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Marko Grujic set to miss AC Milan clash after suffering concussion

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 21:18

Marko Grujic will sit out of Liverpool’s International Champions Cup tie with AC Milan, due to concussion suffered against Chelsea.

Grujic clashed heads with Blues winger Bertrand Traore in Thursday morning’s 1-0 defeat at the Rose Bowl, and was substituted at half-time as a result.

After treatment at Huntington Memorial Hospital, the 20-year-old was diagnosed with having suffered concussion, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

With Liverpool advised to take precaution with the young midfielder, Grujic will be unavailable for Sunday morning’s clash with Milan.

However, it is believed there will be no long-standing effects for the Serbian, who could return against AS Roma on August 2.

Liverpool were without Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne and Lucas Leiva on Thursday due to injury, with Emre Can, Georginio Wijnaldum, Simon Mignolet, Divock Origi, Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke also out while they build fitness.

Clyne could return to action against Milan, filling a problem position at right-back, while the latter group are also expected to be available.

Grujic’s concussion is a blow to both player and manager, with the former Red Star Belgrade youth impressing in his appearances for the Reds so far in pre-season.

Strong, agile and with an eye for goal, Grujic looks set to shine in a box-to-box role in midfield.

Can could take his place against Milan, though Klopp also has Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan, Ovie Ejaria, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and James Milner as options.

After their clashes with Milan and Roma, the Reds will return to the UK for a showpiece ICC fixture against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium (August 6).

They will round off their pre-season preparations with a trip to Klopp’s former side Mainz (August 7), before taking on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium for their Premier League opener (August 13).

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Rumour Mill: Liverpool turn to Lyon youngster Jordy Gaspar in full-back search

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 20:52

With their hopes of signing Leicester City teenager Ben Chilwell dashed, Liverpool are said to be focussing on Lyon’s Jordy Gaspar.

Gaspar is yet to make a senior competitive appearance for the Ligue 1 side, but is also available to sign having yet to agree a professional deal with the club.

With Jurgen Klopp seemingly keen to add to his full-back ranks this summer, reports in France have suggested Gaspar is a target.

According to L’Equipe, the Reds join Bayer Leverkusen in their pursuit of the 19-year-old, who is able to play at both right- and left-back.

Klopp faces beginning the campaign with few established full-back options, with Brad Smith leaving for Bournemouth and Jon Flanagan potentially joining Burnley on a season-long loan.

Andre Wisdom is also expected to leave, while Connor Randall has been mooted as a possible loan departure.

If Flanagan, Wisdom and Randall all leave, Klopp would have just Nathaniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno as established full-backs, with James Milner, Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez as likely cover.

Eighteen-year-old academy talent Trent Alexander-Arnold could also be considered, but the versatile youngster is set to drop down to Liverpool’s U23s when Klopp’s squad land back in the UK.

However, the likelihood of signing the inexperienced Gaspar when Alexander-Arnold is available seems an odd situation.

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold in action against Wigan Athletic during a pre-season friendly match at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexander-Arnold’s long-term future may be in midfielder, but also serving as cover at right-back would likely aid his development.

Klopp is, of course, looking to sign a specialist left-back following Smith’s move to Dean Court, and it could be that Gaspar is an alternative to Chilwell, as with current trialist Juanma.

With question marks continuing to loom over Alberto Moreno, following another slipshod performance against Chelsea in the International Champions Cup on Thursday morning, Klopp would be advised to sign a more experience, defensive-minded left-back this summer.

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James Milner: Is Liverpool vice-captain set to become utility man again?

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 19:01

Joining Liverpool last summer, James Milner aimed to hold on a regular role in midfield, but his versatility may put paid to that this season.


Milner linked up with the Reds squad shortly before their flight to the US, bolstering Jurgen Klopp‘s ranks ahead of a testing period across the Atlantic.

Joined by his fellow England internationals on Friday, the 30-year-old made his first appearance in Thursday morning’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the International Champions Cup.

But replacing Connor Randall at right-back just after the hour mark at the Rose Bowl, Milner operated in an unlikely position.

Renowned as something of a utility man for much of his career, this tactical switch from Klopp may have pointed towards a reversion to type from Liverpool’s experienced vice-captain.

 

James Milner

 Liverpool's James Milner during a training session in the Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at Stanford University on day four of the club's USA Pre-season Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I’m Milner’s No. 1 fan,” former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini told the Guardian months before the Englishman made the move to Anfield from the Etihad Stadium.

“Find me a more complete English player. There are players who’re better technically, yes. Quicker players, yes. Players who head better, yes.

“But show me one who does all the things Milner does well. There isn’t one.”

As those who have overseen his development as a player throughout a 14-year senior career to date, Milner is a manager’s dream; as invaluable to Sam Allardyce as he was Roberto Mancini.

Pellegrini described him as “polyfunctional,” and, in some respects, this may be why the Yorkshireman received such a muted reception on his free transfer to Anfield last summer.

With the ‘boring’ tag following him across the M62, Milner slotted in alongside newly appointed captain, Jordan Henderson, as the refined, very ordinary face of Liverpool Football Club; the most unassuming of poster boys in a post-Steven Gerrard landscape.

Milner arrived on one condition, however, and that was to drop the “polyfunctional” persona and finally take up a regular role as a central midfielder.

 Liverpool's James Milner looks dejected during the 3-0 Premier League defeat to West Ham United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Brendan Rodgers duly obliged, but the performances failed to follow—Milner scored one goal and laid on two assists in eight appearances in his favoured position in the Premier League.

With Rodgers’ dismissal and Klopp’s appointment, Milner’s role changed. This gentleman’s agreement was rescinded, with the German wiping the slate clean after a poor start to the season.

Fortunately, Milner’s performances followed, and he soon carved out a regular role on the flanks of Klopp’s 4-2-3-1, scoring four goals and registering nine assists from out wide.

This included a remarkable run of three goals and three assists in five games around the turn of the year.

However, Milner was never Klopp’s first choice on either wing, with Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana preferred, and this is a situation only magnified by the signings Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum this summer.

