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Lincoln City vs Liverpool Preview: How to Watch on TV, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 00:00

Defending Premier League champions Liverpool kick off their pursuit of cup silverware on Thursday when they head to League One side Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup third round.

It's been a strong start to the season thus far for the Reds, who have made it two wins from two in the Premier League. The Carabao Cup presents them with an opportunity to rotate the squad somewhat, but Jurgen Klopp will be mindful of fielding a side that's capable of still getting the job done with ease.

Liverpool couldn't get past the quarter final in the Carabao Cup last season - and without disrespecting the opponent - it's a tie that should be dealt with in relatively comfortable fashion.

The winner will face either Leicester or Arsenal in the already drawn fourth round of the cup. Here's 90min's preview of the tie...

Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Thursday 24 September
What Time Is Kick Off? 19:45 (BST)
Where Is it Played? LNER Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports (UK)
Referee? Tony Harrington

Team News

While many typically expect the big hitters in the Carabao Cup to use it as an opportunity to field a team full of youngsters, Jurgen Klopp will be unable to do so as Liverpool's Under-21s play in the EFL Trophy on the Tuesday night before the tie.

It means that Klopp can't quite rest his entire squad as expected, meaning Lincoln are likely to face a rather strong Liverpool side. Captain Jordan Henderson misses out, however, having been withdrawn through injury at half time against Chelsea on Sunday.

Joe Gomez is a doubt following an injury but could be fit enough to make the cut, while Joel Matip is expected to be out for 'a couple of weeks'. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also unavailable, but Xherdan Shaqiri could return.

Alternatively, both Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota could make their official debuts for the club. Tsimikas signed back in August and has had time to get used to his new surroundings, while Jota only completed his move at the weekend.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? pic.twitter.com/mBlraCO5uO

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 19, 2020

For the hosts, captain Liam Bridcutt returned to the side for the first time in a while during their victory over MK Dons at the weekend.

Predicted Lineups

Lincoln City: Palmer; Eyoma, Jackson, Montsma, Melbourne; McGrandles, Grant, Bridcutt; Anderson, Morton, Scully.

Liverpool: Adrian; Williams, Van Dijk, Gomez, Tsimikas; Thiago, Jones, Milner; Minamino, Origi, Jota.

Recent Form

Lincoln have started their 2020/21 season strongly. They're unbeaten in the five fixtures they've played across all competitions so far and sit second in League One after convincing victories over both Oxford United and MK Dons.

Their cup form has been just as good, as they dispatched of Bradford with ease in a 5-0 thrashing to make it through to the third round of the Carabao Cup.

Liverpool have started equally as strongly, however. They wound up 4-3 winners against Leeds on the opening day of the season and, after the scare in that fixture, comfortably dispatched of an expensive Chelsea side at the weekend.

Lincoln City

MK Dons 1-2 Lincoln City (19/9)
Bradford 0-5 Lincoln City (15/9)
Lincoln City 2-0 Oxford United (12/9)
Lincoln City 1 (4) - (3) 1 Scunthorpe (8/9)
Crewe Alexandra 1-2 Lincoln City (5/9)


Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool (20/9)
Liverpool 4-3 Leeds (12/9)
Liverpool 7-2 Blackpool (5/9)
Arsenal 1 (5) - (4) 1 Liverpool (29/8)
Red Bull Salzburg 2-2 Liverpool (25/8)


The Imps have done virtually all they can to ensure they give Liverpool a proper tie in the third round, and they'll do exactly that.

They've had more competitive fixtures and at times might look the fitter side which will help them against a Liverpool side who are still trying to get those games under their belt. This is the Premier League champions, though, so don't expect a monumental upset.

The fact that Klopp can't play a side full of youngsters will help Liverpool to victory here. Experience and supreme quality will see them punish a resilient yet overzealous Lincoln side.

Prediction: Lincoln 0-3 Liverpool

Source : 90min

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Georginio Wijnaldum Rejects Liverpool Contract Offer

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 00:00

Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has turned down Liverpool's latest contract extension offer as the 29-year-old holds out for a deal lasting until as late as 2025.

Wijnaldum's current agreement with the Premier League champions runs until in the summer of 2021 and he will be able to leave the club for free when it expires. The Netherlands international has been a key member of Jürgen Klopp's squad since arriving from relegated Newcastle in 2016.

Liverpool's number five played an instrumental role as the club became European, World and Premier League champions over the past two seasons, turning out in a number of different roles as Klopp made use of his versatility.

Given his impact on the team, Liverpool have been keen to secure Wijnaldum's immediate future. However, contract negotiations with the player over recent months have failed to lead to any resolution according to Football Insider.

Wijnaldum - who turns 30 before the end of the year - is thought to have been targeting a four- or even five-year contract extension and has rebuffed at least one offer since talks started as early as March. The reigning Premier League champions are unwilling to agree to such a long-term commitment for a player of Wijnaldum's seniority on top of a sizeable salary increase.

OFFICIAL: Liverpool sign Thiago from Bayern Munich! ✍️ pic.twitter.com/7KXQSaYpIm

— 90min (@90min_Football) September 18, 2020

The midfielder's rejection of this deal comes shortly after Liverpool finally concluded their pursuit of Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcântara. The former Bayern Munich man made his debut for Liverpool in the second half of their 2-0 win over Chelsea, impressing in a midfield role alongside Wijnaldum.

How many more times the pair play together remains in doubt given Barcelona's widely touted interest in Wijnaldum. However, that particular deal has stalled after La Liga threatened to block such a move unless Barcelona address their woeful financial situation.

