Tag Archives: Liverpool

5 New Signings: Klopp’s Ideal Liverpool XI To Push For Glory Next Season

Liverpool have once again endured a transitional season, with Jurgen Klopp’s men challenging for a spot in the Champions League but falling quite a way short of pushing for the Premier League title.

The Reds have certainly made a meal out of their European qualification too and have left themselves with a lot to do in the final weeks of the season, as top-four rivals Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal could take advantage of their games in hand.

It’s clear new faces are needed at Anfield this summer and a wealth of top-names have been linked with a move to Merseyside, although fans need to be aware that their finances mean that the club run the risk of losing out to their rivals in the chase for big deals.

Liverpool can probably afford to go all-out to get one or two big names this summer though, especially with added funds from the likely sales of Mamadou Sakho and Daniel Sturridge, and this potential XI next season could certainly challenge for honours.

GK: Antonio Adan

Liverpool’s goalkeeping ranks have come under intense criticism this season and Jurgen Klopp is likely to move to solve that this summer, with 29-year-old Spaniard Antonio Adan eyed as the ideal recruit- and his arrival could spark the end for Simon Mignolet.

Last summer’s signing Loris Karius has struggled in his debut season in the Premier League but, aged just 23, there’s plenty of time for him to develop and moving for an experienced keeper like Antonio Adan would be a wise move.

Currently with La Liga minnows Real Betis, Adan’s services shouldn’t be too difficult to capture.

Arsenal fans furious with with star forward’s Team of the Year omission

The PFA Team of the Year was announced on social media this morning and it’s fair to say it’s gone down like a lead balloon.

Hoards of football fans have been left angry by the eleven players selected by their fellow footballers, with Arsenal supporters particularly agitated to see star-man Alexis Sanchez left out of the side despite his sensational performances.

The two-time Copa America winner has excelled for the Gunners this season, scoring 19 goals and contributing nine assists in the Premier League- numbers that significantly dwarf the contributions of Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, who was selected in the team.

Doing what fans do best, Arsenal supporters flocked to social media in vast numbers to declare their dissatisfaction at what they believe is a major oversight, which is understandable given that Alexis is one of the top-scorers in the Premier League.

The omission was made more surprising by the fact that Alexis Sanchez is in the running for the PFA’s Player of the Year award, so why wasn’t there space in the team for him?

Moreno & Firmino In: The Liverpool XI To Defeat West Brom On Sunday

Liverpool are on-course to secure a return to the Champions League but there’s still work for Jurgen Klopp’s side to do. Victory against West Brom this weekend is vital and this side should be able to secure all three points.

GK: Simon Mignolet

The signing of Loris Karius from Mainz last summer left Simon Mignolet in a sticky situation at Liverpool but the poor performances from the German stopper have allowed Mignolet to push his way back between the sticks at Anfield.

29-year-old Belgian stopper Mignolet is set to make his 23rd Premier League appearance of the season at the Hawthorns and will be desperate for a strong performance, as his current run of seven Premier League games without a clean-sheet is a big worry.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (13:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

West Brom v Liverpool: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Match

Liverpool face a stern test against West Brom this weekend but will seek a victory to boost their top-four chances. To achieve that though, they’ll have to get a positive outcome in these three key battles.

Chadli v Clyne

Liverpool’s defence has been unable to keep a clean sheet in any of the last seven Premier League matches and West Brom may look to exploit the right-side of the Reds defence, particularly as Nathaniel Clyne likes to bomb forward.

Up against him on Sunday will be Belgian winger Nacer Chadli, who has been a huge part of Tony Pulis’ side’s success this season. The 27-year-old boasts five goals and five assists, although his last contribution to a goal came in the victory over Arsenal in mid-March.

Clyne’s license to push forward may leave Liverpool exposed on the counter, which is where Chadli’s involvement could come into play.

The game is being shown live on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoon (13:30pm kick-off UK time) and you can get a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with our fantastic 10% off a day pass offer.

3 Premier League Stars That Could Follow Oxlade-Chamberlain To Liverpool

Liverpool have been linked with a huge swoop for Arsenal ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this summer but he may not be the only Premier League player the Reds sign. Here, we’ve identified three top-flight players who could join the England international at Anfield.

Virgil Van Dijk

The Southampton defender has earned a stellar reputation for the Saints this season and is tipped with a high-profile move in the summer, with a wealth of top-tier clubs looking to land his services; including Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.

The Reds, of course, have a strong history of transfer dealings with the Saints in recent years and could bring the Dutchman in to partner another former Southampton man, Dejan Lovren. Whilst he’d be an expensive recruit, he’s certainly affordable.

5 Players Klopp Needs To Axe At Liverpool This Summer

Liverpool need a major overhaul this summer if they’re to succeed under Jurgen Klopp and the German boss can expect to axe several members of his side. Here, we’ve identified five of his team that need to go.

Alberto Moreno

The Spanish full-back has been cast out of the Liverpool squad this season, with his poor performances seeing James Milner handed a fresh chance at left-back and enjoy a new lease of life in the Reds defence.

Moreno’s position in the squad is now intangible as he remains behind Milner in the pecking order, whilst likely arrivals this summer will push him further down the list in the eyes of Jurgen Klopp- so a sale is definitely the right move.

At 24, Moreno has age on his side and he’ll look to get back on track with his career elsewhere, with a return to Spain a possibility.

Origi In, Mane Out: The Liverpool XI To Beat Bournemouth On Wednesday Night

Liverpool enjoyed a good weekend last time out, as the Reds beat Everton in the Merseyside derby and saw Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal all drop points.

The Reds therefore maintained third spot in the Premier League standings and have their hopes of Champions League football in their own hands, as they can keep in the top-four even if their rivals win their games in hand.

Having secured four points from clashes against Manchester City and Everton, Jurgen Klopp’s side are now preparing for a favourable run-in to the season but they’ll need to improve, having struggled against lower-end opposition this season.