 

Liverpool’s Full-Back Options

 Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne takes a throw-in against Norwich City during the Premiership match at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That Milner came on at right-back against Chelsea was indicative of two things: a wealth of options in Klopp’s attacking ranks, and a dearth of options in his full-back ranks.

With Nathaniel Clyne missing through injury, Brad Smith sold to Bournemouth and Jon Flanagan back in the UK considering a season-long loan move to Burnley, Klopp’s available left- and right-backs for the Reds’ tour of the US are thin.

Randall started against the Blues, with Alberto Moreno operating on the opposite flank, and with Andre Wisdom deputising in an injury-hit central group, Milner was Klopp’s only viable option.

Heading into the 2016/17 campaign, with Clyne due back in action in the coming days, Klopp’s full-backs are still few and far between.

A failure to sign Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell has left the German wanting in terms of cover, or competition, for Moreno, while a lack of quality in his backup right-backs suggest reinforcement would be required in both positions.

Liverpool are expected to sign a new left-back this summer, though Klopp’s alternative targets remain unclear, but there has been no suggestion so far that they will look to draft in another right-back.

Wisdom is expected to be sold, Randall has been linked with a loan move and Trent Alexander-Arnold will join up with Michael Beale‘s under-23s on his return to Merseyside.

If Milner’s cameo in Pasadena is anything to go by, this could leave the vice-captain as Klopp’s go-to guy if Clyne is unavailable.

 

Jurgen Klopp’s Utility Man?

 Liverpool's James Milner in action against Leicester City during the Premier League match at Filbert Way. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Like Pellegrini, Klopp has already noted Milner’s ability to shine in different positions, telling reporters after his first game as Liverpool manager that the ex-City man was “the complete football player.”

Milner played in five different positions for the German in 2015/16, including an appearance on either defensive flank.

He was drafted in at right-back following the withdrawal of Jon Flanagan in March’s 2-1 win away to Crystal Palace in the Premier League, though he was sent off for two bookable offence shortly after.

Meanwhile, in Liverpool’s second leg against Manchester United in the Europa League’s last 16 less than two weeks later, Milner filled in at left-back, deputising for the injured Alberto Moreno, and shone.

Speaking after his performance in the latter, Milner admitted: “It’s not a position I want to play, but the team comes first before any individuals and we got the result we needed which is all that matters.”

Pellegrini also attested to Milner’s dissatisfaction in the full-back role last year, saying it was “the only position he doesn’t like.”

However, as he showed against Chelsea, balancing defence with attack comfortably, Milner is capable of performing at right-back.

With added competition, and goalscorers—which, averaging a goal every 10 Premier League games, or 700 minutes, throughout his career, Milner is not—in both midfield and attack this summer, it may be where he’s seen more often in 2016/17.

A victim of his own versatility, Milner looks likely to become Klopp’s utility man this season.

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Harry Wilson signs new long-term contract with Liverpool

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 18:05

Liverpool U23s winger Harry Wilson has signed a new contract with the club, following his successful comeback from injury.

Wilson spent five months on the sidelines with a broken toe, before returning to take part in the young Reds’ 1-0 defeat to 2.Liga side FC Erzgebirge Aue last week.

The 19-year-old has long been hotly tipped for a bright future on Merseyside, but his absence and a disappointing loan spell with Crewe Alexandra looked to have put paid to his prospects.

But Liverpool have moved to quash this, handing the Wales international a new contract, as he prepares for a pivotal 2016/17 campaign.

After his appearance in Aue, Wilson starred as Michael Beale‘s U23s thrashed Welsh Premier League outfit Rhyl FC 4-1 on Sunday afternoon, opening the scoring in the first half.

He also started in Wednesday evening’s 2-1 behind-closed-doors victory over Celtic’s development squad, highlighting his key role under Beale in 2016/17.

Wilson is able to play on either wing or behind the striker, but is arguably at his best cutting in from the left flank.

Gifted with excellent technical ability and a fleet-footed, nimble physique, Wilson is set to shine in the Premier League 2 this season.

With fellow winger Ryan Kent joining Barnsley on a season-long loan, Wilson has less competition for a starting role, and will be one of the more senior players in Beale’s new-look squad.

After Wednesday’s win in Glasgow, the Liverpool U23s next take on Morecambe at the Globe Arena on Saturday.

Following a revamp of the English reserve system this summer, the young Reds have announced three league fixtures to be played at Anfield in 2016/17, taking on Arsenal (December 11), Manchester United (January 15) and Tottenham Hotspur (February 5).

The rest of their home fixtures will take place at Prenton Park, beginning with a season opener at home to Southampton on August 14.

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Jurgen Klopp content with Liverpool’s transfer “democracy” as positive rebuild continues

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 16:06
on 28.07.2016

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is happy with the way the club’s ‘democratic’ transfer policy is structured.

The German is used to working with a sporting director from his time at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund as the model is common in his homeland.

Liverpool’s much-criticised transfer committee, a source of frustration for former boss Brendan Rodgers, has been re-evaluated and revamped since Klopp’s arrival with the 49-year-old having the final say on all deals.

But that does not mean Klopp is against an all-round approach to sourcing and securing targets.

“Improvement can come in all kinds of life and in all parts of life and it’s based on experience,” he told ESPN FC.

“So I don’t think it makes sense that you give one person the whole power, that’s why we have democracy and no other kind of political leadership.

“Hopefully it stays like this and because we learned that it makes sense that you put all your skills together and in the end you try to find the best decision.

“I don’t know how it works in other clubs but in this squad it’s not one player.

“It’s all about the situation in the club and the squad and it’s about money.

“We all have a budget – [that is] how it is and that’s how I like it and that’s how I’m used to working.

“So it’s a lot of work to find a solution at the end.

“And yeah when I put my thumb up – and I only can do this when the financial things are agreed – and the player joins us or leaves us that’s how it is.”

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“It’s not like that” – Jurgen Klopp says Mamadou Sakho won’t be sold this summer

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 15:48

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that Mamadou Sakho‘s future remains with Liverpool despite sending him home from the club’s pre-season tour.

