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Options for Liverpool in Daniel Sturridge’s absence

53 минуты 21 секунда назад

Recent reports suggest that Daniel Sturridge is set to be out of action for a month with a hip injury – his fourteenth injury in just over two years at Anfield. Josh Sexton weighs up Liverpool’s options to replace the stricken striker.

Raheem Sterling

 Liverpool's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the second goal against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Perhaps Liverpool fan’s favourite to replace Sturridge in the lone striker role, the 20 year old has played up top several times during the season, however his recent form may be a cause for concern for Brendan Rodgers.

With stalling contract negotiations Sterling has appeared to struggle to focus on footballing matters in recent times, however with the Reds now sitting five points adrift of the top four, the England international will need to improve his domestic form in order to help Liverpool in their top four charge.

Sterling’s pace and trickery are a huge asset for Liverpool when he is on his game and can be key in replacing the attributes lost with Sturridge on the sidelines, and if he improves his end product he can make a huge contribution to the top four challenge.

Mario Balotelli

 Liverpool's Mario Balotelli celebrates scoring the first goal against Besiktas JK from the penalty spot during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ever the controversial choice, the Italian striker has recently taken to social media to have a pop at his critics, but the best way to prove his critics wrong would be to help fire Liverpool into the top four.

There is no doubt that Balotelli has the ability to succeed but his attitude is often called into question, but if he channels it correctly, his determination and ambition can be very important for the Redmen.

With just one Premier League goal to his name “Super Mario” will be looking to improve his record and he may get the chance to with Sturridge’s latest setback, if he does get the chance then it is down to him to show the Anfield faithful that he can be an important player going forward.

Rickie Lambert

 Liverpool's Rickie Lambert celebrates scoring the second goal against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The boyhood Liverpool fan has had very little chance to stake his claim to be a starter for Liverpool, although he most likely knew that he would only play a bit part role at the club.

The biggest problem for Lambert seems to be that he doesn’t fit the style of striker that Rodgers requires with the way the team is set up. The Reds need somebody who can get in behind the defence and penetrate; however Lambert’s lack of pace limits his ability to do this.

Should he be given the chance, the four million pound signing from Southampton will be more than eager to show Liverpool fans that he does belong at Anfield, and show them why he was signed in the first place.

Fabio Borini

 Liverpool's Fabio Borini scores the first goal against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The forgotten man in terms of Liverpool’s attacking options, the Italian had the chance to leave the Reds in the summer, however he decided to stay and fight for his place, a decision which has seen him rarely even make the bench for much of this season.

Borini has shown in the little time that he has featured that he is willing to put in the effort, but it is more a question of his quality as a footballer and his finishing that will concern Rodgers and the fans.

It is unlikely that the Italian will be drafted in as a Sturridge replacement, but if he does then fans can expect to see a relentless effort from the former Swansea man and if he can show a scoring touch, he may just be able to rescue his Liverpool career.

Two up top?

 Liverpool's Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini looks dejected as PFC Ludogorets Razgrad score a late equalising goal during the UEFA Champions League Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The second half of the past two games has seen Rodgers’ revert to the diamond formation that featured for much of last season, and has served the Reds well in the past.

If Rodgers does decide to go back to the diamond this would mean Liverpool would likely return to two strikers, who will fill them two spots is the main question.

Balotelli and Sterling would be the most likely pairing, although the Liverpool manager has shown a tendency to experiment with his options, meaning we could perhaps see Coutinho or Lallana playing in a role just off the striker, rather than having two out and out strikers.

Whatever happens the Reds need to hope they can profit quickly with a crucial game against Arsenal up next in their push for a Champions League spot, and more important games still to come.

Who do you want to see start at striker with Sturridge out? Let us know in the comments below.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Reports claim Raheem Sterling would reject £180k at Liverpool

6 часов 4 минуты назад

Tenuous reports are suggesting Raheem Sterling could be about to reject a whopping £180,000 a week at Liverpool, as uncertainty continues to surround his Reds future.

 Liverpool's Raheem Sterling celebrates scoring the second goal against Southampton during the FA Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s important to stress that these rumours emerging are far from the most credible. Not one Liverpool-based journalist- Chris Bascombe, James Pearce et al- has reported this, and you have to question whether certain people are trying to unsettle Sterling.

Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail is one who has not always had the nicest things to say about Liverpool, and he claims that their star 20-year-old is about to say no to £180,000 a week.

If true, the deal would be one of the most lucrative for a player in Reds history, but it is claimed Sterling will reject it because of concerns over his use as a wing-back.

The English starlet reportedly, and correctly, believes he is at his best in a front three, and his impressive performance in that role for England against Lithuania on Friday proved that somewhat.