Source : 90min

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Liverpool Still Considering Ismaïla Sarr Move After Diogo Jota Signing

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 00:00

Liverpool have been tipped to continue their pursuit of Watford winger Ismaïla Sarr, despite splashing out £41m on Diogo Jota from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The Reds have spent all summer looking for reliable backups to the attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané, and Sarr was believed to be at the top of their wish list. However, Liverpool focused on Jota and quickly brought him over to Anfield on Saturday.

You'll Never Walk Alone 2️⃣0️⃣ pic.twitter.com/OYXn6pOPdF

— Diogo Jota (@DiogoJota18) September 19, 2020

Having spent such a significant amount on Jota, it was expected that Liverpool's search for a new forward was over, but according to France Football, that is not the case as manager Jürgen Klopp remains keen to bring in some more reinforcements.

The report even goes as far as to suggest that Liverpool have agreed a fee with Watford to sign Sarr, with the Reds said to have offered somewhere between £32m and £37m to get a deal over the line.

Discussions have now turned to Sarr's salary, but even if Liverpool agree to his demands, a transfer is not yet a certainty as Sarr is understood to be worried about how he would now have to battle Jota for minutes as well as the starting trio.

Instead, a move to Aston Villa has now emerged as a possibility. The Villains are believed to be ready to match Liverpool's offer and hope to lure Sarr over with the promise of a regular spot in the starting lineup.

If Liverpool do miss out on Sarr, it is suggested that they could turn to Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé, but only if the Frenchman is available for loan.

Klopp is known to be a huge fan of Dembélé and hopes to get the chance to work with the winger this season, but a loan bid is not expected to be well-received by Barcelona, who are looking to raise transfer funds this summer.

Barça would listen to sizeable offers, but Liverpool are not expected to shell out that kind of money, which is why their focus remains on Sarr for the time being.

Klopp still hopes to offload some of his fringe players, with the likes of Harry Wilson, Rhian Brewster and Xherdan Shaqiri attracting interest from elsewhere, and those departures could raise enough money to make a move for Sarr a reality.

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

Source : 90min

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Key Reds Pair Hail New Boy Thiago's Liverpool Debut

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 00:00

Liverpool stars Alisson and Sadio Mané have both admitted they are excited for the future after seeing Thiago Alcántara's debut for the Reds in Sunday's 2-0 win over Chelsea.

The Spaniard was introduced at half time following a minor injury to Jordan Henderson, and he proceeded to break records with his passing. He managed 75 passes in just 45 minutes - a feat never before managed - and he also racked up more passes than any Chelsea player.

After the game, Alisson was interviewed by ESPN Brazil, and the goalkeeper was quick to credit Thiago for helping Liverpool keep their foot on the gas against a potentially dangerous Chelsea side.

I see that his entry was necessary. Hendo felt something, I don’t know what. I don’t know if it was a discomfort or a blow," he said. "It was a necessity for him to enter and he’d done three or four training sessions with us.

"Showing his quality, the level of player he is, a player capable of competing for a position within the team. And certainly his entry gave mobility and a lot of movement in the midfield for us to be able to create spaces, find difficult passes, he’s a player who has this quality, to find passes between lines. He certainly contributed a lot to our victory.”

Mané echoed a similar sentiment during his own post-game interview with Sky Sports, admitting the chance to play with somebody of Thiago's quality does not come around too often.

“Not only me, all the world knows what he is capable of doing," the forward said. “He is one of the best players in the world, so we are lucky to have Thiago in our team. And I think he showed that he is a great player.”

After an impressive debut, Thiago will hope to seal a spot in Jürgen Klopp's starting lineup for their next Premier League game, which will see Arsenal travel to Anfield on Sunday.

Before then, the Reds will travel to Lincoln City for a Carabao Cup third-round tie, but Klopp will likely opt to give some of his fringe players a run-out in that one.

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

Source : 90min

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The Players Liverpool Could Sell Before the Transfer Deadline

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 00:00

Well, that escalated quickly.

A week ago, we were all pretty sure that Kostas Tsimikas would be Liverpool's lot this summer. Now, things are taking on a very different look at Anfield, as the confirmed arrivals of Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota have left us all in a state of mild shock.

We danced this dance less than a month ago, but plenty has changed since. So here is your updated list of Liverpool players who could/should now be sacrificed to pay for the reinforcements.

1. Loris Karius

Yeah. Nothing has changed here, sadly. Karius has stagnated at Besiktas while Liverpool have taken huge steps forward and even third-choice Caoimhin Kelleher is now trusted ahead of him.

With a couple of years left on his deal, the 27-year-old needs to be sold for whatever can be salvaged and be given a chance to get his career back on track.

Potential Price Tag: <£5m

2. Nat Phillips

Fabinho is a centre-back now, apparently? That doesn't exactly spell good news for Phillips, who might have otherwise fancied himself as fourth choice.

He's 23, however, and wasn't even named in the squad to face Chelsea, even with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip injured.

Another loan beckons, probably.

Potential Price Tag: Loan

3. Marko Grujic

The 24-year-old remains highly promising but the chips haven't fallen favourably for him at Anfield. Despite impressing on loan in Germany, he's now ninth choice, at best, for a spot in the engine room

He's sellable off the back of a strong spell with Hertha and could fetch a fee close to the full £25m that was put down on Thiago.

Potential Price Tag: £20m

4. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

We've all been rooting for Ox at Anfield but it just hasn't happened consistently for him. Injuries have prevented him from showing his best football at anything close to a consistent level, and to an extent, he's been left behind.

He shouldn't be written off completely yet, but needs to put his fitness issues behind him with regular football - which he won't get at Liverpool.

A Premier League loan would make sense to get him back on track before a more permanent decision in 12 months, after which Gini Wijnaldum may have gone.

