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Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool missed opportunity to secure second league win of season

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 19:23

Jurgen Klopp insisted Liverpool missed the opportunity to secure a second Premier League victory of the season after drawing 1-1 with Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

James Milner, playing in the unfamiliar position of full-back, rifled home the opener from the penalty spot before Sadio Mane unjustly had a goal disallowed for off-side as the Reds pushed for a second.

Spurs were in danger of being over-run as the visitors created a series of chances, but they struck back through Danny Rose in the second half and finished the stronger team.

“I still feel a little bit disappointed when we play like this because we could have won the game. We made one mistake in and around the goal for their goal,” Klopp said.

“We had chances and even one in the 92nd minute. This game showed again what we can do and how we can play.

“I wish we could have won it. We have to accept the point and that’s not a problem because it’s Tottenham.

“It feels worst now than the last time we were here last season. Simon Mignolet saved our lives then, now he had one brilliant save. Michel Vorm saved them a few times.

“Of course the players know they should score. Tottenham is not a game you win by four or five goals.

“They are a good defensive team so it’s very difficult to create one chance, but we had a few.

“That’s a good sign and it’s something we take for our future. In the end we have to accept the result.”

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When told Adam Lallana was not offside for Mane’s goal, Klopp replied: “Oh my God! What can I say? It was a wonderful goal. Brilliant play. What can I say, it’s not too good, but it happened.”

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino insists Kyle Walker’s substitution in the 28th minute due to illness had a significant impact on his team.

Pochettino was unable to say whether the illness would rule Walker out of the first England squad named by Sam Allardyce on Sunday.

“I think we started well. After 15 minutes we had a problem with Kyle Walker who was sick. We had to change a bit our plan and started to play with two strikers,” he said.

“And it was true that at half-time it was a deserved 1-0 to Liverpool and the second half we raised our performance levels.

“We played not well but better – we competed a lot, which is important so I am pleased.

“It is true we wanted to play a little bit long but we started to make some mistakes. We knew Liverpool are a team that like to run into space.

“But then we had the problem with Walker and we had to take more risks in the second half. They had chances to win the match but we played much better.

“The effort was fantastic and the character we showed. When you play a team who like to play on the counter attack you must take some risks. In the end a draw was a fair result.”

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp “convinced” James Milner can play left-back for Liverpool

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 19:22
on 27.08.2016

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says he is convinced James Milner can play left-back and that is the reason he hasn’t signed anyone else for the position this summer.

Liverpool were linked with numerous left-backs this summer, predominantly Leicester City youngster Ben Chilwell and Germany international Jonas Hector, but instead Klopp has opted for Milner as his first-choice left-back.

“Milly can play there, especially in the style of play we think we should play,” said Klopp after the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane. “Full-back is not only a winger in the offence situations. It’s a really good position for Milly.”

Milner misjudged the flight of a pass in the lead up to Tottenham’s equaliser, being caught out of position and allowing Eric Dier in to cross for Danny Rose.

“Of course, he still has to adapt and learn a little bit – he has 500 games but not in this position – we have to work on it.

But in the end we were convinced that he can play the position, that’s why we didn’t make a transfer in this position for another player.

“I’m not surprised that he can play it.”

Milner recently retired from international duty, so now has two weeks to work with Klopp at Melwood on the role.

Milner has started the last three games, leaving natural left-back Alberto Moreno on the bench.

Watch Klopp’s full post-match press conference:

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Video: Jurgen Klopp post-match press conference – Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 18:37
on 27.08.2016

Watch Jurgen Klopp reflect on Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham in the Premier League.

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“There weren’t many chances for a footballing side like Tottenham,” assessed Klopp. “We had chances, even one in the 92nd minute.

“This game showed what we can do. It’s not only about pressing, we were really flexible in offensive defending, and played football.”

“We showed again that we can be really good, and that’s what we have to show in each game, and then everything will be good.”

Liverpool have won one, drawn one and lost one of their opening three games, with a two-week international break before their first home game of the season against Leicester City.

“Four points from three games is not what I wanted,” admitted Klopp.

James Milner was again played at left-back, with Klopp saying: “He still needs to learn, we have to work on it, but in the end we were convinced he could play the position.

“That’s why we didn’t sign a player in this position.”

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“A draw is a good result against Tottenham, but not today” – Liverpool fans react to draw at Spurs

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 17:56

Liverpool traveled to White Hart Lane for their final Premier League clash ahead of the international break and secured a 1-1 draw against Spurs.

Joel Matip made his Premier League debut for the Reds and impressed as Philippe Coutinho returned to the starting XI.

Daniel Sturridge was a sunken figure on the bench as Roberto Firmino was given the nod ahead of the England striker and James Milner continued his duties at left-back.

The game started with a good tempo as both teams looked to attack early on and Coutinho could’ve put Liverpool ahead within ten minutes.

The Reds were on top in the first half but despite several chances they were unable to convert until Firmino was brought down to give Liverpool a deserved penalty.

The deadlock was broken when James Milner fired the spot-kick into the back of the Spurs’ net and Liverpool continued to attack fearlessly with Sadio Mane impressing once again.

A disallowed goal in the 55th minute could’ve doubled the Reds’ lead but it was Tottenham who scored the next despite Liverpool’s dominance.

Danny Rose fired in the Spurs equaliser as Liverpool fans rued the earlier chances that were missed and Klopp’s side had to settle for a point.

Here’s all the best reaction to the draw.

Sometimes players like Lallana and Coutinho (for all their skill) just need to put their boot through the ball! #LFC

— Rob (@robfreelancer) August 27, 2016

Really frustrating result for #LFC . They dominated the game but the attackers failed to find the final ball or take their chances. Wasteful

— Hari Sethi (@Hari_Sethi) August 27, 2016

Whoever suggested Mané wasn't good enough was wrong. He can pass, tackle, shoot, press and works his fucking nuts off

— StatsAndSwearwords (@SimonBrundish) August 27, 2016

Any credit allowed for Henderson? Or will I get hounded off Twitter?

— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) August 27, 2016

focusontheissues on the This Is Anfield live stream
“Out played them for 71 minutes and then a brain fart.”

@HenryJackson87 Matip's athleticism has been impressive! Especially noticeable when he pushed all the way up, putting pressure on Spurs' D.

— Joe Romano (@JoeyJoeRo) August 27, 2016

If Matip shaves that moustache, he'll be the best Center Back in the league

— c (@MercyRuled) August 27, 2016

Think Mane will be just what we need after losing Suarez, passionate, fierce and can score goals from absolutely no where??? #LFC

— Jonny Boy?? (@JonnoLovesLFC) August 27, 2016

Matip, there pic.twitter.com/98MYdna64y

— THE ANFIELD WRAP (@TheAnfieldWrap) August 27, 2016

Will pay you £10 million to not take Mane to the AFCON, @FootballSenegal

— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) August 27, 2016

Always a shame not to win when you're the better team, but a point is fine. Plenty of positives. Really good for large chunks. #LFC

Henry Jackson (@HenryJackson87) August 27, 2016

Igniz on the comments section
“What a debut from Matip. Calm, assured, fearless and robust when he needs to be. Looks skinny and thin, but has a good brain on them shoulders.”

Mané has played three games for us, and been the best player on the pitch all three games.

— Mootaz (@Mootaz_LFC) August 27, 2016

Gutted about that. Absolutely battered them and what a great chance to win it at the end

Rebecca Parry (@beccaparry10) August 27, 2016

#LFC fearless in attack in the first half but missed chances came back to haunt them. Good draw but feels like a loss. Total domination.

— Emma Sanders (@em_sandy) August 27, 2016

Why bring on Sturridge in the 87th minute? He had no time to do anything? He had to be brought on earlier #LFC

— Zack (@Emreosophy) August 27, 2016

kusanagi on the TIA live blog
“Good result. Should have been better. Shame about last week’s result against Burnley, makes this week’s seem worse.”

Absolutely love Joel Matip. He never panicks, is aggressive and can pick out a pass. Looks a leader too. Solid debut #LFC

— Anfield Observer (@AnfieldObserver) August 27, 2016

Spurs are good team & a point at White Hart Lane is not a bad result. But not today. Today We dropped 2. Can't help but feel disappointed…

— LFCMostar (@LFCMostar) August 27, 2016

Spurs 1 Liverpool 1. FT. Liverpool will feel they should have had that wrapped up before Spurs finally roused themselves.

— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) August 27, 2016

Full range of emotions for the #LFC boss today pic.twitter.com/FKbJplVzc2

— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) August 27, 2016

Let us know your thoughts on the game in the comments section below.

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Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool: Player Ratings

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 17:54

Jurgen Klopp saw his Liverpool side produce a positive display but they were held to a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham Hotspur.


Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Liverpool

Premier League – White Hart Lane – Saturday 27 August, 2016

Goals: Rose 72′; Milner 42′

Simon Mignolet – 6.5 (out of 10)

Hardly called into action against Burton Albion in midweek, Mignolet was much busier at White Hart Lane, and made a number of vital stops to deny the likes of Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen.

But the Belgian was frustratingly beaten at his near post for Spurs’ equaliser, failing to stop a powerful drive from Danny Rose—and this proved to be his most telling contribution.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Nathaniel Clyne – 7

Much improved on his last league outing away to Burnley, providing defensive stability alongside Joel Matip and a welcome support overlapping Sadio Mane on the right flank.

Arguably at fault for Rose’s equaliser, but this was the result of a catalogue of errors from the Reds, and it is difficult to pin blame on one player—be that Mignolet, Clyne, Adam Lallana or Klopp’s centre-backs.

Joel Matip – 7.5

Strong, powerful, aerially dominant and comfortable stepping out of defence and into the Spurs half, Matip enjoyed a positive league debut after a similarly fruitful outing against Burton Albion in the League Cup in midweek.

Came close to netting Liverpool’s second of the afternoon when his looping header struck the crossbar following a corner from James Milner, showcasing his talent at the other end of the pitch.

 Liverpool's Dejan Lovren after the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Dejan Lovren – 6.5

Struggled to contain the tenacious Harry Kane at times, out-muscled and out-paced for one incident in the first-half, but held his line well and nipped in to win important challenges both on the ground and in the air.

Was more successful up against first-half substitute Vincent Janssen, with the former AZ Alkmaar striker still adjusting to the frenetic pace and physicality of the Premier League.

Booked for needlessly kicking the ball away.

James Milner – 7

Growing in his unorthodox role at left-back, Milner capped a comfortable display with a well-taken penalty as the first half drew to a close, converting coolly beyond the stretching Michel Vorm.

Held his position well when Spurs attacked, and provided a welcome outlet as Liverpool moved forward with the ball—a work in progress. Misjudged the flight of the ball in the build-up to the equaliser though, which is what happens when a centre-midfield is played at left-back.

Jordan Henderson – 7

Backed heavily by Klopp in the buildup to Liverpool’s trip to north London, Henderson was in fine form in his new role at the base of the midfield, showing more defensive discipline and a crisper approach in possession.

Led his side well, though can be faulted as momentum was lost following a disallowed goal for the Reds in the second half, as they failed to regain composure in the buildup.

Adam Lallana – 6.5

Lallana was one of the standout figures as Klopp’s Reds ran Spurs ragged in the German’s first game of his tenure back in October, and produced a similarly high-tempo showing on Saturday.

However, as is often the case with the England international his final pass was lacking, and Lallana was often caught in possession after unnecessary turns.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6

Guilty of conservatism in his box-to-box role on the left-hand side of Klopp’s midfield, playing simple passes and focussing on keeping shape alongside Henderson and Lallana.

Liverpool fans will expect more from the £25 million summer signing, but there are signs that Wijnaldum is finding his feet in the Liverpool midfield.

 Liverpool's Sadio Mane looks dejected as his goal is disallowed against Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sadio Mane – 7.5

A typical live-wire display from the 24-year-old; full of pace, energy and intelligent buildup play, but Mane erred on the side of danger throughout as he looked to maintained his discipline.

Though a constant outlet, Mane’s passing became increasingly wayward in the second half, suggesting he is yet to foster an understanding with Divock Origi.

Philippe Coutinho – 6.5

Came in to start the clash after an injury concern and this likely contributed to his lessening output as the game progressed.

Should have scored on two occasions, lacking a level of incision in the final third, and was outshone by his compatriot in attack.

Roberto Firmino – 8.5 (Man of the Match)

A performance that could go under the radar given the Brazilian’s selfless approach, but Firmino was key to Liverpool’s high-intensity pressing play, and drifted into useful areas whenever required as the Reds pushed forward in attack.

His bright surge won Liverpool their first-half penalty, with this burst of flair exactly what was required as the two sides contested an even battle at White Hart Lane.

 

Substitutes

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp prepares to bring on substitute Daniel Sturridge against Tottenham Hotspur during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Divock Origi (on for Coutinho, 67′) – 6 – Introduced to provide a new dynamic in attack, but hardly touched the ball.

Daniel Sturridge (on for Mane, 87′) – N/A – A late roll of the dice from Klopp, but should have been brought on earlier.

Kevin Stewart (on for Lallana, 90+4′) – N/A – Like Sturridge, was not given time to influence the game.

 

Manager

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match again st Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp – 7

Opted for a blend of industry and flair in his 4-3-3 at White Hart Lane, and while the Reds took their time to gain control, this largely paid off.

This was the type of clash made for Firmino to operate as No. 9, and Klopp made the correct decision as he left Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge on the substitutes’ bench.

But with momentum shifting in Spurs’ favour in the latter stages of the second half, the German left his changes too late, with a courtesy three-minute cameo for Sturridge a frustrating afterthought.

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Tottenham 1-1 Liverpool: Milner penalty earns Reds draw in hard-fought clash

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 17:22

James Milner‘s first-half penalty saw Liverpool take a 1-1 draw from Tottenham Hotspur as they returned to Premier League action on Saturday.


Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Liverpool

Premier League, White Hart Lane
Saturday 27 August, 2016

Goals: Rose 72′; Milner 42′

Returning to White Hart Lane for the first time since his first outing as Liverpool manager back in October, Jurgen Klopp looked to get secure some stability after a 2-0 defeat to Burnley the previous weekend.

Naming an industrious starting lineup, including a Premier League debut for Joel Matip, the German opted not to field a recognised striker, instead starting Roberto Firmino in a 4-3-3.

Simon Mignolet kept his place in goal, with Matip joined by Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and James Milner, with the 30-year-old hoping to build on a strong midweek display away to Burton Albion in the League Cup.

Jordan Henderson captained the side from midfield, flanked by Georginio Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana, with Firmino supported by Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane in attack.

After putting five past the Brewers on Tuesday night, Liverpool arrived in north London on form and can be encouraged by their display.

 Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring the first goal against Tottenham Hotspur from the penalty spot during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

White Hart Lane anticipated a frenetic start, and both sets of supporters were rewarded, with Spurs and Liverpool both charging into challenges with vigour as they looked to gain control on the contest.

It was Coutinho who came closest of the two sides in the first five minutes, with the Brazilian seeing his close-range effort stopped by Michel Vorm after Firmino and Mane combined down the right.

His opposite number, Christian Eriksen, tested Mignolet shortly after, but the Belgian was there to punch away his swinging free-kick.

Both sides looked threatening on the break, with Harry Kane easily shrugging off Dejan Lovren on 12 minutes before Lallana got back to stop Dele Alli, while Mane, Coutinho and Firmino looked to capitalise on direct play from Liverpool’s back line, but Vorm held firm.

Mane’s pace continued to trouble the Spurs defence, with the Senegalese chasing down loose balls at every opportunity, as the home side required timely interventions from Vorm.

An enthusiastic first half from the £30 million summer signing saw him become the centre of attention for both the home support and referee Bobby Madley, however, and he spent the final 10 minutes before the interval walking a tightrope on a booking.

Spurs and Liverpool both kept up the intensity throughout the half, but it was Firmino who got the better of Mauricio Pochettino’s defence, felled by Erik Lamela for a penalty on 42 minutes, which Milner coolly tucked home.

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is beaten as Tottenham Hotspur's Danny Rose scores the first equalising goal during the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp sent his side out early for the second half, no doubt asking for more of the same following a positive opening 45 minutes, and the Reds responded in kind, with Wijnaldum coming close with a long-range effort that saw Vorm at full stretch.

As Liverpool penned Spurs into their half in the opening stages of the second half, Matip had a great chance to put his new side two goals clear.

But the lofty centre-back, towering over the Spurs defence, could only loop his header onto the crossbar from Milner’s corner.