 Liverpool's Raheem Sterling in action against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Meanwhile, John Cross of the Mirror reports that Arsenal are waiting in the wings should Sterling’s contract talks on Merseyside fall through. Cross is an Arsenal fan through and through though, which certainly makes you question the validity of the rumours.

He claims that the Gunners have joined the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in showing a genuine interest in Sterling, and also mentioned the possibility of Theo Walcott moving to Liverpool as a replacement.

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group made it abundantly clear that they would not sell Luis Suarez to Arsenal in the summer of 2013, so why would they be any different with one of their latest prized assets?

It’s fair to say we are all growing a little concerned by the constant rumours surrounding Sterling’s future, but these latest reports should not be taken too seriously.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Video: Mario Balotelli and Steven Gerrard goals in Liverpoool FC All-Star Match

6 часов 5 минут назад

In case you missed it, Mario Balotelli and Steven Gerrard were both on the scoresheet during the Liverpool FC All-Star Match at Anfield on Sunday.

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Video: LFC

The sold out occasion saw a plethora of Liverpool stars past and present turn out to raise money for the Liverpool FC Foundation and pay tribute to Gerrard.

Balotelli opened the scoring early on with a bullet right-foot shot past Brad Jones from outside the penalty area, before Didier Drogba doubled the lead for Jamie Carragher’s XI.

Gerrard converted two penalties either side of half-time to equalise for his side as the game finished 2-2 and the Kop saluted some heroes of yesteryear.

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Video: Fernando Torres: Liverpool supporters are different class

6 часов 15 минут назад

Former Liverpool forward Fernando Torres says it was an emotional return to Anfield, and praised the supporters who chanted his name on the Kop.

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“[It was] so emotional after many years to come back here and I feel the love of the people,” said Torres in an interview with LFCTV at the after match party at the Hilton hotel in Liverpool.

“Liverpool supporters, everybody knows, are different class,” said the Spaniard – who scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for the club from 2007 to 2011.

“For me it was an unforgettable day,” said Torres.

“My best memories are playing football at Anfield.”

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Suarez: I’d only come back for Liverpool

17 часов 4 минуты назад

Luis Suarez graced the Anfield turf again on Sunday and vowed that if he ever returned to England, it would only be to play for Liverpool.

 Luis Suarez of Liverpool salutes the fans at the end of the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

The Uruguayan forward was back on his old ground for the first time since his summer move to Barcelona to play a part in the Liverpool FC Foundation All-Star charity match between teams picked by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher.

He came on as a half-time substitute alongside another ex-Reds hero Fernando Torres, with the two delaying their entrance before being met with huge cheers from those in attendance.

Suarez had an impact too, winning a penalty off Carragher moments after nutmegging him, and Gerrard netted that spot-kick to go with his earlier 12-yard conversion in a game which finished 2-2.

The 28-year-old led the lap of honour with Liverpool’s club captain after the match and told LFCTV that were he to return to the Barclays Premier League, Anfield would be his only destination.

“You never know in football what the future holds but if I ever play in England again I will play for the Liverpool team and not another team,” he said.

It was no surprise to see Suarez receive such adulation from the Reds faithful after a goal-laden three-and-a-half-year spell with the club.

And while he is forging his own reputation in Barcelona now, he still fondly remembers his spell in England.

“I’ve missed the fans,” added Suarez, who scored the winner in El Clasico against Real Madrid seven days ago.

“The atmosphere is unbelievable, it’s amazing. Everyone who’s played for Liverpool knows how important the supporters are. They know they are in my heart.”

 Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard share a joke at the end of the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

Torres himself may have been more taken aback by the positive reception he received, though, after initially souring his relationship with Liverpool fans when he left for Chelsea in 2011.

However, any fears he may have had about supporters still holding a grudge were allayed when his name was read out to cheers before the game and the Spaniard’s name was chanted by the Kop in the second half.

“It was very emotional, I didn’t know how to react,” he added on Liverpoolfc.com. “I wasn’t expecting them to sing the song.

“I still remember the great games we had here at Anfield in the Champions League, in the league and fighting for trophies. I have the song in my head, it was so important for me.

 Fernando Torres salutes the Kop during the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

“Those three-and-a-half years changed my entire life and career. I remember the song from the Kop in important games. To hear that once again is something I will never, ever forget.”

Carragher’s team had gone two goals ahead through Mario Balotelli and Chelsea’s Didier Drogba before Gerrard, playing on the same ground where he earned his rapid dismissal against Manchester United a week ago, slotted home his two spot-kicks to ensure a draw.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Torres, Suarez and former Liverpool players thank the fans on emotional Anfield return

19 часов 24 минуты назад

The former Liverpool goalscorers led a host of former players in taking to social media to thank fans on their return to Anfield on Sunday.

