It’s time to look back at the month that was May to crown the final Liverpool Player of the Month for the 2022/23 season. The Reds contested five fixtures over the course of the month, registering three wins and two draws.

The unbeaten streak was maintained and extended to 11games but it was too little, too late to secure a top four finish. It kicked off with a 1-0 victory over Fulham, with Brentford suffering defeat by the same scoreline straight after. Leicester were then despatched on their own ground as Klopp’s men romped to a 7th consecutive victory.

The final games of the month were emotional affairs as the club said goodbye to Roberto Firmino, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita. Bobby signed off in style, netting in the last two games (a 1-1 home draw vs Villa and a crazy eight goal thriller at Southampton on final day.

It has been an arduous campaign, with a fifth place league finish seeing the club seal Europa League qualification. 11 points from a possible 15 is an admirable return in May, here are the top three highest rated performers:

=2. Virgil Van Dijkavg. rating (7.6)

The Dutchman managed to find a level of consistency across the month that had deserted him for most of the campaign. He helped the side to three clean sheets in his four appearances, notching an assist as well. It was a strong end to the season for the big man.

He started the month off with a strong display against Fulham, following that up with another against Brentford. He set up the winning goal against the Bees as he unselfishly headed back across the face of goal for Salah to tap home.

At Leicester, he commanded the backline with authority on the way to another clean sheet, before making his last appearance of the campaign in the Villa stalemate. His absence on final day was keenly felt every time Southampton cut through the heart of the Liverpool defence.

=2. Trent Alexander-Arnold – avg. rating (7.6)

The 24 year old has looked a completely different player since the system was tweaked to get him on the ball in central areas. He was deservedly crowned StanChart Player of the Month for April and continued in similar vein this month.

He ran the show in both home victories over Fulham and Brentford. Teams were already cottoning on to the tactic so were putting a man on him, but Trent’s game intelligence and appreciation for space still saw him exert his influence from midfield.

He whipped home a delightful free kick at Leicester before registering double figures for assists this campaign with a trademark cutback for Gakpo at the St. Mary’s. He endured a torrid game against Villa but that raised interesting tactical puzzles ahead of pre-season.

1. Alisson Beckeravg. rating (7.8)

One of the few positives of a disappointing campaign has been the constant reminder of just what a brilliant goalkeeper Alisson Becker is. The Brazilian has been the Reds’ Player of the Season and ended the campaign as the highest rated player for May.

He kept three clean sheets in four appearances, conceding just once. That saw him end the campaign with the second highest number of clean sheets (14) in the Premier League.

He made key match saving stops against Vinicius, Vardy, Barnes and co whilst also playing the role of sweeper keeper. The sight of him racing off his line to intercept through balls over the top were a regular occurrence this month.

Alisson Becker in May:

11 saves
4 appearances
3 clean sheets
2.28xG prevented
1 goal conceded

Highest rated individual performance of the month:

° Curtis Jones vs Leicester City – (10/10)

Made4Liverpool 22/23 Player of the Month:

August – Harvey Elliott

September – Thiago Alcantara

October – Alisson Becker

November – Darwin Nunez

December – Trent Alexander-Arnold

January – Ibrahima Konaté

February – James Milner

March – Ibrahima Konaté

April – Trent Alexander-Arnold

May – Alisson Becker

*Average ratings are collated from the player ratings posted on this site after every match. Players must have earned a rating in more than half the number of games in the month under review.




The 2022/23 campaign has come to an end, with Liverpool finishing fifth in the Premier League. Here’s a rundown of some stats and figures for the first team squad, comprising goals, assists, clean sheets, appearances and minutes played.

Last season’s stat sheet can be found here.


° Salah – 30

° Darwin – 15

° Firmino – 13

° Jota – 7

° Gakpo – 7

° Diaz – 5

° Elliott – 5

° Alexander-Arnold – 4

° Carvalho – 3

° Jones – 3

° Van Dijk – 3

° Matip – 2

° Bajcetic – 1

° Oxlade-Chamberlain – 1


° Salah – 16

° Robertson – 11

° Alexander-Arnold – 10

° Jota – 8

° Tsimikas – 6

° Firmino – 5

° Darwin – 4

° Henderson – 3

° Diaz – 2

° Milner – 2

° Gakpo – 2

° Elliott – 2

° Fabinho – 2

° Jones – 1

° Gomez – 1

° Thiago – 1

° Van Dijk – 1

° Alisson – 1


° Alisson – 17

° Kelleher – 2


° Salah – 51

° Fabinho – 49

° Alisson – 47

° Alexander-Arnold – 47

° Elliott – 46

° Robertson – 43

° Henderson – 43

° Milner – 43

° Darwin – 42

° Van Dijk – 41

° Firmino – 35

° Gomez – 31

° Thiago – 28

° Jota – 28

° Tsimikas – 28

° Gakpo – 26

° Konaté – 24

° Jones – 23

° Matip – 21

° Diaz – 21

° Carvalho – 21

° Bajcetic – 19

° Oxlade-Chamberlain – 13

° Keita – 13

° Phillips – 5

° Doak – 5

° Kelleher – 4

° Ramsay – 2

° Clark – 2

° Adrian – 1

° Arthur – 1

° Frauendorf – 1

° Stewart – 1


° Salah – 4,296

° Alisson – 4,230

° Alexander-Arnold – 3,884

° Van Dijk – 3,555

° Fabinho – 3,551

° Robertson – 3,237

° Henderson – 2,558

° Darwin – 2,355

° Elliott – 2,278

° Gomez – 2,125

° Konaté – 2,090

° Thiago – 1,961

° Gakpo – 1,859

° Firmino – 1,709

° Matip – 1,605

° Jota – 1,393

° Milner – 1,296

° Tsimikas – 1,290

° Diaz – 1,265

° Jones – 1,175

° Bajcetic – 939

° Carvalho – 630

° Oxlade-Chamberlain – 494

° Keita – 488

° Kelleher – 360

° Phillips – 227

° Ramsay – 93

° Adrian – 90

° Clark – 73

° Frauendorf – 66

° Stewart – 66

° Doak – 59

° Arthur – 13


° Alexander-Arnold – 89

° Salah – 83

° Robertson – 62

° Henderson – 38

° Elliott – 37

° Firmino – 32

° Jota – 29

° Tsimikas – 29

° Darwin – 29

° Gakpo – 24

° Fabinho – 24

° Thiago – 21

° Diaz – 17

° Milner – 17

° Jones – 15

° Van Dijk – 9

° Keita – 8

° Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6

° Carvalho – 6

° Gomez – 6

° Bajcetic – 5

° Matip – 5

° Konaté – 2

° Doak – 1

° Clark – 1

° Frauendorf – 1

° Ramsay – 1

° Alisson – 1



Liverpool were involved in a crazy eight goal thriller with Southampton as they brought the curtain down on their league campaign. The Reds went 2-0 up inside 15 minutes before being pegged back before the break. The hosts went 4-2 up second half but were pegged back by the Reds. Chances to win it late on were spurned and in the end both sides had to share the spoils.

Here are player ratings from the match.

Kelleher – 4

Poor anticipation for Ward-Prowse’s goal. Terrible attempt at a save for the second goal as well, with the ball squirming under his armpit. The last goal was possibly the worst of the lot as he got his angles all wrong, leaving a gaping hole for Armstrong to aim for. Doesn’t help that he’s sat on the bench for months. Made a vital save in injury time to deny Walker-Peters. Held on to some long range shots well.

Alexander-Arnold 7

Lovely disguised pass to Fabinho led to the second goal. Was the one player who looked capable of making something happen when he got the ball. He got his assist in the end, with a lovely cushioned cross to the backpost for Gakpo. He could have tried to block Ward-Prowse’s effort and was too easily beaten at times, with Walker-Peters waltzing past him for his late chance.

Matip – 5

Played on the right hand side instead of through the middle of the back three. He got nowhere near Sulemana for his first goal and was part of a backline that was constantly cut to shreds.

Gomez – 3

Another shocker. He’s not played for a while and you can see why. Horrendous in the heart of defence. He almost backed off all the way into his own goal for Sulemana’s second. When you’re beaten in the air by Walcott to set off counters you know you’ve had a torrid game. Had a chance to score his first professional game from a Trent delivery and he sent a woeful shot away from the danger area. Managed a shot on target from range late on.

Tsimikas – 3

Poor. Watched on as Alcaraz waltzed his way through the box to eventually set up Ward-Prowse for their first goal. He looked yards off the pace and was hooked before the hour mark.

Fabinho – 4

Nice pass into Firmino for his farewell goal. Look at Sulemana’s second goal again and you’re left wondering why the club isn’t looking to get in a new defensive midfielder to at least challenge him for his place. Absolute disgrace of an attempted tackle on the Ghanaian international.

Milner – 5

Played high up in midfield first half and struggled with the pace of the game at times. I don’t think he’s played that advanced since his first season at the club! He fared better when he switched to left back second half. A typical James Milner performance to end his Liverpool career.

Jones 5

Didn’t do enough in possession. All well and good being assured in possession and rarely giving it away but he didn’t offer enough in terms of penetration today. Quiet game.

Salah – 5

Frustrating today. First hour he couldn’t get any change out of Walker-Peters or Lyanco. Found much more joy when Elliott came on as he had someone to play off. They combined excellently in the last half hour and Salah should have scored a couple at least. He notched an assist after playing Jota through for his second goal and was unlucky with an intelligent lob which hit the post. His finishing in general was wasteful today.

Firmino – 5.5

What a goal that was! He sat down their two centre backs before nutmegging the goalkeeper for his final goal for the club. Was poor after that though, losing the ball on several occasions, with one such turnover leading to a breakaway goal for the Saints.

Jota 7.5

Ruthlessly effective! He capitalised on Lavia’s suicidal pass in the box to steer home the opening goal. He should have scored again when he opted to take a touch with the goal gaping. Made up for that with an explosive finish to pull the side level second half. He didn’t contribute much in terms of buildup but when the ball fell to him in the box, he was devastating.


Henderson – 4

Lazy pass straight to Armstrong saw the striker run through to make it 4-2. The skipper sat at the base of midfield and constantly charged out to press, leaving oceans of space for the Saints to counter into. One long ball to Salah and a fierce hit on the volley was positive.

Elliott – 7

Showed fight when he came on, picking up a yellow for shoving Lyanco who’s twice his size. His use of the ball was so intelligent. That disguised pass down the line was on every time and he used it to good effect. He helped pile pressure on the Saints’ goal and aided in the comeback. His sublime first time ball over the top put Trent in behind for Gakpo’s goal. Was unlucky not to score or assist after Jota almost got a head onto his curled effort.

Diaz – 5

Took too many touches. There were times he dwelled on it for too long and tried to take on yet another man before playing the pass or taking the shot. The one time he did shoot, it was a wild effort into the stands.

Gakpo – 6

Made an impact off the bench, leading the press and dropping deep to orchestrate attacks. He scored a simple tap in at the back post, similar to efforts against Everton and Leeds. He lost the ball at times and should have halted the run of Amo-Ameyaw when the teenager breezed past him in midfield to set off a late counter. Suits how the side wants to play and should be even better next season.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager made a number of changes to his side, handing Milner and Firmino their final starts at the club. A wild game ended 4-4 (largely thanks to his quadruple substitution before the hour mark). It was a typical end of season encounter with some wonderful football mixed with dreadful errors. 67 points is a pitiful return in the end though, and he has a lot of work to do in the off-season to get the club challenging again next season.



Liverpool travel to already relegated Southampton tomorrow for what is the final fixture of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for what is essentially a dead-rubber. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager reported a few possible absentees in his pre-match press conference yesterday. He revealed Andy Robertson was struggling with a groin issue, whilst French centre back Ibrahima Konaté had been struck down by illness.

With nothing riding on the match, the manager could opt to ring the changes and hand the lesser spotted members of his squad a run-out. The Reds have been on a strong run of form recently though, winning seven in a run of ten games unbeaten.

The gaffer would want to ensure his side end the season on a winning note, if only to bookend a strong run-in which would hopefully lay a strong foundation for next season. As such, he wouldn’t want to make drastic changes to what has been a settled lineup of late.

We can expect Alisson to line up in goal again. The Brazilian has been head and shoulders above any of his teammates this campaign and is sure to sweep up at the club’s end of season awards. Despite a collective torrid campaign, only David De Gea has kept more league clean sheets.

In the backline, we could see a number of alterations. Konaté and Robertson will both not be risked so that could mean Matip and Tsimikas come in for them. Matip was excellent in that right sided role when he last featured (at West Ham), with Tsimikas also doing a passeable enough job on the left, in his last start (vs Fulham).

In the heart of the back three will of course be Van Dijk. In midfield, Trent is set to partner Fabinho yet again in the double pivot. Ahead of them to their left, Curtis Jones should keep his place, with the 22 year old ending the season stronger than most.

On the right, we could see Gakpo reprise his midfield role. The Dutchman has shown remarkable versatility in his five month spell at the club thus far. As good as he’s been in the false nine role, there’s something to be said for him playing deeper against sides that set up in a low block.

He certainly offers more on the ball than Henderson in that sense. Upfront, we could then see Jota and Darwin return to the starting XI. Both have been on the outside looking in over the past few weeks but should relish the opportunity to sign off the campaign in style.

Salah will then complete the attack as he takes his usual position on the right wing. The Egyptian is one goal away from becoming the first player in Premier League history to net 20+ goals and provide 10+ assists in a single season on three different occasions.

Later in the game, we should see Milner and Firmino make their last appearances for the club as well, and who knows, maybe Arthur Melo could even be handed a belated Premier League debut!

Predicted team:

Alisson, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Alexander-Arnold, Gakpo, Jones, Salah, Darwin, Jota.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Phillips, Milner, Elliott, Arthur, Firmino, Diaz, Carvalho.

Predicted Southampton XI (4-2-3-1): McCarthy, Bree, Bednarek, Lyanco, Walker-Peters, Lavia, Ward-Prowse, Walcott, Alcaraz, Elyounoussi, Aribo.



Liverpool travel to Southampton on Sunday (15:30 GMT) as they wrap up a disappointing season. It’s the final weekend of the Premier League season, with the Reds guaranteed to finish in fifth place no matter what. Here’s the match preview.

It’s been a dog of a campaign. There have been incredible highs let’s not forget, but ultimately it hasn’t been good enough. The Community Shield win all the way back in July was thrilling, as were the momentous victories over the likes of Bournemouth (9-0), Rangers (1-7), Manchester United (7-0) and Leeds United (1-6).

Those were countered by gut wrenching lows that were too regular an occurrence. There was the embarrassing 4-1 defeat in Naples, the pitiful surrenders at Forest, Brentford, Brighton, Wolves and Bournemouth, not to mention heavy defeats to Real Madrid (5-2) and Manchester City (4-1).

For a side that was just two results away from sealing an unprecedented quadruple last season, it’s been a shocking fall from grace. Several key players endured alarming dips in form, with the entire midfield department sorely lacking for large parts of the campaign.

A change in system a month ago has seen a drastic improvement in performances and results, with the side staying unbeaten in the last ten fixtures (winning seven of them). A rebuild is still afoot however, with the Kop saying goodbye to Firmino, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Keita last week.

That all four have been allowed to leave on a free when they cost the club close to a combined £120million in transfer fees is curious when you take into consideration the fact that owners FSG have only ever spent funds the club itself generates.

The club will have to replace all four whilst making improvements elsewhere in the squad. It is a crucial summer transfer window and it cannot be underestimated how much of the club’s short to medium term future is riding on getting it right in terms of incomings.

The game on Sunday is nothing more than a dead-rubber, with the manager already hinting at making a couple of changes to his side. How many of those who line up against Southampton will we see in red next season?

Opponents Southampton have themselves endured a nightmare campaign which has culminated in relegation to the Championship for the first time in 18 years. The Saints have nothing to play for in that regard, compounding the dead-rubber feel to this fixture.

Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners in the reverse fixture back in November, with Darwin Nunez netting a brace. That was the last fixture before the World Cup break so it is fitting that this fixture is the final one before the summer break.

The Saints are winless in their last 12 league games, losing nine and drawing three times. Their three draws curiously came against Manchester United (0-0), and in two six goal thrillers against North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal.

In seven Premier League trips to the St. Mary’s Stadium under Jürgen Klopp, the Reds have registered four wins and a draw. They have tasted two defeats; 1-0 in 2021 courtesy a Danny Ings strike and 3-2 back in 2016 when Sadio Mané came off the bench to net twice for the Saints.

Team News

Jurgen Klopp on injuries:

“Darwin [Nunez] trained, Ibou [Konaté] is ill. Robertson felt something in his groin and will be assessed. The rest should be alright.”

Ruben Selles, in what is his final game in charge of Southampton, will be unable to call upon four members of his squad. Romain Perraud (ankle), Che Adams (calf), Armel Bella-Kotchap (hamstring) and Mohammed Salisu (groin) have all been ruled out.



Liverpool were held to a draw at Anfield as Roberto Firmino signed off his Anfield career with one last crucial goal. Jacob Ramsey had given the Villans a first half lead before Bobby climbed off the bench to equalise late on. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 6

Good save from a clever Villa free kick routine. Quick off his line to sweep up a number of times.

Alexander-Arnold 4

The whole point of this new system is to get him on the ball in central areas. A number of players are shifted around to make that possible, so on days like today when nothing is coming off, it makes the whole enterprise a bit pointless.

He was poor on the ball, lackadaisical when running back, and petulant when it wasn’t going his way. Not to mention he lost Ramsey at the backpost for their goal as well. That free kick in the 100th minute summed his afternoon up, as he launched a flat ball straight into the gloves of Martinez.

Konaté – 5.5

Looked cumbersome when racing after Watkins. Gave away a clumsy penalty after fouling the Villa striker in the box. Had an effort cleared off the line, with Gakpo tapping home the rebound but it wasn’t to be.

Van Dijk – 6

Had to come across to clear one away from the marauding Watkins after another Konaté slip. Was adjudged offside when Gakpo bundled home a goal early in the second half. What’s happened to his passing? Villa were asking for runs to be made in behind and yet the few diagonals the big man attempted were overhit.

Robertson – 5.5

Only one of the three centre backs who saw the acres of space Villa were leaving behind as they set a high line. He lobbed a few balls in behind, usually for Diaz. His set pieces were a mixed bag though.

Fabinho – 5.5

Looked sharp early on, rolling his man in midfield with a feint before advancing forward. Looked leggy as the game wore on and resorted to incessant fouling. Booked as a result and subbed not long after.

Henderson – 5

Not the type of player you want on the ball when you’re trying to break down a parked bus. Poor execution anytime a quality ball forward was required.

Jones 5

He’s been in sizzling form of late but it was a poor day at the office today. Caught on the ball a number of times and overhit too many attempted passes forward. Didn’t exert enough of an influence on proceedings and was part of a midfield that provided little creativity first hour.

Salah – 5.5

A sublime outside of the boot pass handed Firmino the opportunity to equalise. Aside that he was incredibly frustrating. Ran down blind alleys all day and absolutely refused to use his right foot no matter what.

Gakpo – 5.5

Didn’t quite have the searing pace nor the strength to get in behind the Villa defence and hold his defender off to allow for a shot. Unlucky with the disallowed goal. Fared better in midfield with the play ahead of him and not with his back to goal. Picked up a number of loose balls and started off attacks. Fired one on target from miles out.

Diaz 5

Overelaborate. Took too many touches and saw avenues closed down. Full of running but no end product. Another tough outing.


Jota – 5

Played in behind for a similar chance to the winning goal he netted against Spurs. This time however, he opted to chop back inside and lost the ball. Inexplicable decision really.

Tsimikas – 5

Constantly shoved McGinn in the back but was subtle enough to get away with it every time. Some trademark dangerous crosses.

Milner – 6

The 36 year old came on and actually gave the side an injection of urgency. He buzzed around the pitch and helped mount late pressure on the Villa goal. Overhit one cross however.

Firmino – 7

It was written in the stars wasn’t it? Bobby came off the bench on his last Anfield appearance as a Liverpool player and wrestled the side back into the game. It was a brilliant cross by Salah but Bobby’s movement beat Mings and he applied a cute finish to poke beyond Martinez. Forever a Liverpool legend!

Elliott – 5

Lost the ball with his first touch, won it back with his second. One tame effort at Martinez late on was poor. Wasn’t quick enough to capitalise on a loose ball in the box deep into stoppage time.

Jürgen Klopp

Went with the same XI but instead of a fast start, it was a flat one. His side went in 1-0 down at the break, with his view up in the stands no doubt helping him see the play from a different perspective. He made his changes early and was rewarded with a late equalising goal.

Villa held firm in the face of mounting pressure and deserved a point. The top four hopes are well and truly over now but it’s been a good run in the last few weeks. Anfield bid farewell to four legends today as the rebuilding job kicks into gear.



Liverpool host Aston Villa tomorrow for what is the last game at Anfield this campaign. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for what is sure to be an emotional encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager has confirmed the return of Roberto Firmino, with the Brazilian fit to feature in his farewell game at Anfield. There will be no dry eyes in the house when Bobby (and the other three) say goodbye to the home faithful after the game. In other fitness news, Darwin Nunez has been ruled out with a toe injury.

We can expect to see Klopp go with his strongest available side once again, with the manager limiting the alterations to his selection over the past few weeks. The consistency has helped, with the players working out the new system and implementing it to devastating effect.

We will see little to no changes tomorrow as well. In goal will be Alisson Becker, with the Brazilian no doubt aiming to extend his current run of three clean sheets on the spin. He remains in the running for the Golden Glove, an accolade that would underline just what a brilliant season he’s had.

In defence, we should continue to see what is now the first choice back three of Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson. The back three will have to be in sync up against the wily Ollie Watkins. The Villa striker has been in magnificent form under Emery and will pose a threat with his runs in behind.

In midfield, Trent will partner Fabinho in the double pivot once again, with in-form Curtis Jones further ahead on the left. The manager has a decision to make on the right. He opted for Gakpo over Henderson in that role when Brentford visited Anfield, in a bid to overload their packed defence.

Darwin led the line in that match and won the penalty that won the game, vindicating the manager’s decision to select four forwards. Does he do similar against Emery’s disciplined setup? Or does he opt for the extra security Henderson provides?

Villa will no doubt seek to soak pressure and hit swiftly on the break. The likes of Ramsey and McGinn will have to be tracked going the other way so it is probably better to try and match that with the energy of Henderson.

The front three of Salah, Gakpo and Diaz have been preferred in recent weeks and could get another outing here. Jota is an option to come in for Diaz after the Colombian failed to sizzle at Leicester, but his understanding with Jones down that left side is a major weapon.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Diaz.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Firmino, Jota, Carvalho.

Predicted Villa XI (4-4-2): Martinez, Young, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Kamara, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins.



Liverpool host Aston Villa tomorrow for the final home game of the season. The match has been overshadowed by the fact that the Kop will be saying farewell to a quartet of players, but make no mistake, 3 points will be crucial in keeping the pressure on Manchester United in the race for fourth place. Here’s the match preview.

The Reds were at their ruthless best last time out as they plunged Leicester City closer to the drop by romping to a 3-0 victory at the King Power Stadium. A Curtis Jones first half brace was added to by a sublime Alexander-Arnold free kick in the second half.

That took the unbeaten run to 9 matches, with Klopp’s men stringing together 7 straight wins for the first time since a ten game winning streak from January to April last year. That particular run reignited fading title hopes, with the Reds pushing Manchester City to the very last day.

This seasons’s run has ignited the club’s European hopes. Just two months ago, the club was staring at the very real possibility of missing out on Europe altogether (or even worse, getting stuck in the Conference League). Victory on Monday night clinched a Europa league ticket, with the Reds guaranteed to finish no lower than 6th.

With only two games remaining, Jürgen Klopp’s men still have a slim chance of sneaking into the Champions League qualification spots. The Reds are just a point off rivals United in 4th, although the Red Devils have a game in hand.

It is imperative that the winning run is extended against Villa tomorrow, but the Villans will be no pushovers. Ever since Unai Emery took over from Steven Gerrard, Villa have been on a mightily impressive run themselves.

The Spaniard has taken charge of 23 league games, winning 14 and drawing 3. A tally of 45 points is some going, considering the Villans were hovering worryingly close to the drop zone when the former Liverpool skipper was sacked.

Extrapolating their points tally under Emery over a whole season would see them finish on 74 points (enough to secure a top four place this season and in each of the last four campaigns). The former Arsenal boss has made no secret of his desire to propel Villa to Europe.

They currently sit 8th, level on points with Spurs but with an inferior goal difference keeping them out of the Conference League spot. It’s a straight shoot out between Villa and Spurs for 7th (although Brentford also hold an outside chance, being 4 points adrift).

Liverpool did get the win over Emery’s side on Boxing Day but it was a hard fought encounter. Salah and Van Dijk handed the side a two goal lead before Watkins halved the deficit on the hour mark. It was a close run thing after that, till Stefan Bajcetic sealed the victory with a late strike.

It promises to be a similarly tight game tomorrow. Villa come into this clash full of confidence having beaten Spurs last week. They have however failed to win any of their last three away matches. It helps that the Reds have the beating of Villa in recent times.

Since that crazy 7-2 defeat at Villa Park in 2020, Liverpool have beaten the Midlands club in each of their last five meetings across all competitions, with Jürgen Klopp boasting a 100% win rate in home matches against Villa.

Team News

Roberto Firmino has joined training and should be fit for what would no doubt be an emotional farewell. Darwin Nunez missed the trip to Leicester with a toe injury and will be assessed before tomorrow.

For Villa, the only absentee is former Red Phillipe Coutinho. The Brazilian picked up a muscle injury in training last week and is not expected to be back before the season ends.



Liverpool romped to a comfortable away victory tonight, with a Curtis Jones first half brace setting them on their way before a sublime Trent free kick in the second period. The result move the Reds a point behind Newcastle and Manchester United. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 9

Smothered Vardy’s shot early on after he had spring the offside trap. It would have been a different game had that gone in. Pulled off an outstanding save to tip Barnes’ curler away from the top corner. What a save that was! He was quick off his line to sweep up the few times Leicester broke in behind. Another clean sheet!

Alexander-Arnold 9.5

Ran the show yet again. Played an amazing pass in behind for Gakpo with nonchalant flick from the outside of his boot. Played similarly impressive passes all night and crowned it with a stunning free kick. He looks a completely different player since the system tweak.

Konaté – 8

Trustworthy at the back. Anytime Barnes or Vardy got away down that channel he was there to get a foot in. Wrestled with the veteran striker all night and won that battle emphatically. Booked for fouling Maddison late on.

Van Dijk – 8

Crucial foot in early on to halt a dangerous Maddison break. He’s whittled his game down to a no nonsense approach of late. Just cleared into touch when he needed to. His big diagonals asked questions of the Leicester rearguard early on. Worked that offside trap like clockwork.

Robertson – 8

A strong display down the left. Defended well and picked his moments to bomb forward. One purposeful run saw him go down in the box under pressure from Castagne. The energy he brings to the side is fantastic.

Fabinho – 9

Another rock solid display tonight. A by-product of this new system is he’s got legs around him in midfield and isn’t left to cover too much space. He got on the ball a lot and played little intricate triangles around the Leicester pressure. Won the ball back like we know he can. One strike from range first half was poor however. Needs to find his shooting boots with the amount of space he enjoys at times.

Henderson – 7.5

Full of running. Made the pitch wide by pulling to the right to get on the end of a couple of trademark Virgil diagonals first half. Enjoying this attacking role at the minute, even if he isn’t the cutest on the ball. A strong driving run through the middle saw him win the free kick Trent scored from.

Jones 10

A Man of the Match display and possibly a coming of age performance. Basically settled the game as a contest with two late strikes in the first half. The first, similar to his goal against Spurs, was a steered finish across the keeper. The second was an explosive finish after a sharp turn. He’s been truly sublime since getting a run in the team.

Salah – 8.5

In playmaking mode tonight. Set up both goals for Jones with unselfish layoffs in the box, before completing the hat trick of assists with an easy roll of the ball from the free kick for Trent to smash home. He should have scored to boost the goal difference even more when sent clear through on goal. He won’t want to see that again. It was a woeful attempt.

Gakpo – 6.5

Not quite at his sharpest, with the ball bouncing off him at times. He should have scored right before halftime when sent through on goal on the break but he shot too close to Iversen. Sweet turn to start off the move for the second goal. Played Salah through for that chance second half. Grafted throughout.

Diaz 6

Lost the ball too many times in the opening stages, with his touch letting him down. He was very frustrating at times with his decision making in the box, screwing one shot into the side netting with Salah free far post. Carried the ball up the pitch well turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Good to see he’s not lost that lightening pace.


Milner – 5

Brought on for the skipper with about 15 to go. Standard Millie. Put himself about.

Jota – 5.5

Was denied a certain goal by a soft free kick call by Craig Pawson after winning the ball in the Leicester box.

Carvalho – N/A

Hello? Good to see him get a few minutes towards the end. It’s been too long.

Elliott – N/A

Gave the ball away in midfield with a poor pass straight to Maddison.

Jürgen Klopp

Went with pretty much the XI he’s settled on of late and was rewarded with a strong away performance. He used four subs tonight, handing minutes to some members of the squad. A seventh consecutive league victory is some going. A very welcome reminder that this side is still capable of stitching wins together. Pressure on those above now.



Liverpool take on relegation threatened Leicester on Monday night knowing anything short of victory will put a huge dent in their Champions League qualification hopes. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

It’s been over a week since the victory over Brentford, with the squad enjoying a trip to Spain, before returning to training at the AXA Training Facility on Tuesday. The manager has a similar squad available for tomorrow night’s encounter, with Firmino and Keita still not passed fit to return.

We can expect to see the strongest side available, with the week’s worth of training sure to have been used to work on some of the kinks in the new system that has coincided with an uptick in form. The Reds go chasing a seventh consecutive victory.

In goal will be Alisson Becker, with the regular back three of Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson shielding him. Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho will continue to pair up in midfield as the double pivot when the side has possession, with Trent of course dropping back into the right back position off the ball.

Further up in midfield, Curtis Jones can expect to keep his place. He’s changed opinions over the past month or so with his level of performances. This would be a ninth consecutive start as he forges an important role for himself heading into next season.

Klopp opted for four forwards last time out, but with this being an away trip to a Leicester side that remains dangerous going forward, he could revert back to three forwards. That should see the skipper return to the starting XI.

He could take the place of Darwin Nunez, with the big money striker still not completely at home in the side just yet. Gakpo has fared better leading the line and dropping deep to aid buildup. The Dutch international will be flanked by Salah on the right.

On the left, it’s a toss up between Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. The Colombian started back to back games before being rested for the visit of Brentford. He could return to the side here and be tasked with causing the Foxes’ right back all sorts of problems with his pace and direct running.

Jota could prove a useful option off the bench (as we saw against Spurs), as should Darwin. Even with Firmino out, it’s an abundant of riches in attack. In total, it’s a predicted two changes to the side that started against Brentford in that narrow win at Anfield.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Diaz.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Carvalho, Jota, Darwin.

Predicted Leicester XI (5-3-2): Iversen, Pereira, Faes, Souttar, Soyuncu, Castagne, Soumare, Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes, Vardy.



Liverpool return to action on Monday night when they make the trip to the King Power Stadium to take on relegation threatened Leicester. Dean Smith’s side languish in 18th place – 2 points from safety, whilst the Reds are attempting a late push for a top four finish. Here’s the match preview.