Sakho left the Reds’ training camp in California on Monday night, following Klopp’s concerns over his attitude while across the Atlantic.

The German revealed on Wednesday that Sakho had arrived late for their flight from Liverpool and a team meeting, as well as missing a training session overall.

Sakho is currently battling an Achilles injury, but was still expected to take part throughout the tour.

Now, he will continue his rehabilitation at Melwood, but following suggestions that Sakho could leave the club as a result, his manager has moved to quash speculation.

“Mama is not a bad guy, he’s a good person,” Klopp stressed, speaking to Sky Sports after Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday morning.

“He’s not happy about the situation but it was my decision in this moment.

“You can believe I didn’t want to do things like this, but I like to be a nice guy until I can’t be a nice guy anymore.

“That’s how it is, but it’s nothing else.

“So he’s at home, we are here; we train here, he trains there. When we come to Liverpool again, then we’ll have a talk and we’ll see.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with Mamadou Sakho after the dramatic 4-3 (5-4 aggregate) victory over Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

When asked directly whether Sakho would be sold this summer, Klopp simply reiterated this was a punishment for his transgression, not a line under his Liverpool career.

“Come on, it’s not [like that]. Three times late, do you think I should [sell him]?” he asked.

“No, it’s an issue—it’s not the biggest thing, it’s not the smallest thing—it’s how football works.

“When you want a great team, then you have to do some things—if you don’t do it, then I have to react.”

Sakho’s sanction serves as a statement of intent from Klopp as he presides over his first pre-season as Liverpool manager: fail to attune to his demands, and there will be consequences.

As Klopp suggests, in attempting to build a “great team,” he requires every player to be on board with his vision.

The former Paris Saint-Germain captain clearly failed to prove this was the case while in Palo Alto, and will now be required to make amends when Klopp returns to Liverpool in August.

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Jack Dunn nets twice as Liverpool U23s continue pre-season with win over Celtic

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 15:08

Liverpool U23s striker Jack Dunn scored both goals as the young Reds defeated Celtic in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Michael Beale’s side continued their preparations for the 2016/17 on Wednesday evening, taking on the Scottish side’s development squad in Glasgow.

After an excellent 4-1 victory over Rhyl FC on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool looked to build momentum heading into the new campaign.

Beale named a strong side, with Caoimhin Kelleher lining up between the sticks, behind a back four of Joe Maguire, Tom Brewitt, Kane Lewis and a trailist—likely ex-Barcelona youth, Juanma.

Matty Virtue and Adam Phillips took up their regular positions in midfield, while Harry Wilson, Toni Gomes and Ben Woodburn, fresh from his spell with Jurgen Klopp’s first team, supported Dunn in attack.

Liverpool dominated throughout, with the experience of Maguire, Wilson and Dunn among others proving influential.

Dunn’s double sealed the plaudits for the Reds, making it two wins, a draw and a defeat in their pre-season fixtures so far.

This marks a return to form for the 21-year-old striker, who spent much of the 2015/16 sidelined through injury.

Making his comeback with a significantly bulkier build, Dunn looks capable of testing himself at a higher level—though it seems unlikely that it will be under Klopp this season.

The local lad is poised to follow Ryan Kent through the Anfield exit this summer, as one of a host of loan departures lined up to ensure Beale enters 2016/17 with a streamlined squad.

 Liverpool's Daniel Trickett-Smith celebrates scoring the first goal against Leeds United during the Under-21 Premier League Cup match at Prenton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The U23s will take part in a revamped Premier League 2 setup this season, aimed at aiding development and providing young players with more of a challenge as they ready themselves for first-team involvement.

Lloyd Jones, Sam Hart, Conor Masterson, Corey Whelan, Herbie Kane and Brooks Lennon also featured on Wednesday.

Joining them from the substitutes’ bench was another trialist, Nathan Phillips, and 19-year-old midfielder Brad Garton, who has recently returned from a loan spell with Norwegian Second Division side Elverum.

Beale has revealed that Liverpool are hoping to field a side with the “average age of 19” throughout the Premier League 2 campaign, casting doubt over the futures of many.

Teenage trio Shamal George, Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all set to return to the fold when the first team arrives back from their tour of the US, for example, likely crowding out the older members of Beale’s squad.

Liverpool’s U23s are next in action against Morecambe at the Globe Arena on July 30, while they will kick off their Premier League 2 season against Southampton at Prenton Park on August 14.

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“He can’t remember anything” – Klopp concerned by Marko Grujic head injury

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 12:30

Marko Grujic was forced to leave the field and head to hospital during Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday morning.

The 20-year-old clashed with Blues winger Bertrand Traore in the first half at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and was replaced by Adam Lallana at the interval.

Subsequently taking to hospital to assess the damage caused by Grujic’s head injury, the Serbian revealed he had no memory of the challenge.

Speaking after the Reds defeat, settled by an early Gary Cahill header, Jurgen Klopp expressed his concern over Grujic’s condition, saying pre-season injuries were his “biggest problem.”

“The biggest problem for me in this moment is that Marko Grujic is in hospital, because he can’t remember anything. That’s not too cool,” he told reporters.

“Hopefully it’s not too serious but of course a young boy in this situation is not too cool.

“Injuries after games like this in pre-season is the biggest problem obviously.

“That’s a challenge that can happen and is unlucky, but not too good for us.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Grujic has impressed throughout pre-season so far, suggesting he could become a key player under Klopp in 2016/17.

While Traore’s challenge was innocuous, merely vying for the ball in the air, the German will be left frustrated by the fierce nature of the contest on the whole.

A number of Liverpool players were booked, while Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas was given a straight red card for a desperate, late lunge on centre-back Ragnar Klavan.

Klavan escaped injury despite the severity of the tackle, but it remains to be seen whether Grujic will fares any worse.

Given the nature of Grujic’s head injury, the midfielder could miss Sunday morning’s International Champions Cup follow-up against AC Milan, taking place at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

This comes as a blow to the Liverpool manager, who will be hoping to field his strongest squad at some point during pre-season.

