CL draw: Man Utd get PSG, Leipzig; Ronaldo vs Messi

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 17:20

Manchester United will play Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig in the Champions League group stage, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo set to face off as Barcelona meet Juventus.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have been handed a tough draw on their return to the competition, with Turkey's Istanbul Basaksehir the final side in their group.

Liverpool also face a difficult task, with Dutch champions Ajax and last season's quarter-finalists Atalanta joining them in Group D along with Midtjylland.

Mohamed Salah celebrates scoring his second goal with Roberto Firmino Image: Liverpool face Dutch champions Ajax in Group D

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City, beaten in last season's quarter-finals, have been drawn against Porto, Olympiakos and Marseille.

While Chelsea will play Europa League winners Sevilla, Russian side Krasnodar and debutants Rennes in Group E.

Chelsea's new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set for an immediate reunion with Rennes Image: Chelsea's new goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is set for an immediate reunion with Rennes

Holders Bayern Munich play Atletico Madrid in Group A, while Juventus and Barcelona meet in the blockbuster tie in Group G that sees Ronaldo face Messi for the first time since he left Real Madrid.

The draw, which also saw Real Madrid and Inter Milan paired in Group B, was switched to a behind-closed-doors event in Geneva due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA said hosting the event in its original venue in the Greek capital Athens would "violate public health restrictions and constraints regarding indoor events" in the country.

During the ceremony, Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was named Champions League men's midfielder of the season, with Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski named UEFA men's Player of the Year 2019-20.

Chelsea forward Pernille Harder received the women's Player of the Year award.

Signing Ronaldo or Messi is unlikely but "you never know", says Beckham Image: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are set to play each other in the group stage Champions League draw in full

Group A: Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg, Lokomotiv Moscow

Group B: Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Borussia Monchengladbach

Group C: Porto, Manchester City, Olympiakos, Marseille

Group D: Liverpool, Ajax, Atalanta, Midtjylland

Group E: Sevilla, Chelsea, Krasnodar, Rennes

Group F: Zenit Saint Petersburg, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Club Brugge

Group G: Juventus, Barcelona, Dynamo Kiev, Ferencvaros

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, RB Leipzig, Istanbul Basaksehir

When does the football start?

The group stages get underway in the week of October 19, with six rounds of group games running through to mid-December.

  • Matchday 1: October 20/21
  • Matchday 2: October 27/28
  • Matchday 3: November 3/4
  • Matchday 4: November 24/25
  • Matchday 5: December 1/2
  • Matchday 6: December 8/9

Whoever is lucky enough to go all the way will go head to head at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul - where Liverpool beat AC Milan back in 2005 - on May 29.

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Reds to face Ajax, Atalanta and Midtjylland in Champions League

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 17:20
Liverpool will face AFC Ajax, Atalanta BC and FC Midtjylland in the 2020-21 Champions League group stage.
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Three Reds named in latest England squad

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 14:00
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson have been named in the England squad for three fixtures later this month.
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Training photos: LFC Women gear up for Coventry test

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 10:00
Check out our collection of photographs from Liverpool FC Women's latest training session.
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Pre-Arsenal stats: Goals, centre-backs and more

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 09:30
History suggests tonight's Carabao Cup clash between Liverpool and Arsenal will feature goals - and plenty of them.
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How it unfolded: Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal (4-5 on pens)

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 09:00
Visit our Match Centre now to follow all of the build-up, live updates and reaction as Liverpool host Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.
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Curtis Jones interview | Opportunities, learning and Arsenal tie

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 08:45
Curtis Jones is relishing the prospect of another opportunity to shine in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal tonight.
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Jürgen Klopp: Believe us, we want to win it with all we have

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 08:30
Jürgen Klopp insists any changes made to his Liverpool line-up tonight are not an indication of where the Carabao Cup sits on the list of ‘priorities’ for 2020-21, stating: ‘We will try for it with all we have.’
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Liverpool vs Arsenal EFL Cup Preview - Gunners arrive at Anfield again as another goal-fest beckonsImpressive Liverpool Put Gunn...