Potential Price Tag: Loan

5. Ben Woodburn

At one stage Liverpool's youngest ever goalscorer, a rough couple of years have stunted Woodburn's development. Yet, he's still only 20 years old.

The club aren't fully prepared to show him the door just yet, and it seems he will get one more chance to prove himself on loan before a permanent sale is sanctioned.

He showed some promise at Oxford last season before injury cut him short. This time, it seems the Eredivisie is calling, with Sparta Rotterdam set to confirm a season-long deal.

Potential Price Tag: Loan

6. Harry Wilson

Liverpool are in a unique and enviable position where they can boast a small handful valuable players who are garnering interest, yet aren't at the level required to break into the first team.

One of those is Harry Wilson, who perhaps lacks the pace and dynamism to give Klopp something to think about.

He managed nine goal involvements for an absolutely rubbish Bournemouth last term, however, and would surely easily break double figures in a team capable of actually playing football.

Potential Price Tag: £20m

7. Xherdan Shaqiri

When available, Shaqiri is probably Liverpool's most effective backup forward. Shame his humongous calves are just never fit.

He's been a valuable part of the squad ever since his move from Stoke and has given us all some moments to remember, but he turns 29 next month and his value is only going to go in one direction from here on out.

He's expected to make the club a modest profit on the £13m they paid for him - regardless of how his last year has gone, he's been a shrewd signing.

Potential Price Tag: £15m

8. Rhian Brewster

After yet another promising pre-season, it seems Liverpool are prepared to part ways with Brewster this transfer window...on the condition he can be re-signed for a pre-agreed fee at a later date.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish rejected suggestions that they had agreed a £25m deal, but it shouldn't be too long before someone bites.

Another loan wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but keeping him around to play in the cups seems like it will only be detrimental to his rapid development.

Potential Price Tag: £20m

Source : 90min

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Liverpool Intend to Keep Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain This Window

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 00:00

Liverpool intend to keep midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with no plans to sell the England international.

There is increased competition for places at Anfield following the January arrival of Takumi Minamino and the recent signing of Thiago, while Diogo Jota has also bolstered the Reds' numbers in attacking positions.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has been with Liverpool since 2017 and has impressed when given runs in the team, especially during the 2017/18 Champions League campaign.

He has recently been linked with a move to Wolves, though the Mirror claim there is no interest in letting the former Arsenal man leave anytime soon.

The 27-year-old has not featured in either of Liverpool's first two Premier League games of the season due to a knee injury he picked up during pre-season.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was Liverpool's fourth-highest scorer last season with eight strikes, with only the front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino ahead of him.

Jurgen Klopp has plenty of options to choose from in midfield. Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum are all regular starters, while Minamino, Naby Keita, James Milner and Curtis Jones will all get minutes in what will be a congested and difficult season for most sides.

Thiago is expected to nail down a starting role in the near future and gave Reds fans a taste of what's to come during his substitute appearance against Chelsea on Sunday.

The Spain international was introduced in the second half following the dismissal of Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen and ran the show, making 75 successful passes, the most of any player who has played a maximum of 45 minutes in the Premier League since full passing data has been available.

Liverpool have won their first two league fixtures and are joined by Everton, Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Leicester as teams who have collected six points. They take on Lincoln City in the Carabao Cup on Thursday before returning to league action with a home fixture against Arsenal.

Source : 90min

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Crystal Palace Chairman Denies Reports of Bid for Liverpool's Rhian Brewster

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 00:00

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has publicly denied reports that his club have an offer worth up to £25m for 20-year-old Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster.

Brewster is one of several Liverpool players who could yet leave the club before October’s transfer deadline. The youngster's chances of commanding a first-team place at Anfield this season took a blow when the club sealed the signing of Diogo Jota from Wolves, in addition to existing backup Divock Origi

Sheffield United had previously held talks with the Reds over potentially taking Brewster on loan, while Crystal Palace are joined by Leeds, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Fulham on the list of other Premier League clubs to have been linked in the past.

We have asked Sky to take this down
as it is a total fabrication from start to finish.

We have not made a bid formal or informal. https://t.co/uIusuAsDcW

— Steve Parish (@CEO4TAG) September 21, 2020

On Monday Sky Sports claimed that Palace had now submitted a formal bid for what would be a permanent transfer. The terms of the proposal was said to include a £19m guaranteed fee, plus £6m in add-ons.

The offer was also said to include a buy-back clause that would give Liverpool first refusal on Brewster in the future and take him back to Anfield for a fixed fee of £37m.

However, news of the bid was quickly shot down by Eagles chairman Parish, who called the story 'a total fabrication' on Twitter.

Palace have brought in Michy Batshuayi on loan from Chelsea this summer, as well as investing close to £20m in attacker Eberechi Eze from QPR. That is in addition to Jordan Ayew and Wilfried Zaha giving Manchester United no end of trouble in a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Brewster has been at Liverpool since 2015 when he joined the club’s academy ranks from Chelsea. He got his first taste of senior action during first-team friendlies in 2016 and eventually made his competitive debut at the start of last season during a Carabao Cup tie.

[embedded content]

So far this season he has appeared off the bench in the Community Shield last month, missing a penalty in the shootout defeat to Arsenal.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

Source : 90min

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Fabinho at Centre-Back May Be the Long-Term Answer to a Short-Term Problem

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 00:00

Thiago Alcantara's arrival at Liverpool has given Jurgen Klopp the cliched, theoretical headache that every manager wants.

Jordan Henderson. Georginio Wijnaldum. Naby Keita. James Milner. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Curtis Jones. Fabinho. And now Thiago.

With those eight players vying for three spots in the team, the German faces an uphill battle to keep everybody onside. Among the floated potential solutions, however, the idea of playing Fabinho in central defence was one of the more theoretical.