This late push has been made possible by a belated run of wins. Leeds, Forest, West Ham, Tottenham, Fulham and Brentford have all been beaten as Klopp’s charges apply late pressure on Newcastle and Manchester United. The Reds now sit in 5th place, 3 points off Newcastle and 1 off United having played a game more.

Liverpool have now gone unbeaten in their last eight league encounters, easily their best run this campaign. This turnaround in fortunes coincided with a change in system that has allowed Alexander-Arnold to play in midfield when the side is in possession.

We saw this new shape last time out against Brentford, with Trent constantly getting on the ball in the middle of the park and dictating the tempo of the game. He should have recorded another assist after a glorious ball over the top but Darwin failed to make connection.

The second half was grittier, with the Reds hanging on at the end as Brentford piled on late pressure. The boys got it over the line to keep their second consecutive clean sheet. This refound defensive resolve bodes well heading into the final three games.

Opponents Leicester have endured a harrowing campaign which has seen former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers sacked. The Northern Irishman was relieved of his duties after a 2-1 defeat at Palace last month that saw the Foxes drop into the relegation places.

Former Villa manager Dean Smith has been appointed since then and has managed to pick up 5 points from his 5 league matches. It’s represented a slight uptick in form considering the Foxes had only picked up 4 points in the 9 matches preceding this.

It’s still not been enough to get them out of the drop zone however, with Everton’s huge win at Brighton seeing them move 2 points clear of Leicester in the battle against the drop. It has been a shocking fall from grace for the Foxes.

They were lifting the FA Cup and challenging for Champions League places just two seasons ago. In fact, they have nailed a top half finish in each of the last five campaigns, finishing as high as fifth place (with 66 points) in 2020/21.

Now they face the very real threat of relegation back to the Championship. They will come up against an in-form Liverpool side on Monday night knowing they desperately need to get something from the game. In the reverse fixture, two Wout Faes own goals helped the Reds to a 2-1 comeback victory.

Leicester crucially remain potent going forward. They possess an enviable set of attackers, with the likes of Vardy, Daka, Iheanacho, Maddison, Barnes and co contributing to the Foxes’ tally of 49 league goals. No team in the bottom half can match that tally.

They have however conceded a whopping 64 goals, with only Bournemouth, Forest and Leeds conceding more in the entire division. They are dangerous going forward but hopelessly porous at the back, failing to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 20 league encounters.

The home faithful will get behind their team and create a hostile atmosphere but Jürgen Klopp’s men should have too much for the Foxes. The German has taken charge of 17 games in league and Cup against Leicester, winning 10 and losing on 5 occasions.

The Reds lost their first three trips to Leicester under Klopp before winning the next three. However, they’ve lost on their last two visits to the King Power Stadium. It is a bit of a bogey ground so there should be a degree of caution.

Team News

Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita remain unavailable. The Brazilian is closer to a return and has been having individual training sessions. He should be fit for his farewell game at Anfield next weekend.

For Leicester, Kelechi Iheanacho is still struggling with the groin injury he picked up against Leeds a fortnight ago. Ryan Bertrand, Jannik Vestegaard (calf) and James Justin (achilles) remain out.



Liverpool made it six wins in a row with a hard fought victory over Brentford this evening. Mohamed Salah’s 100th strike at Anfield was enough to clinch all three points in the end, despite a spirited Bees display. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 7

Didn’t have any real saves of note to make but he had to be quick off his line on occasion to sweep up. Punched one corner away under immense pressure. Was calm in distribution as well, helping the side dominate possession.

Alexander-Arnold 8.5

Ran the show most of the first half and registered the most touches, final third entries and chances created. What a ball for Nunez! He played a sublime diagonal on the volley to Robertson first half that had the crowd gasping.

Almost made the points safe with a stinging drive from the edge of the box, bringing out a good save from Raya. Was too casual on the ball at times and got caught on it but nothing came of it. Defended well at right back as well.

Konaté – 7.5

Enjoyed a titanic battle with Toney. Lost a fair few headers but won his fair share of duels against the Bees’ skipper. Was penalised for so many free kicks when he was just standing his ground. Booked for kicking the ball away after a foul.

Van Dijk – 8

Booked very early on for taking Onyeka out but it didn’t affect his game. He set up the only goal of the game with a header across the face of goal for Salah to run onto. Defended stoutly, repelling most of Brentford’s long balls into the box.

Outstanding piece of defending to step up and play Mbeumo offside for the disallowed goal. He did similar to Bowen at West Ham a few weeks back. The confidence it takes to step up when the natural inclination is to fall back can’t be underestimated.

Robertson – 6.5

Solid enough today. Was alert to the aeriel bombardment. Took a couple of wicked set pieces himself. Picked up a knock second half, tried to solider on but eventually had to go off for Tsimikas.

Fabinho – 8

Gave away some needless fouls at times but I thought he was immense tonight. He was composed on the ball and picked out Van Dijk with a delicate chip to the backpost for the goal. He won his challenges throughout and stood tall in the face of their late pressure.

Gakpo – 5.5

Not his best ever game but he played his part in the victory. He showed great versatility and tactical intelligence to operate in a midfield role first half, before switching to the false nine position late on. He combined well with Salah at times but his finishing let him down.

He failed to react quickly enough to Jota’s ball across. He then collected a wayward backpass on his chest but with only Raya to beat, fired wide on the half volley. He lost possession a few times as well.

Jones 6.5

Easy on the eye in possession. First half he played his part in some lovely buildups, combining well with Jota and Robertson around him. Second half he didn’t get on the ball much, but his effort was still there for all to see.

Salah – 9

Match winner yet again, bundling home Van Dijk’s centre after he had started the move himself. He played well again tonight and was in a running battle with Rico Henry. That strike takes him level with Steven Gerrard on the all time goalscorer’s list, as well as shattering some other records as per. King.

Darwin – 5

Led the attack first half. Played a lovely ball in behind for Jota on the break. Worked his socks off but will be kicking himself for missing a glorious chance following Trent’s glorious ball over the top. Switched to the left wing second half before going off a little over the hour mark.

Jota 6.5

It was a nice surprise to see him get the nod, with the pre-match talk being that he was struggling with a knock. He played on the left wing first half and made some strong driving runs. He then switched to the right second half, before taking up a more central position.

Showed excellent movement to collect Salah’s pass in behind the visitors’ defence, but his cutback had too much power on it for Gakpo to tap home.


Diaz – 5

Couldn’t really get into the game as it was very scrappy by that point. Won a free kick or two. Tried shielding a ball out for a throw on the left wing but it was hooked forward for a dangerous counter that Van Dijk had to stop.

Henderson – 5

Set up Trent on the edge of the box for a strike but it was deflected behind for a corner. Caught on the ball twice in the space of a few seconds as he wanted too much time to look up before picking a pass. Did well to win a corner in stoppage time.

Tsimikas – N/A

Solid when he came on. Took his time on throws and bought a cheap free kick off Toney to waste a bit of time. Put in a wonderful delivery from one attacking set piece.

Milner – N/A

Gave away a free kick for a trademark crunching tackle on DaSilva. Helped see it over the line.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager opted for four forwards from the off, with Jota joining Gakpo, Salah and Darwin. It was a good start from the Reds, with Salah opening the scoring early on. The Reds saw it out from there, with the manager’s subs helping the team get over the line second half. It’s probably too little too late but Klopp’s men are exerting real pressure on those above them.



Liverpool take on Brentford later today, with the Reds keen to carry on their recent run of good form. Thomas Frank’s men will be no pushovers however, as they also chase down a European qualification spot. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed Diogo Jota and Jordan Henderson were struggling with knocks. Thiago Alcantara has been confirmed to be out for the rest of the season whilst Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino remain unavailable.

With this representing the Reds’ fifth fixture in the space of two weeks, and kickoff today coming less than 68 hours since the final whistle against Fulham on Wednesday night, the manager will have to make a few changes to keep his side fresh.

The Bees have not played since last week and should be fresh and well drilled after a whole week in training ahead of this game. With that being said, a number of alterations to the Liverpool side that beat Fulham should be expected. Alisson Becker will definitely continue in goal.

The Brazilian kept his first clean sheet in seven last time out, moving on to 12 shut outs for the campaign. That only Ramsdale (13) and De Gea (15) have kept more clean sheets in the Premier League this season goes to show how brilliant he has been in a team that has underperformed this season.

In defence, we could see Konaté handed a breather. The Frenchman’s fitness issues mean it may be ill-advised to hand him three starts in the space of a week. Joel Matip came in for him at West Ham and acquitted himself really well, netting the winning goal in the process.

He could come in again here. Alongside him, Van Dijk will retain his place whilst Robertson should be restored to the lineup after being limited to less than half an hour on Wednesday night. Tsimikas will likely drop out after stepping in for the Scotsman against Fulham.

In midfield, Trent will once again line up next to Fabinho in the double pivot as he continues in his hybrid role. Fabinho has gotten through a lot of work in recent weeks and could be forgiven for looking leggy. With Bajcetic, Henderson and Thiago all out, he simply has to go again.

Ahead in the advanced midfield roles, Curtis Jones is set for an eighth consecutive start, easily his best run in the side since he broke through from the Academy a couple of years ago. He has been one of the bright spots in this winning run and will aim to continue his rich vein of form.

Harvey Elliott could also be in line for another start, with the skipper’s absence opening the door for the youngster. He started against Spurs last weekend but didn’t really grasp that opportunity with both hands. Tonight is another chance. That advanced role is made for him.

Upfront, Mohamed Salah is a shoo-in on the right wing. The irrepressible Egyptian is one away from equalling Steven Gerrard’s goal tally for the club. He is set to break a whole host of records if he can find the net once again.

Cody Gakpo meanwhile is in line for a return to the side after being handed a rest against Fulham. He will in all likelihood play up on the left wing, with Darwin Nunez starting up top. The Uruguayan has been in and out of the starting XI recently so should relish consecutive starts.

It would make sense for Luis Diaz to be held back. Despite the excitement he’s brought to the team since his return (and in his last two starts), it may be a step too far to expect a third start in a week for a player who is still making his way towards peak fitness.

All in all, it’s four changes to the side that started last time out. This should ensure there’s enough freshness about the Reds to deal with what Brentford will throw at them.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Jones, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Konaté, Tsimikas, Milner, Arthur, Carvalho, Jota, Diaz.

Predicted Brentford XI (5-3-2): Raya, Roerslev, Zanka, Mee, Pinnock, Henry, Onyeka, Jensen, Janelt, Mbeumo, Toney.



Liverpool have won each of their last five league fixtures (going unbeaten in seven) as they seek to end the season on a positive note. They host Brentford later today aiming to make it six wins on the bounce. Here’s the match preview.

Leeds United, Nottingham Forest, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham. All five have been defeated in this run, and even despite all posing different sets of challenges, Klopp’s men found a way to notch all three points.

Brentford will as well present their own unique challenge. Thomas Frank has done an unbelievable job at The Bees, with the Londoners even in with a shout of securing European football for next season. It has been an incredible rise since they secured promotion from the Championship in 2021.

They are excellently drilled defensively, whilst possessing the attacking quality in Mbeumo and Toney to hurt the opposition on the counter. They are also deadly from set piece situations, with their height and physical prowess always seeing them cause problems.

Liverpool found that out the hard way on their trip to the Community Stadium last season. Thomas Frank set up his side to overload Trent’s side at the backpost and attack crosses from the opposite flank. It is a tactic that worked a treat as they held the Reds to an exciting 3-3 draw.

The Reds got their comeuppance on the Bees’ last trip to Anfield, romping to a 3-0 victory. Even that win wasn’t straightforward, with Brentford holding firm till a scrappy Fabinho goal on the stroke of halftime broke their resolve.

It will be very interesting to see how the Reds’ recent changes to the system works against Brentford’s setup. Frank has made no secret of the fact he always charges his side to hit long balls into the right channel against Liverpool due to Trent usually playing high up the pitch.

With the Scouser now operating in a hybrid role where he spends most of his time in a midfield double pivot, we can expect to see the Bees’ target that area even more. It promises to be an intriguing tactical battle to say the least.

The right sided centre back (likely Konaté) will no doubt have his hands full, with both Toney and Mbeumo sure to try and capitalise on the space in behind. In the last meeting (back in January), Frank’s side got the better of the Reds as they eased to a 3-1 victory.

Set pieces and swift counter attacks were once again chief in their armoury, with Konaté putting through his own net from a corner, before Wissa and Mbeumo netted following turnovers in midfield. Oxlade-Chamberlain had halved the deficit in the second half but Brentford were not to be denied.

The Bees sit 9th in the league table, just four points behind Spurs in 7th. Their European dreams remain alive. Liverpool meanwhile sit in 5th place, hoping to exert even more pressure on rivals Manchester United in 4th.

A sixth successive league victory would see the Reds move to within just a point of Ten Hag’s men, albeit having played two games more. That could heap the pressure on when the Red Devils travel to relegation threatened West Ham United tomorrow.

Team News

Diogo Jota is still struggling with the knock he sustained against West Ham. He got a knock in the ribs when he came on against Fulham as well and has only been in light training. Jordan Henderson is also a doubt whilst Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita remain unavailable.

For Brentford, Thomas Strakosha (calf), Pontus Jansson (hamstring), Keane Lewis-Potter (knee) and Christian Norgaard (achilles tendon) are all ruled out through injury. Krostoffer Ajer’s fitness will be checked on ahead of the game.



Liverpool made it five successive league victories with a narrow win over Fulham tonight. Mohamed Salah’s first half penalty was the only goal in the end, despite both sides playing out an entertaining match under the lights at Anfield. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 9

Stayed big to produce a good save to parry Vinicius’ shot away from danger. Had to be alert to the backheel attempt by Palhinha. Cracking one on one save when his countryman was through on goal second half. He’s been making those crucial saves all season.

Alexander-Arnold 9

First half he was having himself an absolute ball. Picked up possession in midfield and just ran rings around Palhinha at times (including a dazzling pirouette). Created chances for his teammates and went close to scoring himself when he curled a shot just past the post first half.

His defending in the second half was commendable as well, keeping Willian and then Solomon quiet. His assist streak ends but he was quality again tonight.

Konaté – 8

Fantastic challenge in the box to foil one attack first half. Then repeated the trick with a long legged one on Willian. He’s proven himself as an excellent foil for Van Dijk. Won some big headers late on. Only blot on his copybook was playing Vinicius onside for his first half chance.

Van Dijk – 8.5

Sublime piece of defending in the opening five minutes when he stretched on the slide to turn Wilson’s cross behind for a corner from virtually inside his own goal. Cut out another dangerous cross from Reid late on as well. Managed to apply enough pressure on Vinicius when he was through on goal first half and Reid for his late chance. Earned that clean sheet.

Tsimikas – 7

Started off rustily. Played Wilson onside and had Van Dijk to thank for bailing him out. He gave the ball away a few times as well but grew into it. Shepherded Vinicius well as the last man on one counter and did well to steer Robinson’s dangerous cross over his own bar second half. Put in a few tasty crosses. Not much else you could ask of a backup.

Fabinho – 7

Looked good when he had red shirts in close proximity. Looked slow and sluggish anytime they broke and he had a vast space to cover. Played well enough but always struggled when pressed. The side sorely lacked a cool head to get his foot on the ball and just see the game out late on.

Henderson – 7.5

Full of endeavour and he must be commended for it. Charged round the pitch (especially late on) pressing, harrying and disrupting any moves down the right. Not good enough on the ball in attacking areas however. He skied one shot after a lovely setup by Salah first half. He then went close with a disguised one second half, before seeing his attempted lob over Leno sail way over.

Jones 6.5

Worked hard off the ball again. Played well first half. Was assured in possession and combined well with the forwards. Second half he started taking too long in possession and was caught once or twice, with Fulham breaking away dangerously from one such error. Took too long to take a shot and saw one promising attack break down. Still needs to refine his game, but that’s understandable at his age.

Salah – 7.5

Looked in the mood early on, with some brilliant pieces of control and dizzying dribbles. Ran Robinson ragged all night. Slammed home another penalty straight down the middle for what proved to be the only goal of the game. His passing was shocking however. Anytime he tried to pick a runner in behind, he either underhit or overhit it. So many promising attacks broke down because he couldn’t pick the final pass.

Darwin – 6

Started off well. Provided the side with an option of a pass in behind. Worked his socks off tonight. Won the penalty with some good pressing in the Fulham box. Second half he snatched at his one real chance of the game. Lost the ball on occasion, with his close control not as refined as some of his teammates. On a different wavelength at times.

Diaz 7

Exciting to watch. Dribbled out of some incredibly tight spaces and managed to come out with the ball. Set up some really good chances. Screwed one shot wide early on. Had a few moments where he ran into a white shirt to thwart promising counter attacks.


Robertson – 6

Tried to inject a bit of pace and urgency down the left hand side. Put in a few crosses as well. Kept an eye on Kebano.

Gakpo – 5.5

Sent through on goal but a miscontrol sent him wide and Leno closed the angle down further, blocking the shot. Spun and run at the Fulham defence to win a free kick in a dangerous area. Should have done much better in keeping possession as the clock ticked down.

The ball couldn’t stick when it got to him and Fulham were able to pile on the pressure. Lashed one effort way over when he would have been better served bringing it down.

Milner – 6

Closed down Palhinha on a number of occasions and engaged him in a proper hard man duel.

Elliott – 7

Played on the right wing and showed such maturity to just slow down and keep the ball when the ball was won back late on. Had Klopp cheering wildly for winning a tackle on Solomon on the touchline. Exquisite ball in behind for Gakpo.

Jota – 5

Couldn’t complete a five yard pass to Robertson down the left wing, playing it straight out to add to the edginess around Anfield. No time to really impact the game, with the side hanging on at the end.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager made three changes to the side that turned over Tottenham on Sunday, with Tsimikas, Henderson and Darwin coming in for Robertson, Elliott and Gakpo. He watched his side play some wonderful stuff at times. They were well worth their lead at the break.

They hanged on a bit at the end but they got over the line, with all five substitutes used to try and see it out. It’s five wins on the trot now, a welcome reminder of what this side is capacity of when it’s playing to it’s potential.



Liverpool take on Fulham tonight, with the Reds keen to carry on their recent run of good form. Marco Silva’s men have enjoyed a successful campaign back in the big time following their promotion last season, currently sitting 10th. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his press conference confirmed Diogo Jota was struggling with a knock and has missed training since the victory over Spurs. Thiago has also been ruled out for the rest of the season, whilst Keita and Firmino remain unavailable despite resuming light training.

Jürgen has largely opted for the same side over the past couple of weeks, to a large degree of success. This run of games has seen the Reds go unbeaten in six, winning each of the last four. The consistency of a settled XI has no doubt aided the uptick in form, as has the system change.

With this being the third game in the span of a week, we could see one or more tweaks. Alisson Becker will continue in goal and will be shielded by a back three consisting of Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson. Konaté was rested against West Ham so should be good to go again without the risk of injury.

Van Dijk and Robertson have proven over the years that they can play every three days so should both be fine to continue. The manager might want to look at a left footed centre back in the summer though, as nobody in the squad is equipped to thrive in the role the Scot is currently being asked to play.

Robbo has largely excelled with extra defensive responsibilities on his shoulders which has meant he has had to pick his moments to bomb forward carefully. Tsimikas doesn’t quite suit the centre back role, and Joe Gomez doesn’t possess a left foot to allow him open his body up to passing lanes on the left side.

In midfield, Fabinho will certainly continue, with Alexander-Arnold by his side in the double pivot once the side is in possession. Ahead of them, Curtis Jones is in line for a seventh consecutive start. The 22 year old is in a rich vein of form currently and deserves to keep his place.

The last remaining slot in midfield remains up for grabs. Neither Harvey Elliott nor Jordan Henderson did enough against Tottenham to merit a start tonight. With Carvalho and Arthur completely out of favour and Milner more useful off the bench, the manager has limited options.

He is likely to bring the skipper back into the side having left him out against Spurs. We should be evolving to a stage where Henderson (who is 33 in the summer) and Thiago (32 and injury prone as ever) are no longer regarded as first choice in midfield. That’s the scale of rebuild required this summer.

As it stands, Curtis Jones is the only one staking a claim to be a crucial cornerstone in the new midfield rebuild. The Scouser capped off this fine run of form with the opening goal against Tottenham, and could be set for even more game time if he can maintain the standards he’s set.

Upfront, Mohamed Salah is a shoo-in on the right wing. With Jota struggling with a knock, it’s unlikely he’s fit enough to start. That leaves Gakpo, Diaz and Darwin. Diaz played over an hour on Sunday as he made his first start in almost seven months.

It is perhaps unrealistic to expect him to start again just three days later. He must be managed carefully. That means Darwin could be in line for his first start since the goalless stalemate at Chelsea a month ago. The Uruguayan has had to make do with a place on the bench in recent weeks.

The manager has stressed the importance of pressing and counter pressing and it is up to the 23 year old to prove he’s ready to put in the work to earn his place back in the team. Gakpo should complete the forward line in his false nine role, no doubt interchanging with Darwin as and when necessary.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Carvalho, Jota, Diaz.

Predicted Fulham XI (4-2-3-1): Leno, Tete, Adarabioyo, Diop, Robinson, Palhinha, Reed, Wilson, Reid, James, Vinicius.



Liverpool have won each of their last four league fixtures, seeing them rise into 5th position. The Reds host Marco Silva’s Fulham side tomorrow night (7pm GMT kickoff) aiming to keep this recent winning run going. Here’s the match preview.

Last time out at Anfield, Jürgen Klopp oversaw another madcap last gasp victory as Tottenham Hotspur were put to the sword. An unbelievable start had seen the Reds go 3-0 up inside 15 minutes. However, a collective drop in standards allowed the North Londoners get back into the game.

Worryingly, not even halftime could arrest the slide. Spurs emerged from the break intent on fighting their way back. The Reds were as passive as they were dominant in the opening quarter of an hour. Spurs deserved to pull it back to 3-3.

Diogo Jota was the calmest man inside Anfield when in the 95th minute, he collected Lucas Moura’s attempted backpass before firing into the bottom corner. His iconic celebration will no doubt evoke fond memories in years to come.

That game had everything that’s been great, poor and curious about this season. The side threatened to blow Spurs away just as they had done to Manchester United, Rangers, Bournemouth and Leeds. They then showed the fragility that has seen them fall so far off the pace this campaign.

The curious part was they were still able to overcome the ignominy of blowing a three goal lead (with an Evertonian netting the late equaliser for his very first goal all season), to go up the other end and net the winner like it was just another Saturday.

It’s been a bonkers season, and it all started with tomorrow night’s opponents. Fulham on opening day was perhaps a sign of what was to come. Marco Silva’s men twice took the lead, with the Reds having to fight hard to even leave with a point.

Fulham gave the Reds a game, with their midfield trio of Palhinha, Reed and Pereira proving more than a match for the Liverpool trio that started the last Champions League final. Aleksandar Mitrovic was also a handful, terrorising the backline throughout and scoring twice.

The Londoners have enjoyed a strong campaign after securing promotion in grand style under Marco Silva. They’re comfortably midtable, sitting 10th in the table – 5 points clear of Palace in 11th and 5 behind Brentford in 9th.

They’ve played some wonderful stuff at times this season, enjoying a run in the FA Cup before falling to Manchester United in the quarter finals under controversial circumstances. Unfortunately, star man Mitrovic was handed a hefty ban following that game.

The Serb remains unavailable as he continues to serve his suspension. In the six games since he was banned, the Cottagers have lost four times, winning just twice. Manager Jürgen Klopp hasn’t had it his own way against Fulham since taking charge of the Reds.

In five meetings, the German has only overseen two victories. In fact Liverpool have failed to beat Fulham in any of their last three meetings (2 draws, 1 defeat). The Cottagers ran out 1-0 victors on their last trip to Anfield, bookending a nightmarish run of six home defeats on the spin for the Reds.

Team News

Diogo Jota is a doubt with a back injury. The Portuguese international has not trained since netting a stoppage time winner against Spurs. Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita meanwhile have resumed light training but still remain unavailable.

Thiago Alcantara requires surgery on a hip problem and has been ruled out of the season as a result. Oxlade-Chamberlain, Calvin Ramsay and Stefan Bajcetic are all out.

For Fulham, Andreas Pereira (leg), Layvin Kurzawa (knee), Tim Ream (arm) and Willian Borges (muscle) are all out through injury, whilst their topscorer, Mitrovic, serves the seventh of his eight game ban.



It’s time to look back at the month that was April, and crown Liverpool’s Player of the Month. April saw the Reds contest seven matches in total, all in the Premier League. The Reds won four games, drawing twice and losing just once.

The month kicked off with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City. Despite Mohamed Salah handing the side the lead, Jürgen Klopp’s men crumbled in the face of City pressure, suffering their joint heaviest defeat of the campaign.

A goalless stalemate followed at Stamford Bridge, before the impressive comeback at home to Arsenal. The Gunners took a two goal lead at Anfield before Liverpool fought back impressively to secure a point. That game sparked a turnaround in form.

A tweak in formation saw the side go on to record victory in each of their four remaining games of the month, winning 6-1 vs Leeds, 3-2 vs Nottingham Forest, 2-1 vs West Ham and a last gasp madcap 4-3 win over Tottenham Hotspur. Here are the top three highest rated players in April.

=3. Mohamed Salahavg. rating (6.6)

The Egyptian was at his prolific best throughout the month, netting a team leading six goals. He opened the scoring at the Etihad with a sweetly struck first time finish into the top corner, before scoring again to halve the deficit against Arsenal.

He followed that up with a brace against Leeds United that saw him equal Robbie Fowler in the club’s all time goalscorer’s list. He went past the man nicknamed ‘God’ by Liverpool fans with the winner against Forest. He then put his recent spot kick woes behind him to slam in the third against Spurs.

That game marked Salah’s 300th appearance for the club, with the 30 year old netting 184 goals in total. Only three players in the history of the club managed more in their first 300 games. The Egyptian now has his eyes set on overtaking Steven Gerrard’s goal tally.

=3. Cody Gakpo – avg. rating (6.6)

The Dutch international enjoyed himself a strong month, scoring two goals and providing two assists. More than that, it was his tireless work out of possession and his interpretation of the false nine role that caught the eye.

He opened the scoring against Leeds with a a simple tap in at the backpost, before setting Salah up for a simple finish later in the game. His second goal of the month was a pile driver, catching Fabianski out from all of 30 yards to level the game.

In the victory against Spurs, he set up Diaz after showing a clean pair of heels to get on the end of Salah’s pass, hooking it back for the Colombian. Gakpo’s intelligent movement, control in tight areas and application off the ball has made the thought of Roberto Firmino’s departure less painful that it could have been.

2. Curtis Jones – avg. rating (6.8)

It has been a tough campaign for the 22 year old, with a number of freak injuries halting his momentum in the side over the past 18 months. He managed to put all that behind him to return to the side against Chelsea.

He put in a solid display and was rewarded with another start at home to Arsenal. He was involved in the first goal, with his backheel flick putting Jota in behind the Gunners defence, allowing the Portuguese to send in the cross Salah eventually scored from.

He kept his place in the side and rewarded the manager with a classy assist for Jota in the victory over Leeds. That was a crucial goal as well, coming with Leeds on top having halved the deficit just a few minutes prior.

He maintained his place in the side against Forest and despite continuing his relentless running, couldn’t quite influence the game. The manager spoke of how pressing and counter pressing remains the ticket to getting in the team. Curtis has punched in that ticket in recent weeks.

He continued that theme at West Ham, covering every blade of grass and proving himself adept in keeping possession, before rounding up the month with his first league goal in almost two years, tucking home the opener against Spurs at the backpost. He’s in a rich vein of form currently, and deserves to keep his place.

1. Trent Alexander-Arnoldavg. rating (7.5)

What a month it’s been for the second Scouser on this list! Trent started the month off with a torrid time up against Jack Grealish at the Etihad. Despite playing the pass that led to Salah breaking the deadlock, he was terrorised throughout by Grealish.

This saw the calls for him to be moved into midfield grow even louder. He was dropped at Chelsea and restored against Arsenal, but this time with a tweak to his role. He was given license to join Fabinho in a midfield pivot when the side had the ball, before dropping back into his right back position when possession was lost.

It had mixed results, with Martinelli enjoying too much space down that side but Trent going on to set up the late equaliser. Any new formation is sure to have teething problems so it was encouraging to see the manager stuck with it. This saw Trent truly flourished.

He put in a Man of the Match performance at Leeds, running the show from start to finish whilst laying on two assists. He provided another assist in the next game (at home to Forest), finding Salah with a beautiful delivery from a free kick. The Egyptian applied the finishing touch to seal all three points.

He continued in this hybrid role at West Ham and once again provided an assist, this time from a punched pass into Gakpo who turned and found the bottom corner from range. Trent was it it again over the weekend, whipping a devilish cross to the backpost for Jones to break the deadlock.

This new role is bringing out the best in him. He’s getting on the ball a lot more, with his numbers for touches going through the roof. He’s more involved as a result and is carving defences open for fun. Could we see him transition into midfield permanently?

Highest rated individual performance of the month:

° Alexander-Arnold vs Leeds United – (9.5/10)

Made4Liverpool 22/23 Player of the Month:

August – Harvey Elliott

September – Thiago Alcantara

October – Alisson Becker

November – Darwin Nunez

December – Trent Alexander-Arnold

January – Ibrahima Konaté

February – James Milner

March – Ibrahima Konaté

April – Trent Alexander-Arnold

*Average ratings are collated from the player ratings posted on this site after every match. Players must have earned a rating in more than half the number of games in the month under review.



Liverpool won a seven goal thriller at Anfield this afternoon after Spurs handed them an almighty scare. The Reds went 3-0 up after 15 minutes but were clawed back to 3-3 in stoppage time, before Jota slotted home in the 95th minute to seal all three points. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 5.5

Good save to deny Kulusevski after Robertson’s error. Tipped over Porto’s rasping drive. Beaten a number of times today, with the post coming to his rescue on multiple occasions. Unlucky with the third, as the bounce of the ball just eluded his despairing dive.

Alexander-Arnold 8

What a ball to Jones at the backpost for the opener! That’s another assist in this hybrid role. He ran the show first half. His vision to spot runs and the quality to execute it was eye-catching. Not as involved second half and Spurs grew into it. Played as an out and out right back in the last ten or so.

Konaté – 6

Crunching tackle on Skipp in the box was timed to perfection. Allowed Son get a few shots off however, instead of getting tight. Held onto the winger to halt one counter attack and was duly booked. Calmly brought down one long ball on his thigh, before passing to a teammate to try and get the side on the ball again in the face of Spurs pressure.

Van Dijk – 5

Blocked one on the line and then got absolute rinsed by Perisic who set up their first goal. Struggled again, as he has been recently. The aura he commanded at his best has been slowly chipped away. When the side were under the cosh, he couldn’t organise his defence to repel the wave of attacks.

Robertson – 4

Error-strewn performance. One heavy touch gifted Spurs possession in a dangerous area first half. He repeated the same error and had Alisson to thank for saving the shot. Charged out of position to press high in the second half and got nowhere near the ball. Two passes later, Son was clean through and hitting the post.

For their second goal, he did well to recover but inexplicably run past Kane into no man’s land, allowing Perisic to find the Englishman with a simple cross. One tackle on Son in stoppage time got the home fans cheering wildly but this was a poor display.

Fabinho – 7

Looked mobile first half hour with energetic legs around him helping him cover the middle of the pitch. Was assured in possession pretty much and kept the ball moving well. When Spurs got on top he was overrun as he had too many fires to put out. Covered Trent well late on when Perisic nutmegged him to get in behind. He got across the Croat and shepherded the ball out of play.

