Gini’s reasons for confidence & four get England call – Thursday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Thursday, following the Reds’ superb 3-1 win at Bayern Munich.

Today’s Main Headlines

Gini Delighted With “Big Step”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 19, 2019: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (L) and FC Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern M¸nchen at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool had struggled in big away games this season until Wednesday, when they saw off Bayern without too many dramas.

Gini Wijnaldum played his part as usual and he told LiverpoolFC.com that the win was a “big step” in the Reds’ season:

“It was really good. We managed to win an away game at Bayern Munich—which is quite difficult.

“I feel like we’ve taken a really big step, because a lot of people said after the first match that it was not a good result to play a 0-0, but we had a good feeling about it because we didn’t concede a goal.

“We know the way we’re playing, we can always create chances so we were quite confident we would create chances here and score goals. That says something about the team itself.

“A lot of teams struggle here to get a result, but we still did it. We have a lot of confidence but we also work hard to bring things together in a good way.”

Liverpool’s quarter-final opponents will be revealed in Friday’s draw (11am GMT), with Premier League rivals Man City, Tottenham and Man United all in the hat, as well as Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax and Porto.

Classy Assessment from Kovac

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 19, 2019: FC Bayern Munich's head coach Niko Kova? reacts during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern M¸nchen at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Niko Kovac’s Bayern side were outplayed by Liverpool over the two legs, with the Bundesliga giants managing just two shots on targets in 180 minutes.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Kovac showed his sporting side, congratulating the Reds and admitting they were too strong throughout the tie:

“We were up against very, very strong opponents.

“I’d like to congratulate Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. They were the better team over the two matches.

“We kept the contest open until Liverpool’s second goal. You saw a set-piece can be decisive in a match like this.

“They closed us down well. We didn’t manage to play calmly and set up Lewandowski, that’s why it was a deserved defeat.”

Klopp Wants to Avoid English Clubs

MUNICH, GERMANY - Wednesday, March 13, 2019: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after his side's 3-1 victory during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between FC Bayern München and Liverpool FC at the Allianz Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Four English sides have made the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2008/09, making the likelihood of Liverpool being drawn a familiar foe high.

Klopp confirmed after the Bayern match that he would rather avoid City, Spurs or United, being drawn against a non-Premier League club instead:

“We would all say avoid the English sides, try to play teams from Europe.

“But someone will play against someone! It’s not something we have to think about now—we will play whoever we will take!”

The general consensus is that Porto would represent the ideal draw, but once the Champions League reaches this stage, anyone is capable of being a major threat.

Mane up for Award

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game, Bayern Munich (Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Sadio Mane was magnificent against Bayern, scoring twice and wreaking havoc up against a creaking defence.

The Senegalese’s brilliance has not gone unnoticed and he has been nominated for the Champions League Player of the Week award.

Also up the prize are Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Leroy Sane—not bad company to be in.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Juventus’ thrilling comeback against Atletico Madrid, Messi scored twice and registered a couple of assists in Barcelona’s 5-1 thrashing of Lyon and Sane netted in Man City‘s 7-0 rout of Schalke.

You can vote for Mane here.

Four Get England Call – but Glatzel Is Elsewhere

DERBY, ENGLAND - Friday, March 8, 2019: Liverpool's Curtis Jones celebrates scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Derby County FC Under-23's and Liverpool FC Under-23's at the Derby County FC Training Centre. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rhys Williams, Curtis Jones and Bobby Duncan have all been named in England’s U18s squad for their upcoming games against Japan (March 20), the Czech Republic (March 22) and Mexico (March 24).

The trio have all shone at Liverpool’s academy this season, with Duncan thriving, in particular, in tandem with Paul Glatzel up front.

Glatzel himself will be representing Germany U18s, however, even though he was born in Liverpool and was previously an England U16s international. Both of the striker’s parents are German.

Williams has produced some Virgil van Dijk-esque showings at centre-back for the U18s, while Jones has continued to impress in midfield when featuring for the U23s.

Meanwhile, Adam Lewis has been called up to the Three Lions’ U20s team for their clashes with Poland (March 21) and Portugal (March 26).

Champions League Final Ticket News

NYON, SWITZERLAND - Monday, December 17, 2018: The European Cup trophy on display during the UEFA Champions League 2018/19 Round of 16 draw at the UEFA House of European Football. (Handout by UEFA)

We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we promise!

UEFA have confirmed that supporters of the two teams at the Champions League final on June 1 will be allocated just 17,000 tickets each.

That has led to concern that season-ticket holders of English clubs may not all be able to go, with four Premier League sides in the quarter-finals.

The showcase event takes place at Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, which has a capacity of 63,500.

Another 4,000 tickets will be made available to the general public, with the remaining seats “allocated to the local organising committee, UEFA and national associations, commercial partners and broadcasters.”

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