On Wednesday, Liverpool host a Bournemouth side who defeated them on the South Coast earlier this season and the Reds will be keen on revenge. With Manchester United and Manchester City both facing stern tests this midweek, it’s an opportunity for Liverpool to strengthen their grip on a Champions League place.

Here, we’ve selected the Liverpool XI that Klopp should select to overcome the threat of the Cherries.

GK: Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s goalkeeping ranks are the weakest section of their squad but Simon Mignolet has managed to retain his spot as number one despite the summer signing of Loris Karius. Whilst the situation may change in the summer, Mignolet should definitely start against Bournemouth.

The Belgian has started 20 games for Liverpool in the Premier League this season and needs to show the best of his ability if the Reds are to retain their spot amongst the top-four. That means cutting out the mishaps that have plagued him during his time in Anfield but he has the capability to do that.

Report: Liverpool Remain In The Running To Sign German Ace This Summer

Liverpool have made good progress under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp but there is still a lot of work to be done if the Reds are to end their long wait for league glory.

Klopp’s side are likely to be very active in the transfer market this summer and the Reds are eyeing top-quality youngsters to bolster their ranks, with a specific focus on midfielders. Having seen long-term target Mahmoud Dahoud seal a move to Borussia Dortmund, the Merseyside outfit will be keen to identify an alternative option.

The Reds will have therefore been worried by suggestions that Julian Brandt had agreed a move from Bayer Leverkusen to Bayern Munich but The Liverpool Echo reports that the German ace’s father has denied such an agreement exists, leaving the Reds still pursuing a deal.

A clause in Brandt’s contract indicates he can move for just €12.5m in the summer of 2018 but his father, who also acts as his agent, disputed the claim that a deal worth that figure was in place for the upcoming summer window.

What was said?

Speaking to Kicker and quoted by The Liverpool Echo, Jurgen Brandt said:

“It is fake news that Julian has agreed terms with Bayern. Julian has never been in the situation where he had to – or wanted to – make a decision on his future.”

However, he did admit interest in his client was high. In comments made to Sky Deutchsland, he said:

“There isn’t any trend nor any agreement. Julian will speak to Leverkusen about the season and his future in the summer. There have been enquiries from Bayern as well as others – but only to me. I collect these but there’s nothing concrete yet.”

“Julian hasn’t made any decision as to his future yet. He hasn’t spoken with any of those responsible at Bayern such as (Karl-Heinz) Rummenigge, (Uli) Hoeness or (Michael) Reschke, nor has he spoken to (Carlo) Ancelotti.”

Can Liverpool do a deal?

Regardless of whether a deal with Bayern Munich has been agreed yet, Liverpool will still face a huge test to land Brandt’s signature- especially as German players have a strong record of making transfers to other Bundesliga sides.

With Bayern Munich also losing the services of veteran midfielder Xabi Alonso this summer to retirement, the Bavarian giants have a hole in their midfield to fill and Brandt could be the ideal fit. Moving to the Allianz Arena could also bolster his chances of making Germany’s World Cup squad next summer and that may play into a decision.

For Liverpool, securing a Champions League finish will be decisive to any hope they have of landing Brandt’s signature and Jurgen Klopp will have a lot of work to do to demonstrate Liverpool are a side capable of going toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite.

Premier League side line-up summer swoop for Liverpool outcast

Liverpool have a lot of work to do this summer and Jurgen Klopp is set to clear out the deadwood at Anfield, which could prove to be useful for other sides in the Premier League.

One of the players likely to be shipped out at the end of the season is French defender Mamadou Sakho, who has impressed since January after joining Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace on-loan until the end of the season.

The Independent now states the Eagles will push for the permanent signing of Sakho this summer but risk losing out in the market following the defender’s fine performances, which are likely to have raised his value and Liverpool’s asking price.

Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce confirmed at the weekend he’ll look to sign Sakho permanently, following the Eagles surprise 2-1 victory over Premier League leaders Chelsea, but reports indicate Sakho’s services could fetch as much as £25m.

What’s been said?

Speaking after the victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, Sam Allardyce said:

“Securing our Premier League status is our priority, and then we’ll see what Mamadou’s aspirations are, to be with us or anywhere else. His future doesn’t look as if it is at Liverpool. He’s enjoying his football and his life here. He’s brought that resilience to the team by leading by example.”

“He’s taking a commanding role in his performance and the information he’s giving out on the field. That has helped with our defensive resilience: one goal conceded in four games.”

Will he join Palace?

Sakho has excelled since joining Crystal Palace, winning all four of his matches with the Eagles thus far, and his performances have attracted interest from Italian sides and Southampton- which means Crystal Palace could easily be priced out of a deal.

For the player himself, staying in an area where he feels settled may be decisive but Sakho will also hold aspirations of forcing his way into France’s squad for the World Cup next summer- having missed Euro 2016 following a drugs ban, which was later overturned.

Sakho missed out on the latest international squad and hasn’t made the squad since last summer, with the 27-year-old now facing competition with the likes of Samuel Umtiti, Aymeric Laporte, Raphael Varane and Laurent Koscielny for a spot in France’s starting line-up.

Liverpool v Everton: 3 Key Battles That Will Decide The Merseyside Derby

Liverpool host Everton in a crucial Merseyside derby this weekend and these three battles are likely to decide the outcome of the match.

The derby is being shown live on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 12:30pm on Saturday. You can pick up a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with the 10% off a day pass offer. Alternatively weekly passes are available for £10.99. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.

Lukaku v Matip

Romelu Lukaku boasts 21 Premier League goals this season, the highest of any player in the division, and keeping him quiet won’t be an easy task. This weekend, that task falls to Liverpool’s summer recruit Joel Matip.

The Cameroonian international has impressed in his debut season in English football but Lukaku has the strength and ability to emerge victorious in this battle. Lukaku can’t be afforded room and time on the ball, whilst Matip has to expect a hefty physical battle.

The Liverpool XI That Will Emerge Victorious Against Everton on Saturday

Liverpool face a huge game on Saturday as they tackle Merseyside rivals Everton at Anfield, with the Reds looking to consolidate their position of fourth-spot in the Premier League. Here, we’ve selected the side that Liverpool should select to win the game.