Mane had it in the back of the net minutes later, after a great break involving Coutinho, Wijnaldum and Lallana, but the winger was adjudged to have been offside when Liverpool’s No. 20 clipped in a low cross.

Eriksen and Lamela both had great chances to level the scores around the hour mark, but the former blazed his first-time effort over before Mignolet tipped the latter’s free-kick wide; Toby Alderweireld was also thwarted by the Belgian following a corner.

Mignolet was finally beaten in disappointing fashion on 72 minutes, however, with Danny Rose powering home at the near post after being found free in the box.

Legs began to visibly tire on that goal, and Klopp made a roll of the dice by bringing on Daniel Sturridge, with the No. 15 replacing Mane for the closing stages, but there was little time to make an impact as the clash trailed off to a draw.

TIA Man of the Match: Roberto Firmino

Referee: Bobby Madley

Tottenham: Vorm; Walker (Janssen 27′), Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Wanyama, Dier; Lamela, Alli, Eriksen (Winks 90+3′); Kane (Onomah 83′)

Substitutes: McGee, Davies, Winks, Carter-Vickers, Onomah, Son, Janssen

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Henderson, Lallana (Stewart 90+2′), Wijnaldum; Mane (Sturridge 87′), Coutinho (Origi 67′), Firmino

Substitutes: Manninger, Lucas, Moreno, Stewart, Grujic, Origi, Sturridge

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Tottenham vs. Liverpool – LIVE – Follow the Reds’ Premier League clash here

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 14:58

Liverpool visit Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday lunchtime, in their last game before the international break. We’re live to bring you the latest.

Tottenham vs. Liverpool kicks off at 12:30pm BST. Our coverage updates automatically and is brought to you by Henry Jackson.

Live Stream (UK): The match is live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK, which is available to live stream with a NOW TV day pass.

This Is Anfield readers can get 10% off a NOW TV Sports day pass here.

Tottenham: Vorm, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Wanyama, Eriksen, Alli, Lamela, Kane.

Subs: McGee, Carter-Vickers, Davies, Onomah, Winks, Janssen, Son.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

Subs: Manninger, Grujic, Moreno, Lucas, Sturridge, Origi, Stewart.

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Coutinho returns – Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Tottenham

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 14:30

Philippe Coutinho returns to the Liverpool lineup for today’s match at Tottenham, having missed the midweek cup game at Burton Albion.

The Brazilian has been struggling with a tight hamstring, but returns to the Reds’ attack, alongside Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

That means a substitute role for Daniel Sturridge.

In defence, Joel Matip makes his Premier League debut, alongside Dejan Lovren.

Jordan Henderson moves back to the holding midfield role due to Emre Can‘s injury. Georginio Wijnaldum returns to the midfield three, along with Adam Lallana.

James Milner continues at left-back.

Ragnar Klavan misses the game due to injury; Lucas Leiva is therefore the backup centre-back on the bench – despite having only just returned to injury and having played 45 minutes for the under-23s at Arsenal last night.

Divock Origi and Marko Grujic are among the subs.

Kick off at White Hart Lane is 12.30pm (UK).

Liverpool: Mignolet, Clyne, Matip, Lovren, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana, Mane, Coutinho, Firmino.

Subs: Manninger, Grujic, Moreno, Lucas, Sturridge, Origi, Stewart.

Spurs: Vorm, Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Wanyama, Eriksen, Alli, Lamela; Kane.

Subs: McGee, Carter-Vickers, Davies, Onomah, Winks, Janssen, Son

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Watch Tottenham vs. Liverpool online — Live Streams and worldwide TV Info

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 13:00

Jurgen Klopp returns to the scene of his very first match for Liverpool this weekend as the Reds make their second trip of the season to north London.

Both Klopp and his Tottenham counterpart Mauricio Pochettino may feel there’s a lot to prove when the two sides meet at White Hart Lane on Saturday lunchtime.

After beating Arsenal in their opening Premier League game, Liverpool were left reeling from a 2-0 defeat at Burnley last weekend, but bounced back with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Burton Albion in the League Cup on Tuesday.

Spurs meanwhile were held 1-1 at Everton on the opening day of the season, but followed it up with a narrow 1-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace last Saturday.

The match gets underway at 12:30pm BST — that’s 7:30am New York, 4:30am California, 9:30pm Sydney, 7:30pm Singapore, 3:30pm Dubai and 2:30pm in Nairobi.

UK viewers

Tottenham vs. Liverpool is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 in the UK, which is available to live stream with a NOW TV day pass.

This Is Anfield readers can get 10% off a NOW TV Sports day pass here.

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal with Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date August 14th, 2016 Pic David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images

Rest of the world (TV)

Fans can find the match on the following channels worldwide:

beIN Sports Arabia 11, SBS One Australia, SuperSport 3 Africa, Flow Sports Premier, DIRECTV Sports (Argentina, Caribbean, Chile, Colombia), DAZN, Idman TV, Flow Sports Premier, Star Sports 4, Play Sports 1 (Belgium), SportKlub 2, ESPN Brasil, Astro SuperSport 3, Diema Sport, Sportsnet (Canada), QQ Sports Live, Sky (Central America), DIGI Sport 1, TV3+, Viably, SFR Sport 1, Silk Sport 1, OTE Sport 1, 620 PLTV, Spiler TV, Stoo 2 Sport, MNC TV, IRIB Varnish, Sky Sports 1 (Ireland), Sport 2, Flow Sports Premier, SBS ESPN Korea, SuperSport Kosovo 1, Ziggo Sport, TV2 Sumo, Canal+ Sport 2 (Poland), Sport TV3 (Portugal), Eurosport (Romania), NTV+ Sport, 102 min Stadium (Singapore), Movistar TV Futbol, Idman TV, Futbol 1 (Ukraine), NBCSN (USA), K +1.

This Is Anfield will have live coverage throughout the day. Download the free This Is Anfield app for iPhone or Android here.

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Liverpool bid £11 million for Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 01:11

Jurgen Klopp could be set to raid former club Borussia Dortmund, with Liverpool offering £11 million for teenager Christian Pulisic.

Klopp left Dortmund last summer after seven years, before joining the Reds as manager in October, and has overseen an overhaul on Merseyside this summer.

The German has welcomed seven new players into his squad so far, with £30 million winger Sadio Mane the most high-profile of his additions.

Mane was injured for last weekend’s 2-0 loss away to Burnley, and this has clearly highlighted a flaw in Klopp’s squad, as he has opted to move for exciting young talent Pulisic.

According to widespread reports including the Express‘ Paul Joyce, Liverpool are joined by Stoke City in their pursuit.

Klopp promoted Pulisic to the Dortmund first team in his final season with the club, and the 17-year-old has since become both the youngest non-German player to score and the youngest player to score a brace in the Bundesliga.

Already capped six times by the USA, Pulisic boasts serious potential as a young attacking talent, and Klopp is said to see him slotting into his Liverpool squad immediately.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match at Turf Moor against Burnley. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

While Klopp’s ties with Dortmund are believed to make a deal “more complicated,” the 49-year-old is willing to wait until his contract expires in 2018.

Pulisic is able to operate on either flank as well as behind the striker, and has so far made 12 appearances for the Dortmund senior side.

However, his prospects are limited this season, leading to Klopp pushing for a summer move.

Whether Liverpool need a player of Pulisic’s skill set this summer is questionable, but the young American has the potential to develop into a world-class attacker.

For £11 million, Pulisic could be a bargain signing for the Reds, though there is clearly a lot to be discussed before he’s seen leaning at Melwood.

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Photos: Liverpool unveil redeveloped Anfield ahead of 2016/17 opener

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 00:39

Anfield was officially unveiled to the public at a test event on Friday evening, following extensive redevelopment work this summer.

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group implemented long-standing plans to expand Anfield’s Main Stand this summer, along with improving areas both inside and outside the stadium for 2016/17.

This work brings Anfield’s capacity up to 54,167, providing the Reds with an excellent base to challenge in the future.

The club opened the stadium doors to 5,000 supporters on Friday evening, in an event for the test safety certificate requirements, with 10,000 more due at a second event on Monday.

 Liverpool's new Main Stand undergoes testing as supporters experience the newly rebuilt stand for the first time at Anfield. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

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 Liverpool's new Main Stand undergoes testing as supporters experience the newly rebuilt stand for the first time at Anfield. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

While still a work in progress, outside presents a significant improvement on Anfield’s previous exterior, particularly with the development of Paisley Square and 96 Avenue.