Nathaniel Clyne, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum all missed out against Chelsea, but are likely to take part against Milan.

Meanwhile, injury to Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva and Joe Gomez are likely to see the defensive trio miss the majority of pre-season, though the former is expected to make his return soon.

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Liverpool’s hard work begins as Chelsea deliver pre-season reality check

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 12:14

With five of Liverpool’s nine pre-season games done and dusted, Jurgen Klopp now reaches the business end of the summer.


The Reds’ most recent outing saw them beaten 1-0 by Chelsea at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, in what was a spiky affair from start to finish.

It was Liverpool’s first defeat of the summer so far, with Gary Cahill’s header also the only goal Jurgen Klopp‘s men have conceded to date.

While the five pre-season games have seen plenty of positives, from new signings impressing to youngsters being given a chance to shine, the serious stuff starts from this point on.

The Premier League season is now just over two weeks away, and Klopp will be looking to have his plans perfected for the trip to Arsenal on August 14.

 

Key Players Returning

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For the majority of the summer, Liverpool have had to make do without a number of regulars being a part of the squad.

Euro 2016 commitments have seen a clutch of key men take their summer holidays later than others, and only now are they all returning to club duties.

While it has been pleasing to see the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Cameron Brannagan and Ovie Ejaria blossoming, it is clear that they are unlikely to play much of a role in 2016/17.

Their involvement should now decrease heavily, paving the way for their more illustrious teammates to take to the stage.

English trio Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Adam Lallana made their return against Chelsea, but Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge are still yet to feature.

 Liverpool's Emre Can after the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The same applies to fellow key players Emre Can and Divock Origi, both of whom have been left to work on improving their fitness levels.

New signing Georginio Wijnaldum is another who is waiting for his debut, while Ragnar Klavan only made his first Reds appearance against Chelsea.

Only when everyone is back, and in good enough shape to feature, will Klopp be able to work on his best possible side moving forward.

 

Decisions

 Liverpool's Oviemuno Ejaria and Roberto Firmino are replaced as Liverpool makes five substitutes against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The German is starting to build a formidable squad, having brought in the likes of Wijnaldum, Loris Karius, Joel Matip, Marko Grujic and Sadio Mane.

He will no doubt have an idea of who he sees being fixtures in his starting lineup this season, but he will learn so much in the next four games.

System-wise, he still has decisions to make, too, whether it be his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation or the 4-3-3 that has been used heavily of late.

Against Chelsea it proved to be the latter, but the Reds were unable to find fluency in any area of the pitch, as Antonio Conte’s hardworking unit stymied their opposition across the park.

Putting this behind him, the next couple of weeks are crucial in Klopp finding a specific role for each player.

At centre-back, the 49-year-old will be keen to build a partnership between Matip and Dejan Lovren—his expected pairing for the start of the season.

A cohesive midfield unit is also of paramount importance, and Can, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum and Grujic will all feel they are worthy of a place in the team.

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Likewise, the battle to start in attacking areas is also hotting up, with Mane, Origi, Lallana, Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino all worthy of playing a starring role in the final third.

Klopp has not been able to work fully on any of these details so far this summer, as Liverpool shake off their pre-season lethargy.

After going through the motions in domestic friendlies, with key players returning Klopp’s squad must work to translate their training-ground efforts onto the pitch.

 

Important Fortnight

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the International Champions Cup 2016 game against Chelsea on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The importance of a fast start to the Premier League season should never be underestimated, and the remainder of pre-season provides Liverpool with the perfect opportunity to be as fit and firing as possible.

Next up is a clash with AC Milan in Santa Clara, in the early hours of Sunday morning, before they take on AS Roma at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri on August 2.

Liverpool then return home to face the mighty Barcelona at Wembley Stadium a week on Saturday, and they finish off their relentless pre-season with a game away to Klopp’s former club Mainz a day later.

We should expect the young players to appear less and less in that time, and for a set team to take shape as the games progress.

There will still be the usual changes made during proceedings, of course, but a clearer identity will become more apparent, compared to the first half of the summer.

The defeat to Chelsea was very much the last game with the fringe squad used, and from this point on, the famous faces will be back out in force.

Getting their fitness levels up to scratch, and giving them some much-needed playing time, now becomes priority for Klopp.

The approaching quartet of fixtures will provide us with plenty to insight into Klopp’s thinking ahead of the new campaign.

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Photos: Liverpool lose to Chelsea as Cahill nets header at the Rose Bowl

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 11:47

Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the US got off to a poor start as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Antonio’s Conte’s Chelsea.

Jurgen Klopp had previously overseen four victories on home soil, as the Reds dispatched of Tranmere Rovers, Fleetwood Town, Wigan Athletic and Huddersfield Town before flying to California.

Their time across the Atlantic sees them take in two International Champions Cup clashes and a further friendly.

The first of their outings in the lucrative pre-season tournament came on Thursday morning, facing off against the Blues at the stunning Rose Bowl in Pasadena.

 Liverpool's xxxx in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp named a strong side despite leaving a clutch of key names at Liverpool’s training camp in Palo Alto, with Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all starting in attack.

 Liverpool supporters before the International Champions Cup 2016 game against Chelsea on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This came in front of a remarkable crowd, with Liverpool’s strong following in the US shining through.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the International Champions Cup 2016 game against Chelsea on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It provided Klopp with his first taste of top-level competition this summer, as he mounts up the pressure on his side in preparation for a renewed challenge in 2016/17.

Despite a reasonable start, however, the German was left disappointed just 11 minutes in.

 Chelsea's Gary Cahill scores the first goal against Liverpool during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius looks dejected as Chelsea score the opening goal during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After Chelsea won a corner early in the first half, England international centre-back Gary Cahill was there to rise highest, latching onto a lapse in judgment from Firmino and dominating Marko Grujic in the air to power a header past Loris Karius.