The derby is being shown live on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 12:30pm on Saturday. You can pick up a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with the 10% off a day pass offer. Alternatively, weekly passes are available for £10.99. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.

GK: Simon Mignolet

Liverpool’s goalkeeping options are quite weak, with both Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius struggling to impress this season, but it’s the former who should get the nod for this crucial Merseyside derby as the Belgian has looked slightly better.

The Reds need to make a choice on their number one for the remainder of the season and stick with it, with that man likely to be Mignolet. Come the summer, changes in this area are likely but Jurgen Klopp has to work with what he’s got for now.

The Everton XI That Will Dent Liverpool’s Top-Four Ambitions On Saturday

Everton make the short trip across Stanley Park this weekend to face arch-rivals Liverpool at Anfield and they could hand a huge dent to the Reds top-four ambitions. With the Toffees also having the chance to rise to sixth, we’ve selected the side that is capable of emerging victorious.

The derby is being shown live on Sky Sports with the game kicking off at 12:30pm on Saturday. You can pick up a NowTV day pass and watch the game for just £6.29 with the 10% off a day pass offer. Alternatively weekly passes are available for £10.99. You can redeem the fantastic day pass offer by clicking here.

GK: Joel Robles

The 26-year-old Spaniard was expected to play second-fiddle to summer signing Maarten Stekelenburg this season but Joel Robles has earned an impressive 14 Premier League appearances this season, with Ronald Koeman handing him a new lease of life.

With speculation persisting that Koeman will look to find a new long-term number one over the course of the summer, Robles has plenty to prove between now and the season’s conclusion in May but enters this weekend’s Merseyside derby in good form- having kept four clean-sheets in his last five appearances.

Liverpool Set To Fight Premier League Rivals For Services Of International Midfielder

Liverpool have a lot of work to do this summer if they’re to establish themselves as contenders for Premier League glory and Jurgen Klopp is eyeing a host of top names in a summer spree.

The Daily Mirror says the Reds are preparing to rival Tottenham Hotspur and Everton in the transfer market for the services of Schalke ace Max Meyer, with the German international tipped to move on after the Bundesliga outfit’s poor campaign.

21-year-old Meyer, who has four senior appearances for Germany, will be keen to push his way into Joachim Lowe’s World Cup squad next summer and a move away from Schalke could be decisive- as the German side sit ninth in the table, a long way off European football.

Meyer will want to be playing at the highest level to boost his chances of making the squad and Liverpool are prepared to offer than opportunity, with the Reds pursuing a cut-price deal that would cost a fraction of the £45m Schalke wanted last summer.

Will Meyer be on the move?

It’s highly-likely that Max Meyer’s services will be there to scrap for this summer, as the German ace will enter the final 12 months of his contract- and Schalke have recently admitted it’s 50/50 as to whether their youngster stays or goes.

If Meyer does not extend his deal with the German outfit, his services could be available for as little as £17m as Schalke would be forced to consider a cut-price deal rather than risk losing the 21-year-old’s services for free at the end of next season.

For that price-tag though, a wealth of top-sides across Europe will be put on alert and any interested party, including Liverpool, will face a battle to land the services of the German ace.

Where would Meyer fit in at Liverpool?

The biggest question for Liverpool is where exactly Max Meyer would fit into Jurgen Klopp’s set-up. An attacking midfielder by trade, Meyer would find himself competing with the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane for a starting spot.

However, with Coutinho’s future at Anfield remaining under scrutiny, Meyer could be seen as a direct replacement for the Brazilian and a sale of Coutinho would still leave plenty of cash to spend after the potential arrival of Meyer.

Given the interest in Meyer’s services though, a top-four finish is likely to be crucial in Liverpool’s attempts to persuade the German ace to move to Anfield though as rival clubs in the market would be able to offer Champions League football.

Arsenal Prepared To Rival Liverpool For Signature Of La Liga Starlet

Arsenal and Liverpool both have work to do in the summer transfer window to make their squads capable of pushing for Premier League glory and the two English giants are set to square off in the transfer market.

Spanish outlet Don Balon state the two Premier League outfits are rivalling the likes of Juventus and Sevilla for the services of Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder Marco Asensio, with The Daily Star adding the Spaniard is valued at a hefty £40m.

Asensio has made a positive impression in Zinedine Zidane’s side this season after excelling on-loan with Espanyol last term, where he made 34 appearances, and he’s since gone on to claim 23 appearances for Los Blancos across all competitions.

Real Madrid, and chairman Florentino Perez in particular, value the youngster extremely highly but both Arsenal and Liverpool could test their resolve in the summer transfer window.

Who needs him more?

Liverpool’s attacking ranks already look well stocked by Marco Asensio could give Jurgen Klopp an alternative option in that earlier, whilst the Spaniard could also adopt a more deeper role to partner captain Jordan Henderson in midfield.

Arsenal, on the other hand, face the prospect of losing Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez this summer, with the Gunners potentially seeing Asensio as a replacement for either of the duo, or they could also use him in a deeper role and establish the 21-year-old as a long-term successor to Santi Cazorla.

However Asensio, who has been capped twice by Spain’s national side, will be keen to ensure any club he joins has Champions League football to offer as he seeks to establish himself in Julen Lopetegui’s squad for the 2018 World Cup.

Will he be sold?

Real Madrid’s midfield ranks are well stocked with talent and that competition for places means that Asensio could be tempted by the offer of guaranteed first-team football. However, Real Madrid will dig their heels in and will seek to block any move.

Asensio could establish himself in Real Madrid’s starting line-up in the long-term too as speculation persists that suggests both James Rodriguez and Isco will leave the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, which would significantly reduce the competition for places that Asensio faces.

On top of that, midfield stalwart Luka Modric turns 32 in September and Real Madrid will be keen to ensure they have a ready made replacement for the Croatian, which is something Asensio can be for the Spanish giants.