Elliott – 6

Was in a running battle with Hojbjerg today. Looked tidy on the ball and more comfortable in tight areas, but in the end, there wasn’t enough substance to his game. Took a heavy touch and got dispossessed first half, with Spurs almost profiting off his error. This position is tailor made for him, he needs to do more to take the shirt.

Jones 8

Started the scoring off with a lovely cushioned finish at the backpost. Combined really well with Diaz throughout. Ran his socks off yet again, with the Kop appreciating his closing down on multiple occasions.

Salah – 6.5

Sublime ball in behind for Gakpo in the build-up to the second goal. Tucked away the penalty with aplomb, putting behind him two consecutive misses from the spot. Started taking liberties after that I felt. Tried to take on too many men on his own and lost the ball almost everytime. It doesn’t help that defenders can put him in a chokehold and the referees will rather award them the foul.

Gakpo – 7.5

Showed deceptive pace to get on the end of Salah’s pass in behind to hook it back to Diaz for the second goal. Won a penalty after a delicious touch saw him clattered by Romero for a stonewall penalty. His influence waned second half and he was replaced but his work rate stood out again.

Diaz 7

Sublime volleyed finish to slam home Gakpo’s cutback. Welcome back. Got absolutely taken out by Skipp and Anfield held it’s breath whilst he received treatment. Thankfully he got back up and continued. Wasn’t as influential second half.


Henderson – 5

On to help control the game. Did anything but. Clueless on the ball and not aggressive or quick enough to close down and win the ball back. That substitution made the side weaker.

Jota – 8

Could have been sent off for a high boot that caught Skipp on the forehead. Stayed on the pitch and won the game with a composed finish in the 95th minute after collecting Lucas Moura’s poor backpass.

Darwin – 5

Played Richarlison onside for his goal. Charged around closing down and geed the crowd up when he made a tackle. Clobbered Son on the touchline deep into stoppage time but somehow got away with it. Didn’t win enough headers for a man of his stature.

Milner – N/A

Gave away a needless foul with his first involvement, bringing Kane down when the England skipper was surrounded by two red shirts. Son took the free kick and Richarlison nodded home.

Jürgen Klopp

Saw his side blitz Spurs in the opening quarter of an hour. They then took their foot off the gas and allowed their opponents back into it. The manager’s substitutions could have been swifter, but then again the side got worse following the alterations. Credit to Jota for keeping his calm in the end. The manager pulled his hamstring celebrating that goal. Hilarious!

It’s six unbeaten and four victories in a row now for the very first time this season. This fantastic run has seen the side climb up into 5th. Top four is probably just beyond Klopp’s men but a good end to the campaign can be the foundation for a strong start next season.



Liverpool take on Spurs tomorrow, with the Reds sitting 7th in the league table, knowing victory will move them above their opponents into fifth place. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed Ibrahima Konaté was fine after being rested for the trip to West Ham on Wednesday night. Oxlade-Chamberlain meanwhile has joined Firmino on the sidelines. 

Jürgen has opted for largely the same side over the past couple of weeks, implementing a new system in the process. This run of games has seen the Reds go unbeaten in five, winning each of the last three. The consistency of a settled XI has no doubt aided the recent uptick in form.

We could see a change or two tomorrow however. In goal, Alisson Becker will continue. He will be shielded by a back three consisting the returning Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson, despite Joel Matip putting in an impressive shift on Wednesday night.

The ex-Shalke man slotted in for Konaté and covered the right hand side of defence impeccably before netting the winner courtesy a second half bullet header. It might be a tad harsh to drop him but Ibou has made that slot his own. Not to mention his pace will be required against Son and the wily Kane.

In midfield, we should see Trent join Fabinho in the double pivot again, with the Scouser dropping back into his right back role when the side is defending. Fabinho has navigated a suspension tight rope in the past two games, and having avoided a booking, is safe from that particular threat.

Further up the pitch, Jones and Henderson have been the preferred options over the past few games. The manager has stressed how ‘pressing like animals’ has influenced his selection. Both Jones and the skipper have covered every blade of grass there is to cover this month.

They may not always exert enough influence in an attacking sense (despite playing higher up the pitch in this system), but the manager values what they bring in intensity and effort off the ball. This should see them continue to keep their place in the team.

Upfront, there’s only one real question. Does Luis Diaz come in for his first start in almost seven months? The Colombian enjoyed a cameo lasting a little over half an hour last time out. A start might just be a little premature though. He remains an exciting option off the bench nonetheless

Diogo Jota has been in the goals lately, and despite a subdued display at the London Stadium, should be handed another start on the left wing. His defensive contributions fly under the radar at times but he’s an excellent team player.

Cody Gakpo is another who has been putting in selfless displays for the team and looking every inch a Liverpool player following his January switch from PSV Eindhoven. He netted a long range beauty at West Ham and will get the nod to lead the line once more.

Mohamed Salah will then round up a strong starting XI, with big money striker Darwin Nunez still having to make do with a place on the bench. It’s a healthy competition for places at the minute, with every forward (bar Firmino) fully fit.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Jota.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Thiago, Darwin, Diaz.

Predicted Spurs XI (3-4-2-1): Forster, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Porro, Skipp, Hojbjerg, Davies, Kulusevski, Son, Kane.



Liverpool host Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon (15:30 GMT kickoff), aiming to keep their European hopes alive. The Reds lie seventh on the league table, just a point adrift of their opponents who have played a game more. Here’s the match preview.

Before we can look forward to the match on Sunday, we have to look back at events at West Ham last time out. Jürgen Klopp’s men showed excellent powers of recovery after going down to a Lucas Paqueta stunner just 12 minutes into the contest.

An equally explosive Gakpo strike levelled the scoreline shortly after, before Matip’s bullet header settled the contest in the second half. The Reds controlled much of the game despite the Hammers posing a threat on the counter. The presence of Trent in midfield once again aided the side in dominating possession.

His calmness on the ball and eye for a line breaking pass continues to be a huge boon. It makes you wonder why this particular switch wasn’t attempted earlier. Trent looks completely reborn, with his tally of five league assists this month the most any player has ever registered for the club in a single month.

Another player who played his part on Wednesday night and is currently enjoying a strong run of form is Curtis Jones. The 22 year old has overcome his injury troubles to cement himself in the team for the run in. He’s started the last five games and reminded everyone the quality he possesses.

10 points have been accumulated from the last 12 available since the system switch that has allowed Trent to spend time in midfield when the side has possession. No matter what happens in terms of European qualification, a strong end to the campaign can set the tone for next season.

On to the visit of Tottenham Hotspur then. The Lilywhites have had another season that’s started off promisingly, before the inevitable implosion that has come to be known as ‘Spursy’. Spurs actually started the campaign off strongly under Conte.

They picked up 17 points from their opening seven games and were joint top of the league table. For all intents and purposes, they looked primed to build on their top four finish the previous season which had allowed them make a number of expensive summer signings.

Somewhere along the line they faltered and ended up exiting all three Cup competitions, extending their 15 year trophy drought. The Italian tactician had an almighty rant following a 3-3 draw at Southampton and was sacked shortly after.

His assistant was curiously handed the job before being dismissed following the 6-1 shellacking at Newcastle. Ryan Mason has been appointed as the interim manager and started off his second stint in the role with a gusty fightback against Manchester United.

Despite being 2-0 down at halftime, Spurs came back to earn a point which ensures they will be in better mood coming to Anfield on Sunday. In the reverse fixture, a Salah double set the Reds on their way before Harry Kane pulled one back. The Reds held on in the end for what was their first away league victory of the season.

Spurs have only won two of their last ten matches in all competitions and have failed to win any of the last eleven against Liverpool. They haven’t won at Anfield since a 2-0 victory all the way back in 2011. It is a record the Reds will aim to extend on Sunday.

Manager Jürgen Klopp has an impeccable record against the North Londoners. In 17 fixtures against Spurs in all competitions, the German has overseen 10 wins and 6 draws, with the only defeat in that time coming in a 4-1 defeat at Wembley six years ago.

Team News

Firmino remains out with a muscle injury but Ibrahima Konaté is available after missing the trip to West Ham. Naby Keita is also back in training and could be available whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain has joined the injured list. Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (groin) remain out.

For Tottenham, Hugo Lloris is expected to be absent again after missing Thursday’s draw against Manchester United with a hip injury. Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Emerson Royal (meniscus), Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) and Yves Bissouma (ankle) are all out.



Liverpool came back from a goal down to beat West Ham United at the London Stadium tonight. A Paqueta strike opened the scoring before Cody Gakpo responded for the Reds. A tight second half was settled by a bullet Matip header. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 5.5

Could have done better for Paqueta’s goal. It was from a long way out and he didn’t get anywhere near it. His passing today, especially over long distances were poor. Kept giving the ball back to them. Was quick off his line to sweep up one attack.

Alexander-Arnold 9

Best player on the pitch first half. Won so many crucial interceptions in midfield and indeed in his own box. Still found time to be the creative hub of the side, notching yet another assist, this time for Gakpo to equalise. Second half he kept at it. Didn’t forget his primary duties as a right back. He whipped in some devilish set pieces too.

Matip – 9

Wow. A match winning performance from Matip when many thought he’d struggle to cover the right hand side like Konaté has been doing. Proved those fears wrong with an assured display of confidence, competence and quality. Bullet header into the top corner won the game in the end. Pocketed Antonio with minimum fuss. Fantastic tackle on Bowen late on to halt a counter.

Van Dijk – 8

Started sloppily, passing straight to Bowen under no pressure. Woke up after that and put in a crucial challenge to deny Antonio an easy tap in at the backpost. Won so many crucial headers, especially late on when West Ham tried to rally. Stepped up to play Bowen offside for his disallowed goal, although his defending for said goal left a lot to be desired.

Robertson – 8

Has a penchant to rush out of position to press high up the pitch even when there’s little chance he’ll win it. He did that late on and Bowen was set away. Luckily he could only shoot straight at Alisson. Aside that, he provided quality from dead ball situations, whipping in a number of delightful deliveries. One such ball found Matip for what proved to be the winner.

Fabinho – 6.5

Paqueta just breezed past him to leather one past Alisson. He settled into the game and saw a lot of the ball. Sent one shot into the stands before curling another straight at Fabianski. Got through a lot of work in midfield but it is still a worry how easy opponents just go past him. Rice did same late on with a simple turn of pace, before playing Cornet in behind.

Henderson – 7.5

He’s an asset off the ball with his work rate and application to harry and press. On the ball though, especially in this new system that has him high up the pitch, he is found wanting at times. He plugged away to his credit and set up a few chances including a gilt edged one for Jota with a flicked header.

Jones 8

Another relentless runner. Klopp was wildly applauding him on the sidelines second half when he hounded the West Ham backline into a hurried clearanc. First half he could have done more on the ball but he improved later in the game. He drove at the defence and committed defenders, combining well with Diaz especially. He’s been excellent since coming into the side. He just needs to start adding a bit more goal threat to his game.

Salah – 5.5

Poor with his decision making in and around the box tonight which is unlike him. Went for the pass when he should have shot, tried to cut in when he should have advanced forward, little things like that. Saw a number of shots blocked.

Gakpo – 9

He’s got the shirt under wraps as it stands. His appreciation for the work required in that position certainly doesn’t go unnoticed. He works his socks off every game. Took his goal well tonight, driving the ball into the bottom corner from outside the box. We looked dangerous every time he turned, even if the pass didn’t come off.

Jota 4.5

Poor tonight. Missed two presentable chances first half, volleying the first over and heading the second just past the post. Second half he wasn’t any better. He was released in behind by Salah but instead of going for goal, tried to pass it back to the Egyptian and saw the chance go to waste. Hooked not long after.


Thiago – 5.5

Caught on the ball twice in quick succession straight after coming on. Lucky not to give away a penalty when he handled in the box. Exchanged a number of passes with Trent in midfield as he sought to exert control over proceedings.

Diaz – 7

A better outlet down the left when he came on. Actually took on a defender or two and forced West Ham back. Curled one shot wide and could possibly have taken a couple more. Was trying to be too cute and almost pass his way to goal. Still a lively cameo.

Darwin – 4.5

Lost the ball cheaply on a few occasions. Couldn’t hold it up and didn’t really affect the game. Doesn’t look like a man who’s chomping at the bits to win back his place.

Milner – N/A

First action was to foul his man with a crunching tackle. Same old Millie! Did what it says on the tin and helped see out victory.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager went with just the one change, with that being an enforced one as Matip came in for the injured Konaté. He saw his side go 1-0 down before producing a swift response to level. His first two substitutions were made very early (just shy of the hour mark) and it helped turn the tide in his side’s favour.

It was brave from the manager to stick with the new system even in Konaté’s absence and he was rewarded with a brilliant Matip performance. Three league victories on the spin for just the second time this campaign. Better late than never I guess. The side is now up to sixth on the log. On to Spurs.



Liverpool take on David Moyes’ West Ham outfit tonight at the London Stadium. The Reds sit 7th in the league table knowing victory will move them up into sixth place, above Spurs on goal difference. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed Roberto Firmino remains out injured. Ibrahima Konaté was struggling with a knock as well but his prognosis was more positive. Will the gaffer stick with the same lineup for the fourth game in a row? Let’s delve into it.

Alisson Becker will start in goal as usual, with Van Dijk and Robertson both lining up ahead of him. They will be joined by Konaté (provided he passes a late fitness test). The Frenchman is crucial to the new system implemented in recent weeks.

His pace, power and front footed nature allows him to cover the right back area when the opposition counter swiftly, leaving Trent marooned in midfield. If Ibou is ruled out, it’s unlikely the new system will be maintained. Gomez and Matip just don’t fill you with the sort of confidence the 23 year old does.

Should Konaté be fit enough to start, we can expect to see Trent line up in his new hybrid role where he plays in a double pivot in midfield when the side has possession. Benrahma will likely line up on the left wing for West Ham, Konaté will have his hands full with Antonio but will still have to be wary of the Algerian.

In midfield, Fabinho will once again be called upon. The Brazilian is running the risk of a two game suspension should he pick up a booking tonight. Tonight is the final time he has to walk that tightrope, with the threshold of 32 games being reached tonight.

Ahead of him, Jones and Henderson face a battle to keep their place in the side. They’ve been preferred in this new shape which sees them play higher up the pitch in the wide areas. They’ve largely impressed but struggled to make an impact on the ball against Forest.

Thiago and Elliott will both be pushing for a start. The Spaniard has come on in each of the last three games and could be handed his first start in over two months. He could line up on the left, with Jones switching to the right hand side, relegating the skipper to the bench.

Jones has enjoyed a consistent run in the side and has taken his chance with both hands. He deserves to continue, with Henderson the one to make way. The soon to be 33 year old can’t be asked to start three games a week at this stage of his career when his entire strength is built around intensity.

With Spurs to come on Sunday, the manager has to balance his squad well to ensure they are all in healthy nick to perform to the best of their ability. The fact that Jones possesses the ability to keep possession under pressure should make this a straightforward selection as West Ham will no doubt press ferociously.

In attack, Diogo Jota surely keeps his place on the left. The Portuguese international has put the drought behind him and welcomed in the flood. From 32 matches without a goal to 4 goals in his last 2 matches. You wouldn’t bet against him extending this particular hot streak tonight.

Mohamed Salah remains in good form and should keep his place on the right wing. Up top, the manager has a decision to make between Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez. The Dutch international has been preferred in that role as he marries application off the ball with a deft touch and appreciation for space.

He has picked up the mantle from Roberto Firmino and looked a real part of the team in recent weeks. Darwin meanwhile presents a completely different skillset. He’s an out and out striker who thrives on running in behind, bringing to the table a brand of chaos that unsettles defences.

He was the match winner in the reverse fixture and could be set to play a key part again tonight. He’s netted 15 goals in his debut campaign thus far and will be looking to exceed (or in the very least match) his compatriot Luis Suarez’s tally in his first full season at the club (17 goals).

Luis Diaz will continue his journey back to full fitness with another cameo here. He still remains quite a way away from starting again.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Jones, Thiago, Salah, Darwin, Jota.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Henderson, Gakpo, Diaz.

Predicted West Ham XI (4-2-3-1): Fabianski, Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Creswell, Rice, Soucek, Bowen, Paqueta, Benrahma, Antonio.



Liverpool travel to the London Stadium tomorrow night (18:45 GMT kickoff) to take on a rejuvenated West Ham side. The Reds are coming off the back of a nervy 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest as they cling on to their faint top four hopes. Here’s the match preview.

Jürgen Klopp’s men made it back to back wins on Saturday when they got over the line against a plucky Forest outfit. The Reds once again lined up with Trent in a double pivot alongside Fabinho in midfield, with the Scouser tasked with dropping into the right back position when the side lost possession.

A cagey first half saw Jota and Van Dijk both miss good opportunities to break the deadlock, with the Forest rearguard holding firm till the break. The second half produced five goals as Jota profited off two set pieces to hit the back of the net and continue his resurgence after a tough time with injury.

The visitors hit back each time, with Niakhate’s long throws (an unwelcome throwback to Rory Delap) causing Liverpool all sorts of problems. Forest went close to equalising for a third time after Salah had also benefited from a set piece to score what proved to be the winner.

The nature of the performance, especially defensively, is a cause for concern going forward. West Ham are a very physical side themselves, with their prowess at attacking set pieces a real weapon. They netted twice from set pieces in their 4-0 win at Bournemouth this past Sunday.

The Hammers also netted twice from corners on Liverpool’s last visit to the London Stadium, running out 3-2 winners in an entertaining game. David Moyes’ outfit have found form in recent weeks. The Hammers have eased relegation fears to move into 13th place, six points clear of the drop.

They have only tasted one defeat in their last ten games across all competitions (a heavy home defeat to Newcastle). In their last home league game, they fought back from two goals down to hold table topping Arsenal to a draw that dented the Gunners’ title hopes.

They then sealed back to back European semi final berths by thrashing Belgian side Gent 4-1, booking a date with Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the Conference League. Their performance at Bournemouth on Sunday was arguably their most impressive of the campaign, recording their biggest away victory of the season.

It should be a good game under the lights tomorrow, despite both sides underperforming this campaign. They’ve found a semblance of form in recent weeks and should both be full of confidence. Set pieces could prove key once again, with the two teams adept at attacking dead ball situations.

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Darwin Nunez nodded home the only goal of the game from a fantastic Tsimikas cross. It was a tightly contested affair, with the Hammers missing a penalty and going close to equalising late on when Soucek’s close range effort was blocked on the line by Milner.

It promises to be a similarly tough encounter this time round. Jürgen Klopp has overseen eight trips to West Ham in all competitions since taking charge of the Reds, with the Hammers winning three times and the Reds coming out on top on four occasions.

Liverpool have only registered three successive league wins in the Premier League once this season. That goes to underline how consistently inconsistent the Reds have been all campaign. They go in search of a third consecutive victory tomorrow night, one which will see them leapfrog Spurs in the league table.

Team News

Roberto Firmino remains out injured with a muscle injury. Ibrahima Konaté is struggling with a knock as well but is expected to be passed fit in time for this clash. Naby Keita took part in partial training today but isn’t yet available. Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (groin) remain out injured.

For West Ham, big money summer signing Gianluca Scamacca is the only absentee, with the striker absent with a season ending knee injury.



Liverpool won a five goal thriller at Anfield this afternoon against relegation threatened Forest. A goalless first half was quickly forgotten in a breathless second period. A Salah winner earned the points in the end, after Jota’s brace was cancelled out by Williams and Gibbs-White. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 5.5

Good save from Gibbs-White’s first half drive. Beaten by two deflections today, and was desperately unlucky not to stop the first after getting a hand to it. Played a poor pass straight out of play under little pressure, with Forest scoring off that throw. Played Konaté into trouble late on as well.

Alexander-Arnold 8

Best player on the pitch for most of the game. Played his role to perfection today, creating chances going forward (especially from set pieces) and getting back to make crucial interceptions in his own box. It got a bit hairy when Forest threw everything at it late on but the side got over the line.

Almost gave a goal away after a poor pass into midfield late on. He could have had a handful of assists today, with Van Dijk and Jota guilty of wasting good dead ball deliveries. He got his assist in the end, crossing another peach of a ball for Salah to steer home for the winner. More of midfield Trent please.

Konaté – 7.5

Looks comfortable as the right sided centre back in the back three. Tussled against the burly Awoniyi all game and gave as good as he got. One dribble in midfield opened up space for him and he capitalised on it to send a delightful long ball over the top for Jota to attack. Ibou is absolutely key to this new setup. He lost Johnson and Mangala in the box late on which could have proven costly.

Van Dijk – 6.5

Almost caught on the ball twice early on by Awoniyi. Should have scored when he got on the end of Trent’s free kick delivery first half. His header was tipped over by Navas but either side of the goalkeeper and he’d have opened the scoring.

He passed straight to a Forest player after initially doing well to cut out the danger. He was lucky to get away with it. Doesn’t quite look like the force he was. The side looked very vulnerable from long throws into the box. He produced a vital challenge to halt Johnson’s run into the box late on.

Robertson – 8.5

He was usually tasked with being the left sided centre back in the back three but he still bombed forward when the situation called for it. His set piece delivery was right on the money as well, with Jota benefiting from one to net his second. Another energetic outing from the Scot.

Fabinho – 6

Saw a lot of the ball with Forest sitting deep. Didn’t do enough with it however. Too slow to turn away from his marker, meaning everything was side to side or backwards. Did well to direct a header goalwards for Jota to head home. Nowhere to be found when they broke for their first goal. He just stood and hoped Konaté would win the duel with Awoniyi.

Henderson – 6

Struggled on the ball in attacking areas. Almost played Alisson into trouble first half because of his uneasiness at being harried by the Forest midfield. Skied one volley horribly over in the second half. His energy and defensive nous was helpful in the last 15, although he was too slow to close down Gibbs-White for his goal.

Jones 6

A tidy touch here and there but not enough substance today. Chewed the ball a bit too long on a couple of counter attacks. Lasted 81 minutes before making way for Milner.

Salah – 7.5

First half he wasn’t doing much when he received it. He wasn’t running at his man enough, usually going backwards to Henderson, Trent or Konaté. He looked up for it second half as he won a corner barely a minute into it. He was the match winner yet again, steering home Trent’s free kick delivery into the bottom corner despite being off balance. That goal took him level with ‘god’ for goals scored for the club!

Gakpo – 6

Looked lively when he pulled wide to combine with Salah on the right. One deft touch inside for Trent put the Scouser in behind the Forest defence. Saw one shot blocked and another cleared off the line first half. Not as involved as he’d like.

Jota 9

The only forward actually driving at defenders first half. Should have scored from Trent’s delivery when he was alone at the backpost. Made up for it second half with two trademark finishes. The first came when he reacted quickest to Fabinho’s header to nod home from close range.

The second showed brilliant movement and then unnerring class to bring the cross down and arrow a shot into the bottom corner with his weaker left foot. He was denied a hat trick by the excellent Navas who tipped the Portuguese’s header over. I knew he’d go on a scoring streak!


Thiago – 5.5

Came on for Fabinho on the hour mark, presumably to control proceedings. That didn’t happen though, with a plucky Forest side fighting back and going close to equalising for a third time. Thiago’s passing wasn’t as assured as we’re used to.

Darwin – 6

Played down the middle when he came on. Neat touch out wide to Salah played the Egyptian into space. Gave away a silly free kick for fouling Williams. Should have scored from Robertson’s free kick delivery. Saw an attempted cross almost float into the top corner.

Milner – N/A

On for the final ten or so minutes.

Diaz – N/A

Good to see him get more minutes under his belt. Won a free kick of two off Williams and we saw signs of his old self when he wriggled out of a couple of tight situations.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager understandably went with the same lineup. Forest proved a tough nut to crack however, holding firm in the first half and twice fighting back in the second. Set pieces won the points in the end, with all three goals coming from dead ball situations. That’s now back to back wins. Can this side finally put a long winning run together? We’ll find out.



Liverpool take on Nottingham Forest at Anfield tomorrow for a 2pm kickoff (GMT). The Reds currently sit eighth in the league table whilst Forest lie in the relegation zone on goal difference. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference reported one new injury, with Roberto Firmino ruled out for a couple of weeks with a muscle injury. The Brazilian is the only significant absentee, with most of the squad fit and available.

It’s been another week between games for the manager. That is ideal as he will have had even more time to fine-tune the new 3-2-5 system he’s deployed in the last two games. He hinted at giving it another go tomorrow, calling Trent a ‘smart player’ who can deal with being man marked.

The performance and result last time out had the manager purring on the sidelines. He described the pressing and intensity as the best he had seen ‘in a decade’. With that being said, it could be a pretty straightforward selection. Alisson will start in goal as usual.

In defence, we should see the trio of Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson start together again. Konaté has been key to this new setup, as his pace, strength and superb reading of the game has allowed Trent the freedom to focus on his midfield role.

Trent will line up alongside Fabinho in the ‘double six’, with the Brazilian another player who a lot is being asked of in this system. He has to be on alert as soon as possession is lost in order to cover an exposed defence.

Ahead of those two, we can expect to see Henderson and Jones keep their place. The skipper may not be the cutest on the ball but he’s been putting in a lot of hard yards on the right wing in support of Salah. He’s done his bit creatively as well since the formation change.

Most chances created in the last two games:

• Jordan Henderson (6)
• Cody Gakpo (6)
• Trent Alexander-Arnold (6)

Curtis on the other hand, has been handed three starts on the spin and has really benefited from the rhythm that it brings. He shone at Elland Road and crowned a strong display with a classy assist – a defence splitting pass for Jota to run on to.

Despite Thiago coming off the bench in each of the last two games after recovering from a hip injury, Jones could keep his place. The Spanish maestro is a lovey footballer to watch but at the minute, as insane as it sounds, he doesn’t walk straight back in, especially with this new setup.

His inclusion will negate the need for Trent to play in the middle, and that’s been the whole point of this venture. Trent is the best creative force in the squad, and any shape that brings the best out of him should be prioritised. Not to mention Jones has done enough to keep the shirt.

In attack, Jota roared back into form last week, netting a brace against Leeds and setting up another goal for Salah. He put in an excellent defensive shift down the left hand side as well, showing why he has been preferred to Darwin in recent weeks.

On the opposite flank, we should see Mohamed Salah line up as usual. The Egyptian also netted a brace at Leeds and is closing in on yet another record tomorrow. A goal will take him level with Robbie Fowler in the all time Liverpool goalscorers list.

Cody Gakpo should also keep his place as the false nine. The manager once again drummed home the importance of pressing from the front, especially against teams that set up in a low block. Gakpo is adept at harrying and closing down and has taken to the Bobby role really well.

The likes of Darwin, Elliott and Thiago should provide handy options off the bench as the game wears on. That’s without mentioning Luis Diaz who marked his return from a five month layoff with a late cameo last week.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Jones, Salah, Gakpo, Jota.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Thiago, Darwin, Diaz.

Predicted Forest XI (5-4-1): Navas, Williams, Felipe, Niakhate, McKenna, Lodi, Mangala, Freuler, Gibbs-White, Johnson, Awoniyi.



Following the emphatic victory over Leeds United at Elland Road, Liverpool turn their attentions to a home clash against Nottingham Forest at Anfield tomorrow. Kickoff at Anfield is slated for 2pm GMT. Here’s the match preview.

Jürgen Klopp’s charges romped to their biggest away league victory of the season last time out, thrashing Leeds 6-1 as a tweak in formation bore the desired fruits. The 3-2-5 setup was unveiled against table topping Arsenal the previous week, with Trent Alexander-Arnold taking up central midfield positions during buildup.

It wasn’t as fleeting as we had seen in the past when the 23 year old would sometimes drift central to open up better passing angles when the side was attacking. This was a more tangible tweak, and Trent was clearly in a double pivot alongside Fabinho whenever the Reds were in possession.

A back three of Konaté, Van Dijk and Robertson was noticeable, with the Frenchman having lots of space to cover on the right. The two midfielders (Jones and Henderson) pulled wide to support Jota and Salah on the left and right wing respectively, whilst Gakpo played through the middle and dropped deep as per.

The nature of the performance and result surely means the manager sticks with this setup. It is particularly helpful in games where the Reds expect to dominate possession, as should be the case against Steve Cooper’s Forest tomorrow.

Forest are currently sitting in the relegation zone on goal difference. They have the worst goal differential in the entire division, with no side netting fewer goals than their tally of 24. They’ve let in a whopping 56 goals thus far, with only Leeds conceding more (60).

Leaky at the back, toothless upfront – that’s a surefire recipe for relegation. Steve Cooper has been fighting against the tide all season, and despite a ridiculous summer transfer drive that brought in virtually a whole new squad, the owners have shown restraint in keeping the man who brought the club up last season.

They have backed him publicly, unlike most of their relegation threatened rivals who have changed managers. That decision might come to be rued if Forest do go down. Their remaining fixtures make for difficult viewing, with this trip to Anfield coming after a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United last week.

Following tomorrow’s clash, they still have to face high flying Brighton, Brentford, title challenging Arsenal and an expensively assembled Chelsea in four of their six remaining games. The writing seems to be on the wall for Forest unfortunately, unless they pull off a number of huge upsets.

They are well capable of that, as Liverpool found out the hard way in the reverse fixture at the City Ground. Ex-Red Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal of the game as the Reds succumbed to an embarrassing defeat.

The Reds have to use that defeat as fuel for tomorrow’s meeting. Victory could well move Jürgen Klopp’s men into sixth place (if results elsewhere go their way), just six points off the top four. With Newcastle hosting Spurs in a 4th vs 5th battle on Sunday, a win tomorrow is non-negotiable.

Champions League qualification isn’t out of the picture just yet, and if the side can go on a belated winning streak, they could possibly sneak in at the death. Forest will sit deep and defend for their lives, with Brennan Johnson posing a threat on the break, the Reds will have to break them down and get the result they require.

Team News

Roberto Firmino has picked up a muscle injury that has ruled him out of the next couple of games. It is unfortunate timing as the Brazilian is bringing down the curtain on his eight year stay at the club. Naby Keita (muscle), Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (groin) remain out injured.

For Forest, Cheikhou Kouyate (hamstring), Gustavo Scarpa (knock), Serge Aurier (knock), Ryan Yates (shoulder), Chris Wood (leg), Willy Boly (hamstring), Dean Henderson (muscle), Omar Richards (leg) and Giulian Biancone (knee) are all currently unavailable.



Fabio Carvalho came to the attention of most Liverpool fans on Deadline Day last year when the club made a move for the then 19 year old. A £5million deal was agreed with Fulham, allowing the youngster to see out the remainder of the campaign in the Championship before joining the Reds.

Unfortunately the paperwork wasn’t completed in time and the deal fell through. Fast forward to the final month of the season and the Reds stuck with their initial agreement with Fulham despite the player running out of contract.

This gentleman’s agreement ensured a tribunal was avoided and the player’s future was sorted. Jürgen Klopp waxed lyrical at his unveiling, doing little to hide his excitement at snapping up what many regarded as the best young player in the Championship.

Jürgen Klopp on Carvalho’s unveiling: “What a talent he is, hey? A player who can bring a stadium to its feet. He puts his personality into his performances, he is confident and adventurous with the ball, and he wants to make things happen.”

The youngster settled in well during pre-season and rekindled his friendship with one time Academy teammate Harvey Elliott. He was involved in the friendlies and was usually deployed on the left of the front three. Everything pointed to the youngster making an impact.