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Chelsea spent much of the clash defending deep, leaving Firmino and his attacking cohorts struggling to break through to test goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

Making just one change at half-time, replacing the injured Marko Grujic with the returning Adam Lallana, Klopp was forced to roll the dice with a series of substitutes just after the hour mark.

 Liverpool's Oviemuno Ejaria and Roberto Firmino are replaced as Liverpool makes five substitutes against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On came Andre Wisdom, Jordan Henderson, Lazar Markovic, James Milner, Sheyi Ojo and Danny Ings, with Klopp’s squad now stronger than it was during their domestic friendlies.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Danny Ings in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Henderson nipped the ball around nicely and Ings provided some intelligent movement in the final third, but the Reds were still lacking, as the contest descended into a series of wild challenges from either side.

 Chelsea Cesc Fabregas reacts after being shown a red card during the International Champions Cup 2016 game against Liverpool on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The worst came from Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas, who lunged in late on debutant Ragnar Klavan, receiving a straight red card.

Grujic, Alberto Moreno, Ovie Ejaria, Kevin Stewart and Dejan Lovren were booked for the Reds, in what proved to be a fiercely fought clash.

 Liverpool's Alberto Moreno in action against Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Moreno came under considerable criticism after the game, with his 82 minutes on the field peppered with hallmarks of his defensive ineptitude that will continue to trouble supporters.

This is very much a Liverpool side still getting to grips with their fitness and structure this pre-season, however, and despite defeat in their opening ICC fixture, they can be content with another testing exercise.

 Liverpool's Ragnar Klavan after the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 Liverpool's Emre Can after the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea during the International Champions Cup 2016 game on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp can now look to Sunday morning’s clash with AC Milan, possibly able to strengthen his ranks further with the additions of Emre Can, Daniel Sturridge and Georginio Wijnaldum, among others.

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Liverpool 0-1 Chelsea: Pre-season defeat for Reds in California

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 09:31

Liverpool lost 1-0 to Chelsea in a pre-season game in California on Wednesday night (Thursday morning UK).

Gary Cahill headed the only goal of the game in the 11th minute, rising above Marko Grujic to head home from a corner. It was the first goal the Reds had conceded, after four cleansheets in the four domestic friendlies before this game.

There were a few tasty challenges, and Cesc Fabregas saw red for a wild challenge on centre-back Ragnar Klavan in the second half. Cahill was fortunate to escape a red for a challenge on Connor Randall in the first half.

There were also six Liverpool players booked.

 Chelsea Cesc Fabregas reacts after being shown a red card during the International Champions Cup 2016 game against Liverpool on day seven of the club's USA Pre-season Tour at the Rose Bowl. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Played on a very wet pitch and in muggy, hot weather, neither side found their rhythm or impressed in particular.

Liverpool had a decent spell when Philippe Coutinho got involved more, mid-way through the first half, but failed to take their chances or find the killer finish.

It’s only pre-season, and the squad had trained earlier in the day in 100 degree heat – which showed with some heavy touches and heavy legs visible.

With Nathaniel Clyne missing with a slight injury, James Milner played the final half hour at right-back, possibly a position Jurgen Klopp may see him used more this season.

As well as Milner, there was a first action of the pre-season for Jordan Henderson, Sheyi Ojo and Adam Lallana. Lallana replaced Marko Grujic at half-time, with the Serbian struggling after being on the receiving end of another hefty challenge.

Liverpool play AC Milan in Santa Clara on Saturday night / Sunday morning on the next game on their US tour.

Liverpool: Karius, Randall (Milner 62), Lovren (Wisdom 62), Klavan, Moreno (Alexander-Arnold 85), Stewart (Brannagan 85), Ejaria (Henderson 62), Grujic (Lallana 45), Mane (Markovic 62), Coutinho (Markovic 62), Firmino (Ings 62).

Subs not used: Manninger.

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Liverpool vs. Chelsea – LIVE – Follow the Reds’ pre-season clash here

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 07:15
on 28.07.2016

Liverpool face Chelsea in Pasadena, in the first of the Reds’ pre-season matches in the United States. We’re live to bring you the latest.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea is live on LFCTV and kicks off at 4:35am (BST). It’s live on ESPN in the USA. Our coverage updates automatically and is brought to you by Henry Jackson (in England) and Matt Ladson (at the Rose Bowl).

Have your say on Twitter using @thisisanfield and @HenryJackson87.

Teams

Liverpool lineup: Karius, Randall, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Stewart, Ejaria, Grujic, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

Subs: Manninger, Milner, Henderson, Lallana, Brannagan, Ings, Wisdom, Markovic, Ojo, Alexander-Arnold.

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Mane, Coutinho and Firmino up front – Liverpool lineup vs. Chelsea

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 06:18
on 28.07.2016

Jurgen Klopp names Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino as his front three for tonight’s match against Chelsea in Pasadena (4.35am kick off).

Loris Karius starts in goal, with Alex Manninger named as the sub keeper.

Connor Randall, Dejan Lovren, new signing Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno make up the back four.

Youngsters Kevin Stewart and Ovie Ejaria start in midfield along with Marko Grujic.

England trio James Milner, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson are among the subs.

Liverpool lineup: Karius, Randall, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno, Stewart, Ejaria, Grujic, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

Subs: Manninger, Milner, Henderson, Lallana, Brannagan, Ings, Wisdom, Markovic, Ojo, Alexander-Arnold.

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Mamadou Sakho sanction “not that serious,” but he must learn “respect” – Klopp

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 03:26

Speaking after sending Mamadou Sakho home from Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the US, Jurgen Klopp handed the centre-back a lifeline—on one condition.

Merseyside woke to the news of Sakho’s early departure on Tuesday morning, with the Frenchman leaving Liverpool’s Palo Alto training camp along with Australian left-back Brad Smith.

But while Smith made his exit to complete a £6 million move to Bournemouth, Sakho simply returned to Melwood to train with the Reds’ under-23s squad.

This came as a damning sanction from Klopp, who saw fit to cast Sakho away despite fellow injured defenders Lucas Leiva and Joe Gomez remaining with the squad for the rest of the tour.