5 Things Liverpool Must Do To Secure A Top-Four Finish

Liverpool currently occupy fourth spot in the Premier League but still have work to do to secure Champions League football next season. If they’re to ensure Manchester United and Arsenal don’t overtake them, they’ll need to do these five things.

Stop dropping points to lower teams

Liverpool tend to perform well in big matches against sides in the top-end of the Premier League but the same cannot be said for their displays against lower-tier sides; with the Reds suffering defeats against the likes of Bournemouth, Burnley, Swansea and others.

What’s most concerning for Jurgen Klopp’s men is that all their games after this weekend’s Merseyside derby are clashes were the Reds will be dubbed as favourites- and that’s where they’ve come unstuck numerous times this season.

If they’re to keep their position in the top-four, that needs to change.

Analysis: Liverpool Ace Wants Club To Sign Winger, He’d Be A Good Fit

Liverpool face a challenge to finish in the top-four this season but the biggest obstacles lie in the years ahead, as the Reds look to create a side capable of challenging for major honours.

A number of top-class names have been linked with a move to Merseyside during the summer transfer window and The Daily Express claims Liverpool are ready to rival the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea for the services of Ivan Perisic.

The Croatian winger has impressed during his time in Italian football since moving to Milan from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg and a step-up could occur this summer- and Liverpool ace Dejan Lovren has given a seal of approval to a deal for his compatriot.

What’s been said?

Speaking to Croatian outlet Jutarnji, Lovren sung the praises of the midfielder as he said:

“We players do not know anything about [transfers] until it happens. That’s always the case. But a player like Perisic moving to Liverpool would be great. He is a top quality player.”

“At Liverpool, all the players would welcome him with open arms. Obviously I do not know if it is true. What I can say is that he has exceptional football skills, knowledge and a higher than average quality.”

How would Perisic fit in?

A natural wide-player, Perisic would add to the wealth of talent Liverpool have in this position but, rather than add competitiveness to the squad, his arrival could potentially allow other members of the squad to seal a more accustomed role in the side.

Roberto Firmino is capable of playing out-wide, as is Divock Origi, but the pair would likely be more effective through the middle- and Perisic could excel on the left-side of attack with Sadio Mane bombing down the opposite flank.

Phillippe Coutinho in a central role would also see Liverpool boost their attacking prowess and a 4-2-3-1 formation could work wonders, with Coutinho supported by Perisic and Mane on the flanks to contribute to the striker in the line-up.

That would allow captain Jordan Henderson to sit in front of the back four alongside Emre Can, in a line-up that, on paper at least, looks capable of mounting a challenge for major honours.

5 Realistic James Rodriguez Alternatives For Liverpool

Liverpool have been linked with a sensational move for Real Madrid ace James Rodriguez but it will be a difficult move to pull off, especially if the Reds cannot offer Champions League football. Should they seek an alternative, this five realistic targets would be top-class.

Christian Pulisic

The 18-year-old American ace is a long-term target of Jurgen Klopp’s, with the German having worked with the teenager at Borussia Dortmund, but so far attempts to bring him to Anfield have been successful. This summer though, that could definitely change.

Dortmund could lose a fair few of their big names this summer and Pulisic would surely be tempted by a lucrative move to the Premier League. At Liverpool, he’d join a young, talented squad and could be a key-player on Merseyside for years to come.

Southampton Targeting Swoop For Liverpool Outcast In £20m Deal

Southampton have become accustomed to seeing their stars snatched by Liverpool in summer transfer windows but the tide could be about to turn with a major transfer in the opposite direction.

The Daily Mirror states Southampton have been impressed by Mamadou Sakho’s performances on-loan with Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace and are ready to make a move in the summer window, as the Frenchman’s time with Liverpool looks to be up.

Sakho was sent home early in pre-season last summer and has fallen out of favour in the eyes of Jurgen Klopp, who deems the former Paris Saint-German defender to be surplus to requirements- which opens the door for a transfer this summer.

Southampton have struggled to remain competitive in the Premier League this season and are set to miss out on European football, with Claude Puel’s side needing changes this summer- and bringing Sakho into their defence could be a wise call.

Do Southampton need him?

Southampton’s defence was weakened in the mid-season window following the departure of Jose Fonte to West Ham United and the Saints also face uncertainty around the future of star-man Virgil Van Dijk, who continues to earn plaudits for his defensive displays.

Regardless or not of whether Van Dijk stays on the South Coast, Southampton need to bolster their defensive ranks and, should the Dutchman stay, a partnership with Sakho would help the Saints push for regular involvement in European competitions.

At 27, Sakho is approaching the prime years of his career and his experience would aid a fairly young Southampton side, whilst a price-tag of around £20m wouldn’t break the bank for the Saints.

Is there any chance of a Liverpool stay?

It certainly seems unlikely, given all that has gone on at Anfield, and the Reds seem content with the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan for the time being. In the summer though, defensive changes will occur and that would give Sakho more competition on Merseyside.

After missing out on France’s European Championship exploits last summer, following a failed drugs test that was later overturned, Sakho will be pushing for a spot in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the World Cup next summer and moving to Southampton could help his chances.

For Sakho to compete with the illustrious names that France boast in defence, he’ll need to be playing regular football at the highest level and, whilst Southampton won’t be able to offer chances on the European stage, starring for the Saints would certainly help his cause.

Liverpool Keen To Secure Deal, Top Four Finish A Necessity

Liverpool will have to secure a top-four finish if Jurgen Klopp is to land one of his prime targets at the end of the season.

The Daily Mirror states the Reds are confident of luring James Rodriguez to Anfield from Real Madrid at the end of the season as the Colombian ace has grown unsettled in the Spanish capital, following three-years of troubles.

Colombia’s World Cup hero from 2014 secured a move to the Santiago Bernabeu in the wake of the international tournament in South America but, with the next World Cup just around the corner, the former Monaco man hasn’t established himself as the superstar many thought he would become.

That could work into Liverpool’s hands, as the Premier League seems a likely destination, but they’ll face a challenge in the final two months of the season to establish themselves in a position where a deal could be completed.

Why is top-four so important?