It certainly looked like that in the opening weeks of the campaign. The Portuguese born attacking midfielder made his debut in the Community Shield, coming on as a late substitute against Manchester City. He went on to feature in each of the side’s first five league fixtures (all as a substitute).

He netted his first goal for the club with a sweetly struck volley on his weaker left foot in the 9-0 trouncing of Bournemouth. He made it goals in back to back games when he came off the bench to net a last gasp winner against a stubborn Newcastle to send Anfield into a frenzy.

He was rewarded with his first start for the Reds in the very next game. He was picked as part of a midfield three alongside Fabinho and Elliott in the heated atmosphere of a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. It showed he had gained the trust of the manager.

Unfortunately, Carvalho had to come off at halftime with a knock. He missed the next game and was an unused substitute on his return to the matchday squad against Ajax in the Champions League. Just like that, his momentum had been knocked.

He fought his way back into the starting XI after the first international break, starting at home to Brighton in the Premier League. A quiet showing saw him hooked at the break. He was then an unused substitute in the next two games before being handed his Champions League debut.

Once again this was a big one, with the side needing victory against Rangers at Ibrox to put themselves in a good position to qualify from the group stages. Luis Diaz’s injury had opened up a spot on the left wing and Carvalho had a chance to grasp it.

He played on the left of a midfield four in a 4-4-2 setup and excelled. He got the balance right in terms of expressing himself on the ball and putting in the hard yards defensively. He played his part as Liverpool recorded their biggest away win of the season.

That sparked a run of five consecutive games, including back to back starts against West Ham United and Nottingham Forest. He went on to make four appearances in the last six games before the World Cup break.

He had registered 16 appearances for the side by that point, starting six times (520 minutes). He had been an unused substitute on five occasions as well. This is a far cry from what we have witnessed since the resumption of club football following the World Cup.

He started the first game back, lining up on the left wing away at Manchester City in the EFL Cup. He struggled with the physicality of the game, as he had most times this season, but he still popped up with a goal to level the tie early on.

He showed his calmness infront of goal to side foot Milner’s pass into the bottom corner. In such a big game, that strike was even more impressive. He was hooked at halftime and was subsequently overlooked for the next five matches.

It was curious to see the likes of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and even Ben Doak forced out of position on the left wing (be it from the start or off the bench) with the side struggling, all whilst Carvalho was available.

Carvalho may not be a world-beater but he had proved in the first half of the season that he had something to offer and could be trusted. How has he gone from a promising prospect starting in Merseyside derbies to now being an afterthought?

His last start came in the FA Cup replay victory at Wolves three months ago. Since then, his only appearances have been a two minute cameo at Bournemouth and a one minute outing at Real Madrid. Even when there were injuries in attack, he was overlooked.

With the January arrival of Gakpo and the return to fitness of Diaz, all six attackers are now fit and available, what chance does he have now of even making the matchday squad? Since the World Cup, he’s only made four appearances, with two starts (114 minutes). A stark contrast to the first half of the campaign.

The manager was quizzed on Carvalho’s lack of playing time and maintained that nothing had gone on behind the scenes. There have been reports today that the player will be loaned next season, and that comes as no surprise.

He’s played just two minutes in the Premier League since the turn of the year. His Liverpool career started so promisingly, but somewhere along the line he fell out of favour. At twenty years of age, Carvalho still has time on his hands to go on and achieve his full potential.

Fulham wanted him on loan this season but Liverpool declined. It’s been a curious tale thus far. The manager has been quick to hand youngsters opportunities, so it’s caught the eye that Carvalho has been overlooked for so long.

He hasn’t been used once in his natural position (behind a striker in a 4-2-3-1) despite the initial chatter about him potentially lining up behind big money striker Darwin Nunez. Whatever happens, he will go on to have a long successful career, be that at Liverpool or elsewhere.



Liverpool romped to their biggest away win of the season tonight, trouncing Leeds United 6-1 at Elland Road. Braces by Jota and Salah were bookended by an early Gakpo strike and a late Darwin Nunez finish. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 7

Held onto Rodrigo’s header well early on. Didn’t have much else to do after that. Unfortunately couldn’t keep a clean sheet after Konaté’s error gave away a cheap goal. Played a quick long pass towards Jota to set off a counter attack even though the side was 4-1 up. That underlined the hunger shown tonight.

Alexander-Arnold 9.5

Magesterial. He looked reborn playing in the double pivot alongside Fabinho. Probably registered the most touches tonight. He ran the show all night and made the difference early on when he intercepted Firpo’s pass and exchanged passes with Salah before laying one on a plate for Gakpo at the backpost.

Notched his second assist of the night with a fantastic through ball over the top after a nonchalant flick of his right foot. Darwin applied the finish but tonight was all about Trent. I can’t believe there were ever doubts he would excel in midfield. It’s now three assists in two games in this quasi midfield/right back role. Long may it continue.

Konaté – 8.5

Rock solid yet again. First half he covered well in the right back area and was so quick to nip in and nick it when it broke. Very front footed. Fantastic tackle on Sinisterra and a huge block to deny Harrison second half. That error to gift Sinisterra a goal was the only blot on his copybook but he got over it pretty quickly.

Van Dijk – 8

His diagonal switches to the right flank kept putting Leeds on the backfoot early on. Didn’t have too much defensive work to do. Was commanding what looked like a back three in possession, with Konaté and Robertson either side of him. Was denied an assist for Salah by a tight offside call. Wanted to get in on the scoring late on and was frustrated when a corner was taken short.

Robertson – 8.5

Showed the energy and desire that has come to define him for the fourth as he pinched the ball back and steamed ahead to receive a return pass and cutback for Gakpo who in turn found Salah for the finish. Hopefully he picks up confidence from this display, as indeed the whole team will. Excellent tackle on Summerville in the box second half.

Fabinho – 8

A bit too slow on the turn, which meant most of the time he received the ball he had to turn backwards because of Aaronson’s press. He was left alone in midfield at times when Leeds broke first half but he dealt with it well. Took out Aaronson when he threatened to break free. Loved that yellow. I celebrated it like a goal.

Henderson – 8.5

Felt like he was playing even higher than usual, with this new formation requiring of him to pull wide right a lot. First half I didn’t feel he did enough on the ball to utilise the spaces he found. Second half he was much improved, with his cross for Jota’s second goal a clear sign of it. His understanding with Trent and Salah is a real plus.

Jones 8

Another who wasn’t doing enough first half but pulled up his socks in the second period. He threaded the eye of the needle to put Jota through for his first goal. He could have chosen the easier option by passing straight to Gakpo but he backed himself to pull off the more difficult pass and pulled it off brilliantly.

Some nice touches out on the left flank. Still needs to be quicker in popping off the ball as he was caught on the ball to ruin one counter attacking opportunity second half. Worked his socks off and truly committed to the press anytime possession was lost. Encouraging display.

Salah – 9

This new setup gets him on the ball more often as he’s usually the out ball for Konaté and Fabinho on the right. He was heavily involved early on and went close with a header before sending Trent clear to cross for Gakpo and break the deadlock. He made it 2-0 quickly when he latched onto Jota’s pass and lashed one past Meslier.

He then tapped home Van Dijk’s centre from Trent’s free kick but the Dutchman was adjudged to have been in an offside position. He got his second when Gakpo unselfishly found him in the box. A simple curler into the far corner made it 15 league goals for the sixth consecutive season. He’s netted 25 in all competitions in five of his six seasons at the club as well. Phenom.

Gakpo – 8.5

Very quiet first half hour then he popped up with the breakthrough goal, peeling off at the backpost to tap Trent’s cross into an empty net. He grew into it after that, and set up Salah beautifully for his second. He looks menacing when he turns in midfield and runs at the opposition.

Jota 8.5

First half hour he looked unbelievably rusty, with every pass going awry and almost every touch being unsteady. He did well to rob McKennie of possession in the defensive third though, before sprinting into the attacking third to set up Salah for his first goal.

After 32 matches without a goal he finally ended that drought with a first time curled effort into the top corner. He made it three goal involvements with a terrific hit on the half volley into the bottom corner off Henderson’s cross. Watch him go on a scoring spree now.


Milner – 7

Given a welcome ovation by the Leeds faithful after replacing the skipper.

Diaz – 7

Played on the right. Set Jones up for a chance late on. Wonderful to have him back.

Firmino – 7

Almost connected to Jones’ cross in the six yard box. Produced a lovely turn to get to the byline only to see his cross blocked. Probably should have lofted it and Van Dijk would have scored.

Darwin – 8

Excellent movement saw him break through to take Trent’s ball down on his chest. Didn’t panic despite the ball falling onto his weaker left foot, steering it past Meslier for his 15th of the season in all competitions. Not a bad tally in your debut season.

Thiago – N/A

On for Fabinho late on to play in the anchor role. Saw a few long passes cut out, but pulled off a trademark deceptive line breaking pass into the feet of Firmino.

Jürgen Klopp

Went with the same lineup that started against Arsenal and was rewarded with the best away league performance of the season. This new system (looks like a 3-2-5) seems to be getting the best out of key players. Trent and Salah especially are coming into their own once again.

The manager deserves credit for trying it after seeing it work so well for the top two (Arsenal with Zinchenko and City with John Stones). It looked like the side worked on it in training all week, and the result was clear for all to see. Long may it continue.



Liverpool take on Leeds United at Elland Road tomorrow night (7pm GMT kickoff). The Reds lie in eighth place whilst their opponents sit precariously close to the drop zone (16th place, just two points clear). Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed the return of Colombian dazzler Luis Diaz. The winger has been out for the best part of five months and will reasonably need time to get anywhere near his best.

His return should still provide a boost to the side though. Elsewhere, Thiago Alcantara should be fit to make his first start in two months. This comes after he marked his return to action with a typically classy cameo against league leaders Arsenal.

With that said, the team should be a straightforward selection seeing as the manager has had a full week’s worth of training. Alisson will be in goal. The Brazilian had been struggling with a knock in recent days but should be fit to start having proved his fitness by returning to training yesterday.

In defence, it is likely we see the same back four that started against Arsenal. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will take the fullback positions whilst Konaté and Van Dijk take up the central positions. The 23 year old Frenchman was especially immense last time out.

Ibrahima Konaté for Liverpool vs. Arsenal:

◉ Most duels won [8]
◉ Most possession won [8]
◉ Most tackles [5]
◉ Most interceptions [3]

In midfield, Fabinho and Henderson remain first choice. There’s been a lot of talk this week (as indeed there are most weeks) on Liverpool’s midfield in the wake of reports that the club have backed out of the race to sign Jude Bellingham.

Most reports go on to say that the club didn’t expect some key personnel to fall so far off their previous levels. As a result, the midfield needs major reconstruction and not just a nip and tuck. This means we could see a number of midfielders pursued in the summer.

Fabinho and Henderson have contributed to this through no fault of their own. They simply haven’t managed to keep going week in, week out, at the intensity required. That all won’t matter tomorrow night though.

They will start together yet again and be partnered by Thiago in what is Klopp’s first choice midfield. The 31 year old Spaniard has missed a chunk of the season yet again. His quality when he is fit has never been in doubt but it must be frustrating trying to build a midfield around him given his injury record.

It will be interesting to see how the dynamic will work out in the middle of the pitch tomorrow night with Thiago in there and Trent drifting into those central areas as well due to the hybrid role he is being asked to play. It worked out well last time out against the Gunners and could be a key feature here.

Curtis Jones will be the one to make way for Thiago. The Scouser has started each of the last two and despite not standing out, has not acquitted himself too badly either. He will have to do with a place on the bench alongside the likes of Elliott and Leeds’ born veteran James Milner.

Upfront, we should see Darwin Nunez restored to the lineup. The manager has opted for Diogo Jota in recent matches but with the Portuguese international still firing blanks (he hasn’t scored in any of his last 32 matches for the club) as he searches for sharpness, he could make way.

Bobby Firmino came off the bench to net a late equaliser against Arsenal and should also be in contention for a start. It’s a toss up between the Brazilian and Cody Gakpo for the ‘false nine’ role, with Mohamed Salah taking up his place on the right wing.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Firmino, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Elliott, Jones, Diaz, Jota, Gakpo.

Predicted Leeds XI (4-2-3-1): Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Struijk, Firpo, McKennie, Roca, Sinisterra, Aaronson, Harrison, Bamford.



It’s been almost a full week since Liverpool were last in action. The Reds sealed a late point against table topping Arsenal last Sunday, in a classic game of two halves. Up next is a trip to relegation threatened Leeds United. Here’s the match preview.

That game against the Gunners encapsulated everything that is wrong and right with Jürgen Klopp’s side this campaign. The first half hour showcased them at their very worst. There was not enough energy to close down, neither was there any semblance of competence defensively to halt the visitor’s attacks.

Arsenal cut through at will it seemed, and threatened to rack up an embarrassing scoreline for the Reds. Then came the flashpoint. Granit Xhaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold got into a bit of a shoving match and that got the crowd going.

It fired up the players as well, with the side dominating the rest of the game and looking back to their relentless best. There was newfound energy as Arsenal were pressed and hemmed in their own half, with the hosts keeping the pressure on and creating chance after chance.

Roberto Firmino climbed off the bench to net a late equaliser, which is the least the side deserved. Jürgen Klopp’s men were unlucky not to nick the win, with Salah missing a second half penalty and Konaté failing to convert a chance at the death.

The challenge now for Liverpool is to repeat that level of performance (minus the slow start of course). How many times this season have the Reds produced a big performance one week and then followed it up with dreadful display the next?

Beating Manchester City one week and then losing at Nottingham Forest the next, thrashing Ajax away from home and then losing at home to Leeds straight after, not to mention failing to win any of the five games since the 7-0 dismantling of Manchester United are all clear examples.

The manager will be hoping there isn’t a repeat at Elland Road on Monday night. Opponents Leeds haven’t enjoyed the best of season themselves, with American tactician Jesse Marsch losing his job as a result.

Javi Gracia was handed the reins in February and has overseen seven league matches, winning three and drawing one. They currently lie 16th in the table, just two points clear of the drop zone.

In the reverse fixture at Anfield back in October, Leeds pulled off a shock win. Rodrigo Moreno handed them an early lead before Mohamed Salah equalised first half. The stage was then set for Crysencio Summerville to clinch all three points with a late winner.

To date, that remains the Reds’ sole home league defeat this campaign. Monday night is a chance to get one over on an old enemy. Do Liverpool really have anything to play for though? With 12 points separating the Reds and the top four, is there still hope of clinching Champions League qualification?

It is more than unlikely at this point. There are 27 points left to play for. Should Klopp somehow mastermind a nine game winning run, he would still require Newcastle to only pick up 11/24 points in their remaining eight games. It’s more than a tall order.

Maybe this means we will see the side play with less pressure and more freedom. What else is there to lose? This final lap of the campaign can serve as building blocks for next season. It’s a chance for some to prove whether they belong at the club for the long term.

A much needed rebuild will take place this summer, but maybe it needs to start on Monday night. Under the lights at a vociferous Elland Road, against a side fighting for their lives won’t be easy, but we need to know who in this Liverpool side is up for the fight going forward.

Team News

Luis Diaz is set for a long awaited return after a five month layoff. Thiago should be in line for a start after he marked his return with an impressive cameo against Arsenal. Alisson and Konaté meanwhile are hoping to overcome slight knocks. Keita (muscle), Ramsay (knee) and Bajcetic (groin) remain out injured.

For Leeds, Max Wober (hamstring), Stuart Dallas (leg fracture) and Tyler Adams (hamstring) are all expected to miss out through injury.



Liverpool played out a thrilling 2-2 draw against league leaders Arsenal this afternoon. The Gunners took a 2-0 lead before the half hour mark through Martinelli and Jesus, before Salah and Firmino struck back for a share of the spoils. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 7

Cracking save to tip Zinchenko’s curler wide. Quick off his line to sweep expertly, including late on when Arsenal broke three on one. Held onto Gabriel’s header well. Came off his line and held onto crosses as well.

Alexander-Arnold 7

Tried to set the offside trap on the second goal when he should have been dropping to track Martinelli’s run. Basically earned the side a point with excellent wingplay to nutmeg Zinchenko and clip a perfect cross for Firmino to attack. Almost found the winner with a long range strike. Brilliant second half after a tough first.

Konaté – 8

Best defender in red again and should have won the game at the death. Why he opted to go with his chest instead of his head or feet I will never know. It allowed Ramsdale make another top class save. Ibou won all his challenges, including when he stepped up into midfield to halt attacks on the slide.

Van Dijk – 5

Woeful first half. Passes straight to Martinelli for their first and completely loses Jesus for the second. Sturdier second half. Did well to win a corner to keep the pressure on Arsenal after one set piece was half cleared.

Robertson – 5.5

Abysmal first half. Completely loses Saka for their first goal as he slips and fails to recover. Should have tried to block Martinelli’s effort with his right but being so left biased, went with his left and was too late. Second goal he doesn’t get close enough to Jesus. Had the chance to level but shot wide. After so many years, he’s still got no composure infront of goal. Better second half in keeping Saka quiet.

Fabinho – 7

Fantastic scooped pass put Robertson through on goal at 1-0 but the Scot fired wide. Fabinho was solid enough, and mopped up in midfield as the side kept Arsenal penned in. Saw one shot blocked bravely by Gabriel.

Henderson – 7.5

Tireless display. Constantly got round Salah to create a passing option. Slipped Salah through for a one on one first half. Got into good positions down the right but the delivery wasn’t quite right. Could have scored when he was first to a loose ball in the box first half.

Set up Salah’s goal with a crucial touch in the box. Won the ball back regularly which helped in pinning Arsenal back for the entirety of the second half. Good interplay with Trent for the equaliser.

Jones 7

First half hour he wasn’t doing enough on the ball, just going backwards and sideways. Last 15 of the half he grew into it. Played a key part in Salah’s goal, with his lovely backheel finding Jota in space for the cross. Second half he got into some good positions but couldn’t make that telling contribution.

Salah – 7.5

Frustrating performance. Looked the likeliest in red to score but missed some glaring chances including a penalty. Just like at Bournemouth, he couldn’t even hit the target from the spot. His touch deserted him so many times thereafter and though he still carried a threat, couldn’t quite make up for the miss. Brought out a stunning save from Ramsdale late on with a deflected curler.

Gakpo – 6.5

Couldn’t get into it much first half. Has lovely feet though, which helps him extricate himself from the tightest of spaces. Never really got a sight of goal bar an early shot after he cut in off the left wing. Took some corners today. That’s a part of his game that made him deadly at PSV.

Jota 6.5

Scruffy. Ball kept bouncing off him. Couldn’t pick a pass to save his life it seemed. He settled as the game grew and pulled the ball back for the side’s first half goal. He also won the penalty second half after reacting quickest to a lose ball in the box before being fouled by Holding. Made some key clearances in his own box.


Thiago – 7

A beautiful sight to see him stripped on the touchline ready to come on. Not every pass came off but we still saw that trademark cheeky pass a number of occasions. Aided the side’s ball retention and build-up play.

Darwin – 7

Came on and caused the Arsenal defence problems. Won a few free kicks and should have scored when played through by Salah. He never looked convincing though, and saw his sweeping finish palmed by Ramsdale. He produced a monster leap to nod a late set piece across goal for Konaté to tap in at the far post but alas, the Frenchman couldn’t convert.

Firmino – 7.5

‘Give him the ball and he’ll score every time’. What an impact off the bench, against what is his favourite opponents. It was a brilliantly guided header to pull the side level after sustained pressure all half. He won the ball back well in counter pressing moments in midfield.

Jürgen Klopp

The lineup wasn’t a surprise, with the possible exception of Jota starting ahead of Darwin. Credit to the manager for that spirited comeback. The second half was night and day to the opening half hour, with his changes all playing a part in a breathless encounter. His side could have, and quite sincerely should have won.



Liverpool take on league leaders Arsenal at Anfield tomorrow (15:30 GMT kickoff), with a chance to have a major say in the title race. Whilst it isn’t the position the Reds want to be in, it is where they’ve left themselves. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed the possible return to fitness of Spanish maestro Thiago Alcantara. There’s been reports in some quarters that the midfielder could go straight into the lineup but that’s a tad optimistic.

He has been out the best part of two months after all. Luis Diaz on the other hand has been slated for a potential return at Leeds next week as the club seeks to be as sensible as possible with him. The manager made half a dozen changes last time out, but did any of those changes stake a claim for tomorrow?

In goal, Alisson Becker will continue. Despite the side’s best efforts, the Brazilian managed to keep his 11th clean sheet of the campaign. That incredibly puts him just two away from the top of the Golden Glove standings (David De Gea and Nick Pope – 13).

He’s the best in the world for a reason and has shown it time and again this campaign. Hopefully he can move level on clean sheets with the man in sticks for Arsenal tomorrow. Helping him in that regard will be the returning Van Dijk.

The Dutchman was ruled out of the trip to Chelsea due to illness but that is just code for being dropped. He had an absolutely torrid time of things at the Etihad last time out and has endured what has been a truly underwhelming campaign.

Tomorrow is a chance for him to remind everyone why he’s widely viewed as the best centre back of his generation. Alongside him, Joe Gomez could well be handed his first start at centre back since the debacle at home to Real Madrid. Gomez was the pick of the back four at Stamford Bridge after all.

He played at right back but Trent is expected to be restored to the lineup. Konaté has been the one constant in the heart of defence lately but he didn’t exactly inspire confidence on Tuesday night.  Jürgen absolutely loves a redemption story so I expect Gomez to be handed another chance here. 

Alongside a returning Trent will be a returning Andy Robertson. The two fullbacks will no doubt have their hands full trying to keep Martinelli and Saka respectively under wraps. That particular battle will go a long way in deciding where the three points will go.

In the middle of the park, Fabinho and Henderson are almost default picks. Not because they’ve been brilliant, far from it, but simply because there are no alternatives the manager trusts. Arthur has been on the bench the last couple of games but hasn’t seen a single minute of action.

James Milner at 37 years of age shouldn’t really be expected to keep starting games in midfield, and with Thiago not ready to go straight in the lineup (and Keita perennially injured), it leaves the uninspiring duo as automatic picks.

Curtis Jones was the pick of the midfield last time out and could keep his place. Harvey Elliott is also in contention after being an unused substitute at Chelsea. That marked the first time this campaign that the 20 year old has not been featured in a game. The third slot is a toss up between the two.

Upfront, we should see Cody Gakpo restored to the lineup. Firmino will be the one to make way, with the Brazilian still working his way back to full sharpness after injury. Darwin and Salah will then take up the wide positions to complete the attack.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Henderson, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Konaté, Tsimikas, Milner, Thiago, Arthur, Jones, Jota, Firmino.

Predicted Arsenal XI (4-2-3-1): Ramsdale, White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus.



Liverpool are back in action on Sunday when they host table topping Arsenal for a 15:30 GMT kickoff. The Reds, who are coming off the back of a goalless draw against Chelsea, will be hoping to put a dent in the Gunners’ title charge. Here’s the match preview.

The tables are turned between these two sides. Over the last five years or so, it’s been Liverpool who have been chasing the title whilst Arsenal stand back watching on enviously, and hanging their hat on ruining or delaying the inevitable.

There was the 2-1 victory for the Gunners in 2020 when Jürgen Klopp’s men had already secured the title. That victory was celebrated in North London like it meant more than just the three points. There were similar celebrations when Watford ended Liverpool’s unbeaten run that season.

The Gunners precious ‘invincibles’ record was preserved after all after fears Liverpool would go the entire season unbeaten. The shoe is on the other foot this time round. Arsenal are closing in on their first league title in almost two decades, and with games running out, this weekend’s encounter has taken on even more significance.

Liverpool is a proud city and by extension, a proud club. They won’t just roll out the red carpet and watch Arsenal’s title procession. The Reds will want to throw a spanner in the works if only to remind everyone (including themselves) of what they can do to the very best of sides.

It’s only a fortnight ago that another in-form side (Manchester United) were blown away by a raucous Anfield. If Liverpool get it right in terms of performance level, very few on the planet can live with them.

The problem this season has been one of consistency. After seven and half years of non-stop intensity, this Liverpool squad look devoid of the energy required to consistently harass teams for ninety minutes.

They look at the end of their cycle whilst Mikel Arteta’s charges resemble a throwback to the start of the Jürgen Klopp dominance. Arsenal are young, hungry and full of energy. Their pace out wide in Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli hearkens back to the Mane – Salah duo.

They are breathless and brilliant to watch. As a team, they’ve overcome every challenge thrown at them in the title race this campaign. They remain fearless in the face of adversity and haven’t been left exposed as a result of inexperience.

Anfield is perhaps one of the last true litmus tests for this side. The Gunners have lost each of their last six league games at the famous ground to an aggregate scoreline of 22-4. It’s a run of seven defeats and two draws since they last managed victory here.

Manager Mikel Arteta was in fact in the starting XI the last time the Gunners picked up a league victory on the red half of Merseyside. As was an 18 year old Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. It’s been 11 long years and the plan for Jürgen Klopp and his men will be to extend that run.

The visitors come into this clash off the back of a seven match winning run in the league. That run was the perfect riposte to losing what many felt was a six pointer at home to Manchester City. Liverpool meanwhile are without a win in any of their last four in all competitions since they wiped the floor with Manchester United.

With ten games remaining, Liverpool sit 10 points off the Champions League places. Arsenal meanwhile sit pretty at the top, 8 clear of City having played a game more. A whopping 29 points separate these two sides. Hopefully it is a much closer contest on the pitch than the table suggests come Sunday.

Team News

For Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara is back in training and could be involved in some capacity. Luis Diaz remains unavailable however despite returning to training recently. Naby Keita (muscle), Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (groin) remain out.

Arsenal meanwhile will be assessing the fitness of William Saliba who has been struggling with a back injury. Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Eddie Nketiah (knock) and Mohamed Elneny (knee) have all been ruled out.



Liverpool held Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge tonight. The hosts missed several gilt edged opportunities as another poor away performance went unpunished. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 7

Stopped Havertz from point blank range early on. Repeated the trick in the second half when the ball ricocheted in off the German’s elbow. Dallied on one backpass and almost cost the side a goal. Went apoplectic at Henderson late on. Can’t blame him. He’s way too good to be sitting in midtable and playing behind these defenders.

Gomez 4

A bit all over the place at times. Poor first half but then pulled out a 25 harder from nowhere that brought a save out of Kepa. Second half he was slightly better, tracking Chilwell excellently on occasion and Mudryk when he came on. Offered nothing going forward.

Matip – 2

Erratic. Just plain erratic. It’s so frustrating watching him, so imagine what it’s like playing behind him.

Konaté – 2.5

Wasn’t much better than his partner. Made some boneheaded mistakes. Made up for it somewhat with a goal saving block after Kovacic rounded Alisson. That was his fault though after he inexplicably tried to flick away the cross, presenting it to the Croat. Was caught up the pitch on their disallowed goal.

Tsimikas – 2

Was beaten for pace by Kante in the first minute. That was an indicator of what was to come. Shoved off the ball by Kante first half and Chelsea almost scored from it. Passed one straight back to Felix as well leading to a chance for them. Absolutely hapless.

Fabinho – 3

The slowest DM in the league. Runs in treacle it seems. Had a chance to slip Darwin through first half but took an age and was closed down by Kante. Saw a shooting chance blocked easily by Fofana before a better effort on the half volley was deflected narrowly wide by the Frenchman. Second to almost every 50-50.

Henderson – 3

Woeful on the ball. Summed up in the end when he whipped a cross straight into Gakpo’s midriff from two yards out. Absolutely shocking.

Jones 4

His first start in ages and he added nothing to be honest. Usual hustle and bustle with zero inspiration. Went back with most passes and slipped at crucial moments. Had a chance to pick out a red shirt from a good position and he chipped the cross straight into Kepa’s gloves. Best bit was a reverse pass to Jota in the box.

Jota – 3

Still looks hopelessly rusty. Everything just bounces off him. His decision making was abysmal tonight. He had a chance to slip Darwin in behind after a neat turn first half but dallied and went wide to Tsimikas instead. The worst of the lot was when he declined to shoot on his left foot after Jones released him in the box.

He attempted a dribble instead for some reason and lost the ball. Surprised he lasted the whole game. Fabio Carvalho must be piss poor in training to not even get a minute in Jota’s stead.

Firmino – 4

First 15 minutes he dropped deep into midfield, got on the ball and allowed the side to string moves together. It looked like the Bobby of old. That lasted about a quarter of an hour before he started losing balls like the rest of them and his influence waned.

Darwin 4

I don’t get how we broke our transfer record on a natural striker and then decided to shunt him out wide on the left. That works when we try to spring him in behind. When he’s faced up with a defender like he was tonight, he lacks the footwork or trickery to beat a man on the wing. A few snapshots in anger.


Robertson – 5

Gave the ball away with his very first touch. Tightened up after that and kept a close eye on Reece James.

Salah – 4

Couldn’t get in the game. With seconds left on the clock he isolated Cucurella on the right after Fabinho’s long pass. He refused to take him on however, passing it wide to Henderson instead for the worst cross you will ever see. There’s zero confidence running through this team.

Milner – 3

He was brought on to do what exactly? Open the game up with an incisive pass? He got on the ball a lot but his attempted passes forward were all easily intercepted. So slow he was beaten to a ball he had chested down.

Gakpo – 3

Not aggressive or physical enough. Played on the left wing.

Jürgen Klopp

You could see what he was trying to do. Dropping big names and hoping for a reaction. Did it work? Or did the players who came in play worse than the incumbents? The entire squad can’t be this poor. It is the manager that is unable to get a consistent tune out of them this campaign.

Another night where you’re left wondering why on earth he bothered to sign Carvalho. The kid isn’t going to prove himself without opportunities is he? Can the manager get this side back to it’s previous heights after one summer transfer window? The jury is out.



Liverpool travel to Stamford Bridge tonight (7pm GMT kickoff) as they take on Chelsea. The Reds sit in 8th whilst the hosts lie a lowly 11th place in what has been a torrid campaign for both sides. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference hinted at making a number of changes to his starting lineup tonight. This is obviously due to the short turnaround between this fixture and the defeat at Etihad on Saturday.

With Luis Diaz and Thiago Alcantara still unavailable, it looks like it’ll be pretty much the same set of players at the manager’s disposal. Let’s take a look at each department then, and see just how many alterations the gaffer can make:

Alisson will be in goal as always, with the Brazilian aiming to keep a clean sheet after his run of five consecutive shut-outs came to an end against Bournemouth. Ahead of him in defence, we could see at least one change.

Kostas Tsimikas came on for Robertson in the 70th minute last time out and could be handed a start here. Robertson had a full schedule for Scotland over the international break and wasn’t at his best against City.

Alexander-Arnold could also be taken out of the firing line, with Gomez available. It is unlikely however, as that would mean both fullbacks would have been dropped for such a huge fixture. Trent at least had the international break off so should be fresh enough to go again.

At centre back, Konaté and Van Dijk will likely be paired together once more. The Dutchman was way below his usual standards and has been for a while but you can’t see him being dropped, especially with Matip and Gomez not exactly instilling confidence.

It is very worrying just how far off it the likes of Trent, Van Dijk and Robertson look. How have three world class players all fallen off a cliff this campaign? They aren’t the only ones either. On to the midfield…

Fabinho, Henderson and Elliott started together last time out. The experienced duo are on the list of players who have fallen off the proverbial cliff this campaign. They will continue to feature though, seeing as the remaining options are, to put it bluntly, not good enough.

Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner came off the bench in the defeat to City. Beyond those two, the manager has Arthur Melo and Curtis Jones, or maybe even the lesser spotted Fabio Carvalho. There’s been talks in some sections that we could see the Juventus loanee handed his first start of the season tonight.