 Luis Suarez of Liverpool salutes the fans at the end of the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres and many other former Liverpool stars took to Anfield on Sunday as part of Steven Gerrard‘s All Star charity game.

The Reds captain led a select XI against a Jamie Carragher-helmed side, with the game finishing at 2-2 in front of a packed and rapturous Anfield crowd.

Goals from Carragher selections Mario Balotelli and Chelsea striker Didier Drogba were followed by a pair of penalties from Gerrard to level the score; with no extra time or penalties scheduled, the two sides had to make do with a draw.

After the game, Gerrard led the players in a lap of honour around Anfield, with many having left the club without what could be deemed a reasonable farewell.

Following from that, Torres, Suarez and Co. took to social media to thank the fans for once and for all—here is a selection of the best:

Not able to play, but still great to be back at Anfield today .#LFCALLStars pic.twitter.com/QimnDia7Gp

— Dirk Kuyt (@Dirk_18_Kuyt) March 29, 2015

We'll never walk alone. pic.twitter.com/AMcdabnL68

— Álvaro Arbeloa (@aarbeloa17) March 29, 2015

Very happy being with a big part of @LFC's History. Great Gerrard! pic.twitter.com/ETqbBzwtMu

— Fernando Torres (@Torres) March 29, 2015

THANKS to Liverpool!! you'll always have a piece of my heart ..Proud to have represented you during 8 years! #YNWA pic.twitter.com/5LshyUUxag

Pepe Reina (@PReina25) March 29, 2015

From the bottom of my heart, thank you ALL for this great day… I'm humbled that i could be part of today #YNWA

— Ryan Babel (@Ryanbabel) March 29, 2015

Siempre agradecido a esta afición / Always thankful to this supporters @LFC #LFCAllStars pic.twitter.com/OmFzKFM1Yt

— Fernando Torres (@Torres) March 29, 2015

Thank you very much for this day. Great memories, great atmosphere, ANFIELD!!! #allstargame #legends #LFCFundation pic.twitter.com/RBdGasERo1

— Luis Garcia (@LuchoGarcia14) March 29, 2015

Unbelievable to be back at Anfield and surrounded by great players… Here a picture with the greatest one!! pic.twitter.com/IGkFlY1Oge

— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) March 29, 2015

A lot of good memories on my return to Anfield! Thank you all @LFC #LFCAllStars pic.twitter.com/t5BSLwQxhl

— Fernando Torres (@Torres) March 29, 2015

And one more thing…

Whatever you do, do it in your own style. #BeTheBoss pic.twitter.com/wtYvddrS9I

— Raul Meireles (@OficialMeireles) March 29, 2015

Please donate!

If you are in the UK and would like to donate to the Liverpool FC Foundation and nominated charities by text then please text YNWA15 followed by the amount you are donating to 70070. You may give £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.*

Example of text message: YNWA15 £10

You will receive a thank you text with a link to gift aid your donation. If you’re not in the UK and would like to donate, please visit http://foundation.liverpoolfc.com/get-involved for information.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Photos: Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres – the Liverpool partnership that never was

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 23:02

When Luis Suarez signed for Liverpool on January 31st 2011, hours later Fernando Torres left the club for Chelsea.

 Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres shake hands at the end of the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

It was the partnership that never was. Then temporary manager Kenny Dalglish had hoped to pair the Spaniard and Uruguayan together but Torres departed for Chelsea for £50 million and the Reds signed Andy Carroll for £35 million from Newcastle.

Over three years later, Anfield finally witnessed the duo in tandem.

They arrived onto the pitch for the second half of the All Star charity match to rapturous applause – making supporters wait by holding off their introduction until the rest of the players had lined up on the pitch.

 Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres warm up prior to the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

Alas, there was no goal for either player; Jamie Carragher doing his best to deny either of them a fairytale return. Although, Suarez did win the penalty that saw Steven Gerrard equalise for 2-2.

Both players received a warm ovation from the Kop and had their songs aired after full time as the players performed a post-match lap of honour.

 Luis Suarez of Liverpool salutes the fans at the end of the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

 Fernando Torres salutes the Kop during the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

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“We’ll never walk alone” – Spanish duo savour Anfield return

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 22:52

Former Liverpool player Alvaro Arbeloa posted a photo alongside former Liverpool and Real Madrid team mate and Spanish compatriot Xabi Alonso as the pair returned to Anfield for the All Star charity match on Sunday.

We'll never walk alone. pic.twitter.com/AMcdabnL68

— Álvaro Arbeloa (@aarbeloa17) March 29, 2015

The duo were a key part of Rafa Benitez‘s side in the late 2000s – including the team that thrashed Real Madrid 4-0 and Man United 4-1 in the same week.

