'We know what we need to work on' - Trent on Reds' form and Spurs test

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 17:00
Trent Alexander-Arnold has detailed the immense determination running through the Liverpool team to put things right after a difficult run of form.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Shaq rejects Bundesliga move & Brazilian starlet linked – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 16:35

Liverpool headlines on Tuesday largely centre around economic matters: club finances, transfer rumours and kit leaks.

Reds could move for another Brazilian teen

Last year, Alisson training with his brother at Fluminense ended up having a significant knock-on effect: the Reds signed young goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from the club.

Now there’s another individual at the same club who the Reds are apparently keen on: 17-year-old Kayky, an attacker who has featured for the national team at U16 level.

Previously we wouldn’t have been able to bring this type of youngster in with work permit rules, but as they have all changed, there’s more scope to do so.

Brazilian outlet UOL say Shakhtar, Liverpool and Man City are in the running to sign him, while Netflu add that the Reds have a detailed career plan on offer to the youngster.

Relations between the clubs are good after the Ali-Pitaluga link-ups, and he could be one we move for in the summer – he turns 18 in June.

Shaqiri opts out of relegation fight

 Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Burnley won 1-0 ending Liverpool’s run of 68 games unbeaten at home. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The timing of some of these rumours makes it difficult to discern between believability and convenience.

Xherdan Shaqiri has just got himself back fully fit and involved in the Reds’ first team on a more regular basis, which makes it unlikely either he or we would want him to depart anyway – and he has seemingly turned down an offer to do so.

A trail of reporting from Fussball Transfers to Sky Germany to Sport Witness says Hertha Berlin wanted him to join this window, to aid their push back toward the top half of the Bundesliga after a very poor campaign so far.

They’ve just given the manager the boot, too, but Shaq is “not in the mood for a relegation battle” according to those reports.

That said, if we don’t start to win soon…!

Joking, of course!

Football and finances

 Liverpool's owner John W. Henry and wife Linda Pizzuti during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Huddersfield Town AFC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s all about the money, as the song once said.

Quickfire LFC news

Dortmund’s Erling Haaland saluted the empty stands after scoring on Saturday (Martin Meissner/PA)

  • Jeremy Doku has explained why he turned down a move to Liverpool last summer (TIA)
  • Mbappe would be ‘keen’ to play for the Reds but hasn’t decided his future yet (FFT)
  • And John Aldridge says Liverpool should spend £100m or more to ensure they land Erling Haaland from Dortmund (Goal)
Around the Prem

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Arsenal's Mattéo Guendouzi during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • West Ham plan to undo all their good work from the first half of the season by signing Jesse Lingard on loan and actually playing him (BBC)
  • PSG and Arsenal might do a swapsies for Draxler and Guendouzi. Give it five months before each find out why the other one wanted rid? (Mirror)
  • Shkodran Mustafi is set to be released on a free by Arsenal and he’s German, so there’s another day’s worth of LFC transfer links on the way (f.l)
  • Monaco and Benfica have joined the list of overseas clubs keen on Demarai Gray on a free. How much will a Prem club pay to bring him back in 18 months, do you think? We’ll set the unders/overs at £12m… (Guardian)
Curious outcome of the day

Without knowing all the details, we won’t label this one stupid. Livingston manager David Martindale has been deemed “a fit and proper person” by the Scottish FA.

Previously he had failed to be granted that ‘label’, having served three-and-a-half years in prison for involvement in organised crime.

An important taking of a second chance, perhaps?

Tweet of the day

What a player, what a season.

Luis Suarez – 2013/14pic.twitter.com/ocuLU28gSe

— ? (@LSComps) January 25, 2021

What we’re reading

Micah Richards reckons Man City would waltz to the title if they snapped up Diego Costa on a free transfer, for BBC Sport.

And an inside story on Roman Abramovich, Chelsea and sacking Lampard, by Miguel Delaney on the Independent.

Worth watching tonight

Saints vs Arsenal at 8:15 on BT Sport 1 could be a bit of a thriller, if both attacks turn up.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

7 things we’ve learned at the halfway stage of Liverpool’s season

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 14:00

Liverpool have reached the halfway stage in the Premier League campaign sitting fourth, but what have we learned from a strange season so far?

Only twice in the first 19 games of the season have the Reds been sat lower than their current position – they were eighth after opening weekend and then fifth following the 7-2 loss to Aston Villa in October.

By and large, Jurgen Klopp‘s side have remained on course to defend their title, while having reached the last 16 of the Champions League they maintain their hope of reclaiming the European Cup.

Exit from both the FA Cup and the League Cup should be considered collateral damage, as the focus is on glory in the league and Europe, but as a run of five games without a win shows, nothing is guaranteed.

Here are seven things we’ve learned at the halfway stage of Liverpool’s season.

Liverpool need a new centre-back

 Liverpool's Rhys Williams forms a defensive wall during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

We’ll start with the obvious one, shall we?

As each game passes, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez inch closer to their respective returns; but as each game passes, so too is the need for an immediate reinforcement at centre-back hammered home.

The problems are well-documented and therefore not worth poring over, but with less than a week remaining of the January transfer window it seems unlikely a new defender will be brought in.

Contact with Sokratis, after his release from Arsenal and prior to his signing for Olympiakos, suggests the openness to bring in short-term cover, but the options are limited.

It is a difficult situation, but one that could hold major ramifications for the rest of the campaign.

You can’t plan for everything

 Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk is fouled by Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

At the start of the season, Liverpool looked to be in excellent shape, boasting arguably one of their strongest squads in recent memory in terms of the first-choice starters and the depth beyond those.

The arrivals of Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago and Diogo Jota solved a number of issues in terms of cover, while the development of Curtis Jones showed there was more to come.

But in the most unique of campaigns, it has become clear that Klopp could not plan for everything.

Not only has the ridiculous demand on players led to an increase in injuries, but the ever-looming threat of COVID-19 has also seen a number of key names sidelined throughout.

It should not be overlooked that had even one of Van Dijk or Gomez avoided their long-term layoffs – particularly the former, given it was an avoidable injury – the chain reaction of Fabinho dropping back into defence would not have occurred.

Not every youngster is Trent

 Liverpool's Neco Williams is replaced by substitute Trent Alexander-Arnold during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The strain on Klopp’s squad has led to a reliance on youth – which certainly has its virtues, but opportunity has made way for dependency as the problems continue.

Rhys Williams and Neco Williams have both come in for criticism for their performances over the course of the campaign so far, while even Jones has been called into question, too.

But it is an unfair situation for these youngsters called upon to cover for world-class players – not every academy graduate can step up as smoothly as Trent Alexander-Arnold did.

Patience is required, but unfortunately, the circumstances ensure that is not entirely possible.

The succession plan is already underway

 Liverpool's Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Atalanta BC and Liverpool FC at the Stadio di Bergamo. (Pic by Simone Arveda/Propaganda)

Amid a barren run for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, Jamie Carragher argued that “sooner or later that front three will have to be broken up,” pointing to all three reaching their late 20s.

While it may have been an overreaction to suggest that Firmino could be “phased out or moved on,” given he now looks to be getting back to form, the need for a succession plan is clear.

Of course, the burden on Liverpool’s title-winning front three would have been eased significantly were Diogo Jota fit – and the Portuguese is an example of the succession plan already being in effect.

At 24, Jota is not only primed to make an immediate impact – as his nine goals in 17 pre-injury appearances proves – but he has vast scope for development to eventually take over from one of Salah, Mane or Firmino.