James Rodriguez is keen to ensure his next club is playing in the Champions League and that puts the ball in Liverpool’s court, with the Reds currently sat fourth in the Premier League standing and having a favourable run in the back-end of the season.

However, Klopp’s side have struggled against bottom-half clubs this season and fans will be concerned that those struggles could continue- especially as five of their remaining nine fixtures in the league are against side’s sat in the bottom-half.

Their other opponents, Everton, West Brom, Stoke and Southampton, can also be seen as potential banana skins for the Reds to avoid and the fact that both Manchester United and Arsenal have two games in hand makes Klopp’s position look even more difficult.

If Liverpool don’t finish in the Champions League spots, their chances of securing a move for James Rodriguez this summer would look significantly bleaker.

Where would James fit in?

With an attacking line that boasts the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, amongst others, it may be difficult to see where James would fit-in at Anfield. However, the threat of losing Coutinho is something Liverpool may have to face up to.

The Brazilian continues to attract the interest of top-clubs in Europe, including Barcelona, and the South American star may consider a move to boost his chances of being a crucial part of his national side in the World Cup next summer.

However, securing Champions League football could be enough to persuade Coutinho to stay for at least another year and if they were to keep him amongst their ranks, then a move for James wouldn’t be necessary.

Analysis: Liverpool Could Land Experienced Midfielder In Swap Deal

Liverpool could be presented with an intriguing opportunity this summer, which would see them land an experienced midfielder in a swap-deal with one of Europe’s giants.

Reported by The Liverpool Echo, Spanish outlet Don Balon states Barcelona are ready to offer Liverpool Ivan Rakitic in a deal that would see Philippe Coutinho move the other way. Whilst on paper they may seem a strange swap, Rakitic’s experience would be difficult to turn down.

Rakitic has come under fire in Catalonia this season and could be offered an exit as part of a restructure within the team, which is likely to follow at the end of the campaign when Luis Enrique leaves his managerial role and begins a sabbatical period.

Whilst Rakitic and Coutinho are not similar players, Rakitic’s arrival could land the Reds a top midfielder for a cut-price on top of a sizeable fee for their Brazilian star- which would give Jurgen Klopp plenty of funds to land a direct replacement for Coutinho.

How do they compare?

Per Squawka statistics, Coutinho has played just one minute more than Rakitic this season and his pass completion percentage (83%) puts him behind Rakitic with 86%. However, the Brazilian has five assists compared to just one from Rakitic.

In front of goal, Coutinho has found the net six times compared to Rakitic’s five and Liverpool’s star-man also boasts a far superior shot accuracy– 55% compared to Rakitic’s 46%. That said, Rakitic does adopt a deeper position in Barcelona’s line-up.

Defensively is where Rakitic has the edge, as the Croatian maestro has more tackles, interceptions and aerial duels won. Again though, this is largely down to their differences as a player.

Where would Rakitic fit in?

As mentioned, Ivan Rakitic wouldn’t directly fill the void from Coutinho’s departure and would instead likely sit in the deep-midfield pairing alongside Reds captain Jordan Henderson- providing a blanket to the defence and supporting the attack where necessary.

Rakitic has the ability to pick out the right balls to launch an attack, which would work well in Liverpool’s set-up. Jurgen Klopp’s side is also fairly young, so another experienced head in midfield would certainly not be a bad thing.

Of course, Liverpool would still have the fill the void left by Coutinho but the Reds should have the ability to do exactly that and it may even work out in their favour, as they could elect to find a direct number ten or a wide-player that would slot-in perfectly to Klopp’s ranks.

In The Form Of His Life: Why This Liverpool Player Should Be The Next England Captain

With Wayne Rooney seemingly out of the picture in terms of international football, Gareth Southgate is on the lookout for a new captain, and I think he should look no further than Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana.

It would surely be sensible to give the captaincy to a senior figure in the dressing room and aged 28, Lallana is one of the most experienced players currently in the national team setup. Not only that, but he’s playing the best football of his career right now, excelling in the Liverpool team and in my opinion he has been England’s best player over the last 18 months.

Other options in terms of experience include Joe Hart, but his form has been questionable and he could soon be displaced in the eleven by younger keepers like Jack Butland or Jordan Pickford. There’s also Gary Cahill, but he too could soon lose his place with the likes of Phil Jones and Micheal Keane coming through.

You want your captain to be playing every week and in terms of players that are irreplaceable in the starting eleven, I think Lallana is one of a very few. He offers a blend of energy and technical ability and has certainly been one of the countries most consistent performers in the recent past.

I think England have Klopp to thank for getting the very best out of Lallana, a player who has always had ability, but until the last couple of years has failed to consistently deliver complete performances. This season for Liverpool he has managed to score 7 goals and assist 7 more in the Premier League – a very good set of statistics and one that not many other England players would be able to get close to.

Something which comes with the captaincy is a responsibility to represent your country, you need to be able to handle yourself properly and conduct interviews and PR professionally. I get the sense from Lallana that he would be very good at this side of the role, he’s very well spoken and seems to understand the game.

Liverpool fans: I’d be interested to know if you think Lallana would be a good captain? As an Arsenal fan myself I haven’t seen him every minute this season, nor have I seen all his interviews etc. but from an outsider looking in, he does appear a very good candidate to lead our country going into the 2018 World Cup, which with the 2-0 win against Lithuania, England have surely qualified for.

Liverpool join Everton in pursuit of highly-rated defender

Liverpool are ready to go toe-to-toe on the transfer market with arch-rivals Everton for the services of this highly-rated defender.

The Daily Mail reports that Liverpool’s interest in Burnley defender Michael Keane has raised following his impressive international debut this week, where the 24-year-old former Manchester United man started England’s 1-0 defeat to Germany.

Everton hold long-standing interest in Keane, and see him as the ideal fit for their defence in the long-term, but Jurgen Klopp is eyeing a defensive restructure of his own and sees Keane as the ideal central-defensive partner for Joel Matip.

Interest in Keane is extremely high though as Manchester City and Chelsea also hold interest, whilst Manchester United could explore the option to bring him back to Old Trafford- as they did with Paul Pogba last summer.