Alonso tweeted a photo alongside a host of players from the game, commenting “My Liverpool Family”.

My Liverpool Family. pic.twitter.com/kOTXG8dq6v

— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) March 29, 2015

MORE PHOTOS HERE

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Luis Suarez given hero’s welcome on return to Anfield

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 21:22

Luis Suarez was afforded a hero's welcome on his return to Anfield and won a second-half penalty in front of the Kop in the Liverpool All-Star charity match.

 Luis Suarez of Liverpool salutes the fans at the end of the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

The 28-year-old Barcelona forward was a half-time substitute for Steven Gerrard's team and earned a spot-kick off opposing captain Jamie Carragher, which his own skipper converted in a 2-2 draw in a contest organised in aid of the Liverpool FC Foundation.

Suarez was back at his former home for the first time since his summer move to Spain and was introduced at half-time along with ex-Reds striker Fernando Torres, the two delaying their entrance to appear in unison amid huge roars of support.

Unbelievable to be back at Anfield and surrounded by great players… Here a picture with the greatest one!! pic.twitter.com/IGkFlY1Oge

— Luis Suarez (@LuisSuarez9) March 29, 2015

While it was unsurprising the Uruguayan garnered such adulation, Torres may not have expected a positive reception four years after he left Merseyside for Barclays Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The duo predictably forged a useful partnership for the final 45 minutes and it was Suarez who won the second penalty after he nutmegged Carragher before being hauled down by the television pundit.

It was a pair of strikers still plying their trade in this country who stole the show in the first half.

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Liverpool's own Mario Balotelli broke the deadlock with a vicious, swerving hit from 25 yards and it was from the Italian's defence-splitting pass that Didier Drogba rounded Brad Jones and made it 2-0.

 Steven Gerrard scores a penalty kick during the Liverpool All Star Charity match at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Martin-Roberts/Propaganda)

Gerrard, back on the Anfield turf seven days after his rapid dismissal against Manchester United, made no mistake against Pepe Reina from 12 yards to reduce the deficit before half-time and it was his second penalty in the second period that meant it finished all square.

Suarez could not muster up a winning goal as he headed the game's final touch into the side-netting, but the biggest cheer was still reserved for him during the lap of honour.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Photo Special: Liverpool All Star Game – Gerrard XI 2-2 Carragher XI

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 20:19

The Liverpool All Star match between Steven Gerrard‘s and Jamie Carragher’s XI ended 2-2 on Sunday afternooon.

Carragher’s side took a 2-0 lead courtesy of goals from Mario Balotelli and Didier Drogba, but two Gerrard penalties equalled things up.

Here’s a selection of photos from the game as Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres returned to Anfield.

Re-read our live blog of the game here

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Liverpool FC All-Star Match — Gerrard XI 2-2 Carragher XI

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 17:10

Liverpool stars, former team mates and footballing rivals return to Anfield to celebrate the career of Steven Gerrard to raise money for the Liverpool FC Foundation and Alder Hey children’s hospital. We’re live from Anfield to bring you the latest from the All-Star match…

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The game is live only on LFCTV and LFCTVGO, our live commentary is brought to you by Jack Lusby and Matt Ladson.

Gerrard’s squad

Brad Jones, Glen Johnson, Kevin Nolan, Scott Dann, Ashley Williams, John Arne Riise, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Rickie Lambert, Xabi Alonso, Thierry Henry, Charlie Adam, Ryan Babel, Jay Spearing, John Terry, Stephen Warnock, Anthony Gerrard, Joao Carlos Teixeira.

Carragher’s squad

Jose Enrique, Luis Garcia, Didier Drogba, Craig Noone, Harry Kewell, Alvaro Arbeloa, Alberto Moreno, Stewart Downing, Lucas Leiva, Gael Clichy, Jamie Carragher, Pepe Reina, Fabio Borini, Peter Gulacsi, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Kelly, Jon Flanagan, Craig Bellamy, Mario Balotelli, Jerome Sinclair.

Substitutes

Cameron Brannagan, Joe Maguire, Lawrence Vigouroux.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Jordan Henderson relaxed about Liverpool contract situation

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 15:09

Jordan Henderson intends to stay at Liverpool for many years to come, despite having yet to extend his contract past next summer.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson in action against Manchester City during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 24-year-old has gone from the butt of jokes to become the Reds’ captain-elect with Steven Gerrard‘s time at Anfield soon coming to a close.

Henderson’s attitude and aptitude has ingratiated himself on Merseyside, where he plans to stay for a long time to come despite only having 15 months left on his contract.

The midfielder is relaxed about the situation, though, and has left agent and club to negotiate so his focus can remain on football.