Anfield Index.com - Thu, 10/01/2020 - 00:32

Venue – Anfield, Liverpool

Referee – Kevin Friend

Date & Time – Thursday, December 1st @ 19:45

Current Odds – Liverpool 1/1, Draw 14/5, Arsenal 12/5


Time for more Carabao Cup action on Thursday night. Arsenal, again, are the visitors. Let’s hope for something similar to last season’s 5-5 encounter! Expect stars like Curtis Jones and Takumi Minamino to shine again for The Reds.


Liverpool Form

Liverpool made it three league wins from three by beating Arsenal this week. They disposed of Lincoln City with a 7-2 win away to the League One side last Thursday night.

Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have certainly hit the ground running this season and the youth and fringe players who will feature in the Carabao Cup will be hugely motivated to progress further. This would guarantee these players more first-team game-time as the season goes on.

Arsenal Form

Monday night’s defeat was Arsenal’s first since a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa close to the end of last season. The Gunners have six points from 9 in the league and won convincingly at Leicester City last week in the previous round of this competition.

It does look like Mikel Arteta is the right man for the job at Arsenal and winning the FA Cup against Chelsea in August will have done wonders for the club.


Liverpool Team News

Joël Matip, Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out for Liverpool.

The back four and Alisson will all be rested for this game. That means Adrián will start in goals for Klopp’s side. Kostas Tsimikas and Neco Williams should be the full-backs and I think Rhys Williams will partner Sepp van den Berg at the heart of the defence.

Marko Grujic could start in midfield like he did last week at Lincoln City. Curtis Jones will get another runout and James Milner might be thrown in to add a wealth of experience.

Klopp’s front three may be Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota.

Arsenal Team News

Arteta is still without Shkodran Mustafi, Gabriel Martinelli, Calum Chambers, Cedric Soares and Emile Smith-Rowe.

Defender Sokratis will face a late fitness test ahead of the game.

Arteta will stick with his preferred 3-4-3 shape. Bukayo Saka will provide a particular threat from the left while Nicolas Pépé will add a huge impetus of pace on the right.


Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Adrián; Williams N, Williams R, Van den Berg, Tsimikas; Grujic, Milner, Jones; Shaqiri, Minamino, Jota

Arsenal XI (3-4-3) – Leno; Holding, Luiz, Kolašinac; Maitland-Niles, Willock, Elneny, Saka; Pépé, Nketiah, Nelson


Liverpool won 3-1 on Monday night against Arsenal in the Premier League. Sadio Mané, Andy Robertson and Diogo Jota were the scorers after The Gunners had gone in front through an Alexandre Lacazette strike.

The sides played out an incredible 5-5 draw at Anfield in this competition last season. Liverpool went on to win on penalties. Half as much action this Thursday night would keep us very happy indeed.



I think Arsenal could sneak this one, simply because Arteta could put out a slightly stronger starting lineup. Against Liverpool’s young and inexperienced defence, the visitors are likely to create chances aplenty. I think there will be another feast of goals in store for us but The Gunners might just shade this one.

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'Van Dijk spoke to Williams after abuse'

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 22:37

Virgil Van Dijk was among the Liverpool players who joined manager Jurgen Klopp in speaking to Neco Williams after the young full-back received online abuse, assistant boss Pep Lijnders has revealed.

Williams, 19, played the full duration of last week's 7-2 Carabao Cup third-round win at Lincoln and lost possession in the build-up to the hosts scoring their first goal.

The Wales international received abuse on social media afterwards and the profile picture and background picture on his Twitter account have been blacked out.

Thursday 1st October 7:30pm Kick off 7:45pm Sky Sports Football HD

Speaking ahead of Thursday's fourth-round home clash with Arsenal, which is live on Sky Sports, Lijnders said: "It is not for me to comment on social media.

"The only thing I can say is abuse is wrong - through social media, on the street, it is wrong. Second, you are not a Liverpool supporter if you don't support."

Van Dijk Image: Virgil Van Dijk was one of several Liverpool players to speak to Williams

He added: "Trent (Alexander-Arnold) spoke with him (Williams), Virgil spoke with him, Robbo (Andrew Robertson) spoke with him - so it's not only Jurgen or me.

"It's how we take care of each other and that's what makes us different."