He had played there before, but sparsely, and only when absolutely necessary. Prior to Saturday, you have to go back to February 2019, when he partnered Joel Matip against Bayern Munich at Anfield, for his last start at centre-back.

After 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge, however, it's something we may see a little more often.

Fabinho vs Chelsea

• 97% passing
• 86/89 passes (most in game)
• 4 tackles (most in game)
• Clean sheet

Dealt easily with Werner ? pic.twitter.com/7us6Axvscv

— LFC Stats (@LFCData) September 20, 2020

Any concerns we had about how he would cope with the counter-attack were immediately put to bed. Though he seemed positionally erratic, it became clear after a while that this was the point. He had been asked to be tenacious, step out, and nip attacks in the bud before they start.

Kai Havertz, playing as a false nine in an attempt to catch Liverpool out, looked apprehensive to take a touch at times, in fear that a baying Fabinho would soon be at his heels. Timo Werner may have foamed at the prospect of playing up against such an aggressive defender, but he was unable to take advantage of the space left behind by the Brazilian, because he so rarely got there.

Fabinho finished the game with more tackles and interceptions than anyone else on the pitch (8 combined), and showed why injuries to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are no longer the disaster they might once have been.

Virgil on Fabinho:

“I just told him he was man of the match. He was absolutely unbelievable and shows that we will need everyone this year. Unbelievable.” [LFC] pic.twitter.com/68FvsW7PoS

— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) September 20, 2020

He remains Liverpool's best defensive midfielder, but Thiago means that there are now two viable alternatives for the 'six'. Thiago's own performance, in which he completed more passes after coming on at half-time than any other player has in 45 minutes of a Premier League game since records began, hinted that me may now be the player to take on that role going forward.

But if that's the case, then it should be welcomed with open arms. It's a system formed by necessity, but Fabinho's raking distribution from the back, masked by the tidy and incisive Thiago, only adds to the Reds' ability to unpick defences from any position.

The 'back five', in this set-up, would feature five of the best passers in English football.

? Fabinho
? Mane
? Thiago

Jurgen Klopp was particularly impressed with a few of his Liverpool players in the 2-0 win over Chelsea.

Match report: https://t.co/e1VchUBbdn pic.twitter.com/NduqC1wAoJ

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 20, 2020

Fabinho's emergence as a central defensive option not only creates possibilities in possession, but alleviates the need for another dip into the transfer market. Liverpool will need to sell to justify the surprisingly substantial business they have already done this summer - close to £80m has been put down on Thiago, Kostas Tsimikas and Diogo Jota - so they could do without having to sign a replacement for Dejan Lovren.

Three senior centre-backs is not enough to get by on. Three senior centre-backs and a midfielder who won't cower at a prolonged run in defence? You'd say that probably is.

Alisson on Fabinho:

“He was an absolute monster. For me, he was man of the match. He is so strong in the 1 v 1.” [LFC] pic.twitter.com/uRnBNJ2vsY

— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) September 20, 2020

It had previously seemed as if Fabinho's role in the Liverpool team was cast in iron. He was the defensive midfielder, and that was it. But roles change over time.

He may find himself gradually morphing into Klopp's modern-day utility man, setting the standard both in defence and midfield, but as long as he plays both roles as diligently and capably as he has until now, then his manager will relish having no clue where to fit him in.

Source : 90min

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J&uuml;rgen Klopp Offers Injury Updates on Joe Gomez & Jo&euml;l Matip

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 00:00

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has revealed he expects to welcome centre back Joe Gomez back from injury imminently, but was less optimistic about Joël Matip's chances of a quick return.

Both players were absent from Sunday's 2-0 win over Chelsea, with Klopp forced to shift midfielder Fabinho back into defence, and he was unable to name another centre back on the bench as young Billy Koumetio was also sidelined.

Gomez had been expected to start but picked up a slight knock in the build-up, but Klopp confessed after the game (via the Liverpool Echo) that he is expecting to welcome the Englishman back to training on Monday.

“Joe actually should be fine, it was not a big one, but we have to see,” said Klopp. “He should be fine [on Monday] already."

However, he was less positive about Matip. The Cameroon international saw his 2019/20 season brought to an abrupt end with a foot injury back in June and, after returning during pre-season, has suffered a fresh setback.

“With Joel, it could be slightly different," Klopp added. "It’s not the worst thing in the world, but a few weeks, a couple of weeks, probably after the international break he will be ready again. So we have to see.

"It’s not cool, but it’s crazy. One day and then bam bam. Luckily we have Fabinho and he played an exceptional game, so that was really, really nice.”

Fabinho looked calm and composed alongside Virgil van Dijk, dealing with the threat of Timo Werner very well in the first half, and Klopp was eager to admit that he was delighted with the Brazilian's effort during the game.

"If Sadio [Mané] wouldn't have scored two goals, I think Fab would be a proper contender for man of the match," he added (via Goal).

"I loved his performance, he played outstanding. He helped us a lot with the ball and in defending as well, so yes, a proper performance."

For more from ​Tom Gott, follow him on ​Twitter!

Source : 90min

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Jurgen Klopp Furious With Liverpool Players After Celebrating Chelsea Red Card

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 00:00

Jurgen Klopp blasted some of his Liverpool players after they celebrated Andreas Christensen's red card during their 2-0 win at Chelsea on Sunday.

The Denmark international hauled down Sadio Mane in first half stoppage time after captain Jordan Henderson picked him out with a long ball over the Chelsea backline, and though he was initially given a yellow card by referee Paul Tierney, he was shown a red after a VAR review.