“It’s definitely not (a major issue),” Henderson said. “I love playing football for Liverpool and I want to be there for many years.

“In terms of my contract, I think everybody else will make a big deal of it but for me it’s just letting my agent and the club deal with it and whenever it gets sorted, it gets sorted. All I want to do is my best for club and country.”

For England that means extending their winning record to an eighth match in Italy, while at Liverpool his short-term goal is success in this season’s FA Cup – something Henderson believes can prove just the start.

“At Liverpool we’ve got fantastic players, real quality players and a lot of potential,” the midfielder said.

“We’re a young team and I think there is great potential and a big part of us is wanting to be winners and winning trophies. I really feel we can do that.

“It is the same with England. I really feel we are going in the right direction and hopefully in the next Euros we can do something special.”

Henderson will no doubt play a key role if Liverpool and England are to be successful, with many seeing him as Gerrard’s heir apparent.

 Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard hands the armband to Jordan Henderson as he is substituted against Chelsea during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That is not something that particularly fazes him, nor something he believes he can achieve as “there will never be another Steven Gerrard“.

Henderson has, though, learned a lot from the Liverpool great, which will be key when he moves to the LA Galaxy at the end of the season.

“When I first came to the club he was brilliant with us,” he said. “When I wasn’t playing so much, he was just the same, helping us on the field with what I needed to do and improve on. And also off the field, he’s brilliant.

“He’s just got this sort of presence about him, that real leadership.

“He’s just a real humble person as well, which is amazing really, for all the young players at Liverpool. I’m sure everybody there has learnt a lot from him.”

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Категории: LFC NEWS

10 strikers for Liverpool to consider this summer

Вс, 29/03/2015 - 12:00

With Daniel Sturridge suffering yet another injury this week, Liverpool need to sign a first-team striker this summer, and Jack Lusby offers 10 options.

 Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge looks dejected against Swansea City during the Premier League match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

News this week that Daniel Sturridge had suffered another injury, this time leaving him on the sidelines for up to a month, should stress one thing to Brendan Rodgers: a new, first-team striker is a priority this summer.

This is only made worse by the poor output of Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert this season, all of which will likely be sold if possible when the transfer window opens.

At present, Raheem Sterling is Liverpool’s most dependable centre-forward, and he is arguably more effective in an attacking midfield role.

So who are the options for Liverpool in supporting Sturridge this summer?

Michy Batshuayi (Marseille)

While soon-to-be Liverpool striker Divock Origi has toiled in Ligue 1 this season, with just six goals in 25 games, another France-based Belgian has been quietly going about his business in a 19-game, bit-part role: Marseille forward Michy Batshuayi.

Behind 16-goal centre-forward Andre-Pierre Gignac, Batshuayi has had to make do with a substitute’s role for most of the season; however, this has yielded eight goals from just 718 minutes.

While traditionally used as a target man, Batshuayi has a large amount of pace and is able to play off the shoulder of opposition defenders, much like Sturridge.

Javier Hernandez (Manchester United, on loan at Real Madrid)

When Real Madrid loaned Javier Hernandez from Manchester United last summer, it represented one of the most needless transfers of the season—the Mexican was hardly getting games at Old Trafford, how would he fare as Karim Benzema’s backup?

Unsurprisingly, Hernandez has made just 13 La Liga appearances this season so far, with just one coming as a starter; however, he has scored three goals and made one assist in just 217 minutes.

Hernandez has the pace, movement and, importantly, knack for finishing, that would make him a success in this Liverpool system.

Stevan Jovetic (Manchester City)

 Liverpool's Sebastian Coates in action against Manchester City's Stevan Jovetic during the International Champions Cup Group B match at the Yankee Stadium on day ten of the club's USA Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Manchester City signing once-Liverpool target Wilfried Bony in January, Stevan Jovetic was given the ultimate snub in being left out of their 21-man Champions League squad in Bony’s favour.

Jovetic was said to be assessing his options after this decision, claiming being left out had “killed” him, and the 25-year-old will likely leave City this summer.

Liverpool would represent an ideal destination for him, particularly if Rodgers’ side are able to achieve Champions League qualification this season, and Jovetic would be an ideal signing, too.

A hard-working, intelligent centre-forward, Jovetic would suit Rodgers’ Reds.

Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)

Mauro Icardi piqued the interest of Liverpool fans earlier this season by declaring his joy at being linked with a move to Merseyside: “If the rumours about Liverpool are real, I would be honoured, because they are a big club.”

Despite Inter Milan’s struggles this season, Icardi has performed consistently, scoring 15 goals in 27 Serie A games—the Argentine is a pure, lethal finisher.