Following previous suggestions from the club that Sakho was merely continuing rehabilitation for his Achilles problem, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Klopp confirmed he had punished Sakho for a series of violations.

However, crucially, the manager insisted that it was “not that serious,” despite the need for reparations on his return to the UK.

“I have to build a group here, we have to start new here,” he said, as he prepares for his first full campaign as Liverpool manager.

“So I thought maybe it made sense for him to fly home to Liverpool and after eight or 10 days when we come back we can talk about it. It’s not that serious.

“He nearly missed the departure of the plane, he missed a session and was late for a meal.

“We have some rules and we have to respect them.

“If somebody doesn’t respect it or somebody gives me the feeling he is not respecting it then I have to react that’s all.”

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp and Mamadou Sakho after the goal-less draw with Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Klopp’s suggestion that Sakho must learn “respect” if he is to continue operating in his squad in the future should come as a jolt to the former Paris Saint-Germain captain.

Sakho is a popular member of the Liverpool squad, but with Klopp clamping down during pre-season it is clear that he requires full commitment.

It remains to be seen how Sakho’s takes to his punishment when the Liverpool squad reconvene at Melwood in August, but Klopp stressed that his relationship with the player was not beyond repair.

“It is private how he reacted. But we had no argument, it wasn’t ‘aghh, you, no…’,” he continued.

“I spoke—you cannot argue when only one person is speaking, that’s all.

“I think missed a session is missed a session. Even injured players have sessions.”

It is clear, however, that Sakho must now buckle down and prove his worth to Klopp throughout the rest of pre-season.

Otherwise, he may join the considerable player exodus in the works on Merseyside this summer.

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Wijnaldum, Sturridge and Clyne join absentees for Liverpool’s clash with Chelsea

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 01:47

Georginio Wijnaldum is among those left at Liverpool’s training camp in Palo Alto, missing out on Thursday morning’s clash with Chelsea.

The Reds take on Antonio’s Conte’s side at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, kicking off at 4.35am (BST), but despite the challenge of their International Champions Cup opener, will be without a host of key names.

Taking no chances with his squad as he looks to build a base of fitness ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, Jurgen Klopp has left Wijnaldum, Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge out.

The trio will remain in Palo Alto along with Christian Benteke and Divock Origi, as they continue their training in earnest.

Having all joined Klopp’s squad late following summer breaks and transfers, the German has decided they are not ready for action, with Clyne a particular concern.

According to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, the right-back is suffering from a minor hamstring issue, and will sit out for a brief period.

Clyne joins Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva and Joe Gomez on the treatment table, while Mamadou Sakho is also injured but has been sent back to the UK following concerns over his attitude on tour.

However, while Sturridge is left out following his exploits with England at this summer’s European Championship, his Three Lions team-mates, James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana, are expected to feature against the Blues.

Furthermore, as Goal’s Melissa Reddy reports, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are all set to start, ensuring Klopp can still call upon a strong side in California.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Loris Karius during a training session in the Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at Stanford University on day four of the club's USA Pre-season Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Loris Karius is expected to line up in goal, behind a possible back four of Connor Randall, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno—as Andre Wisdom serves as backup.

Milner and Henderson will vie with Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan, Marko Grujic, Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold for starting roles in midfield, though it remains to be seen whether late addition Emre Can will take part.

Providing cover for Klopp’s first-choice attacking trio, Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Sheyi Ojo and Danny Ings will able to hopeful of securing valuable minutes in order to impress Klopp.

Possible Liverpool XI vs. Chelsea: Karius; Randall, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno; Stewart, Grujic, Ejaria; Mane, Firmino, Coutinho

Substitutes: Mignolet, George, Manninger, Wisdom, Alexander-Arnold, Brannagan, Can, Henderson, Milner, Lallana, Markovic, Ojo, Ings

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Pre-Season 2016/17: Chelsea vs. Liverpool – International Champions Cup Preview

Чт, 28/07/2016 - 01:30

Liverpool return to pre-season action as they open their International Champions Cup campaign in Los Angeles against Premier League rivals, Chelsea.

Chelsea vs. Liverpool
Thursday 28th July, 4.35am (BST)
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
International Champions Cup
Live on LFCTV

After what feels an eternity with no game played for a week, Klopp’s side kick off another busy run of action against the Blues in their first ICC fixture.

The meeting with the domestic rivals—which owners FSG will be present for—will be the first of three games Liverpool play in the competition, with AC Milan and Barcelona—either side of a meeting with AS Roma—to follow.

The Reds finished runners-up in their maiden ICC outing two years ago, and Klopp’s side will be looking to go one better this time around in a 10-team group, starting with a positive display against the Londoners.

ICC History & The Rose Bowl

 Jon Buckle / EMPICS Sport)

The opening clash arguably couldn’t come at a more spectacular venue than the historic multi-purpose arena in Pasadena.

Playing at the huge 95,500-capacity ground will be a first for the Reds, and the arena will provide a stunning spectacle for the all-Premier League tie.

The game will mark Liverpool’s second ICC campaign, two years after their first under Brendan Rodgers, while it will be Chelsea’s third competition appearance having featured in 2013 and 2015.

Liverpool came close to glory in 2014, denied the trophy by a 3-1 final loss Manchester United, while Chelsea also posted a runner-up finish a year earlier, losing to Real Madrid by the same scoreline.

 Philippe Coutinho Correia, Joe Allen, captain Steven Gerrard, Jose Enrique, Raheem Sterling. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Though consistent rivals on the domestic stage, friendlies between the clubs are a real rarity with this to be just the second post-war non-competitive clash between the sides.

The last friendly came in 1973, when the Reds faced Chelsea for club legend Ian St. John’s testimonial at Anfield, where the occasion was marked with a 4-2 win for Bill Shankly’s side.

Liverpool arrive for the tournament in strong form following four straight wins and clean sheets, and Klopp will be looking for his side to continue that run against a step up in quality.

Liverpool’s Squad

 Liverpool's James Milner during a training session in the Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at Stanford University on day four of the club's USA Pre-season Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For the first game this pre-season, Klopp has a full squad at his disposal for the ICC opener.

