson: Liverpool captain to miss Arsenal visit in Premier League, says Jurgen Klopp

    Jurgen Klopp has confirmed Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will miss the Premier League game against Arsenal on Monday and Thiago Alcantara is in contention to make his full debut.

    Henderson sustained a thigh problem in the first half of Sunday's 2-0 league win at Chelsea, which led to Thiago coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the Reds, two days after signing from Bayern Munich.

    Joel Matip has yet to return to training either, but the Premier League champions are boosted by Joe Gomez being involved again.#

    "I think Joe should be back today in training, that's what everybody told me - and nobody told me something different since," said Klopp.

    "Billy [Koumetio] is back in training. Joel not, pretty much. Hendo not yet, that was clear - this game is for sure too early. I think that's it, pretty much."

    Klopp is expected to revert to his strongest possible line-up for the visit of Mike Arteta's Arsenal at Anfield, live on Sky Sports, after a Liverpool side, filled with youth and senior squad players, thrashed Lincoln 7-2 in the Carabao Cup on Thursday.

    "We will see, we will see," Klopp added, when asked whether Thiago would make his home debut. "We have a few days to train, some boys have to recover from last night, so we will see how we set up against Arsenal.

    "I have an idea, but why should I make the decision today when we have time until Monday? But he is in contention, for sure. Yeah, let's see."

    Liverpool are unbeaten in 60 home matches in the Premier League, but Klopp is aware his side face a difficult test against Arsenal, who have also won their opening two league matches.

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...s-jurgen-klopp


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  37. #37
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    Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson says Liverpool are "back on the right path" after "dropping" their record-breaking level from before the coronavirus pandemic.

    Prior to the March lockdown, Liverpool had dropped only five points all season and had been unbeaten until February 29, when Watford stunned Jurgen Klopp's men with a 3-0 win at Vicarage Road.

    However, when the Premier League season resumed in June, the Reds went on to collect 17 points from their final nine games, fewer than both Manchester teams, as well as Tottenham, Chelsea and Southampton.

    Post-lockdown Premier League table

    Team Games Points
    1 Man City 10 24
    2 Man Utd 9 21
    3 Southampton 9 18
    4 Tottenham 9 18
    5 Chelsea 9 18
    6 Liverpool 9 17

    But after an opening-day win - if a nervy one - against Leeds, Liverpool were more comfortable in their 2-0 victory at Chelsea on Sunday; and in the process picked up a first league clean sheet in seven games, since they beat Aston Villa at Anfield in early July.

    Klopp refused to acknowledge Liverpool's form had dropped at times at the back end of last season - but goalkeeper Alisson, speaking ahead of their home game with Arsenal, live on Monday Night Football from 7.45pm (kick-off at 8pm), admitted he was left feeling they needed to get back to their best after dropping from a rate of consistency which had turned heads across the league for much of the campaign.

    "We know that we dropped a little bit, we don't know why," he said. "It wasn't something we wanted to do but we knew we had to go back to our path if we want to be competitive this season for the title, because I believe this season the level is higher.

    "It is just the beginning of the season, we had a difficult game against Leeds, it was an open game where anything can happen. It was 4-3 and a good game for anyone who is watching football, but a really hard game to play.

    "Then you have Chelsea away and it's a tough opponent and then the way we went to the pitch from the mental perspective, I really liked this. I like the intensity of the game, I like the way we defended also, the opponent had some opportunities to score but it was from the quality of the opponent. But what I like was our mentality on that game. I think we are on the right path again."

    'We'll do better against Arsenal this time'
    Arsenal were one of two teams to beat Liverpool in the final nine games of last season - before doing likewise in the Community Shield last month at Wembley.

    Mikel Arteta has drawn plaudits for his transformation of the Gunners' style, leading them to FA Cup glory in the process last season, and has impressed Alisson with the manner with which, in his first role managing a team, he has gone about his business.

    However, with the Brazilian now believing Liverpool are back on the right track, he feels it could be a case of third-time lucky for the Reds, as they look to rectify a disappointing fledgling record against Arsenal under Arteta.

    He said: "With their quality, I believe they have a really good team on paper and they are putting out the things on the pitch. You can see they are playing together, really well organised in the defensive phase and they have fantastic strikers with really good quality who can take decisive decisions on the pitch.

    "But also, I believe now with more games played, our team will do better against them. Also back with the clean sheets, it is something mental that gives you the confidence to keep on going and I believe it will be a really good match."