Will a deal go ahead?

Burnley are resigned to losing Michael Keane’s services this summer as the Lancashire side have unsuccessfully tried to negotiate an extension on his current deal. With Keane’s contract entering it’s final 12 months this summer, the Clarets will sanction a sale.

Where Keane ends up is anyone’s guess though and the youngster will have plenty to think about, as a spot in England’s World Cup squad next summer is within his grasp and playing Champions League football could improve his standing.

However, Gareth Southgate’s recent England selections show that playing in Europe’s elite competition isn’t necessary and Keane could bite off more than he could chew with a move to a top-four club. If he were to move and struggle, then his chances of further England opportunities would decrease.

In any case, Keane can expect to be playing European football next season but it’s not clear whether that will be in the Champions League or Europa League.

How much will he cost?

Despite Keane’s contract situation, Burnley are holding out for a large sum for the defender’s services and their asking price reportedly stands at £30m; a fee that seems fair given the price Manchester City paid Everton for John Stones last summer.

Burnley’s windfall will get a boost as Keane will fetch a premium price due to the fact he’s English but the Clarets will also be aware that they’ll owe money from any deal to Manchester United, as part of the agreement that saw Keane move to Turf Moor initially.

That in itself could bump up the price as Burnley would be looking to get as large a figure as they can, which Sean Dyche would then spend to bolster his own squad and increase the club’s chances of long-term Premier League survival.

Report: Liverpool in battle with Barcelona to sign exciting midfielder

Liverpool’s season has been average at best so far, and it seems that Jurgen Klopp is finally looking at making some signings to improve on his limited options. 

Riyad Mahrez is one transfer target for Liverpool this summer, but they may have to rival Barcelona for his signature, according to Sport – the report claims Barcelona are interested but that Liverpool have already made an approach.

Where would he fit in?

Though it may not have seemed like it this season, Mahrez has very good stamina, and under Klopp I think we could see him excel in pressing from the front. He’d give the team some versatility in attack and would take one of the wide berths in the team, most likely the right wing role. I could see him dovetailing well with Nathaniel Clyne on the right hand side, and offering good balance to the Liverpool team.

How likely is it to happen?

I would be shocked if Mahrez were to remain at Leicester City beyond this season. There are several top clubs interested in him and Leicester will not be playing any type of European football next season (unless they win the Champions League!). I’m not sure Mahrez would get enough regular game time at the likes Barcelona, but at Liverpool he could easily cement a place in the starting eleven. Liverpool would feel like a good next step for Mahrez, as he looks to establish himself at a top club. Moving to a club like Barcelona too early could have detrimental effects to his career. For all Klopp’s ability as a manager though, he has struggled in the transfer market, especially to bring recognised names to the club. This summer that needs to change and signing Mahrez would be a good starting point.

Would he be a good signing?

I think it goes without saying that based on last season’s form, Mahrez would be an excellent addition to the Liverpool squad, and help take them to a title challenging team. This season he has been poor for the most part, but I think he needs a manager like Klopp to consistently get the best out of him. At Liverpool you do not get away with half-hearted performances, but many times this season that is exactly what Mahrez has delivered.

Would This French Goalkeeper Solve Liverpool’s Problems Between the Sticks?

We teamed up with Timothy Bailey, an expert tipster over at FootballPredictions.com. According to his insights Liverpool have had a problem in goal since the days of Pepe Reina, and the summer arrival of Loris Karius has only complicated the situation further, rather than giving the club an established number one.

Simon Mignolet and Karius have shared the burden of the goalkeeping jersey but according to reports, Liverpool could again look to improve their options in this position with the addition of a new signing.

Ruffier is 30 years old and has been involved in the national team set up on numerous occasions, but has only 3 caps having been stuck behind the likes of Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda over the last decade. Ruffier has been a mainstay in the Saint-Etienne eleven over the last 6 years, notching up a stunning 190 appearances. Before that he racked up more than 100 appearances for Monaco.

Liverpool fans may be a bit hesitant about invest in another goalkeeper that is not quite of the highest calibre. I would suggest that Ruffier is very talented and a more reliable number 1 than both Mignolet and Karius – however like Karius, he would need a period of time to adapt to the Premier League. Karius was one of the best goalkeepers in Germany, a league that is arguably stronger than France. The Premier League is a completely different environment, and it has proven on many occasions to take a long time for players to adapt to the league, particularly goalkeepers.

You could say that if Liverpool are just going to go and buy another foreign keeper, they would be better sticking with Loris Karius and trusting his potential to come through at some stage. We saw at Manchester United, David De Gea seriously struggle in his first few months at the club. Despite excelling in Spain, he really struggled to adapt to English football and that led to many pundits and fans writing him off. Now, the Spaniard is widely considered as the best goalkeeper in the league and perhaps even the whole world.

Ruffier is 30 years old and unlikely to improve in the future. I feel Liverpool would need to be sure he will be a substantial improvement on Karius to invest in him – otherwise they would be better allowing Karius to improve, because unless he goes out on loan, his progression will stagnate playing on the bench every week.

The best option may be signing a Premier League proven goalkeeper. I’m surprised Liverpool aren’t interested in Asmir Begovic. The Bosnian international was a top quality goalkeeper at Stoke, and is said to be keen on finding first team football again, as he is now consistently stuck behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order.

‘His Best Performance For Liverpool’ Huge Praise For Liverpool Midfielder In Man City Draw

Emre Can’s had his fair share of criticism this season, but another stellar display in the absence of captain Jordan Henderson saw the German gain a huge round of praise following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

Ridiculed for a lack of consistency and class in the middle of the park, Can was one of the stand out performers at the Etihad, bringing steel and grit to Liverpool’s display. Having scored the winner against Burnley last weekend, Can is certainly proving he has much more to give to this side with contract talks still at a standoff.

Here’s how fans reacted to Emre Can’s performance at the weekend. Do you agree?

