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Liverpool working with set-piece experts ahead of Champions League final

Liverpool are again working with neuroscientists ahead of the Champions League final, with Jurgen Klopp having lauded German group neuro11’s penalty expertise.

The Reds are hoping to lift a seventh European Cup, and a third trophy of the season, this weekend as they take on Real Madrid in Paris.

It would cap an incredible season for Klopp’s squad, who have already triumphed in the FA Cup and League Cup – doing so both times on penalties.

Back in February, Liverpool overcame Chelsea 11-10 in a Wembley shootout, with goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher the 11th player to find the back of the net, while earlier this month, it was 6-5 against the Blues in the FA Cup final.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 25, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold takes a free-kick wearing sensors on his head from Neuro during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Both times, Klopp credited neuro11 for their brain training exercises with the squad as being crucial to spot-kick success.

“They got in contact with us a few years ago. They are neuroscientists and they said ‘we can train penalty shooting’,” the manager explained after the FA Cup final.

“We said ‘really? That sounds interesting, come over’. And so this trophy is for them, just like the Carabao Cup was.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 25, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold takes a free-kick wearing sensors on his head from Neuro during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

And as Liverpool took in an open training session at Kirkby on Wednesday afternoon, three days before the Champions League final, neuro11 duo Dr Niklas Hausler and Patrick Hantschke were back working with the squad.

Klopp embraced Hausler while the players warmed up in front of the cameras, with the neuro11 founder having recently welcomed a new baby to his family.

In the days leading up to the Champions League final, neuro11 are expected to work with the Liverpool squad in both individual and team sessions, in anticipation of a penalty shootout in Paris.

Their work is not solely limited to penalties, but also corners and free-kicks, both direct and indirect.

On Wednesday, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were both working with the duo on free-kicks separate from the rest of the group.

The two full-backs worked on free-kicks in and around the box, both centrally and from wide, crossing into the box.

There was no penalty practice during the open media day, but that will surely take place behind closed doors later in the week.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 25, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold wearing sensors on his head from Neuro during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Both Fabinho and Joe Gomez return to full training with the Liverpool squad, but neither Thiago nor Divock Origi were involved.

Origi is not set to be involved after picking up a muscle injury last week, but the club’s medical staff are giving Thiago every chance to prove his fitness following an Achilles problem suffered in the 3-1 win over Wolves.


Liverpool squad in training on Wednesday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 25, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold takes a free-kick wearing sensors on his head from Neuro during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final game between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Kelleher, Adrian, Davies

Defenders: Van Dijk, Matip, Konate, Gomez, R. Williams, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Tsimikas, Beck

Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Milner, Jones, Elliott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Morton

Forwards: Salah, Mane, Diaz, Jota, Firmino, Minamino

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