While this was clearly advantageous to Liverpool, and their players lightly celebrated and applauded from the touchline, Klopp was more respectful of the decision.

"Are you crazy? We never, ever do that, okay?" he told his Liverpool players, as quoted by Metro.

Frank Lampard made a tactical switch at half-time to try and keep Chelsea in the game, replacing summer signing Kai Havertz with defender Fikayo Tomori.

However, it was to no avail as Liverpool killed the game soon after the restart. Following the introduction of debutant Thiago Alcantara, Sadio Mane's header put the Reds in front, before the Senegal international blocked a pass from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and fired home an easy second.

Chelsea were offered a route back into the game after Thiago brought down Timo Werner inside his own box, but Jorginho's penalty was well saved by Alisson, and Liverpool coasted to victory from there.

After a concerning defensive display against Leeds United on the opening day, Klopp will be happy to claim three points and a clean sheet at a Champions League side. The Reds face another tough task a week on Monday when Mikel Arteta's Arsenal head to Anfield. Having already lost to the Gunners in the Community Shield, Liverpool will have their work cut out to maintain their perfect start to the new Premier League season.

Source : 90min

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Early Signs Were Very Good on Thiago Alcantara's Liverpool Debut

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 00:00

First days at work are always scary, but most of the time things generally go according plan. Other times, they really don't.

After coming off the bench at half time, Thiago Alcantara clipped Timo Werner's heels and sent the German toppling to the ground.

The Spaniard looked up at referee Paul Tierney, who was resignedly pointing to the penalty spot. Oops, that's not how you make a good impression is it?

This fairly major blip aside, Reds fans can take a great deal of encouragement from Thiago's 45 minute cameo against Chelsea on Sunday.

Going into the game, there was a great deal of speculation about how Jurgen Klopp would deploy his new arrival. The former Bayern Munich man has been deployed as an advanced number 10, a shuttling number 8 and a deeper lying playmaker in his storied career. There was similar conjecture about how he would slot in with Liverpool's other midfielders.

These questions can not be entirely answered on the evidence of just one half of football, however the Reds' win against Chelsea did offer an inkling into what Thiago's Anfield future may hold.

75 - Half-time substitute Thiago completed more passes (75) than any Chelsea player managed in the entire match. Since full passing data is available for the Premier League (2003-04), his 75 successful passes are the most by a player who played a maximum of 45 minutes. Control. pic.twitter.com/UvHfrw1ggN

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 20, 2020

Replacing Jordan Henderson at half time, the 29-year-old spent the majority of the game as Liverpool's deepest midfielder. Although Chelsea's 10-man press was not exactly threatening, Thiago managed to control his side's tempo supremely from just in front of the defence.

Keeping things ticking over is his specialty and the 75 passes he completed in the second half was not only more than any Blues player managed in the entire game, but also the most any player has completed in a 45 minute stint since Opta began collecting data during the 2003/2004 season.

Thiago did not only display his ability to control the game from deep. He also showed flashed of the incision and creativity that has earned him the reputation as one of the most dangerous playmakers on the planet.

On a different day, his sumptuous ball to the back post just after the hour mark would have been nodded in by Georginio Wijnaldum, while his fizzing shot towards the end of the game was another reminder of his attacking talents.

Thiago's performance also comes with the caveat that he has only just linked up with his new teammates. Once Jurgen Klopp gets his hands on him on the training pitch, the possibilities are endless. The early signs are good. Good enough to suggests that Thiago's arrival could be a rare example of a protracted transfer saga living up to the hype.

Source : 90min

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Ilkay Gundogan Believes Man City Will Need Repeat of Historic Season to Topple Liverpool

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 00:00

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes his side will have to break the 100-point barrier if they're to regain their Premier League crown from Liverpool this season.

City's 2017/18 outfit became the first side in English football history to collect 100 points in a single season before their 98-point tally a season later was enough to pip Liverpool to the post.

The Cityzens, however, couldn't cope with Jürgen Klopp's imperious juggernaut last time out as the Reds blitzed their way to their maiden Premier League crown with a 99-point haul. City were left 18 points adrift in second.

Pep Guardiola's men were far too inconsistent - losing nine games - and that's something Gundogan believes they simply have to improve.

“Last season we scored the most goals and Ederson got the Golden Glove for most clean sheets, but we still need to improve because we lost too many games,” the German said (via the Guardian) ahead of City's 2020/21 season opener at Wolves on Monday night.

“Some games we would win comfortably, then in others we would make a mistake or not finish our chances and lose. It is impossible to win every game but what you can do is try to learn from your defeats.

"We have to try to be more consistent in all the games. It is hard to rack up 100 points or 98 points every single year, but if we want to be challenging for all the titles again this season we have to be closer to that sort of standard," he added.

Gundogan also emphasised that wholesale changes aren't required if they're to regain their Premier League crown.

"We shouldn’t be looking to completely change the way we do things, because we have a certain way of playing that has worked well for us in the past, but there are small things we can improve on if we want a better season than last year.”

Source : 90min

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Wolves Eye Ambitious Move for Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 00:00

Wolves will reportedly try their hand at continuing their recent business with Liverpool by pursuing a deal for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Thiago Alcantara arrived at Anfield this summer to much fanfare - and admitted jealously from the rest of the Premier League - which has thrown the future of the 27-year-old into doubt.

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Barcelona Finances Cast Doubt Over Georginio Wijnaldum Deal

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 00:00

Barcelona's pursuit of Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has been put on hold until the club can raise funds from player sales, as they attempt to obey La Liga's strict financial regulations.

Like most clubs and businesses worldwide, Barcelona have felt the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis. However, the Catalan behemoths were already in a less than enviable financial position given the club's exorbitant wage bill before matchday revenue was taken away.