The Liverpool boss has nearly all internationals back to feature—including Sheyi Ojo and Emre Can who have recently joined the squad.

With those players needing minutes as the season draws closer, England quintet Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge are all likely to feature for the first time this pre-season.

Belgium internationals Simon Mignolet, Divock Origi and Christian Benteke could also take part.

Klopp is also likely to hand debuts to Ragnar Klavan and Georginio Wijnaldum, while new backup goalkeeper Alex Manninger may also be handed a taste of action as the trio settle into life as Liverpool players.

 Liverpool's new signing Georgina Wijnaldum during a training session in the Laird Q. Cagan Stadium at Stanford University on day one of the club's USA Pre-season Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

They could feature alongside three of Liverpool’s four other new arrivals, with Loris Karius, Marko Grujic and Sadio Mane all in line to play.

However, Klopp is facing something of a defensive crisis, missing five centre-back options with Klavan, Dejan Lovren and Andre Wisdom the only fit options currently.

Joel Matip is set to miss out with a recurring ankle issue while Lucas Leiva has a hamstring injury that will keep him out for the start of the season.

Tiago Ilori is with the Portugal U23s and Joe Gomez remains sidelined with an Achilles problem, while the injured Mamadou Sakho has worryingly been sent home from the tour.

Those who have featured heavily in pre-season like Alberto Moreno, Lazar Markovic, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings are set to be handed further minutes—but Brad Smith won’t play having travelled back to the UK to finalise a £6 million move to Bournemouth.

Game time for youngsters looks less forthcoming with the squad returning to full strength, but Ojo, Cameron Brannagan, Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold will hope for run-outs after their inclusion in Klopp’s squad.

The Opposition

 Chelsea's captain John Terry in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by Lexie Lin/Propaganda)

After a summer of change, it’s been a quieter pre-season for Chelsea so far as they begin a new era under Antonio Conte.

The Blues have played two friendlies in comparison to Liverpool’s four, enduring mixed results with a 2-0 defeat to Rapid Vienna followed by a 3-0 success over Austrian side Wolfsberger AC.

Despite their indifferent start to pre-season, a big campaign is expected from the Blues who, like Liverpool, are looking for a strong domestic season without European football.

The game will also be the first of three ICC games for Chelsea, with the other two against Real Madrid and AC Milan.

Conte will use the tournament to translate methods to his new squad, which has been added to since his arrival with the signings of Leicester City’s N’Golo Kante for £32 million and Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi for £33 million.

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana in action against Leicester City's N'Golo Kante during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Conte now has the full squad at his disposal, with international players having returned, and the Italian has taken a 30-man squad across the pond.

That doesn’t include Kante, who has yet to join up with his new teammates or John Obi Mikel, who is preparing for the Olympic Games with Nigeria.

Batshuayi is available, however while Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard are line for their first pre-season action following after returning from holiday.

Conte has enjoyed the luxury of a strong squad to work with from almost his first day in charge and the likes of John Terry, Cesc Fabregas, Willian and Diego Costa are all likely to play again.

Youngsters Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori, Nathan Baxter, Ola Aina, Matt Miazga and Michael Hector have been included in the squad and will all be hopeful of impressing.

Liverpool vs. Chelsea will be shown live on LFCTV, and as ever, This is Anfield will provide coverage of the clash, with kickoff at the Rose Bowl set for 4:35am (BST).

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Liverpool legends in for batting practice with the San Francisco Giants

Ср, 27/07/2016 - 19:10

Ian Rush, Gary McAllister, Robbie Fowler and Luis Garcia were put through their paces by Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants.

The quartet have travelled to the US as ambassadors, joining Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool squad for their tour of the west coast.

This included a trip to the Giants’ AT&T Park in San Francisco, joining three-time World Series Champion Jeremy Affeldt to oversee batting practice along with players and coaching staff.

Rush, McAllister, Fowler and Garcia all took to the plate to show their skills with a bat, before exchanging jerseys with the Giants.

Speaking on their experience in San Francisco, McAllister said he doubted they would be called up to MLB any time soon.

 (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Luis Garcia of Liverpool tries his hand at base ball during US Pre-Season Tour on July 25, 2016 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

“It was great to come down here today to meet the Giants and try my hand at something new,” he said.

“It is usually us passing on our tips and coaching advice so to be on the receiving end for once was a welcome change.

“Jeremy gave us some great tips, but I don’t think any of us will be getting the call up to the Giants roster anytime soon!”

The legends have travelled with the squad to Los Angeles, and took part in a charity event in Hollywood on Tuesday night.

 (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Ian Rush and Gary Mcallister ambassadors of Liverpool meet Jeremy Affeldt retired professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants at the AT and T Park during US Pre-Season Tour on July 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Liverpool kick off their tour by taking on Chelsea at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in the early hours of Thursday morning (4.35am kickoff BST), as they begin their International Champions Cup campaign.

They will then face off against AC Milan at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara (July 30), before a friendly clash with AS Roma at Busch Stadium in St Louis, Missouri (August 1).

The Reds then return to England for a showpiece friendly against Barcelona at Wembley Stadium (August 6), before rounding off their pre-season preparations with a trip to take on Klopp’s former side Mainz (August 7).

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Loan Watch: Danny Ward enjoys quiet debut as Huddersfield Town hold Werder Bremen

Ср, 27/07/2016 - 18:37

Liverpool loanee Danny Ward made his debut for Huddersfield Town on Tuesday evening, playing 45 minutes in their 0-0 draw with Werder Bremen.

Ward joined the Terriers on a season-long loan earlier in July, after signing a new five-year contract with the Reds.

The 23-year-old has been earmarked as one of Liverpool’s brightest young prospects, with his upcoming campaign at the John Smith’s Stadium designed to aid his development.

This began against Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in Zell am Ziller, Austria, as David Wagner’s side continued their pre-season preparations.

Named in Wagner’s starting lineup for the high-profile clash, Ward provided Huddersfield with a composed presence between the sticks.