This is home to the Hillsborough memorial garden and a number of trees from Jurgen Klopp‘s homeland of the Black Forest.

There is also a new player’s entrance, providing a much more suitable way into the ground for Klopp and his squad.

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Concerns over potential restricted views from within Liverpool’s new Main Stand have been allayed, with supporters not set to miss anything from the Upper Tier.

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Meanwhile inside, the supporter facilities have been upgraded hugely, providing a much more enjoyable experience for matchdays.

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Meanwhile, looking out there are stunning views across the city of Liverpool, and the surrounding area of Anfield.

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Liverpool received special dispensation to reverse their Premier League clashes with Burnley this season to ensure work is complete.

Therefore Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds will first take to Anfield for a competitive fixture when they welcome champions Leicester City to Merseyside on September 10.

This promises to be an emphatic evening of football, with a phenomenal backing expected at the redeveloped Anfield.

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Lucas Leiva returns, Ben Woodburn stars as Liverpool U23s win 3-1 away to Arsenal

Сб, 27/08/2016 - 00:10

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva made his first appearance back following a hamstring injury as the Reds’ U23s earned a 3-1 win over Arsenal.

The Brazilian pulled up during July’s 2-0 pre-season win away to Huddersfield Town, replaced by goalkeeper Shamal George, who made his Reds debut up front.

This saw Lucas sidelined for a month, missing the start of the 2016/17 campaign, but he rejoined first-team training last week.

As Michael Beale prepared his side for their trip to the Emirates Stadium, Lucas was among the familiar names available, with Liverpool fielding a strong starting lineup.

Caoimhin Kelleher took up his position between the sticks, behind a back four of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Connor Randall, Andre Wisdom and Lucas.

Jordan Williams was partnered by Cameron Brannagan in midfield, while captain Harry Wilson, Ovie Ejaria and Toni Gomes supported 16-year-old talent Ben Woodburn in a four-man attacking line.

Steve Gatting named hotly tipped trio Jeff Reine-Adelaide, Chris Willock and Chuba Akpom in his young Gunners lineup, but they took on a determined and experienced Liverpool side.

 Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates scoring the first goal against Arsenal during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lucas was the most high-profile name in Beale’s matchday squad, but it was Woodburn who shone throughout the first half at the Emirates.

The young forward, who served up a series of impressive performances for Jurgen Klopp‘s first team throughout pre-season, got the ball rolling in the opening stages with the first goal on 15 minutes.

With Lucas threading an excellent pass through the midfield and into attack on the counter, Wilson laid the ball into Woodburn, who showed his composure in striking it past Matt Macey to make it 1-0.

Wilson had gone close to netting minutes earlier, with Liverpool dominating for much of the first half at the Emirates.

Woodburn made it 2-0 shortly before half-time with an excellent strike, powering Gomes’ cutback past Macey and into the top corner, ensuring the U23s went into the interval with a comfortable lead.

Beale took this impetus and withdrew Lucas at the break, with Joe Maguire coming on to partner Wisdom at centre-back.

 Liverpool's Toni Gomes scores the third goal against Arsenal during the FA Premier League 2 Under-23 match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Reds’ intensity dropped at the beginning of the second half, to the disappointment of Beale, with Willock going close with a volleyed effort just after the hour mark, though Wisdom was on hand to make the clearance.

Arsenal had clawed one goal back minutes later, however, and it was Akpom who managed to beat Kelleher from close range, finding the back of the net via the crossbar.

But Liverpool had soon restored their lead, as Gomes slotted home with less than 30 minutes to play in north London, with Brannagan, Maguire and Williams all involved in the buildup.

This sealed the Reds’ first victory of the Premier League 2 season, and with Lucas enjoying valuable game time as he steps up his recovery, it can be considered a hugely positive night on the whole.

Liverpool U23s: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Wisdom, Lucas, Randall; Williams, Brannagan; Wilson, Ejaria, Gomes; Woodburn

Substitutes: Firth, Maguire, Virtue, Phillips, Lennon

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Tottenham vs. Liverpool: Team news, opposition preview, quotes, TV, and more

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 20:00

Liverpool return to Premier League action on Saturday, as Jurgen Klopp‘s men head to White Hart Lane to take on rival top-four challengers Tottenham.


Tottenham vs. Liverpool

Saturday, 27th August 2016, 12:30pm (BST)
White Hart Lane
Premier League
Referee: Robert Madley

Tuesday saw the Reds bounce back from last weekend’s disappointment at Burnley, as they cruised to a 5-0 win at Burton in the League Cup second round.

Liverpool are notoriously inconsistent, and it is a problem that must be eradicated if they are to make a genuine impact in the league this season.

The trip to Spurs very much represents a must-not-lose game, with two defeats in the first three league games representing a setback ahead of the international break.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side are a talented outfit who are very much going places, and they have earned four points from their first two matches, away to Everton and at home to Crystal Palace.

There will be intriguing match-ups all over the pitch, and for the neutral, it is the stand-out fixture of the Premier League weekend.

Liverpool have not lost at White Hart Lane since November 2012, and have kept clean-sheets in their last three visits.

Last season was a 0-0 draw, in Klopp’s first game as manager, and prior to that the Reds romped to 3-0 and 5-0 victories.

Last meeting at White Hart Lane: Tottenham 0-0 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp draws first game as Reds manager

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia in action against Tottenham Hotspur's Toby Alderweireld during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Opposition View

We spoke to Spurs fan Sam Hawkey about his hopes for the season, and the Liverpool players that scare him:

How are you expecting Spurs to do this season? Another top-four finish?

Coming out of last season I was worried we’d lose players, in particular Christian Eriksen. Instead we kept all our key players from last year and with the additions of Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen I think “Poch” has done a good job.

My main worry is the English and Welsh contingent coming out of the Euros as you usually get a lull coming out of a major tournament. Harry Kane needs to start scoring quickly to wash away a dismal performance in France and to a certain extent the same applies to Dele Alli.

Add to this the added competition – Liverpool look to be clicking under Jurgen Klopp, I don’t fancy an away day at Old Trafford again and Chelsea look more resilient, organised and have Hazard looking more like himself. Not to mention City and Arsenal who are always up there.

 Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Overall, I think 3rd or 4th would be progress (back to back Champions League qualification) but the time is now to show we can be consistently amongst the big boys and be a constant force.

Which Liverpool players do you fear going into the game?

Philippe Coutinho. How Liverpool have kept hold of him after last season I will never know but he has it all and everything good Liverpool do comes through him. Adding a few goals to his name last season means he’s becoming a complete player.

The other is Daniel Sturridge. I don’t actually like him as a player and I don’t think he fits Klopp’s philosophy as he doesn’t press the ball and start defense in the opponents half. That said, he’s skilful and pacy so can produce something out of nothing.

What is your prediction for Saturday?

2-1 to Spurs. Liverpool have goals in them for sure but don’t look too solid at the back. Spurs had the second best defensive (13 clean sheets) and attacking (69 goals) record last year and I would be looking for that to continue.

Team News

 Liverpool's Emre Can is treated for an injury during the Football League Cup 2nd Round match against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Just as Liverpool’s squad appeared to be looking largely fit, Klopp has been dealt a potential triple injury blow on Tuesday.

Emre Can hobbled off with an ankle problem at Burton and Divock Origi suffered cramp, and both are doubtful for Saturday’s game. Philippe Coutinho is also a doubt with a hamstring problem.

Can and Coutinho, in particular, have become so influential in recent times, and their respective qualities will be greatly missed against a combative Spurs midfield.

Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva are still on the sidelines, but Sadio Mane is back after missing the Burnley game last weekend.

Klopp has some key decisions to make in terms of his starting line-up, with Joel Matip now fit enough to replace Ragnar Klavan at centre-back.

James Milner is again expected to start at left-back ahead of Alberto Moreno, while there are question marks over the form of captain Jordan Henderson.

Daniel Sturridge, Roberto Firmino and Origi are all vying to lead the line, but it looks as though it will be between Sturridge and Firmino, with Origi’s aforementioned injury likely to keep him out.

if Coutinho’s out, the front three pretty much picks itself; Firmino, Sturridge, Mane.