Meanwhile, the next piece of the puzzle may be stepping up away from Anfield…

Klopp has a future gem on loan

 Blackburn Rovers' Harvey Elliott during the Football League Championship match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Stoke City FC at Ewood Park. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is genuine potential for Harvey Elliott to emerge as a key player for Liverpool in the future.

He’s showing that at Blackburn, where he has already scored four and assisted eight in 21 games for the club, largely playing on the opposite wing to that which Jota has for Klopp.

Now shorn of his trademark topknot, Elliott is the joint-top assist-maker in the Championship, with only Norwich’s Emi Buendia (3.4) is averaging more key passes per 90 than the 17-year-old (2.2).

“I did wonder whether he would be someone who would just turn it on when the going was good,” Lancashire Telegraph journalist Rich Sharpe told This Is Anfield, “but he’s dug them out of a number of holes and become something of a go-to man.”

Not often do players head out on loan and return to claim a first-team role, but the stage is set for Elliott.

Fabinho may be Liverpool’s MVP

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' celebrates at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Throughout the first half of the season, in success and failure, a number of players have stood up to prove their worth and drag Liverpool to results.

Salah is top goalscorer, Jota has pitched with a number of match-winners, Andy Robertson has produced relentless form at left-back and Alisson has been a lifesaver at times.

But no player has proved as valuable as Fabinho, whose ability to step into an emergency role at centre-back has been remarkable.

The Brazilian has been close to world class at the back for the majority of the campaign, which given he has very little experience of the position is remarkable.

His absence in midfield is a detriment to Liverpool, of course, but the versatility of Klopp’s No. 3 outlines his case for MVP status.

This really is a season like no other

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the FA Premier League match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The halfway stage of the Premier League season limped by with a 1-0 defeat to Burnley that ended a 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield, which shows the unpredictability of 2020/21.

Liverpool now find themselves embroiled in a crisis, but as the first five months of the campaign have shown, there could be many peaks and troughs to come for every side.

The likes of Man City, Tottenham, Man United, Arsenal and Chelsea have all endured struggles of their own, and while United sit top of the table after 19 games, there is no telling who will ultimately finish as champions.

A hard fight awaits Liverpool, however, if they are to salvage their title defence – but if any season should come with an asterisk, it is this one.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool set to beat Man Utd to Derby teenager Gordon

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 12:20

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Derby youngster Kaide Gordon and a deal could be completed as early as Tuesday.

The 16-year-old will join Liverpool for a fee that could reach £3m and is expected to link up with the academy side.

Manchester United were also keen on Gordon, a forward who can play through the middle or out wide, but look to have been beaten by their great rivals.

Gordon made his senior debut for Derby against Birmingham in the Championship last month, after which Rams boss Wayne Rooney said: "I brought Kaide up with the first team initially to train with us for a week to see how he reacted to it, and he was one of the best trainers.

Sunday 31st January 4:00pm Kick off 4:30pm Sky Sports Premier League HD Sky Sports Premier League HD

"I kept him with us for a couple of weeks and he's been training at the same level - if not to a better level - than a lot of the other [first-team] players."

 Phil Noble/NMC Pool/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. 3:07 Deloitte Sports Business group director Tim Bridge explains why Liverpool are now among the top five clubs of the Deloitte Football Money League as they moved fifth in the list behind fourth-placed Manchester United

Gordon could be one of a number of Derby academy products to leave the club during the January transfer window as they bid to raise funds.

A delay in the protracted takeover of the club by Sheikh Khaled's Derventio Holdings has meant Derby remain in a difficult financial situation.

There are serious doubts over whether the purchase of the club will be completed, despite a deal for owner Mel Morris to sell the Rams to billionaire Sheikh Khaled being reached in November.

Derby have been under a transfer embargo and their first-team players were only paid their December wages this week.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

The winter transfer window is open until Monday, February 1 at 11pm.

Follow all the news and analysis on Sky Sports News and across Sky Sports' digital platforms, including our dedicated Transfer Centre blog.

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Jordan Henderson part of player group in government talks to tackle online abuse

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 10:45

Jordan Henderson was one of a number of footballers to discuss online abuse with the UK Government ahead of a bill to hold social media platforms to account.

While the passion and loyalty of fans underpin football and sport around the world, there also exists a dark underbelly of threats and abuse across social media.

Cyber-bullying and abuse have risen in prominence in the modern age, with those in the public arena targeted for the smallest of mistakes, primarily by anonymous accounts.

Social media has offered a grey area in the law as to how to tackle online threats and abuse, but an Online Harms Bill is to be presented before UK parliament this year.

The bill will require social media companies to treat online abuse the same as discrimination on the streets and in the stands, and it was a key talking point in an online round table as part of a series of ‘Future of Football’ discussions.

Henderson was present alongside the likes of Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings, Watford‘s Troy Deeney and Liverpool Women’s Rinsola Babajide in the discussions with Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston.

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah takes a selfie with a supporter's iPhone after a training session ahead of the preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at the Michigan Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

They each shared their experience with online abuse and those faced by their teammates across the men’s and women’s game, and the Liverpool captain was “pleased” with the response from the government in an area of such importance.

“The meeting was very important,” Henderson said, via the Telegraph. “I’m pleased that those with power and authority to enact change realise the seriousness of the abuse towards players.”

With various stories shared by current and former players, Dowden insisted his resolve to enact change has been “strengthened” to ensure there is greater accountability in the eyes of the law.

“Their input today has strengthened my resolve to bring in new laws to ensure there is much greater accountability from the social media platforms for dealing with such problems,” Dowden said.

It is certainly a step in the right direction as abuse of any kind cannot be tolerated and one welcomed by the players union.

 Liverpool's Neco Williams during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

One instance of abuse late last year close to home saw Neco Williams black out his Twitter account after being subjected to unnecessary and ugly criticism after a League Cup outing, prompting Pepijn Lijnders to respond strongly with a message of his own.

“The only thing I can say is that abuse is wrong, whether it is on social media or on the street. It’s wrong,” he said back in 2020.

“Second, you are not a Liverpool supporter if you don’t support.”

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Spurs vs Liverpool Preview - Reds continue battle to save their season Reds Exit FA Cup After Old Trafford Defeat Manchester Uni...

Anfield Index.com - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 10:20

Venue – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London

Referee – Martin Atkinson

Date & Time – Thursday, January 28th @ 20:00

Current Odds – Spurs 11/5, Draw 13/5, Liverpool 6/5


Eight big games in the next four and a half weeks for Liverpool. The Reds are stuck in a rut but they are battling with everything they have to get out of this. We saw evidence of that at Old Trafford on Sunday. The confidence going forward was on display. Liverpool are going to have to play their way back into form. There isn’t time for anything else during such a hectic schedule. Don’t write this season off just yet, though, Reds. This story still has quite a few twists that it’s yet to reveal.


Spurs Form

Spurs are unbeaten in seven games across all competitions. Their last league defeat came at home to Leicester City (2-0) just days after Liverpool had beaten them 2-1 at Anfield in December.

Jose Mourinho is doing a solid job this season, however. His men are fifth in the league, just one point behind The Reds with a game in hand.

Spurs won 3-1 at Sheffield United in their last league fixture. The goals came from Serge Aurier, Harry Kane and Tanguy Ndombélé.

Liverpool Form

Let’s get this over with quickly, shall we?