    Source SkySports


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  38. #38
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    Early days this season, but Liverpool look a class above any of the other teams.



  39. #39
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    Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Only three games in - but can anyone keep pace with champions?

    Liverpool have taken just three games to make it clear that every single point dropped by their rivals will be a wound to any hopes they harbour of taking the Premier League title away from Anfield.

    Jurgen Klopp's champions have used two of their opening three matches to impose their iron will on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal here at Anfield, already establishing themselves as the team to beat with the season in still in its infancy.

    Manchester City, rightly, are regarded as the side most likely to mount a challenge to Liverpool but old frailties and a few new ones surfaced in their embarrassing 5-2 capitulation at home to Leicester City on Sunday.

    Pep Guardiola hopes he has plugged the gaps that hurt City so badly in nine league defeats last season by adding £65m Ruben Dias from Benfica to £41m signing from Bournemouth Nathan Ake at the heart of his defence.

    Whether Dias is the answer remains to be seen but there is a vulnerability about City, a sense they can be got at, which simply does not exist in a Liverpool side that holds psychological as well as footballing supremacy over their opponents.

    When City went behind against the Foxes they fell apart in a shambolic display. When Liverpool went behind here they flew at Arsenal, almost insulted at the perceived slight. It was not long before they were ahead.

    Could anyone seriously imagine Liverpool being as vulnerable to pressure in defence as Manchester City were last season and again on Sunday? It is possible but highly unlikely - and pretty much unthinkable as any sort of regular occurrence.

    Liverpool are throwing down the challenge to their rivals already. Can you live with us? Can you afford to drop any points? Each point dropped will increase the pressure.

    Who can actually live with them?

    Leicester City and an Everton side revitalised under the management of Carlo Ancelotti have looked superb in these opening games but it stretches realism to breaking point to suggest they will keep pace with Liverpool - this is not an insult to those two teams who have started so impressively and with such verve, simply a statement of fact.

    City and Guardiola have an awful lot riding on Dias, Chelsea and Manchester United look miles off being challengers, Spurs are already falling back and Arsenal had the gulf between the sides exposed right in front of them in Monday's 3-1 win.

    Liverpool have had three potentially hazardous opening fixtures. They faced a maverick and newly promoted Leeds United side on the opening day then met two clubs who believe they live in the same company, in Chelsea and then Arsenal.

    The upshot? Nine points.

    There is an irresistible drive about this Liverpool side that not only demands excellence but also a desire to chase lost causes and make amends for mistakes.

    We saw it at Chelsea when Sadio Mane responded to losing possession by furiously chasing down keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, forcing him into a mistake that rewarded the Senegal striker with a goal.

    And we saw it against Arsenal, with Andrew Robertson's desire to make up for a bad mistake that allowed Alexandre Lacazette to give Arsenal the lead driving him forward for a close-range finish to put Liverpool in front.

    It must be stressed again that the season has barely kicked off but it is no exaggeration to suggest Liverpool's potential rivals will be looking at their start and getting a sinking feeling, even City, who looked a team full of problems (not to mention injuries) in that horrible capitulation against Leicester.

    And what is more, despite suggestions of a low-key summer in the transfer market, Liverpool conducted two pieces of business with great efficiency to hugely strengthen what was already one of the most powerful squads in European football.

    While the likes of Manchester United fret and flirt around the margins of the market, to the growing frustration of their supporters, unimpressed by their two opening performances this season, Liverpool did the business.

    Bayern Munich's much-coveted Champions League winner Thiago Alcantara arrived to give Liverpool added control, unpredictability and passing quality in midfield while a surprise £45m move for Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers has already reaped rewards.

    Thiago, along with captain Jordan Henderson, was absent here with what was described as "a minor injury issue" but showed what he can bring in 45 minutes at Chelsea.

    Here it was the turn of Jota, who packed plenty into a 10-minute cameo as a substitute for man-of-the-match Mane.

    The 23-year-old Portugal forward ended one dangerous run by shooting wide, should have scored with one chance when he hit the side-netting, and had another taken off his toe rather selfishly by Mohamed Salah before eventually firing a low finish past Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno to confirm Liverpool's win.

    Not bad for starters. And in just 10 minutes.

    Liverpool moved into second place three games into the season. And even after only those three fixtures, it is a brave individual who would bet against them finishing first.

    Klopp's team look that ominous.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54334816


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  40. #40
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    Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating.