Form

Liverpool – last 5 results (all comps)

Won 5-0 vs. Burton
Lost 2-0 vs. Burnley
Won 4-3 vs. Arsenal
Lost 4-0 vs. Mainz
Won 4-0 vs. Barcelona

 Liverpool's Roberto Firmino celebrates scoring the second goal against Burton Albion with team-mate Adam Lallana during the Football League Cup 2nd Round match at the Pirelli Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Tottenham – last 5 results (all comps)

Won 1-0 vs. Crystal Palace
Drew 1-1 vs. Everton
Won 6-1 vs. Inter Milan
Lost 1-0 vs. Atletico Madrid
Lost 2-1 vs. Juventus

White Hart Lane

 Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane Stadium before the Premiership match against Everton. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Capacity: 36,284

Away Fans Pubs: Hamilton Hall at Liverpool Street or the Euston Flyer (in Euston) which has been a hot spot for Liverpool fans in recent years.

Klopp’s View

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Klopp spoke about Sturridge’s position in the team, after the striker expressed his displeasure at playing in a right-sided role:

“I don’t want to play Daniel as a wide player, of course he can start there, but in the decisive moments he needs to be involved in the finishing situations.

“Both goals [Sturridge scored against Burton] he scored in the box.

“But you need to find a formation to start, both games we didn’t need an offensive winger, these positions should have been filled by full-backs.

“Then you have these players who are really skilled in finishing situations in and around the box. It’s not a fixed position, ‘stay outside the box and wait’, especially in Daniel’s position.

“We still have to work on a lot of things. I don’t know exactly what he said, but when we have talks there’s no issue about it,” he added.

“Ask a question, get an answer, make an opinion about it. We don’t have this position, it’s not about ‘you play there, then wait until something happens’, it’s flexible football.

“You need enough players around the box to finish. When Daniel has played as a No. 9, if he stays there it makes no sense. Daniel is a very smart player in hiding himself in positions.

“In a wing position, when he’s not involved anymore in defending, you need a smart striker who moves the centre-half where they’re not comfortable.

“It’s only a starting position for the next attacking move. It’s normal.”

One to Watch: Erik Lamela

 Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Like many foreign players, Erik Lamela took a while to adjust to the pace and power of the Premier League, having joined Spurs from Roma for £30million in 2013.

He improved by the week last season, though, and he looks likely to go up another gear in 2016/17, scoring on the opening day at Everton.

Blessed with a wand of a left foot full of creativity and unpredictability, Lamela will be a real threat cutting in from the right on Saturday.

UK TV Info

Tottenham vs. Liverpool is being shown live on Sky Sports 1 from 11:30am (BST) on Saturday in the UK, which is available to live stream with a NOW TV day pass.

This Is Anfield readers can get 10% off a NOW TV Sports day pass here.

Kick-off is at 12:30pm.

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Matip to start, Firmino or Sturridge to lead the line – Predicting Liverpool’s XI vs. Tottenham

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 16:00

There could be some big decisions for Jurgen Klopp to make, but injuries may make his selection straight forward at Tottenham.


After responding to defeat at Burnley with a strong League Cup showing in midweek, the Reds look to translate that winning form to the Premier League in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

Klopp leads a much changed Liverpool back to the scene of his debut as Reds boss 10 months ago, and he will look to mark the occasion with a better result than the hard-fought goalless draw played out on his maiden outing.

A tough task awaits his side as they search for what would be a big three points against a Spurs team who have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season – and Klopp has some key selection decision to make from his depleted squad.

Team News

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• Klopp facing injury concerns and key decisions for tough White Hart Lane visit
Emre Can likely to miss out due to ankle knock sustained in Burton win
Divock Origi doubt after suffering cramp in midweek
Philippe Coutinho also touch-and-go due to hamstring issue
Loris Karius still missing, Mamadou Sakho unavailable
• Selection decisions at centre-back with Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan available
James Milner to continue at left-back ahead of Alberto Moreno
Jordan Henderson likely to return to defensive midfield duties
Daniel Sturridge pushing for starting berth after midweek brace
Danny Ings hopeful of inclusion in squad after being named on the bench in midweek

Liverpool’s XI

Football - Football League Cup 2nd Round - Burton Albion FC v Liverpool FC

Ill-timed injuries to Can and Origi make Klopp’s selection more straightforward, but the German faces decisions throughout his team in the now preferred 4-3-3 formation.

Impressing in their first competitive outing as a partnership at Burton, Klopp could deploy Matip and Lovren as the central pairing for the first time in the Premier League, in the same back four.

Henderson is likely to drop to his unsuited role at the base of midfield again, with Wijnaldum and Lallana occupying box-to-box positions, but Klopp has a couple of ways he could shape his attack.

That includes re-forming the pacy and technically gifted trio that dismantled the Red half of north London, with Coutinho – should he prove his fitness – and Mane supporting Firmino.

This would see the Reds XI look like this:

Spurs XI 1

Playing twice in five days could prove too much for recently returned Matip, which could see Klavan partner Lovren.

Changes could also materialise in midfield and attack, should Coutinho not recover in time and Klopp decide against risking the 24-year-old.

The Brazilian’s potential absence would likely see Henderson, Wijnaldum and Lallana again form a central trio that leaves you worrying about presence and physicality against a powerful Spurs side.

That would leave Firmino and Mane to support striker Sturridge, who could be handed a start after his sharp brace at the Pirelli Stadium.

Those adjustments would see Liverpool start like this at White Hart Lane:

Spurs XI 2

The Reds responded positively to the Burnley loss in midweek, but Klopp’s men must prove they’ve well and truly put it behind them by claiming a three big points in the capital.

Pick your Team:

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Liverpool 7-0 Tottenham (1978) – Anfield’s greatest goal as Paisley’s Reds destroy Spurs

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 14:19

Thirty eight years ago next week, Liverpool enjoyed one of their greatest ever victories, destroying Tottenham 7-0. Jeff Goulding witnessed the magic and shares his memories.


This Saturday Liverpool take on Spurs at White Hart Lane. Back in 1978, the Reds’ 7-0 win at Anfield, according to Bob Paisley, was marked by the greatest goal Anfield had ever seen. I was just ten years old, a Liverpool fanatic, and I was there.

The school holidays were nearly over, but someone hadn’t told the weather. I woke up early, as I always did on match days. My dad was already up, making a breakfast that I would pretend to eat, but would end up in the bin. I was too excited for food.

The sound of Radio City filled the kitchen. A musical revolution was emerging in Liverpool, as the city struggled to emerge from the shadow of The Beatles. This was the year that a club in town, called Eric’s, was helping a local band called Echo And The Bunnymen on their way. It was a hotbed of Liverpool’s musical underground, but I was oblivious to all that. My song of summer 1978 was ‘Gordon Is A Moron’ by some fella who called himself Jilted John. As I walked down the stairs, eyes full of sleep and mouth yawning the day into existence, I was made up to hear it its tinny tones over the clatter of dishes.

The living room curtains were open and outside the the sun was ‘cracking the flags,’ an expression my mum was fond of. It meant it was really sunny outside. Sometimes it would be so hot, she would be “sweating cobs.” Anyway back to our story.

(L-R) Liverpool's Phil Neal, Emlyn Hughes and Jimmy Case show the European Cup to their jubilant fans

This was a good day to be alive. My favourite song was on the radio, the weather was nice, Liverpool were Champions of Europe and we’d started the 78/79 season as we had finished the last. We had cruised to victory over QPR at Anfield on the opening day, and followed that up with away successes at Ipswich Town and Manchester City. They’d won their last game 4-1. In total they’d scored nine goals and conceding just two for their troubles. Dalglish was already helping us to forget Kevin Keegan, and I couldn’t wait to get to my second game of the season against Spurs.

Funny how footy has the power to colour your life’s history and mask reality. These were tough times and if you search the archives, as I have, you’ll find that my parents had worked wonders to ensure that I knew nothing of the difficulties they had lived through. I remember my mate’s dad had worked for Triumph, the car factory in Speke, in the south of the city. I knew this because they made this really cool looking car called the TR7. Apparently it was a pile of crap, but that didn’t stop me being dead impressed that his dad made it.

What I didn’t know at the time, was that there were grave doubts about the future of the plant and his job would have been under threat. My own dad worked for the Water Board and had been on strike. Yet all my mates and I ever talked about was football and Liverpool F.C.