The Wales international commanded a back four of Chris Lowe, Christopher Schindler, Mark Hudson and Martin Cranie, looking to shackle an attack that including promising 18-year-old Johannes Eggestein.

It proved to be a comfortable 45-minute outing for Ward, but he showcased his dominant presence when stepping off his line to counter Werder’s set-pieces.

Wagner has implemented a similar high, front-footed defensive line as Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, having developed as a coach under the 49-year-old during his time as reserve manager at Borussia Dortmund.

This saw Ward take charge in the defensive third, with his strong reading of the game proving a valuable asset for Huddersfield.

Speaking after the game, Wagner said he was “very happy” with Ward’s debut, envisaging a promising future for the youngster in West Yorkshire.

“With Danny Ward, I thought he looked very good and very strong,” the German explained.

“He is a personality in the goal and I am very happy to have him with us.

“It’s been great to bring him into the group in Austria and he will help us in the future for sure.”

Huddersfield’s pre-season preparations continue against another Bundesliga side, FC Ingolstadt, on July 29, before their Championship campaign kicks off at home to Brentford on August 6.

Ward can look forward to an intensive season under Wagner, before returning to Liverpool next summer, likely to compete with Loris Karius for a starting role.

Adam Bogdan (Wigan Athletic), Ryan Fulton (Chesterfield Town) and Ryan Kent (Barnsley) are also away from Merseyside for the season, while Allan Rodrigues (Hertha Berlin), Jon Flanagan (Burnley) and Taiwo Awoniyi (NEC Nijmegen) are poised to seal further temporary moves.

As ever, This is Anfield will bring you extensive coverage of how Liverpool’s loanees fare throughout the season, with our weekly Loan Watch updates.

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Video: “It’s a great opportunity for me” – Brad Smith on Bournemouth move

Ср, 27/07/2016 - 17:18

Brad Smith has completed his £6 million move to Bournemouth, and is hoping to secure regular first-team football.

[embedded content]

The 22-year-old joins the Cherries on a long-term contract, becoming the 14th high-profile departure from Merseyside in a busy summer for the Reds.

Smith made 10 appearances under Jurgen Klopp in 2015/16, and was poised to play backup to first-choice left-back Alberto Moreno this season.

But joining an ambitious Bournemouth side with a view to competing with Charlie Daniels, Tyrone Mings and fellow summer signing Nathan Ake for a starting berth in Eddie Howe’s defence.

Smith’s ability to deputise in a more attacking role will also lend him further opportunities, and speaking on his switch to Dean Court, he identified the prospect of regular game time as a factor behind his surprise transfer.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity here,” he said.

“It all happened quite quickly. I knew there was a bit of interest and then they put the bid in, Liverpool accepted and we went from there really.

“I flew to America [with Liverpool] and was there for about five days.

“Once I found out that the bid had been accepted, I stopped training with the team to make sure everything went the right way.

“It’s a great stadium here and it’s a great opportunity for me to come and play in front of the fans.

“Hopefully I’ll do well, learn a lot and progress in my career.”

 Liverpool's Brad Smith looks dejected as his side lose 2-0 to West Ham United after the Premier League match at Upton Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Eddie Howe led his side to a 16th-placed finish in their first term in the English top flight, and the 38-year-old is looking to build on this in the coming season.

Smith is Bournemouth’s sixth signing of the summer, joining Ake and his former Reds team-mate Jordon Ibe as new arrivals on the south coast.

The Australia international explained how he was familiar with both, and that he was looking forward to linking up with Ibe in particular, aiming for an improvement on the Cherries’ previous campaign.

“Bournemouth did really well last season and I think the club can be a great team in the Premier League for many years to come. They’re just getting started really.

“I think it’ll be a good fit for me and I can’t wait to get going here.

“I know Jordon well. We played together in under-18s, under-21s and then obliviously were promoted to the first team.

“We’ve played many years together and it’ll be good to play together again.

“I also know [Adam] Federici quite well as we’ve played a few times together for Australia.

“I know Nathan Ake too from a Scholar of the Year tournament a few years ago—it’ll be good to catch up with all the lads.”

For Liverpool, the search for a new left-back continues, with previously reported targets Ben Chilwell and Jetro Willems both off the table as Klopp leads his side through their US tour.

The Reds negotiated a buy-back clause ahead of Smith’s move to Bournemouth, and can bring the youngster back to Anfield for a set fee in the next two years.

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CONFIRMED: Brad Smith joins Bournemouth in £6 million deal

Ср, 27/07/2016 - 17:02

Australian left-back Brad Smith has completed his £6 million move to Bournemouth, leaving Liverpool after eight years.

Smith joined the Reds in 2008, emigrating from his home country to link up with the club’s academy at Kirkby.

The 22-year-old made his debut for Liverpool at the end of 2013, but fell out of favour under Brendan Rodgers and was left without a contract last summer, before renewing his terms on the arrival of Jurgen Klopp.

He made 10 appearances under the German in 2015/16, but Bournemouth’s big-money offer was deemed too good to turn down.

Smith returned from Liverpool’s training camp at Stanford University on Monday night, before agreeing personal terms with the Cherries and undergoing a medical.

The Australia international signs on a long-term deal, but Liverpool have negotiated a buy-back clause in the deal that could see him return to Merseyside for a set fee in the next two years.

Smith joins former academy team-mate Jordon Ibe at Dean Court, with the winger making the £15 million move to join Howe’s squad earlier in June.

Klopp will now begin his search for a new left-back, having been left frustrated in his attempts to sign Ben Chilwell from Leicester City.

Liverpool saw their £7 million bid for the 19-year-old rejected, and with the Foxes holding out for closer to £10 million, Chilwell is now set to sign a new five-year contract with the club.

PSV Eindhoven’s Jetro Willems and Aston Villa’s Jordan Amavi have both been linked with moves to Merseyside in recent days.

Meanwhile, former Barcelona youth Juanma is on trial with Michael Beale‘s under-23s side.

This is Anfield wish Brad the best of luck.

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