Will he fare any worse than the pitiful displays we’ve watched in midfield this season? Skipper Jordan Henderson no longer has the legs to go full throttle every three days so could be taken out. Elliott turns 20 today and has been entrusted enough to feature in every single game.

He could complete a new look trio alongside the two Brazilians. Tonight is a chance to strike a blow to a so called rival and rekindle hope and confidence. Whichever midfield trio the manager selects will go a long way in deciding the outcome of the match.

Upfront, we should see Darwin Nunez restored to the lineup. Jota will surely be the one to make way, with the Portuguese international still working his way back to full sharpness after an injury ravaged campaign. Roberto Firmino is an option to rotate Gakpo as well.

The Dutchman has been doing a solid impression of the 31 year old as he continues to settle and build an understanding with his teammates. It will perhaps be counterproductive to take him out of the side. Salah is of course the one constant in attack, making it a total of four changes to the side that lost at Etihad.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Elliott, Arthur, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Gomez, Robertson, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Jota, Firmino.

Predicted Chelsea XI (3-4-3): Kepa, Fofana, Koulibaly, Cucurella; James, Fernandez, Kovacic, Chilwell, Mount, Havertz, Felix.



Following the latest ‘unacceptable’ performance and defeat (this time to Manchester City), Liverpool travel to fellow strugglers Chelsea tomorrow night aiming to salvage something from this wreck of a campaign. Here’s the match preview.

It was Groundhog’s Day yet again on Saturday as the Reds lost another away league game (their eighth such defeat of the season). It was another early kickoff that ended in disappointment, and we’ve had half a dozen of those already this campaign.

It was akin to the capitulation against Real Madrid in February, as Jürgen Klopp’s men went to lose by three goals despite taking the lead in the game. The first half was actually competitive, with Liverpool sitting in their shape content to let City play side to side.

When Salah broke the deadlock from a well worked move, it looked rosy for a few minutes. Going in level at the break was not the worst result in the world but what followed was a collective letdown. By the hour mark the Reds were 3-1 down and in damage limitation mode.

The chasm between the two sides was staggering, you wouldn’t think these two teams pushed the title race to the wire just last season. A crisis meeting has been held at the club in the aftermath of that game, but we will only find out if a line has been drawn in the sand when the game kicks off at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Opponents Chelsea are enduring a similarly torrid season. Graham Potter has paid for it as he was relieved of his duties yesterday. The Blues have lost as many league matches as they have won (10), conceding more goals (30) than they have managed to score (29).

It has been a disastrous campaign, with Thomas Tuchel being sacked very early after a £300m splurge, and his successor suffering the same fate after an even more eye watering winter transfer window spending spree.

Expensive new signings have failed to hit the ground running and as ever, the manager has been the one to take the fall. When these two sides met at Anfield back in January, Chelsea actually got the better of proceedings.

They were perhaps a tad unlucky not to nick a win as Liverpool held on for a point after a dour game. The two sides were struggling then and that has not changed coming into this clash. The Reds are on a three game losing streak in all competitions.

This coming straight after the exhilarating high of thrashing bitter rivals Manchester United 7-0 makes it even harder to fathom. Chelsea meanwhile lost 2-0 at home to Aston Villa last time out, with that result seeing them languish in the bottom half of the table.

Tomorrow night is a brand new start for the Blues. Can this crop of players rise to the occasion and herald a new era under an interim manager (Bruno Saltor)? Or will they continue to struggle to function as a well oiled machine seeing as most of the machine parts are brand new?

For Liverpool, the message from the manager has been clear. They have to sort it and sort it fast. Top four aspirations are fading quickly unless they can rouse themselves up and put a run together. We’ve been expecting this winning run for a while now but the Reds continue flattering to deceive.

With twelve games remaining and the gap to 4th extending by the week, Jürgen Klopp’s men can ill afford another woeful away day. It’s a whopping eight losses on the road this campaign, leaving the side 13th in the away table.

On home form alone, the Reds would be third (above Manchester United on goal difference). Whatever the issue is, the manager has to figure it out and solve it sharpish. His record at Stamford Bridge can perhaps instil a bit of confidence.

He’s taken charge of seven league games at Chelsea, losing only once. He’s overseen four victories and two draws. A fifth victory would be highly welcome tomorrow night.

Team News

For Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara and Luis Diaz remain unavailable despite returning to training in recent days. Naby Keita (muscle), Calvin Ramsay (knee) and Stefan Bajcetic (groin) remain out injured.

For Chelsea, Armando Broja (knee), Cesar Azpilicueta (concussion) and Thiago Silva (knee) are all ruled out. Raheem Sterling (thigh), Edouard Mendy (finger) and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (back) remain doubts.



Liverpool succumbed to yet another away defeat, going down 4-1 to defending champions Manchester City. The Reds took the lead through Salah but saw Alvarez level before the break. A second half capitulation followed, with City cruising to victory. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 5

Unreal save from Grealish’s curler. Blocked his close range effort as well. Could have come off his line quicker for the De Bruyne goal.

Alexander-Arnold 3.5

Played a great ball into Jota for the opener. Couldn’t lay a glove on Grealish. Just stood off him and allowed him do whatever he pleased. Ducked out of a 50-50 tackle in midfield and two passes later, De Bruyne was tapping home. Got annoyed late on when he was the only one interested in pressing the City defence.

Konaté – 4

Gave the ball away when he stepped into midfield to pick a pass. Was bamboozled by the sheer movement and fluidity of City’s attack.

Van Dijk – 3

A fading force I’m afraid. All over the place at the back, with the defensive line being pulled this way and that. Backed off Mahrez and allowed him cut his way through for their second goal. No composure either, as he sliced passes into touch under no pressure.

Robertson – 3

Poor. Got into some incredible positions in the final third and his final ball was woeful every time. Not as assured defensively either, with Mahrez causing him a myriad of problems. He played the Algerian onside for the second goal.

Fabinho – 3

Started the game by giving away three needless free kicks in the space of five minutes. Was decent first half but back to his non-existent self second half. Gundogan was constantly free in the box, with Fabinho always lagging behind. Grealish’s goal was a typical example. Too slow, too modest, not aggressive enough.

Elliott – 4.5

Played well first half. Connected well with Salah and helped Trent out defensively. Second half he wasn’t good enough. As an attacking midfielder, he didn’t create enough chances today. His attempted shots were easily cut out as they were too telegraphed.

Henderson 4

Put in a lot of work on the left side of midfield. Second half the side just gave up. It was disgraceful to watch to be honest. City were passing the ball at will, just toying with the Reds and the captain showed zero fight or leadership to get stuck in and halt the embarrassing passing sequence.

Salah – 6

Took his goal with such aplomb. First time hit, with such swerve. Should have found Jota for what would have made it 2-0 but his poor pass was easily cut out by Grealish. His passing wasn’t great in that regard but he posed the side’s only real threat.

Gakpo 6

I thought he looked promising in that false nine role. Dropped deep to pick up the ball in the half spaces and drove upfield on a number of occasions. Brought Trent’s ball wonderfully in the box before seeing his shot blocked by Ederson in the second half.

Jota 5

Perhaps a surprise inclusion in the lineup but proved an inspired selection in the first half. His well timed run and layoff to Salah brought the opening goal. He went on a few purposeful runs as well before the break. Second half he was anonymous.


Tsimikas – N/A


Oxlade-Chamberlain -N/A

He had just come on and was walking as Grealish and co exchanged passes to score the third goal. That’s disgusting. Why he’s even making the matchday squad ahead of Carvalho I have no clue.

Firmino – N/A


Darwin – N/A


Milner – N/A

On to equal Lampard as the player with the third most appearances in Premier League history.

Jürgen Klopp

3-1 down on the hour mark and he looked like he had given up. No wonder his players followed suit. Taking off Salah and co seemed to underline that feeling. None of the substitutes had any fight about them. These are worrying times.



Liverpool travel to the Etihad Stadium tomorrow (11:30 GMT kickoff) to take on Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The Reds sit 7 points off the top four whilst the hosts are 8 points off top spot. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed the return to fitness of Darwin Nunez and Joe Gomez. Luis Diaz meanwhile has been ruled out despite returning to training this week following a five month layoff. Understandably, the club is being patient with the Colombian.

It seems everyone else returned from the international break healthy (bar Naby Keita who picked up his 346th muscle injury since signing for the club). He joins Thiago Alcantara, Calvin Ramsay and Stefan Bajcetic on the sidelines.

We should see the strongest available XI take the pitch, starting with Alisson in goal. The Brazilian was curiously left out of Brazil’s squad over the break and has enjoyed a fortnight off with the family. He will be a busy man tomorrow so that rest was much welcome.

In defence, we can expect to see Konaté and Van Dijk continue their partnership at centre back. Both men featured in the two games for their respective nations over the break. Ibou kept two clean sheets and looked accomplished alongside former partner Dayot Upamecano.

The 23 year old is coming into his own and it is lovely to watch. Van Dijk meanwhile suffered a heavy defeat against Ibou and his fellow Frenchmen before keeping a clean sheet in a one sided victory over Gibraltar. They will both have to be at their best to keep the league’s topscorers quiet.

At full back, Alexander-Arnold will be hoping to showcase a better version of himself than we’ve seen recently. The Scouser used the time off to put in the hard yards at the AXA Training Centre. He will likely be up against Jack Grealish tomorrow in what should be an interesting battle.

On the other flank, Robertson was in great form for Scotland over the break. Two assists and two clean sheets in victories over Cyprus and Spain was truly impressive. He will line up at left back and look to get one over Rodri again.

In midfield, we should see Fabinho and Henderson both handed starts. With Thiago, Bajcetic and Keita out injured, Harvey Elliott is the best bet to complete the midfield trio. Milner and Jones are the only other options beyond the teenager. We could finally see Arthur in league action but that’s a really long shot.

In attack, Darwin will in all likelihood line up on the left wing. The Uruguayan international has recovered from a gash to his ankle in time to square up against City. He of course netted on his debut against the Citizens but has misfired in the last two games against the champions.

Salah returned from the international break with a couple more records in his bag and no doubt bouyed by the change in scenery. He will line up on the right wing as usual and seek to net against Guardiola’s men for the fourth time this season, breaking another record in the process.

The likes of Jota and Firmino could prove useful options off the bench in the second half, whilst the nous of James Milner could be required depending on how the game goes. It’s a tough task tomorrow, but what else is there to lose this season?

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Henderson, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Jones, Arthur, Jota, Firmino.

Man City XI: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Dias, Ake, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Grealish, Alvarez.



Following a fortnight break owing to the international break, Liverpool are back in action on Saturday. It’s a tasty clash as well, with the Reds travelling to the Etihad stadium for a 11:30 GMT kickoff. Here’s a preview of what is sure to be another enthralling encounter against Manchester City.

Jürgen Klopp and the entire fanbase needed this break it seems. The Reds have been doing collective heads in with their consistent inconsistencies. The 7-0 thrashing of Manchester United was followed up by defeats away at Bournemouth and Real Madrid.

The former was especially galling as victory would have moved Liverpool into the top four. Instead, a woeful display saw bottom of the table Bournemouth clinch all three points. Defeat at the Bernabeu was disappointing not because of the result, but due to the attitude of some in red.

There was no belief nor fight, with all hopes of a comeback proven to be just that. There was none of the steely determination that was crucial to that famous game against Barcelona a few seasons ago. That really stuck in the craw, with the Reds unrecognisable from the mentality monsters we knew them to be.

This break was necessary in the sense that a reset was required. Several members of the squad linked up with their respective national teams, with the change in scenery surely a positive at this juncture. Several played their parts in impressive victories and will no doubt return to Merseyside in buoyant mood.

It’s as tough as it gets on Saturday. Manchester City have been the Reds’ fiercest rivals over the past five years or so. The rivalry may have fallen off the radar for the mainstream media due to Liverpool’s struggles this season but it’s as intense as ever between the two clubs.

This was evidenced in each of the three encounters between the sides already this campaign. First was the Community Shield, which Liverpool lifted after a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Pep Guardiola’s expensively assembled outfit.

It was similarly intense when City visited Anfield for a league clash in October. The Reds handed the Citizens their first defeat of the campaign as a trademark Salah strike proved to be the difference between the sides.

The last encounter was an EFL Cup tie at the Etihad back in December. A ding dong battle was shaded by the hosts who prevailed 3-2 winners on the night to knock Jürgen Klopp’s men (who were defending champions) out of the competition.

Outside those three meetings, the two sides have been world’s apart in terms of on field results. Whilst City are still fighting for the title (they currently sit in 2nd place, 8 points off Arsenal but with a game in hand), Liverpool are now locked in a real battle to finish in the top four.

Guardiola’s men have a Champions League quarter final date with Bayern Munich and an FA Cup semi final tie against Sheffield United to come. The Reds meanwhile are out of all Cup competitions and must now focus all their energy on finishing in the top four.

The contrast between the two sides regarding how they’ve managed to regenerate and refresh their squad, whilst steering away from a false nine system to integrate natural-born strikers is fascinating.

City have by no means been at their rip-roaring best throughout the campaign but as we head into April, they still have a chance at lifting the treble. Liverpool meanwhile have fallen off the proverbial cliff.

Granted, the difference in financial might cannot be ignored, but FSG and Jürgen Klopp know they have a huge rebuild on their hands this summer to bridge the gap they had previously rendered insignificant.

The form coming into this clash couldn’t be more contrasting. City are unbeaten in their last ten matches across all competitions and are on a six game winning streak. Liverpool meanwhile have won four and lost five of their last ten fixtures in all competitions.

The last ten league meetings between the two sides have been pretty even. Both sides have managed three victories apiece, along with four stalemates. Ominously, the Reds have failed to beat City at the Etihad since Guardiola took charge.

In the last six trips to the blue half of Manchester, the Reds have drawn three and lost three. An aggregate scoreline of 15-5 speaks to the dominance City have exerted over the Reds at the Etihad since 2016.

Team News

Liverpool have received a huge injury boost this week. Luis Diaz has made his long awaited return to team training after a five month layoff, whilst Darwin Nunez has also recovered from an ankle problem that kept him out of international duty. Ramsay (knee), Bajcetic (groin) and Thiago (hip) remain out.

City have been handed a huge blow as star striker Erling Haaland is currently struggling with a groin injury. He sat out of training today and is unlikely to be involved on Saturday. Phil Foden has also been ruled out after undergoing surgery to remove his appendix this week.



It’s time to look back at the month that was March to crown Liverpool’s Player of the Month. March saw the Reds contest four matches across the Premier League and Champions League. Two wins were bookended by two defeats, with the side netting 9 goals and conceding twice.

The month kicked off with a straightforward 2-0 win over a Wolves outfit that had caused the Reds loads of problems in the preceding weeks. Next was what can be viewed as the highlight of the month (and arguably the entire season) as an in-form Manchester United side was swatted aside at Anfield.

That 7-0 triumph was scarcely believable and made even sweeter by the fact that many a pundit tipped Ten Hag’s men as favourites heading into the fixture. That display was Liverpool at their irrepressible, ruthless best. It’s a shame we haven’t seen enough of that version of Liverpool this campaign.

That Jürgen Klopp’s men followed that seismic victory with a pitiful defeat at bottom of the table Bournemouth sums up this campaign. There have already been similar losses to bottom of the table Nottingham Forest and Wolves this season. The mentality monsters have shrunk before our very eyes.

The month ended with a whimper as Real Madrid held the Reds at arm’s length on their way to a 1-0 victory to complete a comprehensive 6-2 thrashing on aggregate. Here are the few players who stood out over the course of the month of March:

3. Darwin Nunezavg. rating (6.9)

The 23 year old has slowly worked his way from the object of ridicule to a key component of Jürgen Klopp’s attack. His absence is now keenly felt, with his pace and directness a constant threat for opposition defences.

He had a good outing against Wolves and was unlucky to see his goal chalked off for a foul in the buildup. Two brilliant headers against Manchester United were his only goals of the month but that second half display will stay long in the memory.

He wasn’t as effective in defeat at the Vitality Stadium, but then again who was? He was unlucky to see his assist chalked off that day as Cody Gakpo had moved a fraction too early before converting his cross past Neto.

He kept his place on the left wing against Real Madrid and was by far the Reds’ best attacker on the night. He looked most likely to score as he brought out some excellent saves from Belgian stopper Thibaut Courtois.

That he was taken off early in the second half was a real surprise, as the side’s threat dwindled following that substitution. He had a solid enough month and will be aiming to overcome a knock to his ankle in order to finish his maiden season on a high. He’s taken his tally for the season to 14 goals.

Darwin Nunez in March:

• 290 minutes played
• 12 duels won
• 11 shots attempted
• 6 successful dribbles
• 6 ball recoveries
• 3 chances created
• 2 goals

2. Alisson Becker – avg. rating (6.9)

The Brazilian shotstopper has been the side’s saviour on many an occasion this season. He was at it again this month, keeping welcome clean sheets against Wolves and United. He only had the one save to make against the former, parrying Moutinho’s early shot to safety.

His distribution was key in setting the side away for the second goal that night. He then made four saves against the Red Devils but in truth, it was a pretty comfortable outing. He saved his best performance for last, proving an almost unbeatable presence in goal at the Bernabeu.

Real managed 8 shots on target that night but Alisson kept the score respectable. Three saves in particular stood out. The first was an incredible close range block on a Vinicius header at the backpost. That looked like a certain goal till the big arm of the Brazilian came up.

He then extended his entire frame to tip Camavinga’s deflected long range effort onto the crossbar. He finally stayed big to deny Valverde when the Uruguayan broke through one on one second half. It was a truly astonishing display of goalkeeping. What a shame he couldn’t leave with a clean sheet!

Alisson Becker tops the charts in goals prevented this season (9.6) out of all goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues. [@Squawka]

1. Ibrahima Konatéavg. rating (7.4)

The Frenchman has slowly established himself as first choice in the heart of defence this season. To think he was out for most of the season and only made his first appearance of the campaign in January.

Infact ‘Ibou’ has looked the best centre back at the club in recent weeks. With Joe Gomez disappointing on an almost regular basis, Joel Matip all at sea recently and even the once imperious Van Dijk looking human, the 23 year old has been the standout.

He marked his return from a hamstring injury against Wolves and aided the side in keeping a clean sheet. He went on to pocket the most in-form player in the country as Marcus Rashford was kept quiet in the 7-0 thrashing.

He could have done better for the goal at Bournemouth but he was let down by his partner. He was yet again the best defender in the side on the trip to the Spanish capital. He excelled out wide when he had to inevitably come across to deal with Vinicius.

This didn’t affect his work in the middle either as he battled well against Benzema and kept him relatively quiet till he poked home a tap in second half. If he can stay fit, the Reds will be better off. His fitness record is the only thing standing in his path to world class status.

It has been nice to see him carry his World Cup form into the club season. He has maintained that form during this international break as well, helping the French national team to consecutive clean sheets and receiving rave reviews for his performances. Long may it continue.

Ibou Konaté in March:

• 360 minutes played
• 21 ball recoveries
• 19 duels won
• 19 clearances
• 6 tackles won
• 3 interceptions
• 2 clean sheets

Highest rated individual performance of the month:

° Alexander-Arnold vs Man United – (10/10)

° Konaté vs Man United – (10/10)

° Van Dijk vs Man United – (10/10)

° Robertson vs Man United – (10/10)

° Fabinho vs Man United – (10/10)

° Elliott vs Man United – (10/10)

° Henderson vs Man United – (10/10)

° Salah vs Man United – (10/10)

° Gakpo vs Man United – (10/10)

° Darwin vs Man United – (10/10)

Made4Liverpool 22/23 Player of the Month:

August – Harvey Elliott

September – Thiago Alcantara

October – Alisson Becker

November – Darwin Nunez

December – Trent Alexander-Arnold

January – Ibrahima Konaté

February – James Milner

March – Ibrahima Konaté

*Average ratings are collated from the player ratings posted on this site after every match. Players must have earned a rating in more than half the number of games in the month under review.



Liverpool succumbed to defeat at the Bernabeu tonight. A hard fought encounter was settled by a Karim Benzema goal in the second half as Los Blancos triumphed 6-2 on aggregate. Here are player ratings from the match.

Alisson – 9

Did all in his power to keep a clean sheet and his defence still found a way to give away a goal. An outstanding save to halt Vinicius from point blank range was bettered by an even better save to tip Camavinga’s long range effort onto the crossbar. Halted Valverde when he went clean through on goal second half.

Alexander-Arnold 3

One tackle on Benzema aside he was hapless. Was about as useful as a cone up against Vinicius. He lost his head as he was constantly getting embarrassed. This affected his work on the ball. He gave it away so many times. Abysmal set pieces to boot.

Konaté – 8

The best defender in red tonight. Played two positions and stood out in both. Stopped Vinicius on so many occasions as a right back and held his position in the defensive line well as the right sided centre back. Only one in the entire squad equipped to deal with Vinicius it seems.

Van Dijk – 5

Very lax at sensing danger. Needs to play to the whistle. Kept waving his arms about instead of actually dealing with the danger. His laid back nature saw him react half a second too late for their goal.

Robertson – 5

Looked up for it in the tunnel. It didn’t transpire onto the pitch however. Poor set pieces.

Fabinho – 5

Not good enough on the ball tonight. Several balls in behind were overhit. Robbed of possession way too easily at times. Could have been braver in driving forward with the ball.

Milner – 6

Did about as well as you can expect. Not the quickest or cutest on the ball but got through a lot of work in a two man midfield. Played a good ball forward first half that led to a chance for Gakpo.

Salah 5

We needed the talisman to show up tonight but he was pretty quiet. I don’t remember a single attempt on goal. Created a few openings early on for Jota and co. Got into a physical battle with Nacho second half and lost. His body language might be called into question. Made a mess of a simple pass that would have put Nunez through on goal at the start of the second half.

Gakpo 6

Worked his socks off, as seen when he tracked Benzema all the way into the box to dispossess him right when he looked set to score. Stung Courtois’ gloves with a fiercely struck volley. Really good in tight spaces but needs to learn how to buy free kicks.

Darwin 6.5

Looked the likeliest in red to score a goal so was surprised to see him taken off. Collected Salah’s early pass in behind but couldn’t generate enough power to trouble Courtois. Brought out a stunning save from the Belgian when he cut in from the right and aimed for the far corner.

Jota 5

Set up for a volley early on and he completely miskicked. Still looks miles off his best. Didn’t make enough runs in behind nor win enough balls in the middle. Resorted to petulant fouling second half. 29 matches now without a goal for the club.


Elliott – 5

Had the opportunity to shoot in the box but went with the tiki taka option of an extra pass. Drew the fury of Klopp with that decision so decided to shoot the next time he got a sight of goal. It was a tame effort, straight at Courtois. Almost like his legs can’t generate enough power on the ball.

Firmino – 4

Just like at the weekend, made absolutely no difference when he came on.

Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A

A lovely drag back was a highlight. Then went on to pass straight out of play under no pressure. That was before he gave up on an overhit Robertson pass late on.

Tsimikas – N/A

On in the 90th minute and almost gave away a penalty (that would have been extremely harsh). It was a goal saving block. Booked for brushing Ceballos’ chin. Eventful few minutes.

Carvalho – N/A

On for the final 20 seconds on stoppage time. Klopp’s handling of this talented boy since Christmas has been truly baffling.

Jürgen Klopp

Went with a bold lineup, with an all attack approach favoured. That failed to translate into goals for his side however. The subs didn’t make much of a difference, with a few of them puzzling to say the least. A 6-2 aggregate defeat underlines the difference between the two sides, and to think it was just fine margins that separated them in the final last May.



Liverpool are at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu tonight to take on Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie. The Reds are three goals down after the 5-2 defeat in the first leg at Anfield three weeks ago. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up tonight.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager reported two potentially crippling ‘injuries’ in his pre-match press conference yesterday. Skipper Jordan Henderson has been ruled out with illness, as has youngster Stefan Bajcetic who is struggling with an adductor problem.

It’s a huge blow as both players were in line to start in midfield tonight. An already problematic midfield problem has been exacerbated by this news and the continued absence of Thiago Alcantara who is still out with a hip injury. The side is at least full strength in defence and in attack.

Alisson Becker is set to start in goal, with likely the same back four infront of him that has started each of the the last two games. The Brazilian committed a gaffe to let Real back into the game last time out and will have to make up for that error with a top class performance here.

Infront of him, we should see Konaté and Van Dijk continue their partnership in the heart of defence, with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson occupying the full back slots. The Ibou x Virgil partnership has only lost two games when starting together, with one of those coming in the Champions League final last May.

In the middle of the park, the manager’s options are severely limited. A Bajcetic – Henderson – Thiago midfield trio could have realistically started the game tonight if fit. With all three unavailable, the manager has to pick between Fabinho, Milner, Elliott, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carvalho.

That’s a load of names but in reality the quality is thread bare. The manager must decide if he would be best served with a change in shape considering the circumstances (4-2-3-1 perhaps). In that case he would only need to pick two central midfielders.

It’s a real dilemma to grapple with. Maybe a two man midfield away to Real is too risky when trying to overturn a three goal deficit. The defence hasn’t exactly been watertight (a recent run of five consecutive league clean sheets notwithstanding) to warrant the trust of sacrificing a midfielder for an extra forward.

Fabinho is a shoo-in to start. He’s returned to a semblance of his normal self in recent weeks after he dipped to shocking depths earlier in the campaign. Alongside him, James Milner will have to be called upon again. He will be up against a fellow 37 year old in Luka Modric and will have the unenviable task of keeping the Croat quiet.

Harvey Elliott will in all likelihood complete the midfield trio. The 19 year old has started each of the last three games, and despite being hooked at the break last Saturday, can generally be relied upon. The manager obviously trusts him, as seen by the fact that he’s the only player to feature in every single match this season.

Upfront, the manager has options. Does he go with the same front three or does he opt to freshen things up by introducing Diogo Jota and/or Roberto Firmino? Cody Gakpo struggled against Los Blancos in the first leg so perhaps we might see a change there.

Jota has been preferred to Bobby since they both returned from injury so it’s safe to assume he’ll be first in line if the manager wants to change things up in attack, with Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah surely set to start again.

Whichever lineup is selected, the Reds will face an uphill battle. Three goals down against the kings of the competition and away from the comforts of home. Never say never though.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Milner, Salah, Jota, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Adrian, Matip, Phillips, Gomez, Tsimikas, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Keita, Gakpo, Firmino, Carvalho.

Real predicted XI:

Courtois, Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho, Tchouameni, Modric, Kroos, Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius.



Following yet another limp defeat, this time at the hands of bottom of the table Bournemouth, Liverpool travel to the Spanish capital tomorrow night with a three goal lead to overturn. Here’s the match preview. 

Just a week after thrashing Manchester United 7-0, Jürgen Klopp’s men reversed back to poor form, succumbing to a woeful defeat at the Vitality Stadium. The Reds never got going, with the Cherries constantly getting in behind the high defensive line.

The warnings were not heeded when Outtara went clean through, rounded Alisson before shooting into the side netting. The winger broke free again and this time, crossed for Billing to tuck home. The Reds couldn’t muster up a response, with Mohamed Salah spurning the best opportunity.

The Egyptian fired a penalty off target midway through the second half. Considering that was the first spot kick the side has been awarded in over a year, you wonder if the manager should even bother complaining about that particular stat.

The loss saw ground lost in the top four race, with the Reds falling to sixth place, six points off fourth placed Tottenham Hotspur (but with a game in hand). With just 12 league games remaining, Klopp’s men are running out of time to go on a long winning run.

The Champions League remains the only hope of silverware this season but even that has been damaged heavily by the first leg result. Having taken a 2-0 lead after 15 minutes, Liverpool completely capitulated, losing 5-2 infront of the famous Anfield crowd.

The task tomorrow night is nigh on insurmountable. The Reds have to not only beat their bogey side, but must record a huge margin of victory to at least force extra time. Ancelotti’s men haven’t lost a game by a three goal margin all campaign.

The last time Los Blancos lost by at least a three goal margin was in the Clasico last season when Barcelona romped to a 4-0 victory at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Chelsea also handed the 14 time champions of Europe an almighty scare in the quarter finals last season.

Having lost the first leg 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, Thomas Tuchel’s side took a three goal lead at the Bernabeu, stunning the home fans into silence. Real’s powers of recovery in this competition is the stuff of legend though. They struck back through Rodrygo to force extra time before Benzema finally put the tie to bed.

The Reds have prior experience to the sort of comeback (or ‘La Remontada’ as the Spanish call it) they will require tomorrow night. When they last won this competition, Liverpool had to overturn a 3-0 first leg defeat to dump Barcelona out after a stunning 4-0 victory at Anfield.

The crucial difference is the Reds are away from home and have a woeful record on the road this season. It doesn’t help that Real have had the upper hand in this fixture over the past few years either. In the last seven meetings, Los Blancos have won six times and drawn the other.

Jürgen Klopp has faced the Spanish giants on 11 occasions in his managerial career. He’s won three, drawn twice and lost six times. Ominously, he’s never won a game at the Bernabeu. He has a poor record against Spanish teams, especially in Spain.

Safe to say tomorrow night is an uphill task. Get the first goal on the night though and who knows? Whatever the outcome, the Reds must defend better as a unit. They must have a plan to stop Vinicius. The young Brazilian has netted 5 goals in 4 appearances against Liverpool, including the winning goal in last season’s final.

He always seems to benefit from the space in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold whenever the two sides square off. If the Reds stand any chance of pulling off the impossible, the 22 year old must be well shackled.

Team News

Ramsay (meniscus), Diaz (knee), Keita (muscle) and Thiago (hip) remain out. Bajcetic (adductor) and Henderson (illness) have been ruled today, with Joe Gomez a possible inclusion in the squad having trained earlier today. Arthur Melo was fit enough to be on the bench last time out.

Losing Henderson and Bajcetic is a big blow, but on nights like this, the onus will fall on the forwards to be ruthlessly clinical infront of goal to make a contest of this tie.

For Carlo Ancelotti’s side, David Alaba is the only confirmed absentee. The Austrian is still struggling with the hamstring injury he picked up in the first leg at Anfield. Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema has been passed fit following a recent knock.



Liverpool succumbed to another woeful defeat on the road as they lost 1-0 to bottom of the table Bournemouth. Billing’s first half goal was the difference between the two sides, with Mohamed Salah missing a second half penalty. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 5

Not a lot he could do about the goal.

Alexander-Arnold 5

Put one on Van Dijk’s head early on from a corner. Was creative when he got on the ball. Cleared one straight to Solanke which saw them break on the counter but he was solid enough defensively. Can’t understand why he goes off when there’s a game to chase.

Konaté – 5

Bailed out Van Dijk a couple of times. Should have done so again when he completely missed Ouattara’s cross, allowing Billing to poke home the only goal of the game.

Van Dijk – 3

Woeful today. Saw a header cleared off the line after about five minutes. Should have scored from a free header at the backpost off another set piece but could only nod wide. Bullied by Solanke today.

Poor for their goal as he just stops tracking Outtara, allowing him to swing in the cross. Got on the end of so many attacking set pieces but wasted most of those openings. Shepherded Solanke out well when he countered late on.

Robertson – 4

Excellent delivery for Van Dijk’s second sitter. Outside set pieces he was quiet in an attacking sense. Caught out of position a lot too. Lazily pushed Outtara in the back when he was shaping to cross for their goal. Was sent through by a trademark Van Dijk diagonal early on and he shot straight at Neto.