Yet, despite these constraints, Barcelona's new coach Ronald Koeman had targeted two marquee arrivals this summer in the form of Lyon's Memphis Depay and his compatriot Wijnaldum.

But these transfers have been blocked by the Spanish league's governing body according to The Mirror. Barcelona are thought to be operating with a wage bill in the region of £510 million-per-year although, the club did reportedly ask the team's captain and highest earner Lionel Messi to take a pay cut.

Last season's La Liga runners-up have also attempted to reduce this eye-watering wage bill by offloading Ivan Rakitic to Sevilla and are in the midst of negotiations regarding the departures of Arturo Vidal and Luis Suárez.

He's just departed for Sevilla, but what a servant Ivan Rakitic was for Barcelona!

Here are his best moments at Camp Nou...✍️ @AdamMcGroarty

— 90min (@90min_Football) September 2, 2020

Any transfer fee Barcelona do pay this summer - following player sales - the same sum will have to be given to the Spanish government as the clubs were given financial help during the crisis.

La Liga's director of communications, Joris Evers, explained: “We have a financial system, which goes beyond UEFA’s Financial Fair Play.

"At UEFA they look at figures when a season is finished, we set the standards before the season starts. If Barcelona try to do a deal behind the scenes, our analysts will notice this immediately.

“The clubs agreed on this system as a reaction on a period when they were struggling to pay the wages of the players, because they'd overspent time and time again. Nobody wants to go back to that situation.’’

Source : 90min

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Liverpool Confirm Signing of Wolves Star Diogo Jota

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 00:00

Premier League champions Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Wolverhampton Wanderers star Diogo Jota, the Portuguese winger joining the Reds in a deal believed to be worth around £45m.

The 23-year-old's transfer to Jurgen Klopp's side came somewhat out of the blue earlier this week, with reports breaking of a big-money deal being close to completion for the exciting forward.

It’s time… #JotaSaturday ? pic.twitter.com/2Z8Tav8lBw

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 19, 2020

And Jota's signing was confirmed by Liverpool on Saturday evening, when they posted a video of the Portugal international donning the new Nike jersey in their changing rooms on Twitter. The forward described the move as a 'really exciting moment' in his first interview since becoming a Red, admitting he 'just wants to get started.'

“It’s just a really exciting moment for me and my family,” he said.

“All of my path since I was a kid and now, to join a club like Liverpool – the world champions – is just unbelievable. I just want to get started.

“It is one of the best teams in the world – the best at the moment because they are world champions. When you look at the Premier League, you always see Liverpool as one of the biggest teams in the country, so it’s impossible to say no.

Olá, @DiogoJota18 ? pic.twitter.com/9IZ2dCY3ZE

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 19, 2020

“So we just want to come [here], to give our best and hopefully I can become a good option for Liverpool in the future.”

Jota impressed during his first two seasons in the Premier League, scoring nine and seven goals respectively, having previously excelled for Wolves in their promotion campaign from the Championship.

He arrives at Anfield as the club's third signing of the summer, behind full-back Konstantinos Tsimikas and former Bayern star Thiago Alcantara.

What should Liverpool fans expect from him? Well, Jota describes himself as 'a team player,' and supporters should expect plenty of goals and assists from their new signing.


— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 19, 2020

“I think I am a team player. I play up front and my job is to find a way to score goals and to provide assists and that’s what they can expect from me – that I will always do my best. I will always try to help the team in the best way possible.

“They [the fans] can count on me because now I am one of them and I will give my best.”

Source : 90min

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Wolves Confirm Signing of Liverpool Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 00:00

Wolverhampton Wanderers have confirmed the signing of highly-rated Liverpool youngster Ki-Jana Hoever, for a fee which could reportedly rise to £13m after add-ons.

Hoever joined Liverpool's academy from Ajax in 2018, and went on to make his senior debut the following season in an EFL Cup tie - against Wolves at Molineux.

He impressed in that match, and found himself thrust into a more senior role by Jurgen Klopp in 2019/20. He made three first-team appearances, scoring in a victory against MK Dons last September.

Ki-Jana Hoever becomes our fourth summer addition.


— Wolves (@Wolves) September 19, 2020

The versatile defender, who can play right-back or centre-back, has now become Wolves' fourth summer signing.

Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said: “Ki is a young player who can play both centre-back and right-back, with high potential to become a top footballer.


??✍️ pic.twitter.com/Ynx9Ih35zm

— Wolves (@Wolves) September 19, 2020

“He played against Wolves in the FA cup game in 2019 when he was only 16 years old, and impressed us very much. Ki is a talent we have bought for the long-term future, but he can also give the first team a fresh and potent option immediately. Welcome to the pack, Ki.”

Source : 90min

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What Diogo Jota Will Bring to Liverpool

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 00:00

As they are with most things nowadays, Liverpool are the masters of pulling the wool over our eyes. And it looks for all the world as if they've done it again.

Heading into this transfer window, we could've sworn the Reds were in for a quiet one. Kostas Tsimikas might have been as good as it got; Thiago Alcantara, who was still a fairly distant ambition a week or two ago, would have been a bonus.

Nothing is quite as it seems in the strangest transfer window in football history, however. For whatever reason, Michael Edwards and co have decided they are making a late push for it. Tsimikas: in, Thiago: in, Diogo Jota: pending.

Liverpool have agreed a deal for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, with the 23-year-old set to head to Melwood today to undergo a medical before completing the deal. ??

— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 19, 2020

The manner in which a deal for the Wolves forward materialised out of nowhere has shades of Fabinho in 2018. Until the day the deal was announced, there hadn't even been a whisper about it, which made it a euphoric surprise when, less than a week after that defeat in Kiev, he was pictured smiling in a Liverpool shirt.