Lijnders had earlier said of Williams: "Neco is a doer, and doers make mistakes. We don't want safe play, a player who doesn't take risks. Our game is based on everyone taking the initiative from each position, and that is what we want.

Lincoln v Liverpool 2:03 Highlights from the Carabao Cup third-round match between Lincoln and Liverpool

"One of the most important lessons for each young boy who is coming through, each player, is that it is a weakness if you can get caught up in praise and criticism. I think he dealt with it really well, to be honest."

Another 19-year-old Lijnders spoke about on Wednesday was midfielder Curtis Jones, who scored twice in the Lincoln game.

Jones converted the winning penalty when Liverpool played Arsenal at home in the Carabao Cup fourth round last season - a 5-4 victory on penalties after a chaotic 5-5 draw - and has made impressive progress since.

Jurgen Klopp says he does not spend time thinking about Liverpool's records Image: Jurgen Klopp has also spoken to Williams

Lijnders, who has described Jones as "probably the most offensive midfielder we have", said: "A banana skin is that a young player wants to go too early, too soon.

"I think the way we balance it and the way we give at the right moments, on the right timings with the right players around, the opportunities, that creates unbelievable processes that we saw last year. Curtis is a good example of that."

Liverpool host Arsenal again three days on from beating them 3-1 at Anfield in the Premier League.

Thiago Alcantara, not involved in the last two games, is unavailable after testing positive for coronavirus and skipper Jordan Henderson (knock) will also not feature.

Kostas Tsimikas (thigh), Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee) are all out of action because of injury as well. Seventeen-year-old defender Billy Koumetio will have his fitness checked ahead of a potential first-team debut, and it remains to be seen if Rhian Brewster is part of the matchday squad as he continues to be linked with a move.

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How Trent, Virgil and Robbo helped Neco Williams through “difficult times”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 22:30

Pepijn Lijnders has given further detail on the way the Liverpool squad helped Neco Williams after abuse from supposed fans, saying “that’s what makes us different.”

It has been a difficult period for Williams personally, as though he remains a key part of Jurgen Klopp‘s squad, the demands on the Reds as Premier League champions ensure heightened scrutiny.

Unfortunately, that has manifested itself in abusive messages from so-called supporters on social media, leading the young right-back to ‘blackout’ his Twitter profile.

Speaking ahead of another likely outing for Williams in the League Cup, Lijnders said that “it’s a weakness if you can get caught up in praise and criticism,” but acknowledged that the 19-year-old is a “doer” who needs support.

Adding to this, the Liverpool assistant manager explained that Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson all spoke to Williams to reassure him of his importance.

“It’s not for me to comment on social media. The only thing I can say is abuse is wrong. Through social media or on the street, it’s wrong,” Lijnders stressed.

“You are not a Liverpool supporter if you don’t support.

“In difficult times, if you say that you are family and together, the most important thing when people say things that are not right or it’s not in the right context, they need to feel full faith.

“Sometimes you don’t need words, because you feel it already with the people around.

“But Trent spoke with him, Virg spoke with him, Robbo spoke with him. It’s not only Jurgen or me, it’s how we take care of each other, and that’s what makes us different.”

 Liverpool's Takumi Minamino celebrates with team-mate Neco Williams (R) after scoring the fifth goal, his second, to make the score 5-0 during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Lincoln City FC and Liverpool FC at Sincil Bank. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That support will be vital to Williams, but it is not only offered to young players when they are subjected to the torrents of abuse that the No. 76 was—it is simply part of the club’s ethos.

Asked about how Klopp keeps his squad ranks—many of whom will be given another opportunity against Arsenal on Thursday night—happy despite their lack of regular starts, Lijnders outlined a “very healthy environment.”

“It’s the environment that we all create in this moment; from our canteen, from our medical…everybody feels 100 percent appreciated, and everybody wants to help each player,” he explained.

“So you don’t have a difference between a young talent of 17 who comes in here or a player who is already established, like a 33-year-old player.

“There’s a very healthy environment, I think, that there are no differences between players. If you’re starting or not, everybody gets the same treatment and attention.

“That makes it healthy and I think especially over the last year we’re using the squad really well, by using rotation but at the same time keeping our collectiveness.