Credit has to go to Can for how he’s reacted after such a poor patch of form. The snide and cheek we have witnessed in recent weeks, most noticeably against Arsenal, has given this team something it’s lacked since the days of Javier Mascherano and co., causing some to suggest he should retain his spot even when Henderson returns from the sidelines – a stark contrast to previous comments on the young midfielder.

The 23-year-old is very much playing for his future, with contract talks at a standstill. Whether it be down to wage demands or playing time, Liverpool would be foolish to let the midfielder leave Anfield in the summer.

While football fans of the modern era will always pick little holes in players performances, the consensus is very much that Emre Can should be a Liverpool player for the foreseeable future. With performances like this weekend, there’s no wonder clubs like Juventus are keeping a watchful eye on Can’s future.

‘Best In The PL’ Liverpool Fans Hail Midfielder’s Performance In Win Over Arsenal

Liverpool moved up into the top four after bouncing back from defeat at the King Power Stadium against Leicester last Monday, beating Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal 3-1 at Anfield.

Wenger will face much criticism post-game for his decision to leave key man Alexis Sanchez on the bench. The Chilean was brought on at half-time, and provided an assist as the Gunners searched for something to take back to North London.

Liverpool started the quicker of the two, and they were rewarded with an early goal. Roberto Firmino was left free at the back post, and despite the best efforts of Hector Bellerin, managed to fire the ball into the back of the net to send Liverpool 1-0 up inside nine minutes.

It got better for the Reds as they went into half-time two goals to the good. Sadio Mane found some space in the box, and was picked out by Firmino before drilling the ball into the back of the Arsenal net.

Arsene Wenger had to do something at half-time, and he responded by sending on Sanchez. He had a positive effect on proceedings from an Arsenal point of view, as he always does, and was highly influential in Arsenal’s goal. He threaded the ball through to Danny Welbeck, who finished well to put the visitors back into the game.

Arsenal searched for an equaliser late on, and Liverpool pounced in added time when they got the chance. Adam Lallana picked out Divock Origi with a lovely pass, who squared the ball to Georginio Wijnaldum, who was able to come up with the finish to hand Liverpool at three points.

One player that stood out from a Liverpool point of view was Adam Lallana. The Englishman worked tirelessly in the midfield, and covered just about every blade of grass on the pitch in what was a stunning performance. Despite winning only 40% of his tackles, he was key to Liverpool’s success, creating one chance and completing two take-ons. Here is how Liverpool fans reacted to Lallana’s display.

All The Arsenal Players Rated Out Of 10 For Performance vs. Liverpool

All the Arsenal players rated for their performance vs. Liverpool below. 

Petr Cech – 4
Couldn’t do much about the goals, didn’t do anything positive to catch the eye, though.

Hector Bellerin – 6
A quick option down the Arsenal right and they utilised him more in the second half. His delivery could’ve been a bit better when in attacking situations.

Laurent Koscielny – 6
Not the best showing from Koscielny, who, like most of the team, was at sea in the first half.

Skhodran Mustafi – 7
Was part of Arsenal’s defensive shambles in the first half, but I think he had a good game overall. Made some important tackles and going forward he delivered some good passes, almost leading to goals. Some good interceptions to stop a fast Liverpool attacking force.

Nacho Monreal – 4
Really struggled to deal with Mane’s pace and trickery. For the 2nd goal he was completely out of position, leaving Mane unmarked to bury the second goal. That was unforgivable for a player with his experience.

Francis Coquelin – 2
When was his last good game? A horrific performance, losing the ball regularly and picking up a yellow card before being hauled off at half time.

Granit Xhaka – 4
Xhaka struggled to deal with the pace of Liverpool. He was better in possession than Coquelin but that wasn’t hard. Improved in the second half when Ox was his partner.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 5
The Ox was put on the wing, weirdly considering his recent performances centrally. Was poor in the first half, moved central in the second half and improved.

Alex Iwobi – 2
Like Coquelin, was truly woeful. Two players who have been very poor in recent weeks, but two players who continue to be selected in the line up. It’s baffling, one of several baffling decisions Arsene Wenger continues to make.

Danny Welbeck – 7.5
A good performance from Welbeck. He offers power and pace and his 2nd half goal gave the Arsenal team hope and lifted everyone’s performance. He is perhaps our most in form player at the moment, which is quite worrying considering he has been out for a year.

Olivier Giroud – 4
Tested Mignolet once with a decent header, held the ball up a few times, but ultimately he was ineffective.

Subs

Alexis Sanchez – 7
Why was he on the bench? You’d have to guess something has happened behind the scenes because it just doesn’t make sense. He came on and completely changed the dynamic for Arsenal, and he notched an assist for Welbeck’s goal.

Lucas Perez – 5
Will have felt aggrieved not to have started the game, but was given 20 minutes at the end. Struggled to do anything of note.

Theo Walcott – 5
Like Lucas, came on for the last 20 minutes. Was ineffective aside from producing a run that should have resulted in Emre Can being sent off, but the ref bottled the decision.

‘He’s Out Of Position’ Liverpool Fans Beg For Jurgen Klopp To Make This Tactical Change

It was a dismal Liverpool performance against Leicester City, and some fans have had enough of one of Jurgen Klopp’s decisions.

Liverpool have needed a left back for some time but after moves for the likes of Jonas Hector broke down, James Milner has been shoehorned into the left back position. It worked for a while, but after another poor performance against Leicester City, it seems teams are targeting his lack of pace and it is leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side heavily exposed at the back.

The only natural left back in the Liverpool squad currently is Alberto Moreno, and he is very poor at defending, so much so that Milner replaced him in the first place. It speaks volumes that Milner has kept his place at left back after a series of underwhelming performances.

But Milner’s performance against Leicester was particularly poor. He could’ve done more to prevent two of the three goals scored by the home side – and he was ineffective offensively as well. Many Liverpool fans would like to see Milner moved into midfield. He is a good central midfielder and players like Emre Can are struggling to perform in that position. A central position plays to Milner’s strengths, on the face of it he is no way suited to a full back role. The only benefit of him being there is his stamina, which allows for him to get up and down the pitch –  surely this would be better utilised in central midfield though?