At just 22 years old, Icardi represents one of the finest young attacking talents in Europe, and could develop into a truly world-class centre-forward at Liverpool.

Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

 Arsenal's Theo Walcott scores the first goal against Tottenham Hotspur during the Premiership match at White Hart Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lazy rumours spawned last week linking Liverpool with a move for Arsenal forward Theo Walcott, amid the England man’s contract negotiations, and those of the Reds’ own Sterling.

However, while these are highly dubious, there is merit in Rodgers moving for Walcott—so long as his storied injury issues are limited to Arsenal’s prehistoric medical methods.

Pacey, intelligent and with an eye for goal, Walcott would make an astute addition to the Liverpool squad.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund)

Borussia Dortmund’s dramatic slide has now halted, and Jurgen Klopp’s side are now looking to climb the Bundesliga table and consolidate a top-half finish, but such disappointment could see some of their star names look elsewhere—if so, Liverpool should target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Signed for £9.5 million from Saint-Etienne in 2013, Aubameyang has quietly impressed at the Westfalenstadion, becoming a key feature of Klopp’s attack.

With his defining feature an unstoppable acceleration, and able to operate all across the front line, Aubameyang has scored 12 goals and made four assists in 25 league games so far this season.

Luciano Vietto (Villarreal)

vietto

One of the most likely options for Liverpool this summer will be Villarreal’s 21-year-old striker Luciano Vietto.

Suggested to be available for around £12 million this summer, a young, 18-goal, 36-game striker should be a no-brainer for Liverpool.

Tenacious, technical and with much potential to develop, Vietto would be a wise addition to Rodgers’ squad this summer, and his La Liga output this season would suggest he could comfortably stand in for Sturridge when required.

Nabil Fekir (Lyon)

Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette is garnering the majority of the transfer speculation during the Ligue 1 side’s storming 2014/15 season, but it is his striking foil that Liverpool should perhaps target this summer.

In 26 league games this season Fekir has scored 11 goals and made seven assists, with 1.4 key passes and 2.7 dribbles per game, the Algerian possesses the attacking effervescence that Liverpool need.

Lacazette will be a popular man this summer, but Fekir could be just as promising a signing for Rodgers.

Paulo Dybala (Palermo)

Touted for a big move away from Palermo all season, 21-year-old striker Paulo Dybala has continued the form that has made him such hot property.

With 12 goals and seven assists in 27 games makes him one of the most prolific in Serie A, and Palermo chairman Maurizio Zamparini claimed he was “evaluating a series of offers in a calm manner for the good of the lad’s future.”

Dybala is one of Europe’s most frequent dribbling centre-forwards, with 2.6 on average per league game.

Danny Ings (Burnley)

 England's Danny Ings in action against Wales during the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifying Group 1 match at the Liberty Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There is much speculation surrounding whether Burnley striker Danny Ings has already agreed a deal to Liverpool this summer, with the latest word claiming a deal is “looking more and more likely.”

Shouldering much of the goalscoring burden for Burnley this season, Ings has managed nine goals in 27 games, but it is his high work rate and technical ability which will endear him to Rodgers.

Reportedly available for just £3 million in compensation, Ings would be a great signing who is already well-versed in the demands of the Premier League.

Which striker should Liverpool make their priority to cover Daniel Sturridge next season? Let us know in the comments below.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Jordon Ibe injury latest

Сб, 28/03/2015 - 19:45

Jordan Ibe has provided some insight into his recovery from a knee injury, though no return date has been set.

 Liverpool's Jordon Ibe in action against Besiktas JK during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ibe returned from a loan spell at Derby County to produce a good run of form for Liverpool, before picking up the problem during the Reds’ Europa League exit to the hands of Besiktas in February.

The initial diagnosis on the injury was a month but that has doubled to eight weeks and PhysioRoom now predict a April 25th return date – meaning Ibe will miss the Reds’ next two key fixtures, at Arsenal and Blackburn.

But the 19-year-old says he’s recovering well and hopes to return before the end of the season to help with Liverpool’s push for the top four.

“I’m enjoying it and hopefully I can push on now, keep doing the gym sessions and hopefully get back into training soon and play again,” he told the club’s official website.

“I was a bit nervous coming back because I hadn’t been out on the grass for four weeks, but everything is going well.”

“It was the ligament on the side of my knee and they said I could be out for six to eight weeks, but everything has gone smoothly from here and hopefully I can crack on now and get back in action.

 Liverpool's Jordon Ibe in action against Everton during the Premier League match at Goodison Park, the 224th Merseyside Derby. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Things happen for a reason so hopefully I can just learn from this, build up the strength in my knee and come back stronger and hopefully be even better.”

Ibe has made 10 appearances for Liverpool’s first team over the last three seasons, with seven coming since January.

