Liverpool are preparing for a big upcoming week, needing to get back to winning ways after three defeats in the last four. Fitness and form news take centre stage on Thursday.
Naby back in training
Naby Keita had just got fit and back in the team after the winter break, before a hip injury saw him miss the last couple of fixtures once again.
But he was back in full training once more on Thursday, with Jurgen Klopp having previously said it was only a small issue with some pain preventing the No. 8 from playing.
Klopp’s press conference is on Friday, but we can expect further rotation for the Premier League game against Bournemouth. Whether Keita is involved immediately remains to be seen, but changes are needed in midfield as we look for the winning formula.
Fabinho acknowledges drop-off in form
He’s one of the best midfielders in the league, but he hasn’t played like it since coming back from injury.
Our long-legged Brazilian has struggled to find his rhythm of late – but at least he knows it, and is working his way back to his best form.
Fabinho says he has spoken to former Brazil international Cesar Sampaio, a defensive midfielder in the 1998 World Cup runners-up team, about his recent struggles, who is helping him discover what more he can do.
“As a former player, he knows that it isn’t easy for you to return with the same confidence, the same physical form… I had a chat with him, he was in my position too… It’s always good to talk to him.
“He gave me some positioning things, showed me some moves that I thought were positive, that I had been doing at Liverpool and he thought they could be used at the national team too. In addition to other tips to improve as well.”
Our No. 3 will surely return to his best soon – he has been one of the foundation stones for the team’s excellent season so far.
All about the players
Some individual thoughts today, ranging from our talented youth to one of the Atletico keys trying to take away our European crown.
- Virgil van Dijk reckons anyone suggesting the Reds will “only” win the title are having an absolute laugh, and rightly so
- Curtis Jones has led the plaudits from the Reds’ U23s toward Neil Critchley, explaining how he helped him progress to the fringes of the first team
- And Koke has given it the customary “we’re not scared of Anfield,” though also more wisely says Atletico should play to win the second leg
Ticket changes ahead
Fed up of the terrible ticket system denying you Anfield entry?
It could all be about to change, after the club confirmed a new system would be put in place soon.
Undoubtedly there will still be some left unhappy, as there’s simply not enough seats for the amount of people who would go to watch Liverpool play every week, but any step forward should be welcomed.
Fans have largely reacted well to the news, though perhaps one or two areas still need clarification.
Quickfire LFC news
- A summer Champions League? It could effectively be on the cards, with an ICC expansion and UEFA link-up looking likely (TIA)
- Loris Karius has suggested the floodlights used in Turkey cause him to lose concentration and be unable to see the ball properly (Fotospor)
- And Jadon Sancho will cost around £120 million to sign this summer, with the Reds and Man United both hoping to land him (FourFourTwo)
Around the Prem
- Premier League games could be played behind closed doors within weeks, with officials still considering the best course of action. While it would mean a drop-off in cashflow for most clubs, with 40-50,000 people not going to games, Man City should be fine. Closed doors, open doors…No difference really (Mirror)
- Harry Kane would prefer a move to Man United over staying at Spurs for a rebuild, and we are all utterly stunned at this revelation which has definitely not been on the cards for about two years (Goal)
- Everton striker Cenk Tosun, on loan at Crystal Palace, has suffered an ACL tear and will have surgery next week (BBC Sport)
- And the Ev, West Ham and Watford all want Hirving Lozano, who only joined Napoli last summer. How does a talented Mexican international choose between Moysey, Pearson and no trophies, ever? (Calciomercato)
Stupid incident of the day
Hard to pick the most at-fault individual here, but quite obviously Eric Dier cannot be racing into the stands to battle with fans, just as the fans cannot be allowed to confront players on the pitch.
Video of the day
What we’re reading
An intriguing story of the Lewin cousins, who worked as physios at the top of the English game, by Nick Ames for the Guardian.
And Mark Critchley’s look for the Independent at how Wayne Rooney is something of an unnatural fit as a Manchester United club legend.
Worth watching tonight
Probably have a night off, unless you want Rooney vs. Bruno Fernandes in the FA Cup…