Liverpool haven’t won a league game since their record-breaking 7-0 win at Crystal Palace in December. Jérgen Klopp’s side has a 1-3-3 record in their most recent seven games in all competitions. The lone victory was in the FA Cup against Aston Villa’s youth players. The Reds went out of that same competition on Sunday, losing 3-2 to rivals Manchester United.

Liverpool’s last Premier League goal was on December 27th when Sadio Mané put them ahead in the 1-1 draw at Anfield against West Brom.


Spurs Team News

Jose Mourinho is without Giovani Lo Celso for Thursday’s game while the trio of Serge Aurier, Dele Alli and Matt Doherty will all face late fitness tests this week.

Mourinho has used three at the back on the odd occasion this season but he’s likely to stick with 4-2-3-1 for this game with Harry Kane leading the line for the hosts.

Heung-Min Son is always a thorn in Liverpool’s side so he will have to be managed carefully by Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joël Matip.

Liverpool Team News

Liverpool are still missing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, Naby Keïta and Diogo Jota.

Jordan Henderson will undergo a fitness test this week after missing the last two games for The Reds with a muscle injury.

Joël Matip should be available for selection after returning in Liverpool’s defeat to Burnley on last week. Jürgen Klopp did not risk playing the centre-half in the FA Cup game with Manchester United on Sunday.

With Henderson possibly not going to be at full match fitness, James Milner could make a second consecutive start after playing the full 90 minutes at Old Trafford.

I expect the midfield trio to be Thiago Alcântara, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum.

Matip will partner Fabinho in central defence while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson continue at right-back and left-back respectively.

Klopp probably will stick with his strongest front three, bringing Sadio Mané back into the starting eleven.


Spurs XI (4-2-3-1) – Lloris; Doherty, Alderweireld, Dier, Davies; Højbjerg, Winks; Bergwijn, Ndombélé, Son; Kane

Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Fabinho, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Thiago, Milner; Salah, Firmino, Mané


Liverpool won 2-1 when the sides met at Anfield in mid-December. Heung-Min Son cancelled out Mohamed Salah’s opening goal only for Roberto Firmino to pop up with a brilliant, powerful header to win the game in the 90th minute for The Reds.

Last season, Liverpool won 1-0 away to Spurs thanks to another goal from Firmino.

Jürgen Klopp’s men have won six consecutive games against Spurs in all competitions, including the Champions League final in Madrid in June 2019. Spurs haven’t beaten The Reds since that 4-1 horror show at Wembley in October 2017.



It’s difficult to predict a Liverpool win these days, such is the bad run of form The Reds find themselves in. There were certainly signs of improvement in the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford on Sunday. If they can keep creating chances as they did, more and more goals will follow. However, for now, I think a draw is the most likely result in London this Thursday night.

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Belgian winger reveals he turned down Liverpool last summer – move came “too soon”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 10:05

Belgium winger Jeremy Doku has revealed he turned down a move to Liverpool last summer due to the step up to the Premier League coming “too soon” in his career.

Doku has long been a target for the Reds, and if reports are to be believed, there have been a number of approaches for the 18-year-old over the years.

He is believed to have rejected the chance to move to Merseyside in 2018, despite talks with Jurgen Klopp, while another offer came last summer, after his first full season with the Anderlecht first team.

This is claimed to have come in the final weeks of the transfer window, only for Doku to eventually join Ligue 1 side Rennes in October, in a deal worth over £23 million.

After six goals and seven assists in 37 games for Anderlecht, Doku has assisted twice in 21 outings for Rennes, making 16 starts so far including four in the Champions League.

It may be vindication for his decision to reject Liverpool, then, as he explained in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad that it would have been “too soon” to make such a step up.

“I did a lot of research first, wrote down all the positive points and only then did I make a decision,” he explained, when put to him that Rennes are not at the Reds’ level.

“I knew that I first wanted to make an intermediate step. Going to a top club now would be too soon.

“I still have a lot to learn and Rennes is the ideal place for that.

“They play the Champions League, it’s a good team that plays in a good league. You feel that there is a difference in level with Belgium.

“There’s also more famous and better players. Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar, Angel Di Maria. These are men you will not meet in the Jupiler Pro League.”

Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Peter Powell/PA Wire/PA Images)

The Reds had already completed the deal to sign Diogo Jota from Wolves when Doku swapped Anderlecht for Rennes, but given his age it is likely the Belgian was considered one for the future.

This does raise the prospect of renewed interest in the future, as with the youngster describing his new club as “an intermediate step” it is clear he is hoping to move on eventually.

Rennes are currently fifth in Ligue 1, nine points off the top two, with PSG and Lille both picking up 45 so far, and Julien Stephan’s side are making great progress.

Doku has started nine of the last 10 league games, and believes he is “becoming more flexible” due to being deployed on the right wing, rather than his favoured left.

“I feel that I have taken steps in several areas,” continued.

“In the past, for example, I was often good on the left, but it was a bit harder to do my thing on the right.

“At Rennes I often play on the right flank. And OK, it is still not my favourite position, but I do feel that I am becoming more flexible.”

 Belgium's Jéremy Doku during the UEFA Under-21 Championship Italy 2019 Qualifying Group 9 match between Wales and Belgium at the Racecourse Ground. (Pic by Laura Malkin/Propaganda)

An 18-year-old winger playing regularly in one of Europe’s top five leagues and the Champions League, capable of playing on either flank, certainly resembles the profile of a player Liverpool would target.

If he can continue to hone his craft in France, and in particular improve his numbers, it would be no surprise to see him ultimately join the Reds in the future.

This is particularly pertinent given Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are now both 28, while Roberto Firmino is 29, and though their contracts all run until 2023, a succession plan is required.

With Jota already signed and Harvey Elliott making great strides on loan at Blackburn, the wheels are already in motion – but perhaps Doku could ultimately join them.

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LFC Winter Sale extended: Up to 70% off

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 10:00

Reds can take advantage of the LFC Winter Sale and get up to 70 per cent off selected LFC and Nike products.

The sale has been extended and will now end on February 28, 2021. 

You can browse the offers by clicking here.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC Winter Sale extended: Up to 70% off

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 10:00
Reds can take advantage of the LFC Winter Sale and get up to 70 per cent off selected LFC and Nike products.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool FC revenue drops £44m as impact of no fans hits finances

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 09:24

The coronavirus pandemic will end up costing Europe’s top clubs around €2 billion, according to forecasts from Deloitte.

The finance firm’s annual Football Money League shows that the top 20 revenue-generating clubs lost around €1.1bn (£975m) during the 2019/20 season due to factors including the lack of spectators and effect on broadcast income.

Some of the latter will be made up in the 2020/21 accounts, along with deferred prize money for many clubs, but the ongoing effects of the virus see the drop in revenue projected to reach €2bn (£1.75bn) between the 20 clubs.

Tim Bridge of Deloitte’s Sports Business Group told the PA news agency: “We usually release our money league and talk about the growth in revenue but of course football is not immune to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The revenue that’s been missed out on is driven by the lack of fans in the stadium, the lack of interaction on a matchday – fans spending in the club shop and buying food and drink – and there is an element that relates to revenue that broadcasters have either clawed back (or deferred) to next year.

“There is an element of the 2019/20 season being played in the 2020/21 financial year, so there’s a rollover of a certain element of revenue, but for this season the matchday revenue is the most significant hit for the clubs.

“The commercial revenue has so far held up. I think many people were concerned that in the short term there would be an immediate shock from sponsors pulling out or unable to pay their bills but at the moment these biggest clubs have been able to hold up their commercial value.”

