After what feels like an eternity away from domestic action, we’re just two days from Liverpool’s next league game – and we have fitness news, stadium updates, a transfer rumour and more.
The boys are back in town
Liverpool’s first-team squad are all back to Melwood, ready and preparing for the weekend Premier League game…and that includes three recently injured players.
We already knew Xherdan Shaqiri was back and joining in with the main group, but the big news on Thursday is that both Andy Robertson and Mo Salah have joined in, too.
They could well be fit to feature at the weekend—Joe Gomez is fit and training, too—which just leaves Joel Matip sidelined through injury.
Some big decisions lie ahead for Klopp this weekend, then.
Fantastic Fabinho and how we snared the best
After Javier Mascherano’s departure, it was a constant source of frustration to some supporters that the Reds didn’t have a natural defensive midfielder in the squad for several seasons.
A variety of formerly offensive-minded players filled the void—Lucas Leiva, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson—until a certain Brazilian rocked up at Anfield.
The story of how he came to become perhaps the world’s finest in his position, and how Jurgen Klopp made sure he came to Liverpool ahead of several other interested clubs, is told here in gloriously positive detail.
We’ve always got one eye on the future at Liverpool—and that’s a pretty consistent theme with much of Thursday’s news.
- The latest squad development tool is the appointment of a sports psychologist, who joined Jurgen and Co. in the summer
- Ben White is the subject of interest from the Reds, with the 22-year-old currently at Leeds on loan from Brighton
- And Neco Williams has been on a massive upward curve of late, after making his senior debut and shining for Wales at youth level this week too
Salah concern over Olympics pick
Salah played in the Africa Cup of Nations this past summer, with Egypt hosting the tournament but failing to make it past the round of 16.
That of course means he played his Continental tournament one year earlier than the European Reds contingent will do, leaving summer 2020 free for rest for our No. 11.
Or so we thought.
Now, it appears that he may be picked as one of Egypt’s three overage players for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which run from late July to early August.
No decision has been taken yet, but it’s yet another concern to bear in mind and yet another demand placed on the players.
Quickfire LFC news
- Curtis Jones assures everyone he will be making fun of Gini Wijnaldum this week, comparing his unbelievable strike rate for the Netherlands with his fairly poor scoring record for the Reds
- The start of the process to expand Anfield further is underway, yay! It’s still atrociously awful trying to get tickets, boo. Check out the latest here
- “I would always trust his influence on the team. He is a winner and I would say he is the best in the world.” Sadio Mane has some serious admiration for Klopp, which means we all have something in common with the No. 10
- And if you want to get a sneak peak at who we might face in the Club World Cup final (should we get there, touch wood, etc)…then you can. The Copa Libertadores final will be shown on BBC on 23 November.
Around the Prem
- A couple of weeks ago, Unai Emery said Granit Xhaka might never play for Arsenal again. Today, he says he might play at the weekend! Pretty standard Arsenal shambles, really (BBC Sport)
- New Spurs boss Jose Mourinho (still sounds weird!) reckons his side can challenge for the league title next season (football.london)
- Hate crimes at football games are up 47 per cent, with Burnley fans reported more than any other club (Sky Sports)
- Everton striker Moise Kean says he wants to make amends for his mistake – but then reveals the mistake is his conduct, not his decision to join Everton (Mail)
Stupid news of the day
You may have read that Shakhtar Donetsk player Taison recently booted the ball into a group of fans who were racially abusing him.
Congratulations to the Ukrainian Association of Football, then, who have opted to allow to stand the one-match ban Taison receives for being sent-off for doing so.
That’s definitely the punishment to focus on here. Morons.
Tweet of the day
Four years ago today, Bobby scored his debut goal for the Reds…
But it's not just his finishes we love ?? pic.twitter.com/3TwYXWwOYd
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 21, 2019
What we’re reading
Spanish women footballers recently went on strike in a bid to secure fair pay; here, Athletic goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu explains what they did and what it achieved, to the Guardian.
And Miguel Delaney of the Independent identifies how Mourinho wowed Daniel Levy and asks whether he’s really going to be all that different for Spurs.
Worth watching tonight
For quite possibly the final time in 2019, there is nothing noteworthy to watch. Unless you are a fan of Brazilian second-tier action, perhaps…
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Liverpool FC have launched their Christmas range and it’s all available to buy online, so you can avoid the busy Christmas high streets!
There’s perfect Christmas gifts for him, her, the kids and babies, as well as replica shirts, fashion, Christmas jumpers, decorations and more.
We particularly like this “Corner taken quickly, ORIGI!” t-shirt celebrating Liverpool’s comeback against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in May.
* Click here to see the full range and start your LFC Christmas shopping!