“Everybody feels needed and that’s really important. That’s why we’ve always said we don’t want a big squad with loads of players, everybody should be constantly in the feeling that they are needed.

“And they are needed, if you look closely over this last year.”

[embedded content]

Williams’ rise has been facilitated by the faith of Klopp, Lijnders and the first-team staff, and it is a credit to them that they were willing to trust an unproven teenager to, as with Curtis Jones in midfield, occupy a crucial role.

“Step by step, focusing on the small things, and creating space in the squad. That’s the main thing,” Lijnders added.

“Nobody thought Trent Alexander-Arnold, three years ago, four years ago, would have been in this position as the most talented player in English football.

“Trust them, in good periods and bad periods. We know exactly what we can expect from every single one of them. In the difficult times really show faith and give chances again.

“That’s what happens if you’re with us, if you commit to our team and our staff. We will not give up on players easily.

“The most important thing is to create space in the squad. So instead of, for example, buying a second right defender, we have Neco Williams; instead of buying a right midfielder, we have Curtis Jones.

“We create space in the squad. If you are in the squad, you will get game time, you will develop.”

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Champions League group stage draw: When is it and who could Liverpool face?

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 21:57

Liverpool now know all the teams they can be drawn against in this season’s Champions League group stages when the draw is made on Thursday afternoon.

Wednesday night saw the final qualifiers take place, meaning all the four pots are now confirmed, with Liverpool seeded in Pot 1 of course after winning the Premier League last season.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side are seeded alongside Bayern Munich, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain, Zenit St Petersburg and Porto – meaning they cannot face any of those in the group stages.

But there are some big teams in Pot 2 who the Reds can face, with one of Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax or Shakhtar Donetsk to be drawn.

Fellow English sides Man City, Man United and Chelsea are also in Pot 2 but cannot be drawn at the group stages.

RB Leipzig, Inter Milan, Atalanta and Olympiakos are among the sides in Pot 3, while Club Brugge, Borussia Monchengladbach and Istanbul Basaksehir are all in Pot 4.

Champions League Group Stage Pots

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Pot 1: Bayern Munich, Sevilla, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Juventus, PSG, Zenit, Porto

Pot 2: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Shakhtar, Dortmund, Ajax, Chelsea*, Man City*, Man United*

Pot 3: Dynamo Kyiv, RB Leipzig, Inter, Olympiakos, Lazio, Atalanta, Salzburg, Krasnodar

Pot 4: Club Brugge, Gladbach, Istanbul Basaksehir, Rennes, Ferencvaros, Midjylland, Lokomotiv Moscow, Marseille

* Cannot be drawn in Champions League group stage.

The draw will be held at UEFA’s headquarters in Geneva at 4pm (BST) on Thursday afternoon, and will be broadcast live on UEFA.com.

Liverpool’s first group game will be held on October 20/21, with the schedule for the group stage as follows.

Champions League Schedule


Matchday One: October 20/21

Matchday Two: October 27/28

Matchday Three: November 3/4

Matchday Four: November 24/25

Matchday Five: December 1/2

Matchday Six: December 8/9

The Champions League final is set to be held at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul on May 29, 2021, with Liverpool eyeing their seventh European Cup.

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Reds out for 2 from 2 with League Cup quarter-final place on line – Liverpool vs. Arsenal Preview

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 09/30/2020 - 18:00

It’s back to League Cup action for Jurgen Klopp‘s side and Arsenal are the visitors once more with a place in the quarter-finals on the line.

Liverpool vs. Arsenal

Thursday, October 1, 2020 – 7.45pm (BST)
League Cup Fourth Round
Referee: Kevin Friend

New month, the same week, same opponents but a different competition for Liverpool as they host Arsenal for the second time in three days.

The Reds comfortably clinched a 3-1 win over the Gunners on Monday evening, flexing their muscles in a relentless and dominant display which saw the scoreboard flatter the visitors.

And now a chance to progress to the final eight of the League Cup awaits, where a win for Klopp’s men would even the 2020 ledger against Mikel Arteta’s side.

After rubbing shoulders seemingly at every turn in recent months, this will be the last time the two teams will meet this calendar year and there would be no better to way to send the visitors off than by knocking them out of the League Cup.