The Nabil Fekir-shaped scars from the same window are a sign that we shouldn't count our chickens until they have hatched, but every outlet worth their salt now agree that it's a matter of when, rather than if.

It's a signing Jurgen Klopp would have been content to go without, but one he will be elated to get over the line nonetheless. Jota, to state the obvious, is not on the level of Sadio Mané or Mohamed Salah, but as a backup option? He's simply as good as it gets.

What's interesting about Jota is that on some of the football software platforms his statistics aren't that impressive, however Liverpool have their own in-house data analysis which must have him ranked highly on. Liverpool seem to be able to identify players that others can't.

— DaveOCKOP (@DaveOCKOP) September 19, 2020

Since arriving at Wolves in 2018, he's played a role alongside Raul Jimenez which carries striking comparisons to the function of Mané and Salah in the Liverpool team. Late, darting runs to the back post have been a regular source of goals for the Portugal forward, who has scored 44 times in two seasons with the Midlands club.

But while his pace and deceptive power make him a good fit for one of the wide forward roles in Liverpool's refined 4-3-3, he is a different type of attacker to those currently available. His technique is cleaner, he leans heavily into his close control, and has the tendency to embarrass an oncoming defender rather than simply exploding past him.

He's not ostentatious, but he's a showman. Nutmegs are a regular feature of his game.

Today is the day...??#JotaSaturday #AnnounceJota @LFC pic.twitter.com/fi45X2LsVw

— CHAMP19NS? (@LFCVine) September 19, 2020

His low centre of gravity makes him such a difficult player to dispossess, an attribute that will come in handy when Liverpool face teams who press them high. We saw how the Reds struggled with this against Leeds at the weekend - so often were Salah and Mané required to play their way out of tight situations after being pursued deep into their own half.

There is a feeling at Wolves that they have the better end of a deal that will set Liverpool back an initial £40m, and that Jota's inconsistent performances don't merit such a price. His best form has come in fits and starts, and though he is capable of changing a game, he has suffered from long dry spells during his time at Molineux.

Jota may be little more than a second draft, then, but Liverpool tend to finish the article.

Diogo Jota in the #UEL this season = ???

✅ Back-to-back hat-tricks
✅ 6 goals in 5 games

? @Wolves pic.twitter.com/1n5f15fA7R

— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) March 12, 2020

While Thiago represented a divergence from the transfer strategy that installed Liverpool as the Premier League's best, the signing of Jota is a rapid return to form. He's young, fit, relatively low-profile, and at £40m, he carries enough risk to keep it interesting.

Crucially, however, he will ease the pressure on a front three who have been stretched to the limits of human capacity over the past two seasons. And when the time comes, he may just have it in him to lead the next generation.

Source : 90min

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Liverpool 'Agree Deal' With Wolves for Diogo Jota

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 00:00

Diogo Jota appears to be closing in on a transfer to Liverpool, as multiple reports since Friday evening indicate that a deal has been struck with Wolves.

Christmas came early for Liverpool supporters on Friday, as after months of being told there would be no major signings this summer, news of two came along at once. The signing of Thiago Alcantara was finally announced, before reports emerged out of the blue that the club were closing in on Jota.

The Portuguese winger had only been loosely linked in the past, but things escalated rapidly. The vibe went from 'Liverpool are interested' to 'a deal is all-but done' at breakneck speed, and by the time the 10.30pm exclusives came out, every major outlet was saying the same thing.

ICYMI: Deal for Diogo Jota set to be finalised over the weekend. £41m rising to £45m.

Ki-Jana Hoever heading the other way, £9m rising to £13.5m, with a 15% sell-on clause.#LFC #Wolves #Transfers https://t.co/QTRO5lN6Iw

— Neil Jones (@neiljonesgoal) September 19, 2020

A deal now looks as if it could be announced at any time, with Sky Sports claiming on Saturday morning that the player will undergo a medical imminently. While the deal was initially believed to cost the Reds just over £30m, most outlets now agree that the up-front fee will be close to £40m, rising to £45m after add-ons.

Curiously, the first reports on the deal emerged moments after it became apparent Wolves were attempting to take the highly-rated Ki-Jana Hoever in the opposite direction. The two deals are not officially connected, but the timing is not likely to be coincidental. Wolves will pay up to £13.5m for Hoever, which may have influenced the Reds' decision to green-light the acquisition of Jota.

Jota has impressed hugely since Wolves' promotion to the Premier League, and scored 16 goals in all competitions last season. He will provide established cover for Liverpool's fabled front three, while at 23, he has the potential to replace one of the trio in the long-term.

Liverpool have agreed a deal for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, with the 23-year-old set to head to Melwood today to undergo a medical before completing the deal. ??

— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 19, 2020

The signings of Jota and Thiago have set the Reds back more than £70m in total, and players will be sold between now and the closure of the window in October to offset that expenditure. Dejan Lovren's departure made the club £11m earlier in the window, and he could be followed by a number of squad players.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi, Harry Wilson, Marko Grujic and Rhian Brewster all have the potential to command respectable fees.

Source : 90min

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The Liverpool Lineup That Should Start Against Chelsea

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 00:00

Liverpool will make the trip south to Chelsea on Sunday for the first box-office fixture of the Premier League season. The Reds, who dug their stake into the peak of the mountain last season, will take on the Blues, who are just beginning their ascent.

The champions came through the first game of the season with three points, but not unscathed. Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds gave them plenty to think about, and they will need to improve against Frank Lampard's team who will be out to prove a point.

Which XI should Jurgen Klopp pick as he primes his troops to reaffirm their title credentials, then? 90min have you covered.

