Liverpool are back in proper training tomorrow, albeit in small groups, as the resumption of the 2019/20 Premier League season continues to creep closer.
Everything positive when it comes to the title
Liverpool are close, so close, to sealing a first top-flight championship for 30 years.
It won’t, of course, be won in exactly the way we envisaged: no wild Anfield celebrations, no streets packed with fans, no pitch invasions or any of those other things.
But it will still be a league title, once we get back into game mode and clock up six more points.
And all the latest signs are extremely positive that it will go as smoothly as possible off the pitch and the world will accept the Reds as fully deserved winners, starting with some wise words north of the border.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has pointed out exactly why “tainted title” talk is absolute nonsense, with his team now crowned champions after the season was cut short.
Meanwhile, the Premier League have been watching how their German counterparts handled the return to action this weekend and have drawn great encouragement from how well it went.
And the league are also optimistic on being able to give the Reds a proper trophy ceremony, as and when we confirm our status as Premier League champions. Something to look forward to, and a great reward for the players’ efforts.
Reds hold Sane interest?
Liverpool are linked with all sorts of German-based and German-born players—though this one is a bit of a surprise, albeit an exciting and pleasant one.
German journalist Christian Falk is a prolific tweeter of rumours, it must be said, as the head of Sport Bild, and now he says that the Reds were keen to land Leroy Sane from rivals Man City.
However, Falk also suggests that Sane wouldn’t leave City for a rival and also wants to go only to Bayern Munich, though doesn’t note whether that would be this year or next—when he’d be a free agent.
As a side note, Falk was replying to ‘rumoured interest’ from a notorious joke media account…presumably he knew that and was just capitalising on the content…
First-team squad back in town!
The Reds are almost back together again—though it’ll sadly be a case of no hugs permitted. Would you break social distancing rules for a Jurgen bear-hug?!
- Trent and Robbo have been epic inspirations throughout the lockdown period for the vulnerable and needy
- Fellow left-back Danny Rose says Robbo is a “freak of nature” who he has to try and match the standards of
- And here’s all you need to know about the return to group training for Premier League teams this week
Leagues restart latest updates
Serie A will not start until June 15 at the earliest, after the Italian government increased their ban on sporting events. They are still hoping to restart some time in mid June.
LaLiga are aiming for a 12 June restart and a dossier has been leaked detailing how almost 200 people will be inside the stadium per game.
Players will undergo tests for coronavirus 24 hours before kick-off and need medical certificates proving they are not infected before being allowed to play.
And in the Premier League the latest news is that six positive tests for coronavirus have returned from 748 carried out across all 20 clubs, including players and staff.
This is not an unexpected outcome and is largely in line with Spain, where five cases returned as positive from the top two leagues earlier in May.
Those who returned positive are in quarantine for a minimum of seven days, though no names are being released.
Quickfire LFC news
- Adam Lallana has been offering advice to Bournemouth U18s during the lockdown (AFCB)
- The Reds are hopeful that Xherdan Shaqiri will be fit when he returns to Melwood but must wait for final checks (ES)
- Gini has discussed his goal celebrations and why Firmino is his hero (LFC)
- And the Premier League will send secret inspectors on surprise visits to training grounds to make sure protocols are being followed (TIA)
Around the Prem
- Troy Deeney has opted against returning to training due to a five-month old baby at home who has had breathing difficulties previously, which should absolutely be the right for any individual player to make (BBC Sport)
- Chelsea ‘keeper Willy Caballero has extended his deal for another year. Presumably those bench seats must be very comfy (BBC Sport)
- Man United are going to jump into action and sign Koulibaly because they’ve read rumours Liverpool want him, so clearly Ed Woodward places a lot more stock in Calciomercato rumours than we do (Gazzetta)
- And Pochettino is now free to take another managerial job in the Premier League after his Spurs gardening leave ended. Shame for him, nobody has been on a bad run of form over the last couple of months (Telegraph)
Stupid club of the day
Hull, the actual club, wanted the entire Championship season null-and-voided, and are “disappointed” that their letter to the EFL saying so has been leaked to the public. We bet they are!
Guess where they were in the table? That’s right! One place above the relegation zone!
“Our primary concern throughout this difficult time has been for the health and safety of our players and staff,” they say.
SURE IT HAS BEEN.
Tweet of the day
On this day in 2013 @Carra23 played his last game for the reds.
Imagine the absolute scenes if this had gone in! ? pic.twitter.com/2dTO08oY0A
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) May 19, 2020
What we’re reading
Something to think about: how ground staff are trying to keep the pitch clear of coronavirus at pitches around Europe, on the Athletic.
And 20 years after Deportivo La Coruna won LaLiga, the story of Donato, the man who sealed the title, by Sid Lowe in the Guardian.