That commercial performance helps Real Madrid close within £100,000 behind Barcelona, who suffered a 15 percent drop in revenue to £627.1m (€715.1m), as the rival clubs retained the top two places in the Money League.

Manchester United are the highest-ranked of seven Premier League clubs in the top 20 but have fallen behind Champions League winners Bayern Munich to fourth place on £509m, down 19 percent or £118.1m on the 2018/19 season.

Bridge added: “In Germany they managed to complete the season prior to the end of June so the vast majority of revenue was recognised within the correct financial year.

“That has contributed but of course on-pitch Bayern Munich had a fantastic season, competing in the Champions League compared to Manchester United who were competing in the Europa League, so there would likely have been a closing of that gap anyway.”

  • Reds return to top five first time since 2001/02
  • Liverpool’s total revenue: £489.9m – 8% decrease from 2018/19
  • Barcelona top list but record second-largest revenue fall
  • Five Premier League teams in top 10

Liverpool and Manchester City rank fifth and sixth with Chelsea and Tottenham also in the top 10, Arsenal 11th and Everton 17th.

Liverpool FC Revenue – Via Deloitte

The Toffees were one of only two clubs in the top 20, along with newcomers Zenit St Petersburg, to actually post improved revenues compared to 12 months previously – but it is their neighbours across Stanley Park who Bridge expects to thrive in years to come.

He said: “A club such as Liverpool, who’ve made a concerted effort to engage with fans using digital and social media channels – that may well have created new revenue-generating opportunities and may mean they’ve gained a competitive advantage.”

West Ham dropped out of the top 20 along with Roma – but it is clubs much further down the pecking order, in the lower leagues, who will suffer most from reduced incomes.

Bridge said: “Matchday revenue for these biggest clubs is their smallest proportion whereas the further down the system you go, the bigger that proportion is.

“The loss of fans is really felt most acutely by those clubs further down the system. That’s why the support packages that have been talked about are absolutely essential to the future of these clubs.”

Top 10 Revenue in World Football, 2019/20

 FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC at the Camp Nou. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • 1. Barcelona – £627.1m (£741.1m in 2018/19)
  • 2. Real Madrid – £627m (£667.5m in 2018/19)
  • 3. Bayern Munich – £556.1m (£581.8m in 2018/19)
  • 4. Man United – £509m (£627.1m in 2018/19)
  • 5. Liverpool – £489.9m (£533m in 2018/19)
  • 6. Man City – £481.6m (£538.2m in 2018/19)
  • 7. PSG – £474.1m (£560.5m in 2018/19)
  • 8. Chelsea – £411.9m (£452.2m in 2018/19)
  • 9. Tottenham – £390.9m (£459.3m in 2018/19)
  • 10. Juventus – £349m (£405.2m in 2018/19)

* You can view the full Deloitte report here.

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Liverpool receive boost in Kylian Mbappe transfer pursuit

HEAD NEWS - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 09:15

Liverpool have reportedly received a boost in their hopes to sign French superstar Kylian Mbappe with Real Madrid struggling to put a deal together.

The Reds have been strongly linked with PSG striker Mbappe for years as he considers his future in Ligue 1.

La Liga giants Real are also believed to be keen to sign Mbappe, who is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world right now.

Full story: Mirror

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

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool receive boost in Kylian Mbappe transfer pursuit

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 09:15

Liverpool have reportedly received a boost in their hopes to sign French superstar Kylian Mbappe with Real Madrid struggling to put a deal together.

The Reds have been strongly linked with PSG striker Mbappe for years as he considers his future in Ligue 1.

La Liga giants Real are also believed to be keen to sign Mbappe, who is widely regarded as one of the best strikers in the world right now.

Full story: Mirror

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

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool receive boost in Kylian Mbappe transfer pursuit

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 09:15
Liverpool have reportedly received a boost in their hopes to sign French superstar Kylian Mbappe with Real Madrid struggling to put a deal together.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool join Man Utd in Money League top five

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Tue, 01/26/2021 - 00:01

Liverpool have ranked among the top five clubs of the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time in almost 20 years.

The Money League charted the financial performances of the highest revenue-generating clubs during the disrupted 2019-20 season.

Barcelona top the list ahead of La Liga holders Real Madrid and Champions League winners Bayern Munich, with Manchester United in fourth ahead of Premier League champions Liverpool.

Deloitte noted Liverpool's on-pitch success contributed towards lifting them up from seventh in 2018-19, and placing them in the top five for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Manchester City are sixth in the list, with Premier League clubs Tottenham (ninth), Arsenal (11th) and Everton (17th) also in the top 20.

Overall, the top 20 clubs saw a revenue decline of 12 per cent compared to 2018-19 due to a drop in broadcast revenue and fall in matchday revenue.

Liverpool's return to top five explained

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Tim Bridge, director of Deloitte Sports Business Group, said moving towards a "digital model" had helped Liverpool place fifth - on top of their Premier League success.

"The on-pitch success is a massive factor," Bridge said. "Building on winning the Champions League and then taking the Premier League crown for the first time has had a significant impact. They have moved significantly towards a more digital model, and have been doing for a number of years.

"That has benefitted them in comparison to others during the pandemic, because they are able to engage with their fans in a way others probably had to pay catch-up."

But Bridge warned that rankings "may have been different" had the timings of fixtures worked out differently.

Liverpool played both their Champions League last-16 ties in one financial year while Manchester City (due to covid) straddled two financial years.

"But with those placings, take a little bit of care because with the timings of the fixtures they were able to generate more revenue ahead of Manchester City," said Bridge.

"Had timings been a little bit different, those rankings may have been different."

Man Utd's largest revenue decrease

United saw the largest year-on-year decline among the top 20 clubs in the Money League, with Bridge highlighting their lack of Champions League football as a contributing factor.

Bridge said: "The reason for the decrease is predominantly driven by the pandemic, as you can imagine Manchester United with a huge fanbase generate significant amounts of revenue every time they play at Old Trafford.

"They are going to be impacted in a more significant way than many other clubs. Of course, last year they didn't have Champions League football either, so the revenue differential from competing in the Europa League compared to the Champions League had a significant impact on the numbers.

"But caution is needed. With Bayern Munich moving ahead of them, they were able to complete their domestic season in the timeframe, so the numbers for Bayern represent a full year of domestic football, whereas for United they are curtailed."

Why Everton saw a revenue increase

Everton, along with Russian club Zenit, were the only two clubs in the top 20 to see an increase in revenue compared to 2018-19.

"For anybody who has seen Everton's plans around the new stadium, and the investment into the playing squad, they've got an ambitious owner who's looking to take strides forward," Bridge said.

"When a new owner comes in we talk about an investment cycle, and often it requires significant investment on the pitch in order to then drive future commercial revenues, and what Everton have been able to do is secure some long-term partnerships.

"A new shirt sponsorship with Cazoo and the deal with Hummel, but there is a significant deal within their commercial portfolio in respect of the future naming rights of their stadium with USM. That is the driving factor behind the commercial increase."

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Time for cool heads at Liverpool FC

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/25/2021 - 19:00

Football isn’t an exact science, success comes and goes and it is important to savour the good times when they come your way.

The last three years have been an incredible journey for Liverpool FC; bouncing back from the painful defeat in a Champions League final to win it the following season, followed up with a first league title in 30 years and the European Super and World Club Cups. An incredible 197 points in the Premier League over 24 months which at any other time would have secured back to back titles.