We’d been looking forward to this game with a mixture of excitement and anxiety. All the talk was of Spurs’ two new signings – the stuff of Panini sticker album fantasy, Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricky Villa. Tottenham had just been promoted to the top flight from the old Second Division and had caused a bit of a sensation by signing two Argentine World Cup winners. This was now becoming a trend, with a number of foreign players gracing the English League. All of our previous foreign signings were of the Scots, Welsh or Irish kind.

The day wouldn’t pass quick enough for me, and when it was eventually time to leave I was bursting with anticipation. We drove to the game in style. My dad had recently bought a second hand Vauxhall Viva, we’d actually passed the time that morning washing it. It was probably second, third, or even fourth hand, but I remember it was bright red and in immaculate condition; a fitting metaphor for the team that was about to dismantle a Spurs side that hadn’t beaten Liverpool, at Anfield, since the year the Titanic sunk, 1912.

We parked up in a street near the ground and my dad gave some kid ten pence to mind it for us. It was a sort of protection racket come entrepreneurial venture that probably kept the local lads and girls in sweets for the rest of the week. I remember wishing we lived nearer to Anfield so that I could get in on some of that action.

The pub was quiet when we arrived, so it must have been early. I was sat with my cousin Tommy. My Uncle and Dad were at the bar. We were reading some European away programmes my Dad’s mate had brought home and discussing whether the Reds could bring home number three. For some reason this fella, who I’d never met, until that day, had donated all of his away day souvenirs to me; not that I was complaining at all. To this day my only memories of this generous guy, are that he ruffled my hair when I shyly thanked him, and that he later got a Phil Thompson perm in ’81 following an ill informed and beer fuelled bet. It didn’t suit him, but then it never suited Tommo.

The area around the ground is about to change forever, but they have largely remained unchanged in all the time since that day. History and memories are etched into the walls of the houses, the pubs and the pavements. To this day, when walk from the pub to Anfield, my mind drifts back to sun kissed days, wandering through the back alleys near the stadium and weaving our way to the turnstiles. We don’t do so fully expecting not just a a win, but a drubbing of the enemy these days; but the feelings are just the same. It’s like a pilgrimage and a timeless duty.

We were in the Main Stand for this game. I can’t remember if we had a ticket, or if we paid on the gate. Our seat was half way between the halfway line and the Anfield Road end. I’d wanted to be in The Kop, or at least close to it, but beggars weren’t supposed to be choosers. Turned out I needn’t have worried; I ended up having a ring-side seat for the most magical goal I have ever witnessed.

Within half an hour Liverpool were three goals up. Two from Kenny in the 8th and 20th minutes had set us on our way, and a third from the great Ray Kennedy had us coasting by half-time. The Kop was as cruel as it was witty at times, and took no time to rub salt in the Londoner’s wounds. “What a waste of money” is a cliche chant these days. Back then it was fairly new and filled with irony. Me an my Dad laughed and gleefully joined in and soon the whole ground seemed to join in. Who knows what the two Argentines were thinking, but as far as we were concerned, they’d joined the wrong club.

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The Reds made a substitute in the second-half, bringing on the local lad, David Johnson. He’d come to Liverpool from Ipswich Town, but had started out as an Everton player, a fact no one really cared about. Johnson enjoyed his best days playing for Liverpool and averaged a goal every 3 games, before rejoining the Blues in the early ’80’s. As the game restarted the men in red moved up a gear. Tottenham, still reeling from the first 45 minutes, were like lambs to the inevitable slaughter.

Johnson made it four almost immediately and then added a fifth ten minutes later. This was sublime and I was in raptures. Liverpool were indeed mighty in my eyes, invincible even. My bedroom walls were a shrine to the players and to Bob Paisley and Shanks of course. It’s fair to say my young life revolved around this team, and here I was up close and personal, and witnessing the complete demolition of some team from down south. The Kop sang “London Bridge is falling down”. I laughed. Poor old Tottenham.

Back then the Reds rarely took any prisoners. These days, at five nil up, teams sometimes make a few substitutions. Maybe the players relax and just see the game out. Perhaps their minds switch to the next fixture. Not back then. Liverpool were a killing machine and would relentlessly attack, urged on by a baying crowd, until the opposition were ground into the turf.

Teams came to Anfield and were often humiliated. This is what created the Anfield fear factor. It got into opposing players heads. They were often beaten before they left the team bus. It’s why one manager famously quipped “The only thing you get from Anfield is a cup of tea”.

We had no sooner finished celebrating the fifth goal, when Liverpool won a penalty. I can’t remember the circumstances now, but I do recall Phil Neal stood over the ball, hands on his hips, as he waited for the okay from the referee. I stood next to my seat, hands clasped in prayer over my mouth. I needn’t have worried. ‘Zico’ never missed. He didn’t – 6-0.

This was a wonderful game. Michael Charters, writing for The Liverpool Echo, summed it up perfectly:

“Have you ever heard 50,000 people purr with pleasure? Well, the Anfield spectators were doing that constantly as Liverpool stroked the ball around with one-touch moves of staggering accuracy. This display confirmed for me, particularly after the splendour of their wins at Ipswich and City the previous week, that the current Liverpool team is playing better, more exciting, attacking football than any side I’ve seen since the war”.

If the whistle had gone at that moment, it would have still gone down as one of the greatest games of my young life. However, the Reds weren’t finished. I wouldn’t leave the ground that day, until I had witnessed a goal of such sublime quality, the like of which I don’t believe I will ever see again.

You can watch it yourself, thanks to Youtube. Maybe you already have. It may not be accurate, but here’s how I remember the goal. The ball breaks on the left hand side of the pitch, facing the Anfield Road end, and Steve Heighway is onto it.. The Kop sways and, in the Main Stand, we rise from our seats, sensing something is about to happen. The noise levels rise, and in my minds eye I can see Terry McDermott racing from his own half and crossing the halfway line. Heighway motors down the wing and looks up. I know what he is going to do and I hold my breath.

The pace of Liverpool’s attack has caught the Spurs defence out and they look ill prepared to defend the onslaught. Heighway sweeps the ball towards the penalty spot. At the precise moment the ball arrives, so too does McDermott. The ball and his head align like planets in some cosmic dance and the next minute it’s in the net.

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Sheer wonder, amazement and unadulterated joy. How did they do that? They must be magic. The timing of it, the precision and then bang, goal, 7-0. Tottenham were vanquished and joy and emotion exploded. I wanted to relive it over and over again. We had no video recorders then, just Match of The Day and I couldn’t wait to see it once more.

I still remember sitting on the floor in front of the telly that night, complete with cup of tea and a plate of toast for supper. I drank the replay in, eyes wide, mouth open in wonder. But for all it’s greatness, the sight of that sublime piece of brilliance, on the old Colour Decca TV, we rented from Rumbelows, could never come close to the pictures in my head.

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I’ve seen it many times online since. I’ve watched in on DVD, but frankly you just had to be there with me and my Dad, on the 2nd of September 1978, to really appreciate just how great that day was. A lot has changed in football since that day, but the superiority of being there when history and life long memories are made, over a TV highlights reel, is an eternal truth.

Liverpool 7-0 Tottenham

2 September 1978, Anfield, Division One

Liverpool: Ray Clemence, Phil Neal, Alan Kennedy, Phil Thompson, Ray Kennedy, Emlyn Hughes, Kenny Dalglish, Jimmy Case, Steve Heighway, Terry McDermott, Graeme Souness.

Goals: Dalglish (8, 20), Kennedy (28), Johnson (48, 58), Neal (64 pen), McDermott (76).

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Tottenham vs. Liverpool: Tough to call with much to prove

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 13:50

Liverpool take the trip south to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday, in the final round of fixtures before the international break.

Matches between the pair tend to be entertaining contests, and this weekend’s showdown in north London promises to be no different.

Spurs have picked up a win and a draw in their opening two Premier League games of the season, while the Reds have beaten Arsenal and lost to Burnley.

They recovered from their abject showing at Turf Moor with a resounding 5-0 win at Burton on Tuesday evening, reaching the third round of the League Cup in the process.

Saturday’s game is likely to be decided by very fine details, and should be a tactical affair between two of the league’s best managers in Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino.

Unsurprisingly, the bookies see it as a tough match to predict.

Result

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

With Spurs the hosts on Saturday, it is not surprising to see them as slight favourites to leave White Hart Lane with all three points in the bag.

Pochettino’s men are 27/20 to win, and if they achieve this, it would be their first victory at home to Liverpool since their 2-1 triumph in November 2012.