With Daniel Sturridge sidelined, meaning a return to a forward role for Raheem Sterling, it would have been nice to have Ibe available for the right wing-back role.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Fernando Torres opens up about his Anfield return and playing alongside Luis Suarez

Сб, 28/03/2015 - 19:18

Fernando Torres says he is very much looking forward to being reunited with Steven Gerrard and Liverpool’s fans when he returns to play in Sunday’s All-Star match at Anfield.

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Video: LFC
SEE ALSO: Fernando Torres: Time to Forgive and Forget?

An array of Reds stars past and present will take part in the game to raise money for the Liverpool FC Foundation.

Torres controversially left the club for Chelsea in 2011, enduring a torrid few years of form at Stamford Bridge. But now back at boyhood club Atletico Madrid and scoring goals, the striker is relishing returning to Liverpool this weekend.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting some of my old teammates, especially Stevie,” the 31-year-old told LFC TV. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great day and night for him.

“And also to meet Liverpool fans again; many times I have been back to Anfield as an opponent, but this time I’m going like part of the home team. It’s going to be a really emotional day for me.”

Asked about the prospect of playing alongside Luis Suarez — a partnership that Torres’ departure meant never happened during Kenny Dalglish‘s second regin as Liverpool manager — Torres said, “I saw what Luis did in his time at Liverpool and it was amazing, just amazing.

“Luis is a good friend – we have a good relationship and good friendship. We were sitting together for two days at Melwood when I was leaving and he was coming. We made good friends and we are still in touch now. I also know what it means to him to go back to Anfield and play there again.

“It will be great to play up front with him, especially with Stevie G behind us.

Steven Gerrard‘s XI vs Jamie Carragher’s XI in the All-Star game gets underway at 3pm on Sunday and is sold out. It will be broadcast live on LFC TV and LFC TV GO.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Pepe Reina relishing emotional ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in Anfield return

Сб, 28/03/2015 - 19:03

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina and midfielder Xabi Alonso have spoken fondly about their imminent returns to Anfield in Sunday’s All-Star game.

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Video: LFC

An array of Reds stars past and present will take part in the match to raise money for the Liverpool FC Foundation.

Now both at Bayern Munich, Reina was the first to explain the passion that will be reignited when he returns to Merseyside this weekend.

“It’s always a pleasure just to feel the emotions of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and be in front of the Kop,” he said.

“The fans were so respectful to me and my family during my time there, it’s a wonderful and enormous honour for me to return.”

Meanwhile Alonso, who left Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2009, is also relishing being reunited with Liverpool’s supporters.

He said, “I was gutted when Real Madrid and Liverpool were drawn together in the Champions League just as I was leaving for Bayern!

“Anfield is a special stadium and the fans make it special — it’s something different.”

Steven Gerrard‘s XI vs Jamie Carragher’s XI in the All-Star game gets underway at 3pm on Sunday and is sold out. It will be broadcast live on LFC TV and LFC TV GO.

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Raheem Sterling leaves England camp for Liverpool after injection in toe

Сб, 28/03/2015 - 18:41

Raheem Sterling has left the England camp after having an injection in his toe, but the Liverpool winger expects to be fit for next weekend's crucial Premier League match with Arsenal.

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The 20-year-old impressed in Friday's 4-0 victory against Lithuania, netting his first senior goal for the Three Lions in a one-sided Euro 2016 qualifier.

Sterling will not, though, be travelling with Roy Hodgson's side to Turin as an ongoing toe issue has ruled him out of Tuesday's friendly against Italy.

The winger – like James Milner, Leighton Baines and Danny Welbeck – has returned to his club, who next Saturday face a crucial match in the fight for the top-four.

Defeat at Arsenal would be a hammer blow to Liverpool's hopes of Champions League qualification – a match key man Sterling does not expect to miss.

"It had been pre-agreed with the FA and obviously my club to get an injection after the game," he said. "I will receive some treatment back at the club and go from there."

Asked if he would be okay for the trip to Arsenal, Sterling said: "Hopefully, yeah.

"I will get this injection now and see how it goes in the next few days. Hopefully I will be okay for the Arsenal game."

It is a match Sterling will approach buoyed by a memorable night in front of a sell-out Wembley crowd.

Lost amidst the excitement of Harry Kane's goalscoring debut was the fact that the Liverpool attacker's close-range effort was his first for England, coming on his 14th appearance.

"Yeah, definitely (it has preyed on my mind) but obviously that's part of the game," Sterling said.

"You've got to keep on and when a chance comes along, you've got to take it. Hopefully now I can continue to progress with England.

"Obviously it is good to get a win for England and good to get my first goal. It is a massive win for the team."