The consistency has been incredible. This team really have been mentality monsters.

But at some point there was always going to be a dip, it is incredibly hard to keep up that level year-on-year. But it is important to look at the context of a drop-off, what are the reasons? Are they signs of deeper issues at the club or are they just a moment in time?

Although this is a tough moment for Liverpool, there are plenty of reasons to believe that a multitude of factors have combined to derail a team that at its best has proven its credentials as one of the worlds best.

There are a number of things to think about with a cool head; even if we don’t reach our heights and expectations this season, logic points to this poor run being a moment in time and not a sharp decline.

The strangest of times

 Liverpool players line-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and West Ham United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

The pandemic has affected football in so many ways, both financially and emotionally. But both of those things are being very keenly felt at Anfield.

Let’s start with the finances. One of the key strengths of FSG has been financial discipline and one of the reasons they have achieved that is by building a recruitment team that has become one of the world’s best at player trading.

The FSG model is all about smart trading: selling players at a peak price and bringing in new replacements with a high ceiling at a better value. The investment in the playing squad has more of a focus on reward. Once players become great, they are rewarded very well which is reflected in our wage bill being £310 million and one of the highest in the world.

Our current squad has a paper value that is probably circa £1 billion. It has been brilliantly constructed and put together without the need to spend heavily on marquee signings year on year.

The financial impact of the pandemic on football has been severe, at Liverpool the loss of matchday revenue leaves £100 million black hole in the club’s finances. To put that into context, the wage-to-revenue ratio pre-Covid was around 55% – so out of every pound the club earns 55p goes on wages.

Take away matchday revenue that squeezes that ratio even further leaving less flex for transfer fees.

Under FSG the club has always looked long terms and strategically. The £50 million investment in a new training complex at Kirkby is a commitment to the club growing its own talent.

In usual circumstances, the club would be able to better react to things that happen in a season, like injuries. But these are not usual circumstances, and decisions need to be pragmatic.

A broken system

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

Any club that loses both of its first choice centre backs to serious injury is going to struggle at times. When you take into account that the ‘Klopp system’ heavily relies on a high line and pace at centre back, and the quarterback-esque passing of Van Dijk, it is clear that the game plan has had to change.

One of the factors that Klopp and the owners need to consider when thinking about any new signing is that both of those players will be back, and first choice next season. As good a player as Joel Matip is, his injury record makes him a fourth choice. Fabinho has been an absolute revelation at centre back and has been as good as anyone in the league in that role this season. Trying to find a player with the right profile isn’t easy in this market.

One of the consequences of Fabinho dropping back is that we’ve lost a huge part of our midfield. In the past three years Fabinho has been easily one of the best in the world in his position, and has been a key part of Liverpool’s system.

 Liverpool’s Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With injuries to key players, Klopp has had to try and improvise. It isn’t just Gomez and Van Dijk we’ve lost: Allisson, Thiago, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita, Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have all had prolonged periods out of the team and some are still working way back to full form and fitness.

Under Klopp the system has always been the star in the team. It is a well-oiled machine. But this has been a freak period where injuries have broken it. But there is absolutely no reason to believe once key players are back to full fitness, the system will lift us back to the level we have come to expect.

Mental fatigue

 Liverpool players applaud the supporters on the Kop after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Another factor to consider is the emotional impact of the pandemic and its effect on our mentality. There are few people in football that feed off the emotion more than Jurgen Klopp, and he will be feeling the lack of supporters more than anybody. Strangely some teams are benefitting from the lack of fans in grounds, as away results are showing. But, not at Liverpool.

Klopp’s entire game plan is built around intensity and emotion. And without fans in the ground the game is almost soulless. It is almost impossible to generate that high energy and levels of intensity without the crowd.

Since the restart the players have looked mentally fatigued. The high press of the front three has dropped off a cliff. It is no coincidence that Roberto Firmino’s best form this season came in December when fans were allowed back for a brief period.

Our rivals will say this is just an excuse, but its more than that. It is clear that we are collectively suffering from the lack of emotion in games. And until fans return, we need to find a way to generate that intensity and energy in a different way.

A moment in time

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. Southampton won 1-0. (Pic by Propaganda)

When you look at all of the factors in play, it is clear that this poor run is a moment in time and that’s all. It isn’t a sign of a club in decline or deep-rooted issues. All of the things that got Liverpool back to the very top of world football are still there. They’ve just been disrupted by a global pandemic and some hideous luck.

There is no doubt that signing a centre-back in January would help this season. The lack of options is causing the team to lack balance and confidence, and the lack of experience is leading to too many mistakes. When something is so obvious it becomes very difficult to understand or justify why the owners do not act.

But there are a huge amount of unknowns; nobody knows if we’ve tried to sign a defender, if we can find anybody available at the right price or profile, what the plan for the summer is or the impact of COVID on the club’s ability to spend. The easiest thing in the world is to shout about signing a player – the hardest thing is executing it whilst balancing lots of different factors.

The leadership at the club aren’t stupid, they will see the same issues and risks we all see right now. It is not in FSG’s interests for the club to take a step backwards. But only they see the bigger picture at the club, and have to make decisions based on that, however odd they might seem to all of us.

It isn’t just injuries that have impacted Liverpool this season, it feels as though every single 50/50 decision and VAR call has gone against us. The old wives tale that decisions even themselves out over the course of a season will hopefully reverse that trend in the next few months.


Solid foundations

 Liverpool's co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner, Director Michael Gordon and owner John W. Henry before the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match against Rubin Kazan at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Over the past ten years, FSG have rebuilt Liverpool on solid foundations. There is a world-class infrastructure at the club from the training ground, stadium and structure. In Michael Edwards, Jurgen Klopp and Mike Gordon we have the three architects of one of the greatest teams we’ve ever seen at Anfield.

There will be challenges in the short term without question. And Edwards is going to need to focus on some of those as early as the summer with big decisions needed around trading some key players as they reach 30. I fully expect our front three to look different next season.

But when you look at everything the club has achieved over the past three years, there should be plenty of credit in the bank that the right decisions will be made.

You can’t control results or luck in football, but what you can do is make sure you have the right foundations in play to deliver success. And at Liverpool, those foundations remain rock solid.

Coming back stronger

 Liverpool’s manager Jürgen Klopp gives an interview to LFC.TV after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The immediate priority for everybody at Liverpool is to emerge from this period as quickly as possible. There is too much quality in the team for it to become a slump. The players need to lift themselves and get back to enjoying football again. The difficulty when you are the best is you play with a level of expectation weighing you down.

In this strangest of seasons there will be a lot of twists and turns yet. The season is only halfway through and a good run can transform the feeling and outlook in three or four games.

Right now players and fans need to take things game by game. Talk of the title or top four needs to be parked and just focus on one game at a time. That’s what won us the title last season.

The key thing, whatever happens, this season is to keep a cool head, this is a season like no other in history, it is important to stay united.

I’ll shamelessly quote Joe Biden who said ‘There is nothing we can’t achieve when we do it together’ – that’s what got us back on our perch and it’ll be what keeps us there.

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United’s enormous Van Dijk error & Reds’ CB search takes new turn – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/25/2021 - 16:42

Liverpool have to make a quick recovery after their FA Cup exit at the weekend, with a game against Spurs on Thursday. Here are Monday’s rumours and news headlines.

Reds make ‘contact’ with Sokratis – but no move

Liverpool have not simply closed their eyes and crossed their fingers when it comes to the problems this season at centre-back.