Fabinho – 5

Won a few second balls in midfield. Another whose first instinct when receiving a pass was to turn backwards. Blazed one shot from range wildly off target.

Elliott – 5

Some neat and tidy touches in midfield. Combined well with Salah and Trent initially. Once they went a goal up you were left wanting more from him. Too many times he went backwards under the slightest sight of pressure. Bounced off Billing and went sprawling when attempting to halt his run. Hooked at the break.

Bajcetic 5

Not his fault the result. Did some good things, driving the ball forward well at times. Made some mistakes on the ball, dwelling on it too long and over-elaborating at times. Not a lot wrong with the performance.

Salah 2

Set up by Gakpo for a shot early on and it was tame, straight at Neto. Flitted in and out of the game after that. Handed a golden opportunity to level the scores from the spot and he curled his penalty way off target. Anonymous today.

Gakpo 3.5

Looked sharp early on. Always looked a threat when he picked the ball up and turned. He won a few dangerous free kicks just by driving at the Cherries defence. Tired and his final ball suffered for it. Thought he’d go off for Firmino but he lasted the whole game. Lashed one over the bar deep into injury time.

Darwin 4

Not really in it. Won some good headers out wide to create chances for teammates. One saw Gakpo convert but the Dutchman was in an offside position. Cut infield to fire one on target. His footwork was poor in tight spaces today. Moved to the tip of the attack second half but was hooked not long after that. Headed a set piece onto the roof of the net from an offside position. Caught offside a lot today.


Jota – 5.5

Saw a curling effort parried behind by Neto almost as soon as he came on. Won the penalty with a trademark leap at the backpost. His passing was abysmal, constantly playing it straight to a Bournemouth shirt when attempting to switch play.

Milner – 4

He is required when we’re trying to protect a lead, not when we’re chasing a game. Given the slip by Anthony a number of times. Our attacks down the right hand side slowed when he came on, although he did swing in the cross that eventually led to the penalty.

Henderson – 4

No sense of urgency whatsoever. Kept passing it sideways to his mate Milner. Did well on the cover as the last man on one or two counter attacks.

Firmino – 4

Didn’t make much of a difference.

Carvalho – N/A

Hasn’t been seen for months. Then brought on in the 87th minute today to try and salvage a draw.

Jürgen Klopp

Bold lineup as he dropped the skipper and went with the two teenagers in midfield. It didn’t backfire as such, but after going in 1-0 at the break he brought on Jota at halftime and changed to a 4-2-3-1 shape. His next set of subs weakened the side as he took off the only natural number 9 and the most creative outlet.

We were left with 37 year old Milner at right back and a whole host of false nines in the box trying to thread that eye of the needle pass that was never on in a box full of red shirts. Could have brought on Carvalho sooner perhaps. It’s inconsistency like this that sees us outside the top four this campaign. Beat United 7-0 one week, lose to bottom of the table the next. Typical.



Liverpool travel to the Vitality Stadium tomorrow (12:30 GMT kickoff) to take on bottom of the table Bournemouth. Victory will see the Reds move into fourth place (for a few hours at least). Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager reported no new injuries in his pre-match press conference earlier today. He did however confirm that Joe Gomez and Luis Diaz should be back in team training next week, with the latter sorely missed over the past few months.

The Reds are coming off the back a momentous victory, pulverising bitter rivals Manchester United by seven goals to nil. With six days between that win and tomorrow’s fixture, it’s hard to see the manager making many changes.

In goal is certain to be Alisson. The Brazilian has kept five clean sheets in his last five matches (as many as he managed in the first 20 league games). He’s now climbed up to third in the Golden Glove race, with only Aaron Ramsdale (11) and Nick Pope (12) managing more than his tally of 11 clean sheets.

Ahead of him, we can expect to see Konaté and Van Dijk continue their partnership in the heart of defence. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will then occupy the full back slots as usual. The settled back five has certainly aided the side’s refound defensive resilience.

In the middle of the park, the trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Elliott bossed Casemiro and co in the United midfield in a truly dominant display. As a trio, they extended their record when starting together to five wins from five, with the side scoring 28 times in those games and conceding just twice.

Stefan Bajcetic has been a revelation since breaking into the side at the turn of the year but it would be mighty harsh to drop Harvey Elliott after the work he’s put into the last two games. That being said, the physicality of Bajcetic could be required in what is sure to be a tough away encounter.

A slight dilemma perhaps, but one the manager will be grateful for. Not so long ago he didn’t even have enough options to rotate his side from game to game, with some players overused till the point of injury.

In attack, we are likely to see the front three of Salah – Gakpo – Nunez rolled out once again. The trio have been growing together over the past few weeks, with their interplay, linkup and understanding of each other’s movement improving by the game.

They were lethal last Sunday as they ripped the Manchester United defence to pieces, netting a brace each. They will face a different kind of task tomorrow, with the hosts sure to defend deep with a number of bodies, tasking Klopp’s new look attack to find a way past them.

The likes of Jota and Firmino could prove useful options off the bench in the second half, whilst the nous of James Milner could be required to see out any victory. Early kickoffs are the worst, but Liverpool have no excuse to not back up the 7-0 win last week to move into the top four.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Henderson, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bajcetic, Jota, Firmino, Carvalho.



Following the thorough beating handed out to Manchester United, Liverpool travel to the Vitality Stadium to take on Bournemouth. Victory will move the Reds into the top four, whilst the Cherries are aiming to climb out of the drop zone with three points. Here’s the match preview. 

Last Sunday at Anfield was a beautiful tonic to all the harrowing defeats and crushing lows the club has experienced this campaign. Erik Ten Hag’s men came into the clash as the form team in Europe. They had only tasted one defeat in their last 22 matches across all competitions.

A Carabao Cup final win a few days earlier marked their first piece of silverware in five years as a new era dawned. With Liverpool in indifferent form, most pundits tipped United to notch their first win at Anfield since 2016.

Fast forward 90 minutes and Jürgen Klopp’s charges had dished out the Red Devils’ heaviest ever defeat. 8 shots on target, 7 goals. It was a ruthless display of hunger, defiance and a return to the usual verve associated with the Reds.

A brace each for the front three and a Bobby Firmino goal off the bench was not only welcome but symbolic. The Brazilian is on his way out as the iconic trio of him, Salah and Mané officially comes to an end, but this seems to be the birth of a new pronged forward line.

Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo look settled now, and at just 23 years old, could be integral parts of the team for the next five years. Mohamed Salah is the only surviving member of the old trio but he’s still breaking records by the game, with his appetite for goals and assists only increasing with age.

Liverpool have actually managed a bigger margin of victory than the 7-0 romp over United. Opponents Bournemouth were ripped apart earlier in the season as the Reds cruised to a 9-0 win at Anfield. Scott Parker was relieved of his duties after that landmark defeat.

Gary O’Neil was handed the reigns temporarily but impressed enough to be given the job till the end of the season. He was unbeaten in his first six league games in charge but the honeymoon phase quickly eroded. They’ve lost 13 of their subsequent 18 matches in all competitions.

They were unlucky last time out as they handed league chasing Arsenal an almighty scare at the Emirates stadium. The Cherries went 2-0 up before the Gunners came back to seal victory courtesy a 97th minute Reiss Nelson winner.

That defeat left them bottom of the table but just a point off safety. Their poor goal difference means they will remain bottom even with a point tomorrow. Infront of their home crowd, they will aim to cause Liverpool problems in a bid to avenge that heavy defeat.

Victory for Jürgen Klopp’s men will take Liverpool into fourth place (at least until Spurs play Forest later in the day) after months out of the top four. It’s been some turnaround for the Reds, but they must be wary of a Bournemouth side desperate to survive relegation.

In Klopp’s 11 fixtures against Bournemouth, he’s only tasted defeat once (a madcap 4-3 defeat back in 2016). The German has overseen 9 victories over the Cherries, including each of the last 7 encounters. This is a great opportunity for the Reds to heap pressure on their rivals for top four.

An eighth win in a row over Bournemouth won’t come easy. Any victory will have to be hard fought, but the Reds look ready to roll their sleeves up and salvage what is left of this campaign.

Team News

Calvin Ramsay (meniscus) is out for the season. Joe Gomez and Luis Diaz are however expected to resume training next week. Thiago meanwhile remains a few weeks away. Arthur Melo was pictured training with the first team this week but the manager didn’t provide any update on his fitness.

Bournemouth have a long injury list with up to 8 players a doubt for tomorrow. David Brooks, Hamed Traore, Illia Zabarnyi, Jefferson Lerma, Junior Stanislas, Lloyd Kelly, Marcus Tavenier and Matias Vina are all unlikely to be available.



Liverpool trounced Manchester United 7-0 tonight as Anfield roared on in amazement. Braces by each of the front three and a Bobby Firmino goal off the bench sealed a momentous victory in Premier League history. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 7

Surprisingly didn’t have much to do bar a couple of long range efforts. Antony’s curler early on was probably the best of the lot. He almost cost the side when he dallied on the ball and saw Fernandes nick it away from him. Needs to cut that out of his game. His distribution was a weapon tonight, his clip out wide to Robertson set the fullback away in the lead up to the opener.

Alexander-Arnold 10

Lost Fernandes at the backpost early on and was lucky to see the header go wide. He didn’t put a foot wrong afterwards. Defended with determination and bite when he had to and attacked with vigour going the other way. Popped up in the number ten position a couple of times including late on when he clearly wanted an eighth.

Konaté – 10

Assured in everything he did. Strong in the air, quick off the ground and composed when he had to carry the ball out from the back. Unlucky to see his header from set piece flash just past the upright. Pocketed the in-form Rashford.

Van Dijk – 10

Rolls Royce. Gave the assistant referee some grief early on when calls didn’t go his way. Stroked the ball about, with his trademark diagonals setting off several attacks.

Robertson – 10

A contender for MOTM along with the front three. Full of energy as usual, but crucially added the end product that has been missing lately. He opened the game up with a brilliant pass inside Fred to set Gakpo away. Kept going till the end and was unlucky to see his right footed curler whistle past the post.

Fabinho – 10

Back to his best tonight. Won every second ball in midfield. Was front footed and when he did win the ball, was composed to pick a forward pass. This is the Fabinho we know and love. Lovely dink to set up the chance for Darwin’s first goal.

Elliott – 10

Perhaps a surprise selection ahead of Bajcetic but Harvey played his part in an epic victory. He worked his little socks off out of possession and provided incision when he got on the ball. He provided a really good foil for Salah and set up Darwin’s first of the night.

Henderson 10

Once again led the press with his intensity no doubt infectious for his teammates. Played on the left of midfield but was still as influential as ever. Lovely cross for Darwin’s second goal.

Salah 10

Was full of verve tonight as he twisted the United defence this way and that. He made history again tonight by becoming Liverpool’s topscorer in the history of the Premier League. Just wow. Loved the blasted finish past De Gea and the superb through ball for Bobby’s goal. The best bit was when he sent Martinez back to Argentina before slipping Gakpo through for his second. What a player!

Gakpo 10

Days after Firmino revealed he was leaving in the summer, his long term replacement truly announced himself with a performance for the ages. Opened the scoring with a sumptuous finish after cutting inside Varane. His second was equally delicious as he dinked past De Gea from the tightest of angles.

Darwin 10

Got in on the act with two clinical headers. The first from an Elliott cross and the second from a Henderson centre. He almost lost his head when he tried to swing at Luke Shaw after the fullback kneed him in the back.


Bajcetic – 8

Got involved straightaway, winning the ball back in midfield and picking forward passes to maintain the side’s momentum.

Milner – 7

On to solidify the middle of the park and did just that.

Jota – 6

Should have squared that late counter. Denied by Shaw when through on goal late on.

Firmino – 9

The Kop was chanting for him before he even came on and he rewarded them with a goal. A tidy finish through the goalkeeper’s legs to make it 7. That was after an assist for Salah’s second when he deflected Shaw’s clearance into Mo’s path.

Jones – 7

Played the pass out wide to Salah that led to the seventh. Good to see him get some minutes.

Jürgen Klopp

Made the bold choice of dropping Bajcetic in favour of Elliott in midfield. It worked a treat as Harvey joined the attack at will to overwhelm the United backline. That was a big call and the manager got it absolutely spot on. 7-0 against Manchester United is a crazy result. What a day! What a performance! We have our Liverpool back ladies and gentlemen.



Liverpool host Erik Ten Hag’s Manchester United side tomorrow night in what is sure to be a raucous atmosphere at Anfield. 10 points separate United in third and Liverpool in sixth heading into the clash. Here’s how we expect Jürgen Klopp to line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed no new injuries, with Gomez, Thiago, Arthur and Luis Diaz remaining on the sidelines. It is still a healthy enough squad to face the challenge ahead, with a few tough decisions to make when picking a starting XI.

In goal will be Alisson Becker. The Brazilian shotstopper has now kept four clean sheets in his last five league games to move on to nine for the campaign. Could he make a late run for what would be his third Golden Glove award? Only de Gea (10), Ramsdale (11) and Pope (12) lead him in the standings.

In defence, we should see just the one change. Kostas Tsimikas filled in well against Wolves and took his tally of assists to six for the campaign after a brilliant run and cutback for Salah. Andy Robertson will be restored however, with the Scot hopefully benefiting from the rest.

The most intriguing battle on the day will certainly be the one between Alexander-Arnold and Marcus Rashford. Rashford has been blazing hot since the World Cup, registering 21 goal contributions (17 goals, 4 assists) in just 20 appearances. He will be the latest in a long line of wide attackers to target the Scouser.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the manager plans to stop United’s topscorer. It will have to be a team effort as Trent’s best work is done on the ball rather than off it. Konaté as the right sided centre back will have to come across and cover his fullback.

In midfield, we should again see just the one change as Jordan Henderson returns to the side ahead of Harvey Elliott. The skipper’s energy, intensity and leadership will certainly be required against an in-form United side. He will also be tasked with helping Trent out defensively.

Fabinho and Bajcetic will take their place alongside the 32 year old. This trio has become the de-facto first choice following young Stefan’s rise and Thiago’s injury. As a trio, they will have to work in tandem to win the midfield battle against Casemiro, Fred and Bruno Fernandes.

Upfront, the manager has a decision to make on who starts through the middle. Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah are presently set in stone as the first choice wide forwards. It is then a toss up between Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino for the ‘false nine’ role.

It was revealed yesterday that Bobby will be looking for pastures new when his contract with the club expires in the summer. This has seen an outpouring of tributes from fans but that is a tad premature. There is still a third of the season to play, after which the fan favourite will be granted an emotional sendoff.

For now though, focus must be on the task at hand. Does Bobby get the nod? Or does Gakpo return to the XI after being handed a breather against Wolves. Bar Wednesday’s victory over Wolves, the Dutchman has started every single game he’s been available for since joining the club.

Signed as a left winger from PSV Eindhoven in January, he’s found his niche as a false nine in the mould of the affable Firmino. If he can keep developing in this role, the club might not even bother to replace the man who made the role his own for almost a decade.

There’s also the option of Diogo Jota. The Portuguese international has started each of the last two games as he continues working towards peak form and fitness. He set up the opening goal for Van Dijk last time out and looked like he was getting sharper by the minute.

A third start in a week might be ill advised, and with Firmino yet to start a game since his own return from injury, it is safe to assume Gakpo will get the nod. He’s been building an understanding with Darwin and Salah and will have to be at his best to get the better of Varane and Martinez.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Bajcetic, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Elliott, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Firmino, Carvalho.



Liverpool are back in the top four race after putting together a decent little run. The Reds’ aspirations will face a stern test when in-form Manchester United come to town on Sunday (16:30 GMT kickoff). Here’s a preview of what is set to be an enthralling encounter between these two old foes.

The Reds were victorious last time out, eventually grinding down a stubborn Wolves outfit to come away with all three points at Anfield. It was tough viewing at times, with Jürgen Klopp’s men still looking some way off their effervescent best.

The first half was especially dull, with the hosts best chances falling to Harvey Elliott. The youngster couldn’t add to his tally for the season and so it remained goalless at the break. As a matter of fact, Julen Lopetegui’s men shaded the expected goals (xG) for the half (0.93 to 0.90).

The second period was much more like it as Liverpool struck three times (with one chalked off after a VAR review) whilst restricting the visitors to zero attempts. The victory backed up recent wins over Everton and Newcastle United.

Add the goalless draw at Selhurst Park into the mix and it’s a run of four consecutive clean sheets, the first time the side has managed this feat all season. A belated back to basics approach has seen an improvement in recent weeks.

Six clean sheets in the last nine matches across all competitions bodes well. Especially with a certain Marcus Rashford looking at extending his recent hot streak infront of goal. Liverpool will need all the defensive resolve they can muster to halt a Man United side on a roll.

Erik Ten Hag has transformed the Red Devils since taking charge in the summer, overcoming a horrendous start to implement his ideas and principles. Some strokes of genius in the transfer market helped as well, but no doubt a chunk of the credit must go to the former Ajax boss.

A summer spending spree that brought in the likes of Martinez, Casemiro and Eriksen, has been a far cry from the previous scattergun approach. Even Antony (who endured a tough start) has started to contribute in recent weeks, with January loan signings Wout Weghorst and Marcel Sabitzer also chipping in.

It is a happy camp at the minute, a far cry from the chaos of last season and indeed recent years. Ten Hag guided the club to their first piece of silverware in five years last Saturday when his side turned over Newcastle at Wembley to clinch the Carabao Cup.

United have won a whopping thirty games in all competitions this campaign (the most of any club in Europe’s top five divisions), and remain in the hunt for the FA Cup and Europa League after recently knocking out West Ham and Barcelona respectively.

They sit third in the league table, 11 points off top spot but with a game in hand. This has seen some fanciful ‘quadruple’ talk but let’s be frank, this is nothing like what Liverpool went close to achieving last season. Ironically, Ten Hag’s United reign only got lift-off after a 2-1 win over the Reds back in August.

They had lost their opening two league games, with a 4-0 trouncing at Brentford even prompting questions of Ten Hag’s future. That victory over the Reds set United on their way whilst Jürgen Klopp’s men were sent on the opposite trajectory.

Sunday is a chance to close the 10 point between the sides. It will be no mean feat however, with United only losing 3 of their last 33 matches across all competitions. In fact since the World Cup, they’ve only lost one of their 20 matches, with that defeat coming courtesy a 90th minute Nketiah winner at the Emirates.

This is the scale of the task at hand. The Red Devils are arguably the most in-form team in Europe right now. Form they say flies out the window in games like this, but victory will not come easy. Everyone of a Liverpool persuasion, from manager to players, through to the Anfield crowd, will have to be on it.

Since losing his very first home league game against United, Jürgen Klopp has remained unbeaten in his subsequent six matches against the old enemy at Anfield, winning 3 and drawing 3 (with his side scoring 9 times and conceding just once).

Last season’s 4-0 victory bookended the astonishing 5-0 win at Old Trafford as the chasm between the two clubs became clearer. United have managed to catch up and then some since then, but Sunday is a chance to strike a body blow.

Team News

For Liverpool, Calvin Ramsay (meniscus), Luis Diaz (knee), Joe Gomez (muscle) and Thiago Alcantara (hip) are all out. Arthur Melo featured for the U21s recently as he continues to build up fitness following a long period out of action.

For United, Christian Eriksen (ankle) and Donny Van de Beek (knee) are both unavailable through injury. Anthony Martial has resumed training following a hip injury but is unlikely to be rushed back. Luke Shaw and Jadon Sancho have overcome illness and should be involved.



Liverpool earned victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield tonight, as goals from Virgil Van Dijk and Mohamed Salah handed the Reds’ top four hopes a much needed boost. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 6.5

Good footwork to get across and palm Moutinho’s early shot away. Didn’t have much else to do. Played one of the passes of the match to find Tsimikas on the left wing in the buildup to the second goal.

Alexander-Arnold 7.5

Much better tonight. Was assured in possession and looked bright going forward. Didn’t shirk his defensive responsibilities either. Decided the game with an outstanding free kick delivery for Van Dijk. Seriously what a ball that was!

Konaté – 6.5

Looked a bit unsteady at times but got the job done. Got away with one when the referee awarded a free kick after Ait-Nouri got away from him on the byline. Needs to be much stronger in such situations. Not every ref would give you the benefit of the doubt as he no doubt saw at Brentford. A welcome return to action.

Van Dijk – 7.5

Got over an early error when he cleared straight to a Wolves shirt to have a commanding game at the back. Broke the deadlock with a stooping header after his initial effort had been clawed away by Sa. Was alert to help deal with the pacy Adama late on.

Tsimikas – 7

Excellent defensively all night. That became even more apparent when Traore came on after the break. Didn’t really get forward much. When he finally did, it was to devastating effect as he carried the ball into the box and calmly laid it back to Salah for a simple tap in. Just the sort of impact and performance you’d want from a backup.

Fabinho – 6

Was okay. Won the ball well in the Wolves box twice early on but for some reason didn’t go for goal. Was frustrating to watch at times but in the end it’s job done, three points on the board. Booked for stepping on Lemina when attempting a Cryuff turn.

Elliott – 6

Set Salah away on a counter in the first few minutes. Should have scored at least one of the three chances Darwin set up for him. The first was a terrible miss from just a few yards out as he steered his header wide.

He saw the second pushed away, before shooting straight at Sa on the third attempt. His passing was poor when he tried to pick a pass over the top of the defence. He’d have been kicking himself had it not been for the two late goals. Worked his socks off in tracking his man back.

Bajcetic 7

Registered the first shot on target but it was straight at Sa. Won his tackles in midfield and was on the end of some heavy challenges. Stood out once again and showed maturity to play for so long on a yellow.

Salah 6

In and out of the game with almost every attack breaking down when he got it. Constantly gave the ball away with some shocking passing when teammates were getting into dangerous areas. Kept plugging away and got his goal in the end when he kneed Tsimikas’ cross home. That’s 20 for the season and he’s not even been at his rip-roaring best yet. Legend.

Jota 6

Blowing through the rust at the minute. The ball kept bouncing off him but he kept going. One daring run saw him cause mayhem to allow Darwin score but he was penalised for a foul in the buildup. He produced one moment of quality to hook the ball across goal for Van Dijk to nod home before being subbed.

Darwin 7

Set up Elliott for an easy tap in but he could only head wide. Found the youngster again and this time he tested Sa in goal. He put in a lot of work defensively to support Tsimikas. Played some unbelievable diagonal switches. Unlucky to see his goal chalked off.


Gakpo – 6

Lovely exchange of passes with Tsimikas, with his deft first time pass setting the Greek away for the clinching goal.

Henderson – 6

Kept the ball as he helped managed and see the game out.

Milner – N/A

Played right back for a bit.

Firmino – N/A


Jürgen Klopp

Made a number of changes to the side that drew at Palace, with Konaté, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Bajcetic, Elliott and Darwin coming in for Matip, Robertson, Henderson, Milner and Gakpo. A poor first half saw Elliott go closest to scoring.

The manager kept faith with his starting XI, failing to make any changes till the deadlock was broken after 70 minutes. Four clean sheets in a row (five in the last six) bodes well. This back to basics approach was necessary. Now on to the small matter of Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday.



Liverpool host Wolves tonight as they aim to intensify their chase for a top four spot. ‘Every game is a Champions League qualifier’ was the manager’s cry in his press conference. Here’s how we expect him to line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match presser confirmed that Ibrahima Konaté and Darwin Nunez took part in training and hadn’t shown any adverse effects following respective hamstring and shoulder injuries.

There could be a handful of changes after a hectic fortnight for the Reds. The manager has options to refresh his squad to keep the intensity levels up. Even with Diaz, Gomez and Thiago out, there were still 26 players in training over the past few days.

In goal, Alisson Becker will continue. The Brazilian stopper has kept three successive clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time this campaign in a run of four clean sheets in the last five. Opponents Wolves are the only side to score past Alisson over this period.

In defence, we should see a number of changes. Firstly, the returning Konaté will likely start ahead of Matip who has looked incredibly shaky since the turn of the year. Ibou and Virgil (the partnership that started last year’s Champions League final) have only started four games together this campaign.

We should also see one of the full backs handed a breather here. With Trent looking completely out of it at Selhurst Park on Saturday night, he could be the one to make way, with veteran James Milner filling in at right back.

Robertson will be asked to go again on the left but could be taken off for Tsimikas as the game progresses. It is crucial the manager gets it right in terms of rest and rotation to avoid any further injuries.

In midfield, the skipper has put loads of energy into the last couple of games and could be taken out of the firing line tonight. Henderson, who is going on 33, will have to be used sparingly if he’s to keep offering the drive and intensity he’s been known for over the years.

Fabinho and Bajcetic started off the bench at Palace and are in line to be restored to the starting XI tonight. With Keita putting in a dreadful display that saw him dragged off at halftime on Saturday, it is highly unlikely he’ll be handed another start here.

Harvey Elliott is an option despite failing to impact the game when he came on last time out. He remains the only player to feature in every single fixture across all competitions for the Reds this campaign. The manager’s trust in him is in no doubt.

In attack, we could see Darwin return to the starting lineup after missing the trip to London over the weekend. He will line up on the left wing again, with Jurgen Klopp likely to avoid handing Diogo Jota a second start in five days. The Portuguese international has missed a lot of football and will have to be eased back.

Cody Gakpo looked jaded on Saturday night, and who can blame him? He’s started every single game since his work permit was processed, leading the line and putting in a tireless effort every time. He could be rotated tonight, with Roberto Firmino ready to come in from the start.

Bobby has featured off the bench in each of the last four matches following his recovery from a calf injury. In his absence, Gakpo has been doing a solid impression of him but the stage is set for the original version to remind everyone of his qualities tonight.

It wouldn’t hurt the ongoing negotiations over a contract extension either, with his current deal running out in the summer. When Bobby plays well, Liverpool tend to play well. His ability to connect teammates and knit attacking moves together is second to none. Hopefully he’s blown off the rust that has been evident since his return.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Milner, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Elliott, Bajcetic, Salah, Firmino, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Henderson, Keita, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Gakpo.



Liverpool are back in action tomorrow night when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield. Jürgen Klopp’s men will climb up to sixth with a victory in what is their game in hand. Here’s a preview of the game.

The Reds were lethargic last time out in the goalless draw against Crystal Palace. Several players looked completely out of it, with Patrick Vieira’s men not clinical enough to capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive errors.

Those defensive woes have dogged the side all campaign. Granted, it’s now three league clean sheets in a row but that’s more down to excellent goalkeeping/luck than any real defensive steel. It’s easy to forget James Tarkowski hit the post at 0-0 in the derby.

Ten man Newcastle also hit the woodwork twice. Mateta’s profligacy on Saturday night can therefore be filed under luck. The defensive frailties dogging this side can no longer be ignored. Real Madrid ruthlessly exposed that weakness for all to see last week.

Underperforming players have to be dropped. This worked for Fabinho and Henderson who both benefited from the brief spell out of the side. 7 points from the last 3 games is a decent return if Jürgen Klopp can mastermind a winning run.

Trent Alexander-Arnold committed 2 errors leading to a shot on Saturday; the most by a player in a Premier League game this season.

This should be the main goal. Nobody can be carried at this moment in time. If the team was flying then it wouldn’t be a problem if one or two were not quite at the levels expected. As it is, the team is struggling badly. Carrying a number of underperforming players only exacerbates the problem.

There is also the small matter of having a score to settle with Julen Lopetegui’s outfit. Wolves dismantled the Reds earlier this month, with that 3-0 defeat up there with the worst days of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool reign.

The sound of ‘oles’ from the home fans towards the end still haunts many of a red persuasion till today. Wolves were joint bottom of the table coming into that game, having managed only 12 goals all season. That they were able to score 3 past Alisson speaks to the defensive deficiencies spoken about earlier.

Since that landmark victory, Wolves have climbed up the table, currently finding themselves in 15th place, 3 points clear of the relegation places. They produced a spirited comeback to win at fellow strugglers Southampton despite being down to ten men.

They followed that with a poor defeat at home to fellow strugglers Bournemouth, before drawing away at a Mitrovic-less Fulham last Friday. Despite the obvious improvement under Lopetegui’s watch, Wolves remain a flawed side.

They can be hard to break down but tend not to create enough chances. This is why that defeat at Molineux remains so puzzling. Wolves created 6 big chances against Liverpool that day, having only managed to create two in the six games either side of that victory.

If the Reds are not on self destruct mode, these are the kind of opposition they should be turning over, especially at home, in their bid to launch a serious assault on the top four. The Reds have won each of their last five home league games against Wolves.

This should inspire confidence despite the recent FA Cup tie where Lopetegui’s men forced a replay after a 2-2 draw at Anfield. The two sides have squared off three times already this campaign, with the Reds only winning one encounter (a 1-0 victory in the replay at Molineux).

Team News

For Liverpool, Calvin Ramsay (meniscus), Luis Diaz (knee), Joe Gomez (muscle) and Thiago (hip) are all out. Arthur Melo featured for the U21s recently and is closing in on a return. Darwin Nunez and Konaté should both be available after taking part in training today.

For Wolves, Boubacar Traore (muscle), Chiquinho (knee), Hee-Chan Hwang (hamstring), Matheus Cunha (ankle) and Sasa Kalajdzic (cruciate ligament) are all unavailable through injury.



Liverpool were held to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park tonight. Both sides hit the woodwork, with Mateta, Salah and Jota all doing so. Neither side could find the elusive winner though, and in the end they settle for a share of the spoils. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 6

Didn’t have much to do. Was quick off his line to sweep up. Stayed strong to collect and punch away a few crosses.

Alexander-Arnold 4

Woeful. Gave Palace two gilt edged opportunities first half with some shocking passing and defending. Either move him into midfield or drop him. Enough is enough.

Matip – 4

All over the place. Gave the ball away over and over again and inspired no confidence whatsoever. Got on the end of a good opportunity when a corner fell to him in the Palace box but could only steer a weak left footed effort wide.

Van Dijk – 5.5

Won his challenges. Contributed to the slow buildup by taking too long on the ball when he got it. Looked to have been muscled off the ball late on but the referee’s whistle came to his aid.

Robertson – 5

I counted almost ten crosses by the Scotsman, none of them found a teammate. Got into good positions but his delivery was awful. Was lucky Mateta was in an offside position after he allowed Clyne nick Alisson’s pass off him first half.

Henderson – 4

His first instinct everytime he got it was to turn backwards and lay it off to the centre halves. That slowed everything down. Not exactly what is required when trying to break a team down. He should have fouled Olise way earlier in his run than he eventually did for his booking. Lucky not to give away a penalty. Blocked Trent’s goal bound free kick.

Milner – 5.5

Needs about four touches to bring a bouncing ball under control. Again everything was sideways and backwards. Filled in at right back late on. Not sure he’s the one to provide inspiration on a day like this. Did what could be expected of him.

Keita 3

Looked uninterested to be honest. Lost so many duels and kept fouling his man. Was possibly lucky to stay on the pitch, with his persistent fouling not abating despite his booking. Shocking display. Hooked at the break.

Salah 5

Pitiful shot wide when played in by Gakpo early on. Curled another straight at Guaita on the counter. Hit the crossbar with a snapshot from the edge of the box. Slipped Gakpo through for his big chance at the end. Was in and out of the game. That’s never a good sign as he’s the side’s source or goals.

Gakpo 4

Turned well early on and presented Salah with an opportunity in the box. Was quiet after that. Turned into trouble one too many times. Should have won the game at the end when put clean through on goal. Couldn’t even hit the target. He had Elliott available for the pass too had he chosen that option. That’s just not good enough. Cost the side two points with that miss.