Here’s some reaction to Milner’s performance against Leicester City on Monday night.

I think Milner still has a part to play in the Liverpool squad, he’s decent cover at left back and also a senior presence that adds a calmness to the midfield when he plays there.

Liverpool certainly need to sign a new left back, but for now they need to find an internal solution. Milner is definitely not the best internal solution, at least not for certain games. Klopp must find the solution.

Against Arsenal it will be intriguing to see how Liverpool line up. Arsene Wenger isn’t one for lining his team up to exploit the weaknesses of others, but surely looking at Milner in recent weeks, Wenger would try and target that. Theo Walcott is the obvious pacey candidate to cause him problems and if Theo starts, surely Klopp will favour the quick Moreno. Putting Milner up against Walcott could have catastrophic consequences.

3 Must Have Players In Your Fantasy Football Premier League Teams This Week

As Manchester United and Southampton prepare themselves for a special night out in Wembley for the EFL Cup final, subsequently taking Arsenal and Manchester City out of the firing line for a hot minute, life in the Premier League continues with important clashes in and around parts of the table.

But in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Agüero and others, the question of who to turn to as captain will be the one that looms large for many of us Fantasy Premier League players this weekend. That’s nothing that a little friendly advice from Fresh Football can’t fix, however.

1. Diego Costa

Club: Chelsea
Position: Striker
Price: £10m

It’s the week of the heavy hitters for us and fewer names have been as synonymous to the skipper’s armband as Diego Costa’s this season. The Chelsea forward has supplemented the Blues’ title charge with 15 league goals from 23 appearances, making him a top favourite for the Golden Boot this season.

We fully expect to see the Brazilian-born Spain international reinforce his bid for the hotly-contested end-of-season gong this weekend, as Chelsea welcome a few familiar faces back to Stamford Bridge.

Paul Clement, the former assistant manager of the London outfit under Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure, as well as his sidekick, Claude Makélélé, another to don the Chelsea blue, have turned fortunes around at what was once considered to be a relegation-bound Swansea City side.

The team from South Wales have made steady strides since Clement’s appointment to find themselves 15th in the Premier League table, but that does little to the fact that the West Londoners are overwhelming favourites in this clash, as they look to take another step towards the league title.

It may or may not be easy for Blues, but Costa has come up with his fair share of clutch moments up top for Antonio Conte’s side in the best and worst positions, so we expect the ex-Atlético Madrid striker to deliver.

Ratings: Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea – All The Players Rated Out Of 10

Liverpool

Simon Mignolet – 7

Was caught off guard for Luiz’s free kick and was not watching even though the whistle was blown. Made a good save from a Willian free-kick but had a relatively quiet first half. Saved Costa’s penalty in the 76th minute to keep the scores level.

Nathaniel Clyne – 6

Showed great drive in offensive situations but was very wasteful in possession, good defensively when called upon.

Joel Matip – 6

Looked shaky all evening and gave away a penalty in the second half after fouling Diego Costa but was saved his blushes after Mignolet made a fine save.

Dejan Lovren – 7

Was not overly worked in both halves as Liverpool were the more attacking team, but still managed to keep Diego Costa at bay.

James Milner – 7

Struggled in the first half but got in behind the Chelsea defence and grabbed an assist for Wijnaldum’s header and was much more efficient in the second half.

Emre Can – 5

Had a very quiet first half, struggled to help Liverpool break down Chelsea and failed to make an impact again in the second half in a rather poor showing.

Jordan Henderson – 6

Despite a bright opening 15 minutes, the Liverpool captain struggled to help control the midfield battle throughout the match.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 8

Had a great shot outside the box in the 11th minute and was one of the more promising players in the first half. Scored in the 57th minute to level the scoreline and had a very positive all-round game.

Adam Lallana – 6

Considering he has been so influential for Liverpool this season, he had a very quiet game and struggled somewhat to make anything happen.

Roberto Firmino – 6

Missed a golden chance in the 48th minute, should have scored and showed much more composure and much like most of Liverpool’s attacking trio, had a very quiet night for his standards.

Philippe Coutinho – 5

Much like Eden Hazard, Coutinho had a very quiet evening but did try and press the Chelsea backline in the second half. Was subbed off for Mane in the second half.

Chelsea

Thibault Courtois – 6

Made a good save early on to deny Wijnaldum but had next to nothing to do for the rest of the first half, Wijnaldum finally got the better of him with a header in the second half which helped the Reds get a point.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 6

Had a very quiet first half but was defensively sound when relied upon, much the same in the second half as he helped grind out a point.

David Luiz – 9 (MOTM)

Scored a wonder free-kick in the 24th minute and was excellent defensively and knew when to step into midfield to help build-up play from the back, much the same in the second half despite being under extreme pressure.

Gary Cahill – 7

Had a solid defensive performance throughout and kept the Liverpool attacking threat at bay despite being under pressure for most of the second half.

Victor Moses – 7

Was the more busier wing-back out of the two, both attacking and defensively. Moses did get himself into good positions in the final third but was very wasteful.

N’golo Kante – 8

As always, covered every single blade of grass, was everywhere on the pitch, broke up play, kept things ticking and his high level of energy showed for Chelsea, another good performance by the Frenchman.

Nemanja Matic – 6

Again, much like Alonso, he has a very quiet evening but done enough to help his side take a point. Was ok in possession and was always solid defensively.

Marcos Alonso – 6

Had a very quiet evening in both phases but did not play badly, just was not exceptional either. That said, done well in possession and was committed as always.

Willian – 6

In the 28th minute he nearly scored a free-kick which goes all the way through the box and was unlucky not to be tapped in by David Luiz. Had a somewhat quiet night after that.
Diego Costa – 6

Struggled to get into the game in the first half but was always making runs in behind the Liverpool defence. Missed a penalty in the 76 minute which could have won the game, an off night for the Chelsea hit man.

Eden Hazard – 5

Had a very quiet evening, to the extent where I forgot he was actually playing. Was subbed off after 70 minutes.