A much-changed side is expected as Liverpool look aim to qualify for the quarter-finals in the competition for the second season in succession and for the fourth time under Klopp.

An exciting fixture is on the cards once more and will be one where eyes will be cast over those looking to stake a claim for regular game time in 2020/21.

Team News

 Liverpool’s substitute Diogo Jota during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

A flurry of changes are expected, with the squad who put Lincoln to the sword 7-2 in the last round set to take centre stage once more.

Klopp will be unable to call upon Joel Matip, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago with respective injuries and illness, with three of the four only expected to return after the October international break.

And Kostas Tsimikas has joined those in the treatment room after sustaining a “thigh problem” in the win at Lincoln, meaning James Milner will return to his left-back post.

At least 10 alterations will be made from the side who ran out 3-1 victors last time out, where Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk will be in the running for a successive start at the back alongside either Rhys Williams or Billy Koumetio.

Starting berths will also likely come the way of Adrian, Neco Williams, Curtis Jones, Takumi Minamino and Diogo Jota – a full debut for the latter.

A myriad of options in midfield and attack will see Xherdan Shaqiri, Harvey Elliott, Marko Grujic and Divock Origi vie for the remaining places.

Possible Arsenal XI: Runarsson; Saliba, Gabriel, Kolasinac; Cedric, Saka, Ceballos, Willock; Pepe, Nelson, Nketiah

Last 5 at Home to Arsenal (All Competitions)

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Won 3-1 – September 2020 (Mane, Robertson, Jota; Lacazette)
Drew 5-5 (won 5-4 on pens) – October 2019 (Mustafi OG, Milner pen, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Origi x2; Torreira, Martinelli x2, Maitland-Niles, Willock)
Won 3-1   – August 2019 (Matip, Salah x2 (1 pen); Torreira)
Won 5-1 – December 2018 (Firmino x3, Mane, Salah; Maitland-Niles)
Won 4-0 – August 2017 (Firmino, Mane, Salah, Sturridge)

Did You Know?

 Liverpool's Neco Williams celebrates after setting-up the fifth goal in injury time to seal a 505 draw and send the game to a penalty shoot out during the Football League Cup 4th Round match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 5-4 on penalties after a 5-5 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The two teams met in this very same round of the League Cup last season, playing out a 5-5 draw at Anfield which had to be decided by a penalty shootout.

It was the highest-scoring match in any League Cup fixture since a 6-6 draw between Dagenham & Redbridge and Brentford in August 2014.

And by Curtis Jones nailing the final penalty to secure a win for Liverpool, the Reds continued their rich vein of form from the spot in the League Cup.

It was their eighth penalty shootout victory in the competition, which is more than any other team in League Cup history, they have participated in a total of 11 – dating back to 1993.


 Liverpool players celebrate with goal-scorer Diogo Jota after he scores the third goal to make the score 3-1 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 3-1 vs. Arsenal
Won 7-2 vs. Lincoln
Won 2-0 vs. Chelsea
Won 4-3 vs. Leeds
Won 7-2 vs. Blackpool

Arsenal – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 3-1 vs. Liverpool
Won 2-0 vs. Leicester
Won 2-1 vs. West Ham
Won 3-0 vs. Fulham
Drew 1-1 vs. Liverpool (won 5-4 on pens)

Lijnders’ View

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Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Lijnders remains cautious of an Arsenal side who continue to grown in Mikel Arteta’s image, despite a host of changes to their XI:

“Mikel has won the last seven games in the domestic cup so it’s a completely different context that we are going to play this game.

“It’s a proper win or lose, of course. But what Mikel has instilled at Arsenal, and what all good teams in Europe and in the Premier League have is a clear identity, and with changing players it stays the same.

“They will try to improve, for sure. But that’s the same for us despite it being only two days in between.”

TV & Liveblog Info

 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scores the winning goal, his hat-trick, from a penalty kick as Liverpool win 4-3 during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Arsenal in the League Cup will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football, with coverage starting at 7.30pm (BST) ahead of kickoff at 7.45pm.

Chris Williams has you covered on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you entertained with his usual non-bias take and up to date with all the action, starting from 7.15pm (BST).

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