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  41. #41
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    BREAKING: Sadio Mane has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines.



  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    BREAKING: Sadio Mane has tested positive for COVID-19 and is currently self-isolating according to the necessary guidelines.
    Sadio Mane: Liverpool forward isolating after positive coronavirus test

    Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating.

    The news comes three days after the club said midfielder Thiago Alcantara had tested positive for Covid-19.

    Liverpool say the Senegal winger has "displayed minor symptoms of the virus but feels in good health overall".

    Mane, 28, played for the Reds in a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Monday but was not in the squad for the EFL Cup defeat on penalties by the Gunners on Thursday.

    A statement on Liverpool's website added: "Like with Thiago Alcantara, Liverpool are - and will continue to - following all protocols relating to Covid-19 and Mane will self-isolate for the required period of time."

    Mane, who has scored three goals for the Anfield club this season, will miss the Premier League game against Aston Villa on Sunday prior to the international break.

    The club's first game after that will be the Merseyside derby at Everton on 17 October.

    On Monday, the Premier League announced 10 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the latest round of testing - the highest number of positive tests since the season began.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54396525


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  43. #43
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    GOAL - Aston Villa 3-1 Liverpool
    John McGinn (35 mins)

    WHAT SORT OF THING IS HAPPENING HERE?

    What a game! What a night!

    Ross Barkley spins over a corner which Joe Gomez heads out, John McGinn volleys it back from a mile out and it hits Virgil van Dijk and flies in.


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  44. #44
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    Goal! Aston Villa 4-1 Liverpool. Ollie Watkins has a first half hat-trick


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  45. #45
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    Liverpool demolished

    What a crazy day of football

  46. #46
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    7-2

  47. #47
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    Turned into a cricket score. Worst defeat since 1963.

  48. #48
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    What was that?

    All over the place. I know Allison wasn't playing but the defence was a shambles.

    7-2.



  49. #49
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    Klopp was getting his knickers in a twist last week when Roy Keane called Liverpool’s performance against Arsenal sloppy.

    Too bad Keane wasn’t in the studio today. Would have been the perfect moment to troll him like no tomorrow.

    A much needed reality-check for Klopp, Liverpool and the fans. They have looked shaky and knackered for a good few months now. They might still defend the title but they are not going to walk it this time.

  50. #50
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    Today was yet another example of how TAA cannot defend and will be exposed outside Klopp’s system.

    He has no pace and agility and his defensive awareness is poor. He is basically an RM with incredible technique on the ball.

    He is more like David Beckham than a proper full-back.

    He is not even a right-back let alone the best in the world. Robertson is a significantly better full-back.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Klopp was getting his knickers in a twist last week when Roy Keane called Liverpool’s performance against Arsenal sloppy.

    Too bad Keane wasn’t in the studio today. Would have been the perfect moment to troll him like no tomorrow.

    A much needed reality-check for Klopp, Liverpool and the fans. They have looked shaky and knackered for a good few months now. They might still defend the title but they are not going to walk it this time.
    For the health and safety of everyone concerned it's a good job Keane isn't around.

    As far as Liverpool is concerned, there's too much craziness happening this season which has affected everyone and with only 4 rounds in, looks like we're in for more madness.

  52. #52
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    Safe to say Alisson was missed tonight. One of the best goalkeeper's in the world.

  53. #53
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    Bit of shocker

    LFC will still win the League, while Villa should stay up.....for the rest of the night tonignt.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kroll View Post
    Safe to say Alisson was missed tonight. One of the best goalkeeper's in the world.
    Would still have lost though, but perhaps not by the same margin. VDD is not invincible anymore, TAA cannot defend and he has no plan B when he is not given space to cross, and J. Gomez is overhyped like almost every English footballer.

  55. #55
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    Always lovely to smash the skummy scousers and their delusional fans, an enjoyable win for sure and quite humiliating for the league champions wish fans were there to see it live

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Always lovely to smash the skummy scousers and their delusional fans, an enjoyable win for sure and quite humiliating for the league champions wish fans were there to see it live
    Always? lol

    This was a one off anomoly, last time Villa scored 2 against us at home was 22 years ago. 3 deflections, 1 keeper mistake and 2 because we were all out attack with no defence.

    Good win but Villa will still be battling in the bottom half at the end of the season while we will be lifting the trophy again.

    See you the Villa parade tommorow around the city.