The Merseysiders, who have not conceded at Spurs in their last three visits there, are 21/10 to seal what would be a much-needed win.

The draw is 5/2, and as is so often the case in clashes between the top sides, a share of the spoils looks a likely outcome.

In truth, anything could happen, which is the beauty of the Premier League’s unpredictable nature.

Goalscorer

 Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge in action against Burton Albion during the Football League Cup 2nd Round match at the Pirelli Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The bookies have a tricky job on their hands when it comes to producing goalscoring odds, given Liverpool’s options in attack.

It is unknown whether Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi or Roberto Firmino will start, if not a couple of them, so taking a punt on any of them to find the net before the teams are released is a risk.

Sturridge is 6/1 to open the scoring at White Hart Lane, while a potentially injured Origi is 25/4. Firmino is a tempting 29/4.

For Spurs, it takes little guessing to know who their favourite to score first is, with Harry Kane 15/4 to set the hosts on their way to possible victory.

The 23-year-old is a goal machine, although he is still searching for his first goal in 2016/17.

New signing Vincent Janssen is 5/1, but is unlikely to start, while Erik Lamela looks a decent bet at 33/4, with the Argentine looking in good form.

Backing Sadio Mane to score anytime at 51/20 definite looks worth your while, given the emphatic way his Liverpool career has started.

Other Bets

 Liverpool's James Milner in action against Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Last season’s 0-0 draw in north London – Klopp’s first game as Liverpool manager – was fairly cagey, but this may well prove to be very different.

The Reds look weak at the back currently, as highlighted by the five goals they have already conceded in the league, and Klopp may feel his side need to outscore Spurs.

With the likes of Sturridge, Mane and Philippe Coutinho, among others, causing havoc in attacking areas, they have the ability to blow anyone away on their day.

Putting money on both teams to score at 2/3 looks a bet that is highly likely to come in – you can’t see Liverpool keeping a clean-sheet, but they will strongly believe they can breach the Spurs goal at least once.

Similarly, selecting over 2.5 goals at 5/7 looks very tempting, and would guarantee you more winnings. The match feels high-scoring.

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Premier League guaranteed four Champions League group stage spots from 2018/19

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 13:32

UEFA have announced a change in the structure of the Champions League, with Europe’s top-four leagues given four automatic group stage places.

There are currently three guaranteed spots in the group stage for the Premier League, with the fourth needing to contest a play-off before securing qualification.

But as of 2018/19, this will change, with the top four leagues around Europe handed four automatic spots.

At this stage, this would see the Premier League, LaLiga, the Bundesliga and Serie A all enter four sides at the group stage, ensuring less diversity across Europe’s top-tier tournament.

The winners of the Europa League will also enter the group stage of the Champions League on these changes, rather than a play-off as currently set up.

Furthermore, clubs’ “historical success” in the Champions League / European Cup will now be considered when factoring “coefficient calculation,” meaning Liverpool’s five European Cups will help the Reds.

Liverpool haven’t finished in the top four of the English top flight since 2013/14, but are on the up under new manager Jurgen Klopp.

Klopp guided the Reds to finals in the Europa League and League Cup in his first campaign on Merseyside, though he saw his side fall to an eighth-placed league finish.

(L-R) The Liverpool coaching team of Chris Lawler, Roy Evans, manager Joe Fagan and Ronnie Moran celebrate with the European Cup

Competition in the Premier League is strong this season, with Man United, Man City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal all expected to challenge for the top four places. Plus reigning champions Leicester City will be looking to compete again.

A top four finish is certainly the aim for Klopp this season, however, Liverpool would still need to finish third to guarantee their place in the Champions League with the changes not kicking in until 2018.

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Philippe Coutinho a doubt with a hamstring injury – “not a big issue”, says Klopp

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 11:47

Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho could miss Saturday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur with a minor hamstring injury.

The Brazilian dropped out of Jurgen Klopp‘s matchday squad for the Reds’ 5-0 win over Burton Albion on Tuesday night, but joined training at Melwood on Thursday afternoon.

He could still miss out for the trip to White Hart Lane, however, with Klopp telling reporters that he was suffering from a tight hamstring.

However, previewing Liverpool’s third league outing of the season, the German stressed that it was “not a big issue,” though starting Coutinho may not be worth the gamble.

“The muscle was a little stiff. He felt something so we didn’t want to take a risk [against Burton],” he explained.

“We left him out of training until now. We have to make a decision on Friday with what we can do with him.

“It is not a situation to take any risk. We have to talk to the player.

“From the medical side, it is not a big issue, but it was big enough to leave him out of the squad for Burton.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Divock Origi after the 5-0 victory over Burton Albion during the Football League Cup 2nd Round match at the Pirelli Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Coutinho’s absence could be magnified by the loss of Divock Origi, too, with the 21-year-old striker suffering cramp in the latter stages at the Pirelli Stadium.

The attacking duo would join Emre Can, Loris Karius, Lucas Leiva, Joe Gomez, Sheyi Ojo on the sidelines, while Mamadou Sakho is back in first-team training but is unlikely to be considered.

This leaves Klopp with significantly fewer options in attack, but a summer of positive recruitment has allowed him more leeway, as he continued to explain on Thursday morning.

Adam Lallana can play there, Roberto Firmino can play there, Sadio Mane is back and he can play there,” he added.

“Usually, Sheyi Ojo could play there but he has not been fit for a few weeks.

“We have different players for that position but when two of them are not available you have a little bit of a problem.

“That is what football is. We are not allowed to have a squad of 28 players but we still have options.”

Lallana, Firmino, Mane and Daniel Sturridge are all strong candidates to start in attack in north London, while Danny Ings could also come into the squad as he is eased back to fitness.

Liverpool’s clash with Spurs kicks off at 12.30pm (BST) on Saturday afternoon, as Klopp looks to get his side back on track in the Premier League following a 2-0 loss to Burnley last weekend.

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Heavyweight Trio Aim For Third Successive Wins – Premier League Preview

Пт, 26/08/2016 - 09:00

Following League Cup action in midweek, the main event that is the Premier League returns to our screens this weekend.

We need to make the most of these next few days.

Lingering on the horizon is the first of several pesky international breaks this season – something no football fan looks forward to.

Fortunately, there is some excellent Premier League action on offer this weekend, as the table slowly starts to take shape in the early weeks of the campaign.

Here is a look at what is on offer.

Reds Look To Erase Burnley Nightmare

 Liverpool's J¸rgen Klopp before Kick Off against Burnley during the FA Premier League match at Turf Moore. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Few defeats in recent times have been as insipid and unexpected as Liverpool’s 2-0 loss at Burnley last Saturday, and it left the fanbase seething.

The Reds won 5-0 at Burton in the League Cup on Tuesday, however, and Jurgen Klopp‘s men now need to build on that result away to Tottenham this weekend.

White Hart Lane is never an easy place to go, and this is likely to be a match that is decided by a moment of magic or an error from either side.

Both teams play high-intensity football, which promises to make for entertaining viewing, but for the Reds, avoiding defeat is paramount.

Two losses in the first three games would not go down well.

Heavyweight Trio Aim For Third Succession Win

 Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho before the Premiership match against Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While Liverpool were falling to pieces at Turf Moor last weekend, Man City, Man United and Chelsea were all busy recording their second win in succession.

All three look strong this season, particularly the two Manchester clubs, and they will all believe three more points are in the bag this weekend.

On Sunday, City entertain a West Ham side who have not got going at all yet, while 24 hours earlier, United visit Hull and Chelsea host Burnley.

The Premier League is becoming more and more unpredictable by the week, but it is hard to see the trio not keeping up their 100 per cent records.

For Liverpool’s sake, hopefully a few upsets take place.

First Win For The Champions?

 Leicester City's manager Claudio Ranieri before the Premier League match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This season was never going to be easy for Leicester, with opponents upping their game against them this time around. Everyone wants to beat the champions.

Claudio Ranieri’s men have made a slow start to the campaign, picking up just one point, and they are still awaiting their first goal from open play.

Although a spark has been missing against both Hull and Arsenal, Saturday represents a great opportunity for the Foxes to register their first three points of the season.

Swansea visit the King Power Stadium, and with all due respect to the Welsh side, Leicester should have too much quality to see them off.

Another failure to secure victory would raise further doubts over their chances of finishing in the top six or seven this season.

