It’s Friday, the weekend is next…and that means Liverpool back in action! Incredible scenes. Here’s all the build-up to the match and the rest of the headlines.
Minamino ready to shine for Reds
Ready to see the real Takumi Minamino? We might well get to do so over the coming weeks, as it appears he’s one of the players who has really stepped up and improved over this unexpected break.
James Milner said to Goal.com that he has been a stand-out with the Reds back in training recently:
“Taki has looked fantastic coming back in. This period might have helped him settle in, feeling like he’s been at the club longer than he has, really. It’s given him that extra time to get used to things.”
And Jurgen Klopp said the same ahead of the Merseyside derby, noting a complete change in the Japanese forward’s mentality and comfort around the squad.
“He looks really different in the moment, to the first three weeks when he tried to please everybody and do everything that we say, and that’s in a language he’s not 100 percent comfortable in and all these things.”
It will be fantastic to see a few really positive moments from our January signing before the campaign is out, and even better to see a few goals.
Richarlison raises derby stakes
Hope we’re all looking forward to the statistics reading ‘Richarlison shots: zero’ at the weekend.
The Everton striker says Virgil van Dijk isn’t in the world’s top three and says “there are better defenders.”
His claims of being able to dribble past our No. 4 and having scored against him are quite remarkable; he slipped at the end of the run into the box, and netted in a 5-2 loss. Like most Everton players, he’s yet to actually win against the Reds.
Should make the game even more interesting on Sunday!
In more match build-up, you can hear what Klopp had to say about Timo Werner joining Chelsea here and see his entire pre-match press conference here.
Now and next for LFC
It’s all about the game, the points and the title for the next few days—the Reds are back in town!
- Naby Keita has been impressing enormously in training, with coaches “raving” about his work
- Klopp has acknowledged he was worried about the Premier League season being cancelled with all the null-and-void noise of two months ago
- And here are our best moments of the season so far—can’t wait for the next one to be added to the list!
Quickfire LFC news
- Klopp says “nobody” is ruled out of the derby through injury right now (TIA)
- The Reds may not play in the League Cup next season as the dates clash with when European fixtures will take place (Times)
- Liverpool wanted Portuguese youngster Eduardo Quaresma but he has signed a new deal with a €40m release clause at Sporting (Jornal de Noticias)
- And forward Kirsty Linnett has signed a contract extension with Liverpool FC Women (LFC)
Around the Prem
- Reds-linked Bukayo Saka was close to a new deal but hasn’t yet signed – presumably the more he sees Arsenal play, the less likely he is to do so (Athletic)
- Leroy Sane has turned down a new Man City deal and will leave this summer…and just imagine the fume if Liverpool signed the ‘even better German’ instead of Timo (BBC Sport)
- N’Golo Kante will be sold to raise funds for more forwards, because Chelsea just plan to win games 5-4 next season (Athletic)
- And Everton have missed out on top target Gabriel Magalhaes, who will now sign for Napoli. Get ready to repeat that sentence with new names and teams all summer long (Footmercato)
Stupid club of the day
Burnley, what are you doing? They’d be absolutely nowhere without Sean Dyche, and plenty of other sides would happily take him—so do everything you can to keep him happy.
To note, that does not include not sorting out the futures of five players out of contract, even to the extent that the manager still can’t guarantee they’ll be there past the end of June.
Tweet of the day
Jordan Henderson, Liverpool 2019-20.
Radar and final 3rd entries.
Oh captain, my captain… pic.twitter.com/VsLXwmztld
— StatsBomb (@StatsBomb) June 19, 2020
What we’re reading
Jermaine Jenas takes a look at Wilf Zaha’s career and wonders whether he’s missed the boat for a big move, on BBC Sport.
And here’s an interesting one, given both [UK-based] Liverpool fans’ general disdain at the England national team and the current social climate: Former USA boss Bruce Arena says in the Guardian that national anthems are now “inappropriate” at major sporting events. Is he right?
Worth watching tonight
Norwich v Southampton, 6pm. Spurs v United, 8.15pm. Sevilla v Barcelona, 9pm. Strap in, the footy’s properly back! Have a great weekend!