    Lions don't lose sleep over the opinions of Sheep

  57. #57
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    A forgettable game. 4-1 in first half may be acceptable for a travelling side, but second half also went for 3-1!!!! Klopp needs to look into his defensive coordination - so far 11 goals in three games and a penalty missed in fourth. If it was not for Mou at Trafford, would have been a horrible day for me.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Would still have lost though, but perhaps not by the same margin. VDD is not invincible anymore, TAA cannot defend and he has no plan B when he is not given space to cross, and J. Gomez is overhyped like almost every English footballer.
    Gomez particularly is a weak link. He has pace but otherwise feel very ordinary. Credit to Klopp for getti ng best out of that squad.

  59. #59
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    Villa has opened a massive gaping wound. I can’t see us recovering from this. Klopp has worked wonders with the resources at hand. Now those resources look tired & jaded. The high line tactic has been exposed. Lets see what is Klopp’s plan B. But with Allison out for a while...

  60. #60
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    The intensity that Klopp demands from his players is not sustainable. They have clearly looked tired over the last 15-20 games across competitions.

    It happened in BVB as well. After winning back to back league titles and making the UCL final with his heavy metal football, he had a complete meltdown in his last season and then ran away.

    Liverpool will obviously not finish 7th because this side is better than his BVB and they don’t get their best players picked off by rival clubs, but there is no doubt that the intensity has dropped.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    The intensity that Klopp demands from his players is not sustainable. They have clearly looked tired over the last 15-20 games across competitions.

    It happened in BVB as well. After winning back to back league titles and making the UCL final with his heavy metal football, he had a complete meltdown in his last season and then ran away.

    Liverpool will obviously not finish 7th because this side is better than his BVB and they don’t get their best players picked off by rival clubs, but there is no doubt that the intensity has dropped.
    We haven't been playing with the intensity and press since the first couple of seasons - last season and the season before that was controlled play and breaking teams down who sat in deep against us.

    The frailty this season comes from the singnificant higher line we're playing with. This again would possibly work better than it has if:

    - The midfield and front 3 bring back that intensity and press, not giving the opposition the time and space to pick their balls in behind; and

    - The back line didn't dig their heels in around the half way line and flat footedly stare forwards while the opposition hits long balls in behind. Instead they need to be on the half turn ready to recover.

    All in all, a bad day at the office. International break has come at the right time and I'm sure we'll come back after the break looking more solid (same as last season where we quickly abandoned the super high line after first few games of the season where we shipped a lot)

  62. #62
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    Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has tested positive for coronavirus, the Swiss Football Association says.


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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has tested positive for coronavirus, the Swiss Football Association says.
    Xherdan Shaqiri: Liverpool midfielder tests positive for coronavirus, Swiss FA says

    Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri has tested positive for coronavirus, the Swiss Football Association says.

    Shaqiri, 28, is on international duty with Switzerland and is now self-isolating.

    He is the third Liverpool player to contract Covid-19 within a week, after Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane.

    Shaqiri has played once for the Reds this season, in the Carabao Cup at Lincoln on 24 September, and has not made a Premier League matchday squad.

    A Swiss FA statement said "clarifications are under way with the local health authorities about how to proceed".

    In Switzerland, people must remain in isolation for at least 10 days after the point symptoms first appeared.

    Switzerland are due to play Croatia in a friendly on Wednesday, before Nations League matches against Spain and Germany on 10 and 13 October respectively.

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54433025


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  64. #64
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    Everton vs Liverpool game is now huge, just imagine the damage if liverpool suffer a 2nd defeat of the season so early on.

  65. #65
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    Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk says the Premier League champions face "challenging times" because "everyone wants to see you fall".

    The Netherlands centre-back played a key role as the Reds ended a 30-year wait for a league title last season.

    In an exclusive interview with Eddie Hearn's 'No Passion No Point' podcast, Van Dijk discussed racism, matches without fans and defending the title.

    "I think trying to stay at the top is the hardest thing to do," he said.

    The 29-year-old told Hearn in episode one of the second season of his BBC Sounds podcast: "Everyone wants to see you fall when you reach the top. That is what life is about, especially these days.

    "For me I want to give everything I have got until I retire and then have no regrets after.

    "I don't want any regrets afterwards, I think that would be the worst feeling you can have. It is going to be challenging times coming up. We are champions - something that took a while. We should enjoy the moment and go for it."