While there’s still an expectation we won’t sign a big-name defender this window on account of the finances involved, that doesn’t definitely mean nobody will arrive.

Reports on Monday say the club contacted Klopp’s former Dortmund defender Sokratis, who has been released on a free from Arsenal.

We didn’t go beyond checking on his situation – but it’s indicative that all routes are being followed up on and a shorter-term solution could yet be in the offing.

Remain patient in the final week or so and we might just get a new body in.

That moment you pick Lindelof…over Van Dijk

 Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Oh my.

Former Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been talking about a time when he and Virgil van Dijk were chatting about a potential Saints departure for the big defender – and Virgil told him that Manchester United were keen.

Austin says there’s no certainty Van Dijk would have gone anyway, as he wanted to move to Liverpool by then, but United made the first move when relationships broke down between the Reds and Saints that summer – and opted for someone else.

Victor Lindelof.

While he hasn’t been a complete disaster, he certainly isn’t a confidence-inspiring heartbeat of the defence and has lost his place more than once through uncertain performances. Virgil, meanwhile, has established himself as the best centre-back in world football and has won several major honours with the Reds after signing at Anfield six months later.

At least they got the first two letters of the first name the same.

Reaction to cup defeat

 Liverpool's Rhys Williams forms a defensive wall during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Out the cup, out the title race for now at least. How will our reaction look on Thursday?

Quickfire LFC news

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the FA Cup 3rd Round match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 4-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Three Reds players picked up assists out on loan at the weekend (TIA)
  • Jeremy Doku is keeping his options open but wanted a step between Belgium and a big club like the Reds, hence his move to Rennes in summer (SW)
  • There’s absolutely no chance of Wijnaldum leaving this month for Barca as Koeman has admitted they can’t afford to pay fees anywhere (FFT)
  • And Jurgen says the Reds will solve their problems together (TIA)
Around the Prem

28.07.2011, Coface Arena, Mainz, GER, UEFA Europa League, Mainz 05 vs CS Gaz Metan Medias, im Bild Thomas Tuchel (Trainer Mainz) // during the GER, UEFA Europa League, Mainz 05 vs CS Gaz Metan Medias on 2011/07/28, Coface Arena, Mainz, Germany. EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Roth ****** out of GER / CRO / BEL ******

  • Arsenal will sign Martin Odegaard but have no option to buy, because why would they suddenly start doing good business now? (Times)
  • Lampard has been binned and NOBODY saw that coming. Tommy Tuchel is on his way (BBC)
  • West Brom are set to sign Christian Benteke – can you think of a more Allardyce striker addition? That’s one goal guaranteed for the second half of the season for WBA (Sky)
  • And Fenerbahce fans are already beeing fleeced with Mesut Ozil, being asked by the club to part-pay for his contract (Mirror)
Stupid idea of the day

Newcastle are bringing in a coach to help Steve Bruce. We’re sure Graeme Jones is very good and all, but what’s the point?

The Magpies are hopeless under Bruce, lack ambition, attacking intent or style and everybody knows Bruce will be booted sooner or later.

Tweet of the day

?? No player has registered more assists than Harvey Elliott in the Championship this season, with 8

? Liverpool fans keeping tabs on the teenager… pic.twitter.com/eSCpVZZjNt

— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 25, 2021

Worth watching tonight

Giant-killing? Extra time? Knacker Spurs out three days before our game? Any of the three will be fine as Wycombe host Mourinho’s side in the FA Cup at 7:45pm.

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Liverpool must find sense of true selves after suffering post-traumatic disorder

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 01/25/2021 - 14:49

With the Reds losing another game and needing a route back to winning ways, Steven Scragg identifies how this season bears some similarities with yesteryear.

It’s all gone a bit 2016/17.

When we beat Manchester City on New Year’s Eve 2016, we were well-positioned in the Premier League, and with a perceived spring in our step.

A week and a half earlier, six days before Christmas, we’d gone to Goodison Park, where Sadio Mane had snatched the only goal of the game, four minutes into injury time, forever interlinking Liverpool’s delirious supporters to the musical works of Shakin’ Stevens.

As 2017 loomed large, it was greeted with bated breath, minds running wild over just what this fast-emerging new Liverpool of Jurgen Klopp’s might be capable of, by May.

Over the course of the first two months of 2017, we won just one league game, and we exited the FA Cup in the fourth round. It wasn’t until early March that we rediscovered our mojo, going on to lose just once in our last 12 games, to secure Champions League football for the following season, by a narrow margin.

The sense of déjà vu is palpable.

Drop-offs and shrugs

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker looks dejected as Manchester United score the second goal during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If the 16/17 winter switch-off were to be translatable to 20/21, then we’ve another three or four weeks of patchy form to go, before we work it out of our system.

On the plus side, we’d be in imperious form for the last three months of the season. Using these calculations, a seventh European Cup will soon be ours…Ahem.

Losing to Manchester United should never be shrugged off as a non-event, but there are some mitigating circumstances to this one, and I can honestly say that the loss to Burnley last Thursday was a much bigger body blow to absorb.

At Old Trafford, we lost an open game that could just as easily dropped our way at 2-2.

Our shortfalls in central defence were clear to see, with a cluster of free headers allowed to be met. The first goal we conceded was an impressive sucker punch, while Rhys Williams should have cut out the ball that led to the second.

For the third goal, Alisson Becker shouldn’t be beaten on his side by a free-kick which is situated left of centre, whether you agree with that free-kick being given or not.

Added to the yellow card he forced upon Fabinho in the first half, fresh off the back of giving away the penalty that handed Burnley the victory on Thursday night, and our usually impeccable goalkeeper isn’t quite himself at the moment.

This is something you can currently level at several Liverpool players.

Even so…

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Curtis Jones (L) during the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On the opposite side of the coin, Mo Salah shouldn’t have been on the losing side and his first goal was magnificent. That feint by James Milner in the build-up to the second would also have been worth the admission fee, had we been allowed to pay one.

Beyond that, we had brief flashes of peak Bobby Firmino, and Curtis Jones was the pick of our midfield. Thiago upping his game time must be a bonus too.

Conjecture obviously raged over the strength of the line-up Klopp fielded. He’s damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t in this respect. This time, given we need to play ourselves back into form, I felt it was the right thing to do.

At this point in time, for Liverpool, it is all about putting one foot in front of the other; at this point in time, for Liverpool, it is all about rebuilding a confidence that we have allowed to slip through our fingers. You can’t do that, if you take the senior players out of the firing range.

Form and fortunes

 Liverpool's Rhys Williams looks dejected after the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. Manchester United won 3-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ultimately, it was another loss.

The oddity about this downturn in form is that there was no obvious point of impact. Had it been something borne of Aston Villa putting seven past us in October, or within the immediate slipstream of losing Virgil van Dijk, then it would be a more understandable occurrence.

What can happen, in testing times, is that a collective can temporarily meet the problem head-on, before suffering a delayed dip. A form of post-traumatic disorder can kick in. They defy logic and gravity, then belatedly hit a wall.

An extreme example of this came when our late manager Gerard Houllier was taken ill in 2001. The response of the squad, under the caretaker stewardship of Phil Thompson, was to become the first English team to win away to Dynamo Kyiv, and not lose a league game for two months, before hitting a nine-game wall between December and January where we won just once.

The mind works in mysterious ways, and for a long time this season, between mid-October and mid-December, the psychological stresses that Liverpool were projecting – or lack of them to be more accurate – didn’t really match the body blows that had been received.