Jota 5

Looked rusty again. Registered a shot on target with a half volley on the edge of the box. Headed Matip’s hooked cross against the post from a tight angle. The ball kept bouncing off him all night. Got 70 minutes under his belt.


Elliott – 4

Came on and with his first involvement lifted a pass over the defence which Jota almost latched onto. Went on to give the ball away almost every time he touched it after that. Played the side into trouble with some horrendous backpasses. Curious cameo.

Fabinho – 4

Could have been sent off in his brief time on the pitch. A waste of a sub.

Firmino – 4.5

Caught on the ball at times. Could have popped it off quicker. Couldn’t impact the game.

Bajcetic – 4.5

Sloppy in possession and they countered from it. Tracked Olise well late on and put in the challenge to knock the ball out of play.

Jürgen Klopp

In need of a goal and the manager chose not to bring Fabio Carvalho on. Not even for the final few minutes. He brought on two defensive midfielders instead. His in game management has been bizarre at times this season, not to mention his use, or lack thereof of the young attacker. Clean sheet at least.



Liverpool travel to Selhurst Park tonight (19:45 GMT kickoff) to take on Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace outfit. Victory will move the Reds up to 7th place, 4 points off Spurs in 4th. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager reported a few knocks in the aftermath of the hiding at the hands of Real Madrid. He stressed on the need for changes to be made to the side in his pre-match press conference. We could as such see a handful of alterations to the XI that started each of the last two.

In goal will be Alisson Becker. The Brazilian stopper will be smarting from the grave error he committed on Tuesday night which saw Real pull level on the night. It was a carbon copy of the gift he handed Guedes when Wolves visited Anfield in the FA Cup last month.

For a goalkeeper of his calibre to be making the same error twice in such a short space of time is disheartening. He has been Liverpool’s player of the year this campaign and it’s a shame he contributed to Tuesday night’s farce. He will be aiming to make up for it here. A third successive league clean sheet will go a long way.

The back four is certain to see a change or two, with Joe Gomez going off against Real with a suspected hamstring injury. Injured or not, Gomez would have been dropped for this after being ruthlessly exposed on the biggest stage.

Joel Matip, who was overlooked for Gomez as a result of his own indifferent form, came on for him and is now set set for a start here. That is despite Ibrahima Konaté recovering from his own hamstring injury. The young Frenchman will have to be carefully managed considering his checkered injury past.

We could also see Kostas Tsimikas at left back. Andy Robertson has put in a lot of hard yards over the past few weeks and has seen his productivity suffer for it in the last two matches especially. He could be due a breather, whilst Trent continues at right back.

The Scouser’s laid back style means he doesn’t put in as many kilometers as his best mate. There’s also the fact that Calvin Ramsay, who was signed to provide backup and competition, is now out for the season with a meniscus injury. Trent will have to plough on.

In midfield, Stefan Bajcetic is due a rest after seven consecutive starts in the space of a little under five weeks. It’s easy to forget he’s only 18 and has just 15 senior appearances under his belt. It would be wise not to burn him out.

Naby Keita could be handed a start in his stead on the left of midfield, joining Fabinho and Henderson in the engine room. It is a midfield trio that has played together on several occasions to good effect and could be set for a reunion tonight.

Upfront, we’re likely to see Cody Gakpo handed a breather. The Dutchman has started every single game since joining from PSV Eindhoven in January. That was partly out of necessity, with Firmino, Jota, Diaz and briefly Darwin all unavailable through injury.

With Firmino and Jota getting valuable minutes off the bench since their return, we should see one of them start upfront. Bobby is the likelier of the two as he was out injured for a much shorter period of time. He will most likely join Darwin and Salah to complete the XI.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Konaté, Robertson, Milner, Bajcetic, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elliott, Jota, Gakpo.



Following the latest embarrassing defeat of this harrowing campaign, Liverpool now turn attentions towards the Premier League. The Reds travel to Crystal Palace hoping to back up successive league victories to truly ignite their top four hopes. Here’s the match preview. 

Tuesday night was a chastening experience for all associated with Liverpool Football Club. Back to back league victories had managed to wash the taste of a pitiful 3-0 defeat at Wolves out of our collective mouths.

A rejuvenated Everton under Sean Dyche and a Newcastle side boasting the best defence in the league had been seen off with clean sheets to boot. The sight of Van Dijk, Jota and Firmino returning back to full fitness further boosted confidence among the ranks.

The mood ahead of the visit of Real Madrid was one of quiet optimism that a corner had been finally turned. 15 minutes into the encounter and we were in dreamland. Darwin and Salah had put the Reds 2-0 up against the side that nicked the Champions League trophy off us last May.

Anfield was rocking and all felt right with the world again. We were well and truly back. Then in the blink of an eye, Real pulled themselves level to end a breathless first half. What transpired in the second period was a capitulation of epic proportions.

It laid bare the weaknesses and cracks that had been papered over by the two wins. It was a good old fashioned hiding to go along with the ones we’ve already suffered at the hands of Napoli, Brentford, Brighton and Wolves this season.

Now, Jürgen Klopp must somehow manage to lift the morale of his men to face the task at hand tomorrow. A trip to Selhurst Park is difficult enough, but a trip to Selhurst Park under the lights, straight after a drubbing is an even trickier test.

Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace outfit aren’t in good form themselves though. The Eagles have failed to win any of their eight matches across all competitions since the turn of the year. They last tasted victory on New Year’s Eve when they beat Bournemouth 2-0.

They went close to victory last week but a 96th minute Vitaly Janelt equaliser denied them the precious three points. Palace find themselves in 12th place, six points clear of the drop and five points off the top half of the table. Considering they finished 12th last season, you could say they are right around where they should be.

Patrick Vieira has done an incredible job since taking over from Roy Hodgson. The Frenchman has completely changed the style of play and has put an emphasis on young players with speed and technical ability. Palace are a good side to watch even if they don’t always get the result they deserve.

In the corresponding fixture at Anfield back in August, Wilfried Zaha handed the visitors a first half lead on the counter attack. Darwin Nunez was then sent off on what was his home debut, before Luis Diaz scored a goal of the season contender to equalise second half.

Jürgen Klopp boasts an enviable record against the Londoners. He’s faced Palace on 15 different occasions (all in the Premier League), winning 12 and losing just twice. At Selhurst Park, his record reads 7 wins in 7, with his side scoring 22 goals and conceding just six times.

A 7-0 win in December 2020 remains the club’s biggest away victory in Premier League history. The Reds will be hoping to extend that perfect record tomorrow night. If results elsewhere goes well, victory could take Liverpool up to 6th, just 4 points off 4th placed Tottenham Hotspur, with Spurs hosting Chelsea on Sunday.

Team News

Thiago Alcantara (hip), Luis Diaz (knee) and Calvin Ramsay (meniscus) remain on the sidelines. Ibrahima Konaté has resumed training following a spell out with a hamstring injury. The manager admitted there were a few knocks from Tuesday night but he didn’t provide any specifics.

For Crystal Palace, Sam Johnstone, Joel Ward and Nathan Ferguson are out injured. Wilfried Zaha has missed the last few games with a hamstring injury but has resumed training this week. A decision on his involvement will be made closer to kickoff.



Liverpool were battered at Anfield by a rampant Real Madrid side tonight. Despite taking a two goal lead, the Reds were pegged back in the first half before Real turned on the style in the second half to take the game away. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 4

Made a terrible error that saw Real pull level. That was an unnecessary goal to give away as he attempted to pass the ball out with Vinicius bearing down on him. Made a fantastic save to deny Vinicius earlier but that error was gut wrenching. Not sure there was much he could do about the other goals.

Alexander-Arnold 4

Incisive pass into Gakpo in the lead up to the first goal. Threatened to combine with Salah to ruthless efficiency first half. Second half he was poor. Gave the ball away a lot and took some woeful corners.

Gomez – 3.5

Tough night for him. Didn’t do a lot wrong but you don’t need to against opposition of this class to get punished. Didn’t get tight enough to Vinicius for his first goal and stuck out a lazy leg at Benzema’s tame effort to deflect it past Alisson for their fourth. Not to forget giving away the free kick they scored from. When you list it all like that it’s a poor night for him.

Van Dijk – 4

Was on hand to hack a few crosses clear early on. How Eder Militao has a free header six yards out from a set piece is a question he’ll wrestle with all night. When you concede five goals at home, you have to look at the defence, and as the leader, he has to take most of the flak.

Robertson – 4

Guilty of standing off his man a number of times this season. Stood and watched as Rodrygo and Benzema exchanged quick passes in his area of the box to score a fourth. Shocking delivery going forward as well as he failed to test Carvajal for pace. One last man tackle to deny Rodrygo was a highlight. That goal saving tackle was all for nought in the end.

Fabinho – 6

I thought he was excellent first half. Was always on hand to receive the ball on the half turn and drive forward. It was the Fabinho we had become accustomed to all these years. That was until a poor touch second half saw him lose the ball to Modric in midfield. Instead of halting the counter and taking the yellow, he raised his hands and allowed Modric breeze through midfield to set up their fifth. That’s a cardinal sin for a DM. You take the yellow all day. Have to duck him a point for that.

Henderson – 6

Pressed relentlessly again tonight. Formed devastating triangles with Salah and Trent first half. Was a presence in both boxes as he steamed forward to support Salah and tracked back to help Trent with the electric Vinicius. Saw his side capitulate around him in the second half and was taken off.

Bajcetic 6.5

Another matured display. His spray out to the right hand side in the buildup to the opening goal was simple enough but showed how calm he was in his surroundings. Won some key tackles in midfield and sprayed the ball around well. Lost it a few times but it comes with the territory. Curled one wide from range late on.

Salah 7

Looked up for it from the first whistle. Played a delightful pass to set up Darwin’s opener. Should have added a second when he cut inside Alaba but could only screw his effort wide. Capitalised on Courtois’ error to make it 2-0. Second half I felt we couldn’t get him into the game as Real had stationed more men down his flank.

Gakpo 5

Not in the game tonight. Worked hard off the ball and won it back a few times but couldn’t really get into it. His work in possession in and around the box wasn’t up to scratch.

Darwin 6

Kick-started the fireworks with a lovely flick to open the scoring. Showed good awareness to track Carvajal’s run in the box and nod the cross meant for the full back out for a corner. Almost scored again but saw Carvajal block his shot before Militao completed the clearance off the line. Messed up one counter attack when he decided to take on his man rather than find Gakpo or Salah who were breaking away. Tired and was subbed after an hour.


Jota – 4

The ball kept bouncing off him. He’s working his way back to full sharpness so it’s a bit unfair to expect more.

Firmino – 5

Got on the ball in little pockets of space but the final ball wasn’t forthcoming. Should have shot first time on a number of occasions but took a touch in the box and got closed down every time.

Milner – N/A

Not the set of skills required tonight.

Matip – N/A

Carried the ball forward a few times.

Elliott – N/A

Clattered into his man and told the referee off when he blew for a foul. Only one in red not scared to take a yellow tonight.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager went with the same lineup that earned a victory away at Newcastle. It was a fantastic start as they went 2-0 up in next to no time. This Real side are reigning champions for a reason though and fought back in the first half. The second half was an absolute disaster for the Reds.

I don’t know what was worse, the defending for the set piece they scored from or the subsequent capitulation. The side has been susceptible to set pieces for a while now and it can’t all be blamed on the absence of Van Dijk through injury. A truly humbling result after a dream start.



Liverpool take on holders Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie tonight. The Reds, fresh off the back of consecutive victories, face the unenviable task of knocking out the fourteen time champions of Europe. Here’s the predicted XI for the Reds.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

In terms of team news, the sight of Darwin Nunez training with his teammates last night was a real boost. The Uruguayan is in good form at the minute and was facing a race against time to be fit for tonight’s showdown after picking up a shoulder injury at Newcastle.

Despite the short turnaround between Saturday night’s victory over Newcastle and this meeting with the holders of the competition, Jürgen Klopp is unlikely to make many alterations to his side. He seems to have settled on a combination in midfield and attack.

The manager made a quadruple substitution just shy of the hour mark on Saturday as all of Bajcetic, Henderson, Gakpo and Darwin were given a breather. They are all therefore likely to be handed another start tonight.

In goal will be Alisson Becker. The Brazilian was in supreme form at the weekend (as he has been all season really), denying Newcastle on a number of occasions. The last time these two sides met, Thibaut Courtois stole the show with a breathtaking performance to guide Real to a 14th title.

With the form Ali is in, he should be aiming to upstage his counterpart this time round. In defence, Virgil Van Dijk marked his return from a hamstring injury with a solid display at the St James Park. The 31 year old will have to be at his best to keep the Ballon d’Or holder, Karim Benzema, quiet.

The Dutchman will have Joe Gomez alongside him once more, with the 25 year old’s pace potentially key against the electric Vinicius Junior. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will line up at full back to complete the backline.

In midfield, the Bajcetic – Keita – Thiago combination was undressed at the Molineux a few weeks ago and hasn’t been used since. Thiago’s hip injury has played a part in that but Fabinho and skipper Jordan Henderson have returned to the side and acquitted themselves ever so well.

The duo will surely be handed a start here in what is the ultimate test up against the wily Luka Modric. They will be joined in the engine room by 18 year old Stefan Bajcetic. The Spanish youngster has been a breath of fresh air since he broke into the side a few weeks ago.

He was named Liverpool Player of the Month for January recently, with Mohamed Salah admitting he has been the side’s best player since breaking through. He put in a Man of the Match performance in the Merseyside derby as he showed no signs of nerves.

If tonight is the ultimate test for Fabinho and Henderson who have won every trophy there is at club level and played in multiple Champions League finals, how much an 18 year old with less than twenty senior appearances under his belt?

If he can once again play with the same level of calm he’s shown thus far, in what is without a doubt the biggest game of his young career, then it can no longer be denied that we have a serious talent on our hands.

Upfront, Darwin Nunez will line up on the left wing after overcoming the shoulder issue. He will be joined by Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah. This front three have started each of the last three and finally seem to be clicking as a trio. The onus will be on them to lead the Reds to victory.

The likes of James Milner, Harvey Elliott, Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino will offer an injection of energy off the bench if and when required.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Bajcetic, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Phillips, Tsimikas, Milner, Keita, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Elliott, Carvalho, Firmino,.



Following back to back league victories over Everton and Newcastle United, Liverpool look ready to take on their bogey side Real Madrid in the Round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Here’s a preview of the game.

The Reds have wrestled their way into a bit of form at just the right moment it seems. The 3-0 defeat to Wolves was a line in the sand for Jürgen Klopp and his troops. Consecutive 2-0 victories, first in the Merseyside derby and then away at Newcastle have signalled a turnaround.

A potential top four finish has gone from wishful thinking to a very realistic probability if the standards set in the last two games can be maintained and improved upon. A few key players have returned from injury and handed everyone, from the fans to the playing body, a real boost.

The Reds are scoring again and crucially, keeping the opposition out. How many times have we seen the side concede the first goal in a match this campaign? All these facets will be required tomorrow night when the reigning champions of Europe come to town.

Winning the derby was particularly sweet but Everton carried little to no threat in open play and are battling relegation for a reason. Becoming the first side to beat Newcastle at the St. James Park (and still being the only side to beat the Magpies to date) was impressive but this challenge is several steps up on the rank of difficulty.

The Spanish giants have proven something of an insurmountable hurdle for Jürgen Klopp’s side. Who can forget the final in Kiev when the Reds actually started without fear and pinned Los Blancos back? That was until Sergio Ramos, the ultimate pantomime villain, took out Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool lost not only their best player but their belief. Fight as they did, they just couldn’t make up for two glaring errors by goalkeeper Loris Karius as Real lifted the trophy. The Reds returned to lift ‘Ol Big Ears’ the following season and right the wrong of Kiev.

These two giants were drawn against each other in the quarter finals stage of the 2020/21 campaign. Vinicius netted a brace in a 3-1 first leg win and hasn’t looked back since. The Brazilian came back to haunt the Reds again as he netted the only goal in last season’s final.

In a game Liverpool dominated, Vinicius’ second half tap in at the back post led Carlo Ancelotti’s side to their 14th Champions League trophy. Thibaut Courtois thwarted the Reds all the way through as Jürgen Klopp lost the showpiece final for a third time in his career.

Tomorrow night doesn’t feel as much a revenge mission as it does an opportunity to slay personal demons. Real Madrid have proven a nut too tough to crack for this side. For whatever reason, Los Galacticos have had the upper hand in recent meetings.

Going back to Brendan Rodgers’ time at the helm, Liverpool have failed to win any of the last six encounters against Real, losing five and drawing the other. It’s a record that must be put to bed tomorrow night.

Ancelotti’s men come into this fixture with just one defeat in their last ten. They’ve won eight in that run, and despite falling behind Barcelona in the La Liga race, lifted the Club World Cup barely two weeks ago.

There will be several interesting subplots on the pitch in terms of key individual battles. None more so than the matchup between Trent Alexander-Arnold and Vinicius Junior.

The fleet footed winger is in peak form coming into this clash. He’s registered 24 goal contributions (16 goals, 8 assists) in 34 appearances this term and will carry the threat for the Spanish outfit. Trent will have to be on high alert.

In some ways, it was good preparation facing Allan Saint-Maximin at the weekend. Trent will require support from his right sided centre back and midfielder if he’s to keep the electric Vini under wraps. It will be interesting to see how the Brazilian defends Trent going the other way.

It promises to be an enthralling encounter, and you’d expect Anfield to be at its vociferous best. Real are rightly favourites, but the underdog tag is something Jürgen Klopp and his side wear well. This should be a cracking tie come what may.

Team News

For Liverpool, Konaté (hamstring), Thiago (hip), Luis Diaz (knee) and Calvin Ramsay (meniscus) remain out. Darwin Nunez will undergo a late fitness check after coming off against Newcastle with a shoulder injury on Saturday.

For Real, Ferland Mendy (hamstring), Toni Kroos (gastrointestinal discomfort), Aurelien Tchouameni (unspecified) have been ruled out. Karim Benzema is however fit again to lead the line after missing the 2-0 victory over Osasuna on Saturday.



Liverpool reignited their top four hopes by handing Newcastle United their first home defeat of the season. The Reds (the only side to beat Newcastle this campaign coming into the game) took the lead through Darwin Nunez before Cody Gakpo added a quickfire second.

Nick Pope’s first half sending off handicapped the Magpies as they tried but failed to get back into the game. It’s now six points off top four for Liverpool, with Jürgen Klopp’s men having a game in hand. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 9

Quick off his line to gather at the feet of Isak early on. Then made a superb stop to deny Almiron one on one. Played one of the passes of the game to set Salah away on the counter for the Pope sending off. Wasn’t done either, as he made another unreal save to push Saint-Maximin’s shot onto the crossbar. Denied Callum Wilson late on to preserve the clean sheet. The best in the world.

Alexander-Arnold 9

Looked back to his best tonight. Yes he had his hands full with Saint-Maximin but he still made an impact going the other way. His exquisite pass put Darwin through for the opener and he didn’t stop there. Played several wonderful passes and crosses into the danger area. Deserved more than the single assist.

Gomez – 8

Was solid tonight. Didn’t make any glaring errors and covered well for Trent. Played a superb through ball midway through the second half. Back to back clean sheets. That should boost the confidence.

Van Dijk – 8

Made a welcome return to the side and was solid. Kept the ball moving and rarely gave it away. Backheel flicked clearance late on summed up his night.

Robertson – 8.5

In great form again tonight. Bombed on to good effect and was a threat down the left hand side. Should have gone for goal late on when Elliott played him through on goal but he tried to be too cute, with his pass to Salah cut out. Put one on a plate for Jota after a short corner routine. Tireless display. Was still chasing a third in stoppage time.

Fabinho – 7.5

Saint-Maximin just breezed past him early on to set up Almiron for that big chance. He improved afterwards and had to play most of the game on a yellow after a poor tackle on Anderson. He was assured on the ball and set off a few attacks in the latter stages.

Henderson – 7.5

Once again led the press tonight. He’s shown bundles of energy in the last two games. Almost like he’s benefited from his time out of the team. That right hand side of him, Trent and Salah looks much better. Rested after an hour.

Bajcetic 7.5

Caught on the ball early on and wisened up to it. Once again didn’t look out of place. A lovely turn in midfield opened the pitch up for him, with that move leading to the second goal. Stood up tall to a physical midfield battle and won some big tackles.

Salah 7.5

Terrific pass for Gakpo’s goal. Unbelievable vision and execution. Used his pace in behind to cause the Newcastle defence all sorts of problems, including getting Nick Pope sent off. Should have capitalised on the man advantage but his final ball/decision let him down a number of times second half. One tame effort at Dubravka was frustrating. Full of running though, and never gave Burn a moment’s peace.

Gakpo 7.5

Played through the middle again and made it two in two with a lovely tucked finish underneath Pope. He’s coming well into his own now. Given a breather after an hour.

Darwin 8

Opened the scoring with an explosive finish on the half volley after collecting Trent’s wonderful pass over the top. He did well to stay onside, that’s something he struggled with in the early stages of the season. He went close again second half when he cut in off the left and saw his shot parried by Dubravka. Played exceptionally well till he pulled up with a shoulder injury. Hopefully not too serious.


Milner – 7

Came on for Bajcetic and put on a tackling clinic. One on Saint-Maximin was perfectly timed and underlined what the veteran was all about. Won two tackles in quick succession on the edge of the Newcastle box late on. Played Jota through for a good chance.

Elliott – 7

The youngster came on for the skipper and got involved straightaway on the right hand side of midfield. He saw a shot deflected into Dubravka’s gloves before laying on at least three gilt edged chances for his teammates.

Firmino – 5

Actually started brightly, with brilliant footwork seeing him beat a couple of men before playing a fine pass to Salah. Quickly tired though and gave the ball away almost every time he touched it. One such turnover led to Wilson almost halving the deficit.

Jota – 6

On for Darwin and he showed some neat touches down the left wing. Should have scored from Robertson’s centre but tried to be too precise with the header, sending it just wide of the upright. He was then played through on goal, and after rounding the goalkeeper could only see his shot cleared off the line. Headed a Trent pick out across goal but was adjudged to be offside. Clearly blowing away the rust.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager made just the one change to his lineup, with Van Dijk coming in for Matip. After a shaky start, his men hit Newcastle with two quick attacks and two quick goals. Pope’s sending off basically ended the game as a contest but the hosts still carried a threat.

He could be disappointed that his substitutes didn’t take the game away from the Magpies but the three points and back to back wins are the most important thing. A crucial time to pick up some form. Madrid at Anfield next.



Liverpool travel to St. James Park tomorrow (17:30 GMT kickoff) to take on high flying Newcastle United. The Reds lie in 9th place whilst the hosts sit in 4th. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager reported no new injuries in his pre-match press conference earlier today. He did however confirm that Virgil Van Dijk is ready to start, having been an unused substitute in the Merseyside derby on Monday night.

The side have had the whole week to rest, recuperate and prepare for this trip. As such, we are likely to see minimal changes to the side that beat Everton. In goal will be Alisson Becker as usual, with Trent and Robertson out at full back.

In the heart of defence we could see the only change in the lineup from last time out, with Van Dijk returning to the side for his first game since the defeat at Brentford. The big man has recovered from a hamstring injury and should be joined by Konaté in the coming weeks.

One of Matip and Gomez will have to make way for the Dutch skipper tomorrow night. Based on the last two games, Joe Gomez has the edge as Matip has been error prone lately. The Cameroonian almost gifted Everton a goal when he missed a straightforward clearance.

Gomez was on hand to block Simms’ effort but it’s that sort of unforced errors that has dogged the side this campaign. Matip for all his forward running and ball carrying ability has failed to inspire confidence in Van Dijk’s absence.

Another factor to consider could be pace. Allan Saint-Maximin is in line to start on the left flank for Newcastle, and no doubt the right sided centre back on the night will have a lot of work on his hands to try and keep him quiet. Gomez’s pace could come in handy.

In midfield, the trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Bajcetic impressed in the derby. The manager was effusive in his praise for them and is likely to trust them to go again. With the influential Bruno Guimaraes suspended, Liverpool should be aiming to boss the middle of the park.

Upfront we’re likely to see Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah line up together once more. Darwin will be stationed on the left wing to give Trippier something to worry about defensively whilst Gakpo continues to morph into a Firmino-lite.

The Dutchman scored his maiden goal for the club in the derby and his confidence levels rose afterwards. He has looked dangerous whenever he’s been allowed to turn after picking the ball up in the half spaces

Newcastle boast the best defensive record in the league so chances will be few and far between. The Reds have to be at their ruthless best if they are to take all three points. The return of Jota and Firmino certainly hands the manager further options from the bench.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Bajcetic, Salah, Gakpo, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elliott, Jota, Firmino.



Following the morale boosting victory in the Merseyside derby, Liverpool travel to St. James Park hoping to rekindle their top four hopes. The Magpies are flying high this campaign as they currently sit fourth on the table, nine points clear of the Reds. Here’s the match preview. 

Monday night was the perfect riposte as Everton were turned over in the derby. Anfield lived up to it’s reputation by producing a raucous atmosphere ahead of kickoff and indeed throughout the game. Jürgen Klopp’s men started tentatively as the Toffees game plan became apparent.

Sean Dyche had set his team up to sit deep and frustrate. The time wasting tactics were in effect from the very first whistle, with Andre Onana in midfield tasked with breaking up play by any means, fair or foul.

The visitors plan was working smoothly till they flew too close to the sun and got scorched. A corner saw James Tarkowski go close to handing Everton the lead when his header cannoned back off the upright before the subsequent rebound was blocked.

The Blues had piled too many men forward for that set piece, leaving themselves open on the break. Darwin Nunez raced clear and clipped a cross for Salah to tap home. That was the tonic the side and the fans needed as Anfield roared with passion.

The second half saw Robertson lead the charge for another deadly counter, this time with Cody Gakpo applying the finishing touch. Confidence was now coursing through the veins of those in red, with the return to action of Jota and Firmino (and Van Dijk who remained an unused sub) fuelling the feel-good factor.

That victory only moved the Reds up one place in the table into ninth place, but it is a starting point. Liverpool are nine points off Saturday’s opponents but with a game in hand. There is a clear task ahead; beat Newcastle and revive the top four race.

For several weeks (that have felt like months), it has seemed like the season was already over. With the Reds exiting both domestic Cup competitions and falling so far off the Premier League summit and indeed top four, it was difficult to really get up for matches.

Now there is a sense of purpose. The next two games will decide the rest of the season. Newcastle on Saturday and Real Madrid on Tuesday. A top four charge and a last chance of silverware for the campaign.

Liverpool simply have to beat the Magpies tomorrow to have any realistic chance at the top four. That is no mean feat considering Eddie Howe’s men are unbeaten at the St. James Park this season. In fact Liverpool are the only side to inflict defeat on the Geordies all campaign.

Across all competitions it’s just the two defeats, with Sheffield Wednesday knocking Newcastle out of the FA Cup last month. The Magpies are hard to beat and notoriously hard to break down. It took a 98th minute winner by Fabio Carvalho to turn them over at Anfield back in August.

Aleksander Isak handed Newcastle the lead at Anfield that night with a debut goal before the Reds fought back to claim all three points. You’d expect it to be a similar ding dong affair this time round. Just as Jürgen Klopp’s side look to be turning a corner, Newcastle seem to have hit a bit of a rough patch.

Since a convincing 3-0 win at Leicester on Boxing Day, Eddie Howe’s charges have only managed to win one of six league games, with that victory a narrow 1-0 win over Fulham. The Magpies have only found the back of the net three times in those six games.

Crucially, they’ve only let in two goals in that run, with their record of 13 goals conceded far and away the best in the division. They have drawn a whopping eleven matches this campaign (the most in the division) and are currently on a three game winless streak.

Jürgen Klopp’s only defeat to Newcastle came in his very first campaign, with a Gini Wijnaldum inspired Magpies romping to a 2-0 home victory. Since then, it’s twelve unbeaten (8 wins, 4 draws) against the Geordies.

In last season’s corresponding fixture, a classy Naby Keita goal saw the Reds leave St. James Park with all three points. A repeat of that result tomorrow is the aim, with Newcastle possibly distracted by the looming League Cup final, their first final in God knows how long.

Liverpool have to take advantage of any lack of focus in this top four six pointer.

Team News

Konaté (hamstring), Thiago (hip), Luis Diaz (knee) and Calvin Ramsay (meniscus) remain on the sidelines. Diogo Jota and Firmino returned to action last week and should be joined by Van Dijk and Arthur Melo in the matchday squad tomorrow.

Newcastle on the other hand, will be without the influential Bruno Guimaraes as he serves suspension, Emil Krafth (ligament), Javier Manquillo (muscle) and Matt Targett (foot). Callum Wilson should be fit after sitting out the last game with a tight hamstring.

Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron should both be available after suffering knocks against Bournemouth last week. Joe Willock will undergo a late fitness check although the manager has described his injury as ‘not serious”.



Liverpool won all three points in the Merseyside derby tonight, as goals from Salah and Gakpo saw the Reds ease to a comfortable 2-0 victory. The Toffees hit the post from a corner but a lightening quick breakaway saw Liverpool open the scoring seconds later. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 6

A quiet night at the office. Only faced the one shot on target, and even that was a weak Iwobi effort. Had to be strong to punch one corner clear under pressure from Tarkowski.

Alexander-Arnold 7

First half he must have given the ball away with every attempted pass. His distribution was shocking. The very best players never give up though and he got his reward in the end when he laid one on a plate for Gakpo. Defended well one on one and put in some strong tackles. Lost Davies at the backpost late on.

Matip – 6

Missed a simple clearance in the opening stages, handing Simms a chance. Thankfully Gomez was on the cover to block the shot. He was very jittery throughout and looked like a fish out of water whenever he was pulled wide into the right channel. His ball carrying kept us on the front foot however.

Gomez – 7

Much accomplished tonight. Kept Simms quiet and was generally assured. Crucial block on McNeil’s cross to set up the counter for the opener. Kept the ball moving. A welcome clean sheet.

Robertson – 7.5

Like Trent, his final pass or cross was a bit wayward first half. It improved as the game wore on though, and his energy to burst away from his man set the side on the counter for the second goal. Loved it when he kicked the ball away from Pickford late on and laughed right in his face. Hilarious.

Fabinho – 7

Quiet. Didn’t stand out, which is for the best as he has been standing out for the wrong reasons lately. He did his job shielding the defence and looked much better with legs around him.

Henderson – 7.5

Set the tempo with his harrying and closing down. Pressed Pickford into skewed clearances a number of times and showed great energy to still get back and get a toe in to halt one dangerous attack. Not the cutest on the ball but more than made up for it with his workrate.

Bajcetic 8

Continues to bely his tender years with performances like this. That was a Merseyside derby he just waltzed through like it was a kick-about with his mates. He has a lovely turn on him, not too dissimilar to Thiago’s trademark turn. Not a bad player to be learning off of. His tackle won the ball off Iwobi to allow Robertson set off the counter that led to the second.

Salah 7.5

Broke the deadlock when he stabbed Darwin’s cross into an unguarded net. Kept Mykolenko honest all night and was denied a second goal by a fantastic Tarkowski block. In truth, Bajcetic’s pass could have been firmer. It was good to see the Egyptian get into dangerous positions over and over tonight. He’s been on the periphery at times this season.

Gakpo 8

Played through the middle again and looked much better tonight. Almost like he is starting to understand what the manager expects of him in that role. Scored his first goal in red with a simple tap in at the backpost. He looked a different player after that, with his confidence evidently soaring. He pirouetted beautifully in midfield to set up chances for his teammates.