The goal was all the more special for Sterling given he grew up in the shadows of Wembley Stadium.

"It's been a long time coming to get my first goal, but I'm really happy and hopefully I can continue this with England," he said.

"I watched this stadium get built, so it was obviously pleasing to score at Wembley. It will live with me for a long time."

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Raheem Sterling’s England performance shows why he’s wasted at wing-back

Сб, 28/03/2015 - 02:11

Playing a starring role in England’s 4-0 win over Lithuania on Friday night, Raheem Sterling showed just why he must play in attack for Liverpool.

Harry Kane will likely hog the headlines, and Danny Welbeck was mysteriously awarded the official man-of-the-match award—albeit ordained by the deluded Andy Townsend—but Raheem Sterling shone once again on the international stage as England topped Lithuania.

Goals from Wayne Rooney, Welbeck, Sterling and Kane gave the Three Lions a 4-0 victory at Wembley to put them well on their way to Euro 2016.

Against lowly opposition, England were able to play a free-flowing attacking game, and dominated throughout.

Sterling was England’s star man on the night.

Raheem Sterling: MotM vs Lithuania, Rating 10, Shots 3, Goals 1, Assists 1, Dribbles 11 @england pic.twitter.com/x56DgPSR1C

— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 27, 2015

The 20-year-old scored one, assisted another and made a phenomenal 11 successful dribbles in a virtuoso forward’s display alongside Welbeck and Rooney.

Sterling’s goal came from an intelligent driving run into the box, latching on to Rooney’s weighted cross to poke home—his first goal in an England shirt, coming after 14 games.

Teeing up Kane for his own first Three Lions strike, just 80 seconds into his debut, Sterling’s chipped cross was perfectly weighted to allow the Tottenham Hotspur striker to crash a header in.

Likely watching on, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers will be delighted with how his young charge performed.

But perhaps most importantly this came in his natural attacking role.

In recent weeks, for the Reds, Sterling has been fielded in a wing-back role in Rodgers’ 3-4-2-1 formation and has failed to impress.

Now, with Daniel Sturridge facing another injury layoff, perhaps this will grant Sterling to opportunity to flash his attacking muscles once more in a central role for Liverpool.

Was Raheem Sterling your Man of the Match as England defeated Lithuania on Saturday night? Let us know in the comments below.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

LFC youngsters and non-internationals added to All Star match squads

Пт, 27/03/2015 - 19:30

A host of Liverpool youngsters and current first team players have been added to Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher’s squads for Sunday’s charity All Star match.

 Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher at the press conference to announce plans for an All-Star Charity friendly match to be played at Anfield on Sunday March 29th in aid of the Liverpool FC Foundation. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Two youngsters currently out on loan, Joao Carlos Teixeira and Jerome Sinclair, are included – they could get a first taste of a full Anfield.

Also included from the current squad are Alberto Moreno – who was left out of Spain’s Under 21s this week, Jon Flanagan – who has missed the season so far due to injury, Rickie Lambert – dropped for the England squad, Mario Balotelli – out of favour with Italy, and Glen Johnson.

The match will feature a host of former Liverpool players, ex-opponents and current first team and academy players.

Luis Suarez is listed among Gerrard’s squad, but Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles have been forced to withdraw due to injury.

With a total of 42 players named, hopefully the Main Stand expansion has seen the changing rooms expanded this week!

Gerrard’s squad

Brad Jones, Glen Johnson, Kevin Nolan, Scott Dann, Ashley Williams, John Arne Riise, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Rickie Lambert, Xabi Alonso, Thierry Henry, Charlie Adam, Ryan Babel, Jay Spearing, John Terry, Stephen Warnock, Anthony Gerrard, Joao Carlos Teixeira.

Carragher’s squad

Jose Enrique, Luis Garcia, Didier Drogba, Craig Noone, Harry Kewell, Alvaro Arbeloa, Alberto Moreno, Stewart Downing, Lucas Leiva, Gael Clichy, Jamie Carragher, Pepe Reina, Fabio Borini, Peter Gulacsi, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Kelly, Jon Flanagan, Craig Bellamy, Mario Balotelli, Jerome Sinclair.

Substitutes

Cameron Brannagan, Joe Maguire, Lawrence Vigouroux.

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Категории: LFC NEWS

Quiz: Name these 90s and 00s Liverpool players (part 2)

Пт, 27/03/2015 - 17:10

Relieve the boredom of the international break with our latest quiz. We’ve picked out 10 images of Liverpool players, past or present – all you’ve got to do is name them. Sounds easy?

Our last quiz on 90s and 00s players some said was too easy, so we’ve upped the ante by giving this one a twist.

MORE QUIZZES:

All images via Propaganda Photos.

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