 Tottenham Hotspur's manager José Mourinho during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was akin to a boxer being hit repetitively to the ribs, only to smile back at his assailant, and provocatively stick his chin out, as if to suggest none of the punches hurt, and that his opponent needed to hit harder.

Amid this, Jose Mourinho is the last man you want to see, but there he will be on Thursday night, armed with a meticulously calculated plan in order to down us.

In ordinary circumstances, Klopp and his players are more than capable of meeting that challenge and overcoming it. It all just depends upon how we deal in our responses.

On Sunday, we didn’t respond well enough to the setbacks, and interspersed this with flashes of our true self; on Thursday, we need to tilt the balance back towards there being more of our true self, and less in the way of negative responses to setbacks.

We will work our way through this impasse, but it won’t come without battling for it.

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PL predictions: Leeds to thrash struggling Newcastle

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 01/25/2021 - 14:00

Our betting expert Jones Knows is back with some midweek prediction action.

Crystal Palace vs West Ham, Tuesday 6pm

"Don't listen to him, this muppet gets us wrong every week," tweeted one Hammers fan on social media.

He has a point.

Is it time to put faith in the improving Hammers?

This muppet took on David Moyes' side in their last two against Burnley and West Brom and my fingers were well and truly burnt. Are they really capable of a top-eight finish though? If they get there it will be based around being very disciplined at the back. In their last four Premier League games, they've shipped just one goal - a metric backed up by expected goals data of just 1.94. It's Manchester City levels of rearguard action.

Moyes' men rarely make mistakes or get pulled out of position. The ever-improving Declan Rice leads by example in that regard.

However, Palace will have Wilfried Zaha back for this one, they've lost all three matches without him this season. He gives them a crucial out-ball.

That was on show in the corresponding meeting between these two in December that finished 1-1 with Palace perhaps unfortunate not to take maximum points as Sebastian Haller turned into Didier Drogba for a split-second which was enough time to score a one-in-a-million overhead kick.

This one will be nitty. It'll be gritty. It's most likely to be a draw.

Muppets never learn do they?

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)

Newcastle vs Leeds, Tuesday 6pm

No matter what Steve Bruce will have you believe, Newcastle have been embarrassing in their last three matches.


No goals scored, an average of just nine touches in the opposition box per match and 1.6 shots on target per match. I'm always keen to treat a negative narrative like the one surrounding Newcastle with caution but in this case the toxicity towards their performance levels are fully justified. I've never seen a Premier League team so comfortable at 2-0 up than Aston Villa were on Saturday. The lack of endeavour, bite and spark in midfield for the Toon was jaw-dropping.

The end must near for Bruce on Tyneside if things continue in the same vein. The underlying numbers and performance data is now catching up with him. And, the last thing they need right now is a team like Leeds on their doorstep, full of energy, full of forward-thinking players.

And the money has come for a Leeds away win with the 10/11 with Sky Bet offer much shorter than late last week. I'm not one to get too carried away with an odds-on price, but this one is a real tempter.

Admittedly, Leeds were off-colour in a big way in their defeat to Brighton, sinking well below their usual average for shots, sprints and tackles. I'm willing to treat that blip in isolation as the influence of Kalvin Phillips' direct passing from deep was missing due to his suspension. He's back for this one and likely to run the show.

Marcelo Bielsa's boys scored five from a whopping 25 shots on goal in the fixture between these two at Elland Road. It would be a footballing travesty if Bruce gets the better of Bielsa here.

For those that love watching beauty overcoming the beast, this simply needs to be an away win. For football's sake.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-3 (12/1 with Sky Bet)

ALSO LOOK OUT FOR: Leeds to win, over 2.5 goals and Leeds to have 14 or more shots on goal (11/4 with Sky Bet - bet here!)

West Brom vs Manchester City, Tuesday 8pm

An open title race you say? Have you not seen Manchester City play recently? Liverpool's stumbles have seen even more confidence pile into Pep Guardiola's men in the betting markets.

They are now as short as 4/11 to win their third title in the last four seasons. It's theirs to lose.

Since losing to Spurs in November, City have conceded just two goals in 10 games, winning seven of those to nil. West Brom were actually one of the two teams to break through the City barricades in Slaven Bilic's final game in charge and although Sam Allardyce has given the Baggies at least a glimmer of survival hope, this fixture has a predictable look to it.

"We could play out of our skins, but still lose, so the games against Fulham and Sheffield United will be huge for us," Allardyce said in his pre-match press conference. Not exactly inspiring is it?

One of the biggest mysteries of this bonkers season is how City's slick full-back Joao Cancelo has just one assist to his name in the Premier League. He has created 27 chances for his team-mates - the same as James Rodriguez at Everton. That smart build-up play has generated an expected assist figure of 3.45, highlighting the high-quality supply he is producing. To put that into some context, Harry Kane has an expected assist figure of just 1.89 assists this season but has a ludicrously efficient 11 assists to his name.

Cancelo's influence off the bench in the FA Cup comeback at Cheltenham showcased just what an important player he is for Pep Guardiola right now, setting up Phil Foden for the all-important equaliser.

Unfortunately for punting purposes, the traders at Sky Bet are seemingly well versed with Cancelo's chance creation powers, pricing him up at just 2/1 to grab an assist. There are bigger prices available in the betting jungle.

He can play a big part in another win without conceding for Manchester City.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-2 (6/1 with Sky Bet)

Southampton vs Arsenal, Tuesday 8pm

These two teams meet for the third time in just over a month, so, theoretically, predicting an outcome should be a doddle, no?

Southampton have edged the two encounters with an aggregate score of 2-1 which does make an argument for them being overpriced as the supposed outsiders for this one at 21/10. But making assumptions like that using just the bare result on such a small sample size is the quickest way to skintsville. With a deeper overall assessment of both sides, a low scoring draw seems the most likely result between two evenly-matched teams.

I'm expecting the influence of a fully-fit Thomas Partey to have a massive impact on Arsenal's results over the next few months. He gives them a forceful ball-carrying option through the middle and possesses all the tools to be one of the best all-round midfielders in the Premier League - that was on show in the 1-0 win over Manchester United in November. When he's back at full-throttle, Arsenal have a player to take them up the table.

Thomas Partey is 2/1 to have a shot on target from outside the box Image: Thomas Partey is 2/1 to have a shot on target from outside the box

He's also a player that isn't afraid of shooting from range, which makes him very interesting in Sky Bet player shot markets. He's averaging 1.48 shots a game so far in his brief Arsenal career, a figure which is similar to his numbers at Atletico Madrid. He's 2/1 for a shot on target on Tuesday - a price certainly worth a look.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)

ALSO LOOK OUT FOR: Thomas Partey to have a shot on target from outside the box (2/1 with Sky Bet)

Burnley vs Aston Villa, Wednesday 6pm

If you're going to get a result at Burnley, your two centre-backs need to stand strong. And, in Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, Villa have two excellent defenders that relish a battle and defend their box with great authority. They've been part of a back four that has registered nine clean sheets this term. If those two maintain their performance levels for this encounter, Villa should carry more than enough attacking threat to make the 11/10 on an away win with Sky Bet a winning price.