1. Goalkeeper & Defenders

Alisson (GK) - Now generally accepted as the best stopper in the Premier League, Alisson spent too much time picking the ball out of his net against Leeds for his liking and will be determined to bounce back with a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - Liverpool's creative force of nature is the most picked Fantasy Football player this season so Klopp can avoid a mutiny by starting him in every game - or else.

Joe Gomez (CB) - Joel Matip might have a case for inclusion after Gomez's haphazard performance last weekend but he alone can't be blamed for a fragile defensive display. He will know his neck is on the chopping block more than any other defender, but his pace on the turn could come in handy against a nippy Chelsea forward line.

Virgil van Dijk (CB) - Does he ever not start? Like, ever?

Andy Robertson (LB) - Robertson and Alexander-Arnold go together like rolls and bacon - you can have one without the other, but it's never quite the same.

2. Midfielders

Fabinho (DM) - The Brazilian sat out last weekend and the midfield lacked balance without him. Chelsea will be out to put the Reds under the cosh so his defensive instincts, composure and distribution from deep will be critical.

Jordan Henderson (CM) - Liverpool can't operate at their best without the leadership and tenacity of their captain in the middle of the pitch, and to stop Chelsea in their tracks, they will need to be at their best.

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - Naby Keita will be aggrieved to drop out, but Klopp tends to go with his tried and tested for the bigger games. Thiago or no Thiago, Klopp will continue to lean on the reliable Dutchman for as long as he is a Liverpool player.

3. Forwards

Mohamed Salah (RW) - Salah will break the 100-goal mark for Liverpool this season, and could even do it on Saturday if he can repeat his hat-trick heroics from last weekend. It will be just his 155th appearance for the club.

Roberto Firmino (CF) - Doesn't score enough goals blah blah blah. If you can't see Firmino's value to this Liverpool team just because it isn't reflected in the goal numbers then try actually watching him instead.

Sadio Mané (LW) - No surprises here. Mané has perfected the art of scoring goals off the left flank and will be fully prepared to turn on the jets and obliterate Reece James or Cesar Azpilcueta or whatever poor soul is tasked with tracking him on Saturday.

Source : 90min

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Twitter Reacts to Liverpool Signing Thiago Alcantara

Fri, 09/18/2020 - 00:00

In a transfer window fuelled by some of the worst kept secrets of the summer, another monumental deal has finally gotten over the line.

Liverpool have finally completed the signing of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, meaning fans can finally breathe after living with their hearts in their mouths for the majority of the summer.

The news has gone down a treat with fans of the Reds. Obviously. But how have fans of rival clubs taken it?

From Champions League winners to a club that needed a last minute penalty to beat a club from the Championship

Unreal downgrade

— Trey (@UTDTrey) September 18, 2020

Not annoyed. Definitely not annoyed. Marouane Fellaini was always the better option in 2013, anyway.


— ๓? (@wav3Mo) September 18, 2020

Gundogan clear

— Dunney (@Dunneyb4Il) September 18, 2020

While some try and argue the superiority of their club, others have just completely lost it. It's 2020, 'ratioing' is the thing now, whatever that is. So yeah, have that Thiago. 'Ratioed'.

Ratioed by LeBron James pic.twitter.com/Cim9Fw2zTX

— ? (@Ido7ii) September 18, 2020

The Spaniard brings an air of class and top level quality to Liverpool. An established world great with a CV bursting at the seams, Thiago will be a joy to watch in the Premier League season. And even if he has the odd bad game, fans are happy to admire his name on the back of the Liverpool shirt, it seems.

Thiago's just made every kit we have look peng ffs

— R8 (@Nabyllionaire) September 18, 2020

Thiago modelling our new kits ?? pic.twitter.com/rsp0z9cwds

— CHAMPIONS OF ENGLAND ? (@LFCTransferNRS) September 18, 2020

The 29-year-old has put pen to paper on a four-year deal with the defending Premier League champions, and will add supreme quality to their ranks. There are slight concerns about whether of not the Spaniard can stay fit, but if he does, that £20m price tag could prove to be one of the bargains of the summer window.

While some will be concerned about his age, or the fact that he 'might not fit the Liverpool profile' it's all very redundant. Sure, he might lose a yard or two of pace in the coming seasons, but that incredible vision he has, combined with his dribbling ability, will cause problems for opposition teams so as long as he continues to play the beautiful game.

Thiago will tear up the Premier League.

— IDontLikeSpurs (@IDontLikeSpurs) September 18, 2020

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp is equally as pleased as fans to see the deal finally completed, and described Thiago as a 'wonderful' addition when speaking to Liverpool's official website, and praised the midfielder's vision, work rate and personality.

If the news of his signing wasn't enough to make the weekend for Liverpool fans, then there's more.

Understand paperwork on @Thiago6 deal completed in time for the new signing to be available for inclusion in @LFC squad v @ChelseaFC on Sunday

— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) September 18, 2020

The suggestion is that the paperwork for the transfer went through early enough so that Thiago could be registered to play in the Premier League this weekend against Chelsea.

Klopp was tight-lipped when discussing details of the squad for Liverpool's clash with Chelsea on Sunday and conceded that it wasn't decided just yet, but suggested that the Spaniard might find his way into the team: "So, let’s have a look how he feels. Around a transfer like this the days are pretty busy with things you usually don’t do. If he looks alright, we will find the right place for him".

Thiago is a class signing, fair play

— Suzanne (@suzannethfc) September 18, 2020

Jadon Sancho is now following 7 Liverpool players

Van Dijk

— ٍ (@ftbl_brian) September 18, 2020

Alright Brian, let's not get too silly with it. You've had your fun.

Source : 90min

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