    Read more:


    'I miss the away-day boos'

    Hearn's podcast - which featured the likes of singer Noel Gallagher and footballer Wayne Rooney in season one - aims to explore the mindset of people successful in their field.

    Van Dijk tells the boxing promoter how he places importance on setting short-term goals and has done since he failed to break into the first team in his teenage years at boyhood club Willem II.

    At the time he earned money away from football as a part-time dishwasher and admits he was "struggling" to secure a career in the game until he began to accomplish the small targets he had set himself, and duly earned moves to Groningen, Celtic and Southampton.

    Since joining Liverpool for £75m in 2017 he has finished as runner-up in the Champions League in 2017-18 and Premier League in 2018-19, before winning each competition the following season.

    He is now chasing his goals in the strange surroundings of empty stadiums because of the coronavirus pandemic and admits he "found it very difficult" to adjust at first.

    "The fans can play a massive part in difficult times during games and also at good times in games," explained Van Dijk.

    "When you concede the fans will lift you and when you score they make the opponent go further away from you.

    "It's the same case for everyone, but for us in particular everyone knows how difficult it is to play at Anfield with the fans behind us. Hopefully things can change as soon as possible because we need fans.

    "It lifts our performances at home but when you play away and the home fans turn against you - I like that. It gives you that motivation sometimes to do better. It's something I definitely enjoy and that I miss."

    'Chase dreams and don't give up'

    Van Dijk's advice for those chasing goals in any field:

    "You need a bit of luck but apart from that it's about hard work. Commit yourself to your goals. You have to believe in yourself - if you don't then no one will.

    "Set short-term goals. You can have dreams and never stop dreaming as things are always possible. Enjoy the ride, the lows, the ups and the negative side as they can make you who you are.

    "I have gone through many things in life but it made me who I am today. Give everything you have got, believe in yourself and never give up."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54289423


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  66. #66
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    Xherdan Shaqiri: Liverpool and Switzerland forward to travel to Spain after testing negative for coronavirus

    Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri will fly to Spain for Switzerland's Nations League match after testing negative for Covid-19.

    Shaqiri became the third Liverpool player to test positive for the virus within seven days - after Thiago Alcantara and Sadio Mane - and had been self-isolating while on international duty with Switzerland along with team-mate Manuel Akanji.

    However, having received medical reports from the latest round of tests the Swiss Football Association said Shaqiri had subsequently tested negative.

    In a statement, the Swiss FA said: "The Swiss Football Association received this morning the written results of the national team A Covid-19 tests carried out yesterday on all players and staff. Only Manuel Akanji tested positive.

    "All other tests are negative, including that of Xherdan Shaqiri. There is therefore currently only one positive case for the coronavirus in the national team.

    "Manuel Akanji is in isolation and still has no symptoms. Other medical examinations are underway. All other national team players and staff will fly to Spain this afternoon, where the UEFA Nations League game against the Group A leaders takes place on Saturday.

    "Following Xherdan Shaqiri's negative Covid-19 test, the UEFA health committee must now decide on his eligibility to play on Saturday. At this stage, it is impossible to know when the decision will be taken. Shaqiri flies to Spain as planned."

    https://www.skysports.com/football/n...or-coronavirus


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  67. #67
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    Liverpool are lining up a move for Stoke City's 27-year-old English goalkeeper Jack Butland.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  68. #68
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    Liverpool are set to welcome a number of key players back into their team for this weekend’s clash with neighbours Everton.

    Jurgen Klopp’s side face the table-topping Toffees at Goodison Park on Saturday in the first Merseyside derby of the season.


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  69. #69
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    Should Pickford have been red-carded?


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  70. #70
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    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp speaking to BT Sport: "The performance was top, it was a top game and a good game for both teams. We were dominant against a side full of confidence and with a clear plan. It was probably the best away game since I was at Liverpool. I saw a really good performance. I would be more happy if we win but I wanted to see a response and see the team we were before."

    On Virgil van Dijk's injury: "I didnt see it back but it took a while so obviously it wasn't too big an offside and Jordan Pickford takes him out the game. I didnt see it back I only saw it briefly. For [Jordan] Henderson's goal I didn't see offside - but it is because someone decided it."

    On the result: "It is difficult in the moment. It's a massive foul on Thiago [for Richarlison's sending off] it looks not good to be honest. The game was brilliant but it's over, we got one point and that's the situation. The game was good, I loved it in so many moments how we played against such a good side."