In the reverse fixture Burnley somehow got out of Villa Park with a 0-0 draw despite Villa registering 27 shots on their goal - the second-highest shot count posted by one team in a game this season. Dean Smith's side attack with such confidence, trickery and ruthlessness that it's really difficult to see how Burnley will keep a clean sheet. One goal should do it.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-1 (6/1 with Sky Bet)

Chelsea vs Wolves, Wednesday 6pm

Wolves can't catch a break. This fixture will have looked a lot more appealing to Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday morning than it does now. Instead of travelling to a confidence-drained, stuttering Chelsea side that looked under-motivated with Frank Lampard in charge, it's now a completely different scenario. Chelsea, you'd assume, will now be fully charged to impress their new boss Thomas Tuchel.

Timo Werner could hardly trap or pass the ball properly against Luton. Wolves will get to see the probable transformation into Diego Maradona up close on Wednesday night.

A change of boss in the dugout is always a difficult one to analyse from a betting view in the immediate aftermath. Tuchel is famed for his aggressive and tactically astute style but working on assumptions without using evidence is not a path to profit. I'll be sitting back and watching with interest to see what Tuchel does with an undoubtedly richly talented, yet out of form, squad of players.

What we do know is that Wolves are in toothless mood in the final third. Recording just one shot on target against Chorley from the sixth tier of the English football pyramid in the FA Cup took pragmatic football to another level. A Chelsea win to nil makes sense, but it's predicted with absolutely no confidence whatsoever.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)

Brighton vs Fulham, Wednesday 7.30pm

Even my eyebrows were raised reading our alternative Premier League table according to Opta's Expected Goals model on Monday morning. Brighton are the kings of underperforming in accordance to their performance data but it was striking to see them sitting in fifth place in that xG table. As our stats man Matt Cheetham pointed out, based on how many times they have created significantly better chances than their opponents, Graham Potter might have been expected to have double their current points total.

Yet, they remain just five points above the drop zone and still they don't pass the test with the eye to suggest they are in a false position despite the staggering metrics. In both boxes Potter's team are flaky. A win for Fulham here would open up the dog-fight at the bottom, however, they have a touch of the Potters themselves. Scott Parker plays an easy-on-the-eye style but creating clear chances remains a problem - as does their ability to concede at crucial times in matches.

This clash looks a classic case of both teams taking a point, something that has occurred 14 times in matches involving these two this season, including in the reverse fixture at Craven Cottage.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-1 (5/1 with Sky Bet)

Manchester United vs Sheffield United, Wednesday 8pm

I'm keen to get Sheffield United on my side for this one. Chris Wilder has found a formula that is generating progressive football once again - it's a shame it's come 10 games too late.

Trusting the Blades in the match result market looks too risky though as terrible finishing and defending their box properly will surely hold them back at Old Trafford. You can get 10/11 with Sky Bet on Wilder's boys with a +2 goal head start on the handicap, meaning you'll cop a return if they win, draw or lose by one goal. That makes perfect sense in what is likely to be a tougher assignment than many foresee for this Manchester United side.

However, I'm happy to invest in the shots market for this one. With the Blades now full of confidence again, their attacking patterns involving their wide players and midfield are flowing. This is yielding good territory and efforts at goal. In their last four games they have registered 67 shots at goal, averaging 16.75 per 90 minutes. Yes, two of those were against lower-league opposition in the FA Cup but they managed 16 in their clash with Tottenham.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side play in a progressive style that leaves them open to attacks on their goal, as showcased by facing 229 shots against this season - the seventh highest in the Premier League. They are happy to leave the back door open.

Depending on your style of punting, Sheffield United to have nine or more shots (5/6 with Sky Bet), 10 or more (11/8) or - for the brave souls - 13 or more (11/2) is an angle to get involved with.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 2-1 (13/2 with Sky Bet)

ALSO LOOK OUT FOR: Sheffield United to have nine or more shots (5/6 with Sky Bet)

Everton vs Leicester, Wednesday 8pm

A game to get excited about this one.

Leicester were excellent in their 2-0 win over Chelsea but had Frank Lampard to thank for that. His arrogant decision to set out his team to dominate possession, allowing Leicester to find space on the counter-attack, showed huge tactical naivety.

Carlo Ancelotti is too shrewd to fall into that trap.

As he's done in recent weeks - and in the 2-0 win at Leicester - he will set up to play compact with no space in behind. Everton will allow Leicester to dominate the ball and look to take advantage of any set-piece situations - it's an area they excel at and may prove the difference in this one.

Carlo Ancelotti Image: Carlo Ancelotti masterclass on the cards?

Only Chelsea have scored more goals from set-pieces than Everton this season, including the second goal in that win at the King Power and they scored twice from corners in their FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday. Leicester have shipped 10 goals from set-pieces, too, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Yerry Mina and Michael Keane are all huge threats. Home win.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 1-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)

Tottenham vs Liverpool, Thursday 8pm

Whenever Liverpool trade at odds-against in a Premier League match, my eyes light up.

Yes, four Premier League games without a goal does sound the alarm bells that perhaps we've seen the peak of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool tenure and it's downhill from here. That is easily argued though, especially when looking at Liverpool's attacking metrics in their four-game goalless run. Klopp's men have lacked fluidity in the final third, granted, but the most important factor is that they're still getting into the areas that have made them such a force. Amazingly, they've registered 72 shots in those four games - only Manchester City have had more - and posted an expected goals figure of 5.72. All that is missing is the final finish. I'd be stunned if the goalless run continues in this one.

Even in defence, Liverpool aren't allowing many chances to the opposition. In that four-game run they've only faced 29 shots on their goal, just two more than Manchester City.

That equates to me that despite their alarming drop-off in results, the metrics bring forward the argument that fine margins aren't falling their way. If they stick to the process, then it's bound to turn. A price for an away win, which would normally be trading at 8/11, can be snapped up at 6/5. It's hard to ignore.

JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 0-2 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

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Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC marks Holocaust Memorial Day

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 01/25/2021 - 14:00

Liverpool Football Club will mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 this week with a range of activities taking place across the club.

Holocaust Memorial Day, which takes place on Wednesday January 27, is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi extermination camp, and remembers the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution and in genocide around the world.

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 is ‘be the light in the darkness’, which encourages reflection on the ways individuals and communities resisted the darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.

LFC is supporting the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s national moment – ‘Light the Darkness’ – which invites households across the United Kingdom to light candles and safely place them in their windows at 8pm on Wednesday, to remember victims of genocide and unite against prejudice.

Reds captain Jordan Henderson will feature in HMDT’s ‘Light the Darkness’ campaign video alongside other Premier League footballers to encourage fans to show their support. The video will be available to view here on Liverpoolfc.com, the club’s social media channels and LFCTV.

The club is also hosting virtual talks with Holocaust survivors for its staff and players, which will be supported by a range of online educational resources.

In addition, the Academy’s U18s will also be sharing their experiences of visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland as part of their learning and personal development, as well as taking part in a virtual educational talk with Holocaust survivors.

Lynne Stockton Howard, senior vice-president, HR at Liverpool FC, said: “It’s really important for us as a club to mark Holocaust Memorial Day and remember the millions of people who have so tragically lost their lives across the world as result of persecution and genocide.

“As part of our Red Together strategy, which encompasses the club’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, we adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism in November last year.

“The adoption of the IHRA’s definition not only reflects the club’s ethos and values but also demonstrates our ambition to continue to strive to make LFC as inclusive as possible and a place where everyone feels welcome and accepted.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

LFC marks Holocaust Memorial Day

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 01/25/2021 - 14:00
Liverpool Football Club will mark Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 this week with a range of activities taking place across the club.
Categories: LFC NEWS


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