Victory Imperative For Arsenal

 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger giving instructions during the FA Premier League match against Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Like Leicester, it has been a rather flat first few weeks of 2016/17 for Arsenal, with defeat to Liverpool and a 0-0 draw with the Foxes not much to write home about.

Despite gaining a reputation for being weak mentally, the Gunners are actually very good at responding from a slow start.

Arsene Wenger takes his team to Watford on Saturday afternoon, which on paper, looks far from the most straightforward of matches.

It is games such as these that Arsenal win, though, and with their squad now likely to be more match fit and less rusty, they should have too much for the Hornets.

A win is absolutely vital, especially when you look at how their rivals have started.

Time For “Fortress Goodison”?

 A general view of Everton's Goodison Park before the Premier League match against Liverpool, the 225th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)c

Last season, Everton were remarkably inconsistent at home, winning just six of their 19 Premier League games at Goodison Park.

Toffees fans are desperate to see a drastic turnaround in that respect, with more ruthlessness needed on their own turf.

Ronald Koeman is an excellent appointment, and four points from their opening two games, at home to Spurs and away to West Brom, is a good return.

On Saturday afternoon, they welcome Stoke to Goodison, and victory would be a positive statement of intent moving forward.

Stoke will pose a threat of their own, however, and while the 4-1 defeat at home to City last weekend looks comprehensive, they caused Pep Guardiola’s side problems.

Fixtures & TV Info

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Tottenham vs. Liverpool – White Hart Lane, Saturday 12:30, Sky Sports 1

Prediction: 2-2

Chelsea vs. Burnley – Stamford Bridge, Saturday 3pm

Prediction: 2-1

Crystal Palace vs. Bournemouth – Selhurst Park, Saturday 3pm

Prediction: 2-1

Everton vs. Stoke – Goodison Park, Saturday 3pm

Prediction: 1-1

Leicester vs. Swansea – King Power Stadium, Saturday 3pm

Prediction: 2-0

Southampton vs. Sunderland – St Mary’s Stadium, Saturday 3pm

Prediction: 1-0

Watford vs. Arsenal – Vicarage Road, Saturday 3pm

Prediction: 0-2

Hull vs. Man United – KCOM Stadium, Saturday 5:30pm, BT Sport 1

Prediction: 0-3

West Brom vs. Middlesbrough – The Hawthorns, Sunday 1:30pm, Sky Sports 1

Prediction: 1-1

Man City vs. West Ham – Etihad Stadium, Sunday 4pm, Sky Sports 1

Prediction: 3-1

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Jurgen Klopp’s 10 months at Liverpool – White Hart Lane trip provides chance to prove progress

Чт, 25/08/2016 - 22:00

Saturday’s trip to Tottenham sees Jurgen Klopp return to where it all began, with the Reds boss revisiting the scene of his first game in charge an eventful 10 months on from his Anfield bow.


Going back to where it began has been a recurring theme of Klopp’s time at Liverpool.

The German has already revisited the two clubs closest to his heart, recently taking his Reds to Mainz – where his management journey started – while last season’s reunion with Borussia Dortmund – where he became one of Europe’s leading coaches – was one of the standout moments of 2015/16.

Saturday will see another, as Klopp leads a much-changed team and club back at the venue of his first outing as Reds boss – 55 games, 25 wins, 16 draws and 14 losses down the line.

An occasion when comparisons will be drawn, contrasts found and progress measured, it seems the ideal time to reflect on what has been a manic 10 months.

Elation & Frustration

 Liverpool players celebrate the incredible 4-3 (5-4 aggregate) victory over Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho Correia, Lucas Leiva, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Mamadou Sakho. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If the early part of Klopp’s Anfield journey hasn’t moved as smoothly as hoped, it’s certainly matched his entertaining nature.

It’s quite crazy that we have experienced the wide ranging emotions we have in an incredibly short time, some of which will live with Kopites forever.

The feeling after sensationally defeating Dortmund stands out, with Klopp adding one of his first great European nights to Anfield’s collection.

So too does the Anfield win and European elimination of Man United, while disposing of Chelsea, Man City and Arsenal on their own turf were all games to enjoy.

Likewise, the 4-0 derby destruction of Everton, six-goal thrashings of Aston Villa and Southampton, and flawed but unforgettable 5-4 Norwich win.

And out Barcelona-ing Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez’s Barcelona in front of 89,400 Reds at Wembley was something to remember even if it was meaningless.

 Liverpool's Alberto Moreno looks dejected as Sevilla win 3-1 during the UEFA Europa League Final at St. Jakob-Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But there has also been frustration and disappointment too.

Most notably, with two painful cup final defeats – the Europa League loss in particular still hurts, with the springboard Champions League qualification would have provided this season.

And too many dire domestic displays have transpired, with spineless showings and capitulations against Watford, Newcastle, Southampton, Swansea and Burnley enough to make the most ardent Red question whether it’s all worth it.

Such moments have shaped the current Liverpool, which Klopp continues to build in his image not yet even a year after his Spurs bow.

Persisting Issues

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the International Champions Cup match against FC Barcelona at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has rejuvenated Liverpool and made impressive progress in some aspects since his debut.

But time hasn’t allowed all problems to be fixed – most of which come on the pitch.

The team are still plagued by a lack of steeliness in midfield and defence, which has proved detrimental to the speed of Liverpool’s development.

The Reds have proved too easy to play against for physical opponents, and too often sloppy results have undermined positive wins, making for one of the most frustratingly inconsistent Anfield sides.

Conceding over a goal a game largely through set-pieces and weak defending still proves Liverpool’s undoing and while a blistering attacking force, closing in on scoring two goals a game, is taking shape, defensively much work is needed.

 Sam Volkes scores for Burnley during the FA Premier League match at Turf Moore. (Pic by Gavin Trafford/Propaganda)

Familiar areas of the team still need addressing, raising an interesting point on whether Klopp is too trusting of players who have at times failed him.

Problems are more infrequent in attack, but the long-standing issue of breaching teams happy to park the bus lingers.

As does Liverpool’s tendency to capitulate when it matters most, often bottling big occasions – and sorting this is a huge challenge as Klopp seeks to restore glory.

On The Right Road

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp after the 5-0 victory over Burton Albion during the Football League Cup 2nd Round match at the Pirelli Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s been far from all doom and gloom though and the Reds are firmly on the right track – which Klopp can highlight upon inevitable questioning this weekend.

Most positive since his debut has been the refreshing mentality shift that only the best is good enough – and while this will take time to fully implement, it may be the most important for success to arrive.

Equally vital is the belief and never-say-die attitude installed in his squad and the stands, which has gone some way to reconnecting the disconnected bond between players and fans that must grow stronger yet.

In this time, Klopp has re-awoken Anfield’s atmosphere which has spurred his team to victory numerous times already – helped by the “doubter to believer” transformation called for upon arrival.

Crucially, Klopp has sparked an early improvement in transfer market operation, playing smart with unwanted goods and finding value for money when buying in the majority of cases.

Then there’s the on-pitch progress.

 Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates the 3-1 victory over Chelsea with Emre Can and James Milner after the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by Lexie Lin/Propaganda)

Klopp’s man-management has taken some Reds to new heights, with the likes of Dejan Lovren, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Divock Origi all making huge strides under his influence.

As such, Liverpool’s added ability to “strike back” has proven a fantastic and much-needed implementation – as has the fearless approach to big away games like at Stamford Bridge, the Etihad and the Emirates, which will need displaying this weekend.

The ability to blitz opponents makes Liverpool a force to be reckoned with when it clicks, and if that can be made a regular occurrence and the defensive lapses and inconsistency sorted, his future days promise great things.

Revisiting Spurs

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

For all the comparisons and contrasts ahead of his Tottenham return, the German will hope for one key difference on Saturday.

Pressing their way to a respectable goalless draw on his bow, Klopp will be desperate for a more complete performance and all three points this time around.

A difficult task awaits his transformed group – which has seen eight new arrivals and 12 departures since his first outing – against a Spurs side with title ambitions, buoyed by an unbeaten start.

But having blitzed Arsenal just five miles up the road before what hopefully proves the Burnley blip, the Reds have shown their blistering potential and will be confident of repeating at a ground notoriously the more rewarding in north London.

Getting back on track at Burton was a positive response – especially the much-improved clinical final third display.

But building on positive results has proved problematic for Klopp’s Liverpool, too often following the good with the bad and the ugly.

Klopp will hope his side begin to change that cycle on his return to where it all began this Saturday.

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