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  71. #71
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    Jurgen Klopp angry over VAR decisions and fearful for Virgil van Dijk injury

    Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left angry by the decision to disallow a late winner against Everton and is fearful for defender Virgil van Dijk.

    Jordan Henderson netted in stoppage time but the video assistant referee ruled that Sadio Mane was offside.

    Van Dijk was hurt by a wild Jordan Pickford challenge in the 2-2 draw.

    "It was a clear penalty I saw and then we saw the flag went up. I thought they would still look at the foul but that didn't happen," said Klopp.

    "I don't want to say Jordan Pickford wanted to do it but it is not a challenge how a goalie can do in the box.

    "Virgil played I don't know how many games in a row, he plays with pain, but he couldn't play on and that's not good."

    Richarlison was also dismissed late on for Everton in a dramatic finish at Goodison Park, with Klopp fearing Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara may have been injured in the challenge.

    Everton came from behind twice to remain top of the Premier League, Dominic Calvert-Lewin heading in an 81st-minute equaliser after Mohamed Salah had put Liverpool 2-1 up.

    Sadio Mane put the visitors ahead in the third minute, with the hosts levelling for the first time when Michael Keane headed in a corner.

    Does the Liverpool manager have reason to feel hard done by?

    Should Pickford have been sent off?

    Liverpool were leading 1-0 when Everton goalkeeper Pickford injured Van Dijk in a challenge that led to the Liverpool defender being substituted.

    VAR watched the incident back to look for an offside, and once the decision was given did not check for a possible red card.

    The rules suggest Pickford could have been sent off for serious foul play, though this is a subjective call, and had they felt he was making a genuine attempt to play the ball it would not have been possible to award a red card.

    "We lost one player in a situation where VAR was not involved with Virgil and maybe another one in the red-card situation and scored a legitimate goal, which didn't count," Klopp said.

    "Obviously not our day, but the performance was the performance I wanted to see."

    What the pundits said...

    Former England defender Alex Scott on Final Score: "Jordan Pickford's challenge on Virgil van Dijk should absolutely have been a red card. It was reckless, the sort of challenge that could end a player's career. He has to be sent off. It was rash - the prime example of what everyone has been saying about Pickford."

    Former England goalkeeper Rob Green on Radio 5 Live: "Jordan Pickford was out on control and he tried to do the Peter Schmeichel 'starfish' jump. He has wrapped his legs around Virgil van Dijk and it looks really bad. His eyes are only on the ball but it looks worse rather than any intent on causing harm to Van Dijk."

    Ex-Premier League striker Jermaine Beckford on Final Score: "The way Jordan Pickford came out to address Virgil van Dijk and try to tackle him and win the ball off him was really, really dangerous. Both his legs were quite high. He was very fortunate not to be sent off."

    Former Premier League referee Peter Walton told BT Sport: "Players don't get a free shot because the whistle has gone. Jordan Pickford's challenge should have been addressed by VAR and given Michael Oliver a second look at it."

    How you reacted...

    Dave: "Utterly absurd. Pickford knew exactly what he was doing - red card any day of the week. You don't have to be a ref to acknowledge seriously foul play. A dreadful unprofessional foul from a decidedly average keeper.

    Carl, Derby: "The mind boggles how that was not a red for Pickford. You can endanger a player but it's OK if their eyelash is offside... VAR a joke(and not a funny one)!"

    Should Mane have been ruled offside?
    Liverpool captain Henderson thought he had won the game for the visitors, only for Mane to be ruled offside in the build-up.

    It was a tight decision, but not dissimilar to ones we have previously seen in the Premier League that are impossible to call with the naked eye.

    "It must be offside with VAR, it's what everyone wants," Henderson told BT Sport. "I think they bend the lines sometimes to make it offside. I'm not sure how they do it, I've seen it before."

    Klopp added: "Coming into the dressing room, people are standing around with a laptop and I say 'What's wrong?' and they say 'We have watched it back and we don't understand why it is offside'.

    "I am a real supporter of VAR - the picture I saw there is no offside, since then I have had 10 interviews and everyone tells me it was not offside and that doesn't lift my mood.

    "I didn't see offside but maybe somebody will explain it to me. The picture I saw was not offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it."

    How you reacted...

    Dean, Northampton: "So VAR can see that Mane's arm hair is offside but it can't see that reckless tackle by Pickford? Get it in the sea."

    Huw, Cardiff: "That offside freeze-frame isn't even the moment it left Thiago's foot! If the technology cannot be that accurate then you need a margin of 'too close to call'. See cricket."

    Ciaran: "It's not VAR technology itself that's so frustrating, it's the utter inconsistency in how it's used that's ruining football. The standard of refereeing in this country needs a complete overhaul."

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/54585375

  72. #72
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    Liverpool are understood to have asked the Premier League to investigate the application of VAR in two controversial decisions during their 2-2 draw at Everton on Saturday.

    The Premier League champions were denied a derby-day win when Jordan Henderson's stoppage-time strike was ruled out for a borderline offside against Sadio Mane.

    Liverpool were also unhappy that no action was taken against Jordan Pickford after the Everton goalkeeper's knee-high challenge on Virgil van Dijk in the opening minutes. Van Dijk had to be replaced and was sent to hospital for a scan after the game.

    Liverpool are understood to have asked the Premier League to investigate why Pickford's tackle was not looked at by the VAR official, David Coote, as well as to explain how Mane was adjudged to have been offside for the disallowed Henderson goal.

    Source Skysports


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  73. #73
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  74. #74
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    Most likely VVD’s season is sadly over.

    The referreeing yesterday was atrocious. How Pickford was able to remain on the pitch is mind boggling.

  75. #75
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    Virgil van Dijk injury is not good, says Jurgen Klopp after Liverpool draw with Everton

    Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk's knee injury is "not good", says the champions' manager Jurgen Klopp.

    Van Dijk was hurt in a rash challenge by Everton keeper Jordan Pickford in the first half of Saturday's 2-2 draw.

    The Netherlands defender, 29, could not continue and will see a specialist on Sunday to discover the extent of the injury.

    "Virgil played I don't know how many games in a row, he plays with pain, but he couldn't play on," said Klopp.

    "That's not good."

    Liverpool's claims for a penalty from the incident were turned down as Van Dijk was ruled to be offside before England number one Pickford clattered into him.

    "It was a clear penalty I saw and then we saw the flag went up. I thought they would still look at the foul but that didn't happen," said Klopp.

    "I don't want to say Jordan Pickford wanted to do it but it is not a challenge a goalie can do in the box."

    New Liverpool signing Thiago, who was starting his first Premier League game, was injured when he was fouled by Richarlison late on, with the Toffees forward sent off as a result.

    Klopp added: "When I leave the pitch, Thiago tells me that in the Richarlison red card situation, he thinks he got injured."

    Thiago went for a scan along with Van Dijk and, while the club are hopeful his injury is not serious, they will see how it settles.

    Everton's Brazilian said he had sent a message of apology to the Liverpool midfielder, and insisted the collision was an accident.

    "I did not intend to hurt Thiago," he wrote in a tweet, adding that he lifted his foot out of the way when he realised there was going to be impact.

    "I also apologise to my team-mates, my club and my fans for leaving them with one less player at the end of the game. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change what happened, other than to reflect, work and move on."

    https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/54587193


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by in_cutter View Post
    Most likely VVD’s season is sadly over.

    The referreeing yesterday was atrocious. How Pickford was able to remain on the pitch is mind boggling.
    What are the limits of what one can do when offside? It's completely ridiculous, that is one of the worst tackles I've seen. Full force, scissor legs straight through the front of Van Dijk's knee, it's horrible. But he was offside so all is forgiven


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebat View Post
    What are the limits of what one can do when offside? It's completely ridiculous, that is one of the worst tackles I've seen. Full force, scissor legs straight through the front of Van Dijk's knee, it's horrible. But he was offside so all is forgiven
    In extreme cases like this, the FA should use common sense & have Pickford sent off retrospectively. If VVD
    has a damaged ligament, it will be career defining. It is very difficult to come back & be the same player after a long lay off.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by in_cutter View Post
    In extreme cases like this, the FA should use common sense & have Pickford sent off retrospectively. If VVD
    has a damaged ligament, it will be career defining. It is very difficult to come back & be the same player after a long lay off.
    Such a concept doesn't exist in this league. They are so insistent on sticking strictly to the book in times like this, which is so ironic considering the refereeing decisions in this league are the most inconsistent in Europe.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  79. #79
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    BREAKING: Virgil van Dijk will require surgery on a knee ligament injury suffered in Saturday's Merseyside derby, LFC have confirmed.



  80. #80
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    Liverpool had no issues with injuries last season unlike other teams. But already it's been a lot tougher for them with Covid19 problems and now the injury to VVD.




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