Darwin 7.5

First 40 minutes he was the only attacker in red actually trying to force openings. His overhead kick attempt set up Gakpo for a good chance. He then opened the game up with a brilliant piece of play when he exchanged passes with Salah inside his own half before leaving Gueye for dead as he breezed into the Everton half.

He still had the wherewithal to clip a left footed cross for Salah to stab home. Second half he got on the end of a two decent chances but couldn’t find the back of the net. The first, Pickford produced the save from a tight angle, the second – he just couldn’t get enough curl on it as it went agonisingly wide.


Jota – 6

Looked rusty, understandably so. Thought he was set for a tap in at the end but Milner’s cross was cut out.

Firmino – 6

Set Salah away with a lovely ball. Great to see him back.

Milner – 7

Won some meaty challenges. One on Maupay was especially impressive after he had been sold short as the last man by a Trent pass. He run onto Harvey’s through ball and almost laid one on a plate for Jota.

Keita – 6

Got a few touches playing on the left of the midfield three.

Elliott – 7

Another who put himself about and threw in big tackles. Combined well with Milner to almost set up a third.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager made just two changes to his lineup, with Fabinho and Henderson coming in for Keita and the injured Thiago. It was a steady start by the Reds as they felt their way into the game. Everton were compact and threatened on set pieces but were undone by two counter attacks.

The side managed the game well throughout and limited Everton to scraps in open play. A well needed victory. Now on to tougher tests.



Liverpool are back in action tonight when they welcome Sean Dyche’s Everton for the 1607th Merseyside derby. All joking aside, both sides will be keen to take something from this game, with Liverpool lying a lowly 10th whilst Everton sit 18th. Here’s the predicted XI for the Reds.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager in his pre-match press conference confirmed Diogo Jota was the only one of the returning contingent likely to be involved in the matchday squad. It was also revealed that Thiago was struggling with a hip injury. The 31 year old has now been confirmed to be out for at least a month.

In terms of selection, the manager doesn’t really have much room to manoeuvre. Most of his charges are off form so it’s slim pickings really in terms of any personnel that might be banging on the door for an inclusion in the side.

In goal, Alisson Becker will keep his place. The Brazilian stopper has been overworked this season as a combination of a watered down press by the frontline, a non-existent midfield and a hapless defence has left him exposed time and again.

He’s had to make 68 saves already in the league this term, more than he registered in the entire title winning campaign of 2019/20 (58 saves). He will be hoping for a quieter night this time round and a third successive clean sheet in the Merseyside derby.

In the backline, the manager has a decision to make in the heart of defence. Matip and Gomez were both atrocious at Molineux but with Van Dijk not yet ready to return, Nat Phillips is the only realistic alternative. His aeriel prowess could be key against an Everton side full of height and physicality.

Phillips hasn’t featured since a cameo against Wolves in the FA Cup last month but he rarely let’s anyone down the few times he gets a chance, and I doubt anyone will be worried if his name is indeed on the teamsheet. He should come in for Gomez, adding a bit of presence to the side. Trent and Robertson will complete the backline.

The injury to Thiago means the manager has to break up the midfield trio he’s utilised in each of the last four games. The skipper is likely to come in for the Spanish international in the only change to the engine room. Bajcetic has been the most consistent outfield player lately and deserves to keep his place.

Naby Keita could also keep his place if the manager resists the temptation to go back to the ‘Elliott in midfield’ experiment. Everton have physicality in midfield with the likes of Gueye, Onana and Doucoure. They must be matched and contained. For that reason James Milner could even be handed a surprise start in midfield.

In attack, we could see a few changes in the coming weeks as Firmino and Jota get back up to speed, but for the meantime, Gakpo, Darwin and Salah will get another opportunity to start together. Jota will have to make do with a place on the bench after such a long time out.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Phillips, Robertson, Bajcetic, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Gomez, Tsimikas, Milner, Fabinho, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jota, Elliott.



The second Merseyside derby of the season comes off on Monday night (8pm GMT kickoff) as Liverpool welcome Sean Dyche’s Everton side to Anfield. Here’s a preview of the game.

It’s been a long week following the disastrous display and result at Molineux last Saturday. That 3-0 defeat saw the slow but steady progress that was being made come to an abrupt end.

Indeed, a back to basics approach had seen Jürgen Klopp’s charges grind out two consecutive clean sheets. Even the last gasp defeat at Brighton had it’s positives. That’s what made last week’s drubbing all the more worrying.

Nothing the manager is trying seems to be working, with the side getting worse by the week it seems. A couple of players returning to training this week was just the boost of positivity required after a tough time of things following the World Cup.

Van Dijk, Arthur, Firmino and Jota gave us all a boost as they joined team training this week (even though only the latter will be involved in the derby). No matter which set of players the manager picks, there must be a vast improvement on the last outing.

The minimum requirement for what is set to be another hotly contested derby is application. If the Reds can’t match the Toffees for passion, fight and intensity then there is a huge problem on the manager’s hands.

The visitors will definitely be up for it after Sean Dyche masterminded an impressive 1-0 win over league leaders Arsenal in his very first match in charge. The ex-Burnley boss replaced Frank Lampard after a truly disappointing run of results.

The Blues bullied Arsenal in midfield, with the trio of Gueye, Doucoure and Onana dominating what is largely viewed as the best midfield in the league this campaign. It was an eye catching display that injected a huge dose of belief in the fanbase.

With the Reds’ clear midfield issues, it is ominous to think of the physical battle in the middle of the pitch. This is a midfield that was battered at Wolves by Neves, Lemina and Matheus last time out after all. Add the fact that Thiago is struggling with a hip injury and it is exacebated.

It is no secret how Sean Dyche will set his side up under the lights at Anfield. They will be compact, sit deep and look to capitalise on swift counter attacks and set pieces. The onus will be on the hosts to try and break them down.

In the corresponding fixture last season, the Toffees held out for an hour, with Jürgen Klopp turning to his bench for inspiration. He brought on Luis Diaz and Divock Origi and switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation.

That tweak worked a treat as the two substitutes combined for the clinching goal after Robertson had broken the deadlock after 62 minutes. It is something for the manager to consider in terms of how he sets his side up for the game.

The German tactician boasts an impressive record in the Merseyside derby. In his time at the helm, he’s taken charge of nine home derbies in all competitions. The Reds have won seven of those, drawing once. His sole derby defeat came in the 2020/21 campaign.

That run of six consecutive home league defeats saw Everton clinch a first win at Anfield since 1999. The Reds currently lie tenth in the table on 29 points whilst their neighbours languish in the relegation zone despite the impressive victory last time out.

Both sides could use all three points but six of the last thirteen Merseyside derbies have ended in a stalemate. This could shape up to be another, with the reverse fixture at Goodison Park serving up a goalless draw back in September.

Team News

For Liverpool, Van Dijk, Firmino and Arthur are back in training but this game comes too soon for any of them to feature. Jota meanwhile is set for a return to the matchday squad after overcoming a calf injury that has kept him out for months.

Luis Diaz is back running but remains some weeks away from a return. Konaté remains out as well whilst Thiago battles a hip injury that has seen him miss training this week. The Spaniard will be monitored in the coming days before a final decision is made on his availability.

Sean Dyche on the other hand is sweating on the fitness of star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Englishman has missed training this week with a thigh strain. He is ‘touch and go’ as it stands. Michael Keane, Andros Townsend and Nathan Patterson remain out.



Liverpool descended new depths today after yet another abysmal display saw Wolves romp to a 3-0 victory. A Matip own goal, a Dawson debut goal and a Neves breakaway goal did the damage on another chastening day for the Reds. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 4

Parried Cunha’s long range effort early on. Tried to clear the first goal off the line to no avail. Good save to thwart Nunes when he went clean through.

Alexander-Arnold 1

Ambered around like he owned the gaff. Didn’t get down the right wing enough in support of Salah. Woeful on the ball today. The least said about his corner deliveries the better. Not to mention his free kick attempt. Only moment of quality he provided in 90 minutes was a ball in behind for Darwin to run unto second half.

Matip – 0

Asleep for the first. Completely misjudges the ball over the top and allows Hwang in behind for the cross which he deflected into his own net. Was too easily robbed off the ball by Nunes later on but Alisson came to his rescue. A joke of a performance, rudderless without Van Dijk to hold his hand. Zero leadership.

Gomez – 0

Tracked his man all the way to the left wing but was too slow to get back into position for the first goal. Second goal he just heads the cross away from Alisson’s grasp. Third goal he fancies a dribble and plays Bajcetic into trouble. They counter and he’s helpless to stop it. His decision making hasn’t improved and he’s been at the club 8 years.

Robertson – 3

The skipper showed desire but little quality in the end. He was poor for their second as he completely stood off Cunha and allowed the cross into the box. Second half he played much higher up the pitch and caused trouble for about 20 minutes till they scored again.

Bajcetic – 4

The gaps he had to cover in midfield first half were enormous. He kept plugging away though and was one of the brighter performers. Was good on the ball and won a free kick in a dangerous position. Played into trouble by Gomez and was subsequently robbed of possession by Moutinho in the buildup to the third goal.

Keita – 3

Got into some great positions in the box but his shooting was awful. Did at least carry a bit of a threat going forward. First half he couldn’t get anywhere near Lemina.

Thiago 2

Poor. Bullied in midfield. Gave the ball away a chunk of times and was lazy in tracking Neves’ run for the breakaway goal. Shocking. Only moment of genuine quality was a pass to release Darwin early on.

Salah 2

No confidence to his play whatsoever. Late on he didn’t even attempt to beat his man, just kept passing it back. Was presented with two excellent chances and he blazed both over. He seems to have lost the ability the beat a man or curl a shot on target. Weak in the press as well.

Darwin 3

Really good effort early on brought out a terrific save from Sa. He should have done better when released by Trent second half though. He shot straight at Sa. He remains a big money striker that needs to work on his finishing. As oxymoronic as that sounds, it unfortunately rings true.

Gakpo 2

Just not good enough today. It’s becoming a bit of a worry now. So many wasteful crosses straight into Jose Sa’s arms. He played in his favoured position today on the left wing but once again offered little threat.


Henderson – N/A


Elliott – N/A


Tsimikas – N/A


Milner – N/A


Oxlade-Chamberlain – N/A


Jürgen Klopp

Picked the strongest available lineup and they went 2-0 down after 11 minutes. He had the whole week to drill his side on the training ground and yet they served up another turgid display. A mini rally in the first half of the second half was all they could muster. Not good enough.



Liverpool travel to Molineux stadium tomorrow (15:00 GMT kickoff) to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Reds lie in 9th place whilst Wolves hover just above the relegation places. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager confirmed no changes to the set of players available in terms of injuries, with none of the injured contingent available for selection just yet. They all remain close to a return however, with Luis Diaz (who is the furthest away) back running outside.

With this being the third meeting between these two sides in the space of a month, we should see both managers try and surprise each other with their selection and setup. The two encounters prior to this were both keenly contested, with a Harvey Elliott cracker the only thing separating the teams.

In terms of selection for this one, there will be one enforced change in the back five as Konaté is currently out with a hamstring strain. Joel Matip will come in for him in a like for like swap to complement Alexander-Arnold, Gomez and Robertson in the backline infront of Alisson.

The duo of Matip and Gomez have not played together as much as their longevity at the club would suggest. They’ve been teammates for almost seven years now but a combination of the presence of Van Dijk, injuries and form has seen them rarely partnered together.

They will have to gel together quickly as the manager’s options at centre back have been temporarily whittled right down. Beyond these two are Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams (who has been recalled from his loan spell at Blackpool), a fond throwback to the 2020/21 campaign.

In terms of the midfield, the gaffer has publicly addressed Fabinho’s decline and praised the importance of having Stefan Bajcetic around. The 18 year old should make his second Premier League start here. It would mark a fourth successive start for the Spanish youngster.

He deserves it as well. The opportunity opened up for him and he’s grabbed it with both hands. He’s gone from barely playing for the U21s to being first choice for the first team in the blink of an eye it seems. It’s some rise since his switch from hometown club Celta Vigo in 2020.

Naby Keita and Thiago have completed Klopp’s preferred midfield trio for the past three games, and with the team losing all semblance of control following the introduction of Henderson and latterly Fabinho against Brighton last time out, we could see them start a fourth consecutive game.

Upfront, it’s possibly time to see Gakpo, Nunez and Salah together for what will be just their second start together. Hopefully the manager will utilise Darwin and Cody in their natural positions and not switch them around like we saw when Darwin came off the bench against Chelsea and Brighton.

Harvey Elliott has been in good form lately playing as part of the front three so we can expect to see him come on at some point. Certainly if Mohamed Salah’s struggles continue we could see him taken out of the firing line for the 19 year old.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson, Bajcetic, Keita, Thiago, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Phillips, Tsimikas, Milner, Henderson, Fabinho, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Elliott.



Liverpool have had a solid week of training at the AXA Training Centre after being knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton. Jürgen Klopp and his men travel to Molineux tomorrow (3pm GMT kickoff) as the Premier League returns. Here’s the match preview. 

The January transfer window closed a few days ago with no further incomings. That is despite a tough campaign thus far for a group of players that were just two results away from winning the lot last season. The Reds have been on a woeful run of form post-World Cup, winning just 3 of their 9 fixtures.

Failure to strengthen in the window (beyond the capture of Cody Gakpo on New Year’s Eve) now heaps pressure on the manager to get more of a tune out of his underperforming stars. As it stands, the Reds sit ninth in the league table, ten points off fourth but with a game in hand.

It is not a completely insurmountable difference but if the 2019/20 Premier League champions are to make a dent in that deficit they need to start putting a run together as soon as possible. That can start at Molineux tomorrow against a Wolves side that has also had its struggles this campaign.

Lopetegui’s side are currently 17th, just outside the relegation places on goal difference. They’ve seen an upturn in performances and results since the Spanish tactician took charge, with Liverpool having had first hand experience in two meetings over the past month.

Wolves rocked up to Anfield and held their own in an FA Cup third round tie. They took the lead and were unlucky not to knock the holders out late on after a potential Toti winner was chalked off for offside, a call that couldn’t be verified by VAR.

In the replay at tomorrow afternoon’s venue, a rotated Liverpool side had to dig deep to get over the line after a Harvey Elliott stunner early in the first half. You’d expect it to be a similar battle tomorrow, with the hosts fighting to stay up.

It’s hard to predict what sort of Liverpool will turn up. If it’s anything like the rudderless version we’ve been seeing lately then it could be another long 90 minutes away from home. The side’s away form this season makes for horrific reading.

There have been as many stalemates as victories (2 – away to Tottenham and Aston Villa). The side has lost a whopping five league matches on the road, as many as they lost in the last two seasons combined! This has got to change, and fast.

Victory at Molineux in the FA Cup replay was a blueprint for the Reds to follow. Grit, determination, fight and a sprinkling of stardust for the goal. In fact the manager kept faith with quite a few of those who came in for that encounter.

Joe Gomez, Stefan Bajcetic, Naby Keita and Harvey Elliott were all crucial to that victory and have been rewarded with subsequent starts against Chelsea and Brighton. The manager hinted at making a few changes to the side to keep Lopetegui and his charges guessing, so we’ll have to wait and see just how he lines up.

Encouragingly, the Reds have won on each of their last four Premier League visits to Molineux, scoring six goals and conceding just once. A fifth successive league win here would be just what the doctor ordered ahead of a tough run of fixtures.

Team News

For Liverpool, Konaté (hamstring) has joined Firmino (calf), Van Dijk (hamstring), Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh) and Luis Diaz (knee) on the sidelines. On a positive note, Jota is a week away from team training whilst Luis Diaz is back running outside. Van Dijk and Firmino are close to a return as well.

For Wolves, Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) and Chiquinho (knee) are long term absentees. Midfielder Boubacar Traore remains on the sidelines with a muscle injury but new signing Joao Gomes could be handed his debut.



With this being the first day of February, it’s time to look back at the month that was January and crown a Liverpool Player of the Month. It was slim pickings really, with each member of the squad underwhelming over the course of the month.

The Reds kicked off the New Year with a sorry display at Brentford. As if the 3-1 defeat wasn’t enough, Virgil Van Dijk suffered a hamstring injury and has been absent since. A gutless 2-2 home draw against Wolves followed in the FA Cup, before the most abject of performances in the 3-0 humbling at Brighton.

The side at least showed a bit of a response, turning over Wolves 1-0 in the third round replay for their sole victory last month. Fellow strugglers Chelsea were next at Anfield, with a dull goalless draw being played out.

The month wrapped up with that disapointing last gasp defeat at Brighton in the FA Cup. This was the true definition of a January from hell for Jürgen Klopp’s men. Here are the top performing players (if you can call them that) over the course of the month January:

3. Joe Gomezavg. rating (5.5)

The 25 year old was out of the team at the beginning of the month, with both Konaté and Matip preferred ahead of him in games against Brentford, Wolves and Brighton. Van Dijk’s injury and Matip’s poor form saw him handed his chance in the cup replay at Molineux.

He was operating as the left side centre back alongside Ibou and put in an accomplished display. He helped Tsimikas neutralise the threat of the pacy Traore before switching to right back late in the game.

He produced a goal saving block to deny Raul Jimenez from close range. Then against Chelsea, he again played his part in keeping a clean sheet. It was not all smooth sailing however, with Joe making a number of little errors here and there.

He kept his place for the trip to Brighton a few days ago and was embarrassed by an incredible piece of skill by Mitoma for the late, late winner. Gomez hasn’t kicked on like he should in all honesty, and it seems we are all waiting for him to find his title winning form.

It has come in dribs and drabs however and the jury is out as to whether he’s the long term leader at the back that he’s been made out to be over the years. He will keep his place in the side for the mean time, with Konaté joining the injury casualty list.

Joe Gomez in January:

• 3 tackles won
• 5 duels won
• 6 interceptions
• 6 blocks
• 17 clearances
• 22 ball recoveries

2. Darwin Nunez – avg. rating (5.6)

The Uruguayan sneaks into the top two simply because he was absent for the dreadful league defeat at Brighton. He started away at Brentford in the beginning of the month and saw an effort cleared off the line early on before seeing a lovely finish chalked off for a marginal offside.

He was then the pick of the bunch against Wolves, with a beautifully steered finish dragging the side level on the stroke of halftime. His pace and intelligent running in behind was sorely lacking in that aforementioned defeat at the Amex.

He returned from a hamstring strain against Chelsea, coming off the bench to try and breath life into a stunted Liverpool attack. He stretched the play and the side looked better for it but a breakthrough wasn’t forthcoming. His cameo at Brighton wasn’t as impactful.

Each of Darwin Nunez’s ten strikes for Liverpool have been first time finishes.

The 23 year old seems to thrive of instinctive, first time finishes. When he has time to take a touch or two and think about the finish, it seems to go wrong. There’s definitely room for improvement.

1. Ibrahima Konatéavg. rating (5.9)

Aside Stefan Bajcetic (who didn’t make enough appearances to earn an average rating), Ibou was the best performing Red in January. The Frenchman had to recover from a harrowing night at Brentford on what was his first start of the season for the club.

He netted an unfortunate own goal before making a huge error for Bryan Mbeumo’s late clincher. He was similarly susceptible at home to Wolves, failing to get enough purchase on a clearance, allowing Hee-Chan Hwang to level the game late on.

He was much better at Brighton but he was fighting a losing battle as the midfield and defence gave way round him. He looked even better when paired up with Gomez at Wolves, with Ibou operating as the right sided centre back.

He covered for Trent brilliantly and deserved the clean sheet. He was once again solid against Chelsea, keeping Kai Havertz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang under wraps throughout. He was key to those consecutive clean sheets.

At Brighton last time out, he was again a standout. He produced a huge block to deny Evan Ferguson late on before thwarting Mac Allister when he went clean through on goal. It’s just our luck that our best player over the last month has also picked up an injury.

Ibou is now sidelined for the next fortnight or so with a hamstring complaint, with the club sweating on his fitness ahead of the Champions League showdown with Real Madrid.

Ibrahima Konaté was the only player to play every single minute of Liverpool’s six fixtures across the month of January.

Highest rated individual performance of the month:

° Ibrahima Konaté vs Wolves – (9/10)

° Joe Gomez vs Wolves – (9/10)

° Stefan Bajcetic vs Wolves – (9/10)

° Thiago Alcantara vs Wolves – (9/10)

° Harvey Elliott vs Wolves – (9/10)

Made4Liverpool 22/23 Player of the Month:

August – Harvey Elliott

September – Thiago Alcantara

October – Alisson Becker

November – Darwin Nunez

December – Trent Alexander-Arnold

January – Ibrahima Konaté

*Average ratings are collated from the player ratings posted on this site after every match. Players must have earned a rating in more than half the number of games in the month under review.



Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton after a late Kaoru Mitoma winner. The Reds took the lead through Harvey Elliott before Lewis Dunk deflected Lamptey’s long range effort past Alisson, setting up the stage for late heartbreak. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 6

Beaten by a deflection for the first and by great skill for the second. Huge save to deny March second half. Quick off his line to clear one off March and into touch late on.

Alexander-Arnold 5.5

Played a nonchalant outside of the boot pass to set Salah away early on. Crucial goalline clearance to deny Solly March. Given the runaround by Mitoma once again. Lovely delivery to find Salah at the backpost.

Konaté – 7

Played well. Came across to deal with Mitoma a few times. Monstrous block to deny Ferguson second half. Showed good pace to thwart Mac Allister when he went clean through. Doesn’t deserve to be on the losing side.

Gomez – 6

First hour I thought he was excellent. Read danger well and put in some vital blocks. Used his pace to great effect. Last half hour he just nosedived. Constantly lost runners in behind and was bailed out by Konaté and then Alisson who came out to sweep. Sent back to Charlton by Mitoma for the late winner.

Robertson – 5

Offered next to nothing going forward with Elliott on the pitch. Bombed on more when Darwin came on but his final ball was a letdown. Had about three chances to hack clear but gave away that late free kick which led to the winner.

Bajcetic – 7

Once again dependable at the base of midfield. Won his fair share of tackles and didn’t once look out of place. Could pick a forward pass too when given space. His energy levels were much better today as he still looked lively till he was taken off late on.

Keita – 6

Gave the ball away a few times. When he didn’t give it away he offered a good attacking outlet. Played some through balls in behind for the forwards to chase. Taken off after about an hour.

Thiago 5

Thought he was some way short of his best today. Gave the ball away cheaply and didn’t offer enough going forward. Had a chance to shoot in the box but attempted a give and go that just wasn’t on.

Salah 5

Out of sorts at the minute. Saw a shot cleared off the line early on but completely scuffed his effort wide when put through on goal by Elliott. Got the assist for the goal but he’s way off it at the minute.

Gakpo 5

Some tidy bits of play when he dropped into the half spaces. Did a Bobby impression today as the false nine. Gave away some unnecessary free kicks and was not enough of a goal threat all things told.

Elliott 7

Probably the best player in red today even if he struggled to get into it first half hour. He drifted central to play an exquisite ball in behind for Salah before tucking home after the Egyptian returned the favour later on. Should have made it two when played through by Gakpo but he took too long and Lamptey made the challenge.


Milner – 5

He came on at right back to try and deal with the pacy Mitoma. That boggles the mind really considering he’s a 37 year old midfielder. One good early cross into the box.

Henderson – 4.5

Offered a brief injection of energy. Poor on the ball in tight spaces. Hoofed one into the air late on when we were chasing the equaliser.

Darwin – 4

Thought he’d have more confidence than he showed today. He did score on his last start after all. He played off the left and cut inside two men only to lay a poor pass off to Gakpo with the angle open for a shot. Isolated his man in the box late on but was caught in two minds, allowing the ball to bobble off him and out for a goal kick. Subdued.

Jones – 4.5

On for Thiago midway through the second half. A bit meh.

Fabinho – 2

Came on for probably ten minutes all told and managed to stink the gaff out yet again. Gave the ball away with his very first touch, which saw Brighton counter dangerously. Followed that up with a horrendous tackle on Ferguson that could have easily seen him sent off. As soon as he came on we looked open again.

Jürgen Klopp

Made the one change to the side, with Trent coming in for Milner. Stuck Elliott out on the left wing again despite the youngster struggling there against Chelsea. The subs were pretty much like for like, with the exception of Milner.

We were weaker in the end after the subs, and the decision to stick Darwin wide left andAnother competition bites the dust despite an improved display.



Liverpool travel to the Amex stadium again tomorrow, this time for an FA Cup fourth round tie. The Reds will be hoping for a better outing than the 3-0 defeat a fortnight ago. Here’s how Jürgen Klopp could line his side up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

The manager confirmed in his pre-match press conference that there are no injury returns, with Diaz, Jota, Arthur, Van Dijk and Firmino still weeks away from returning to training. Fabio Carvalho and Nat Phillips are also likely to miss out with a knock and illness respectively.

This leaves the manager’s hands tied somewhat in attack, but he can still call on a strong enough side. In goal, Alisson Becker is expected to start again. It was a nice surprise to see Kelleher handed goalkeeping duties in the replay against Wolves but Alisson is likely to take up the gloves tomorrow.

He is the designated FA Cup ‘goalie’ and was probably just rested at Wolves. With a whole week between this fixture and the last, there’ll be no such rotation this time. Ahead of him in the backline, we could see a mostly unchanged back four.

The manager is looking to build from a solid base, therefore chopping and changing in defence won’t help. With that being said, we can expect to see Alexander-Arnold return at right back, whilst Konaté, Gomez and Robertson keep their places.

There’s a case to be made for Joel Matip but it will be harsh to drop either of Gomez or Konaté after back to back clean sheets. The Frenchman especially has been growing in stature by the week. If anything, it’s Gomez whose place could be up for grabs if he lets standards slip.

In midfield, Stefan Bajcetic holds the shirt at the minute for the ‘6’ role, whilst Thiago remains our best midfielder this campaign. The other spot is a toss up between Keita, Henderson and Milner, although youngsters Elliott and Jones could be in with a shout.

Naby has started the last two and was particularly instrumental at Wolves but could lose his place. Bar an exquisite outside of the boot pass to Salah on the stroke of halftime, the 27 year old struggled against Chelsea. His pass accuracy of just 63% told the story of a player failing to nail down his spot.

This could see the skipper handed his first start since the defeat at Brighton. He has admitted himself that he’s been struggling for energy, with the World Cup possibly taking a lot more out of him than he first thought. Having played just ten or so minutes over the past fortnight, he should be fresh enough to go again.

Upfront, it’s a simple case of starting the only fit lads; Salah on the right, Gakpo on the left, and Darwin Nunez through the middle. The Uruguayan could be key to unlocking the side’s attacking threat as he offers that bit of movement and intelligent running that was lacking at times against Chelsea.

His presence could help free up Mohamed Salah who has admittedly been below par of late but has seen his avenue to goal crowded out by a number of defenders. The threat of Darwin’s pace in behind could see the Egyptian afforded a bit more space as a result.

That makes it three changes to the XI that started against Chelsea last week. The FA Cup remains the most likely route to silverware for the Reds so it is imperative they give a better account of themselves than they managed last time out against De Zerbi’s side.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Gomez, Robertson, Bajcetic, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Ramsay, Matip, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Keita, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Doak.



It’s been almost a week since the Reds were last in action, with Jürgen Klopp’s men held to a dull goalless draw at Anfield by Chelsea last Saturday. Attention now turns to the FA Cup fourth round, with a trip to Brighton awaiting on Sunday. Here’s the match preview. 

The manager has overseen a back to basics approach over the last two matches, with the Reds keeping back to back clean sheets for the first time in three months. A Harvey Elliott stunner was the only goal scored in these two fixtures, with the side’s attacking threat hampered by this conservative tweak.

It is at least something to build on however. The Reds had been on a dreadful downward spiral, conceding big chance after big chance, with a non-existent midfield being constantly cut through. The key change to the midfield setup has been the inclusions of Stefan Bajcetic and Naby Keita.

The 18 year old especially has made a serious case to be considered first choice going forward, with his rapid development rewarded with a brand new contract. The Spanish youngster has added bite and energy to the base of midfield, as well as a calmness in possession.

Keita meanwhile has provided a burst of energy across the last two games, getting about the pitch busily and aiding the press which has been conspicuous by its absence of late. The form of these two has seen an upturn in Thiago’s performances as well.

The Spanish maestro now has legs around him, making his job easier. The form of Fabinho and Henderson has gone from a slight concern to a real headache for the manager. The duo have been the beating heart of this side over the past few years but look devoid of energy at the minute.

They aren’t the only ones in poor form as talisman Mohamed Salah is going through a rough patch himself. The Egyptian has only netted once in his last six appearances across all competitions, registering zero shots on target in his last three.

This downturn in form for the man who has won three of the last five Golden Boots, coupled with injuries to Diaz, Jota and Firmino, as well as new signings Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo still adapting to their new surroundings, has seen the side look toothless lately.

There has been plenty for the manager to sort through at the AXA Training centre this week. The side’s last trip to Brighton remains a low point. A sorry display was punished to the tune of a 3-0 defeat. The aim this Sunday will be to improve on a performance the manager labelled the worst of his career.

That shouldn’t be difficult but whether it will be enough to secure victory and passage to the fifth round remains to be seen. Brighton have been in rude health this campaign, beating all of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. They sit sixth in the league table at the halfway point of the season.

Liverpool failed to get the better of them in both league meetings this season, with the shambles at the Amex stadium preceded by a Leandro Trossard inspired 3-3 draw at Anfield back in October. It is not too preposterous to say the Reds are underdogs coming into this clash.

Brighton romped to a pretty convincing 5-1 victory at Middlesbourough in the third round to reach this stage. They rescued a late draw at Leicester last time out in the Premier League, with young striker Evan Ferguson netting a late equaliser off the bench.

Jürgen Klopp will no doubt go strong with his lineup, with the next game (a trip to Wolves in the Premier League) another week away. This is an opportunity to return to the scene of one of the most shambolic displays under the Klopp era to show a response.

Team News

For Liverpool, Firmino (calf), Van Dijk (hamstring), Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh) and Luis Diaz (knee) remain out. Fabio Carvalho (knock) and Nat Phillips (cold) have also been ruled out by the manager but Darwin Nunez is fit enough to start after overcoming a hamstring issue.

For Roberto De Zerbi’s outfit, Jakub Moder is a long term absentee with an ACL injury, whilst former Red Adam Lallana is struggling with a knock. Levi Colwill and Facundo Buonanotte are also out. Moises Caicedo meanwhile has been left out after he went public with his desire to leave the club.



Liverpool were held to a goalless draw by Chelsea as the two sides cancelled each other out. There was a whole lot of perspiration but little inspiration in the end, with both sides settling for a point apiece. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 6

Didn’t have too much to do in terms of shots on target faced, with Chelsea managing just the two. Had to be alert and quick off his line to sweep up a few times. A welcome clean sheet.

Milner 6.5

The veteran started slowly as he allowed a loose ball go out for a corner which Chelsea scored from. Luckily, VAR ruled it out for offside and he went on to have a solid game overall. Battled well against Cucurella and didn’t give an inch. Made some key recovering tackles inside his own box. Some of his crosses were too easy for Kepa going forward. Taken off not long after he was booked for fouling the pacy Mudryk.

Konaté – 8

Probably the pick of the bunch in the backline. Was always trying to get ahead of Havertz and nick it before he could turn. Was successful on several occasions. A miscommunication with Alisson on the stroke of halftime almost proved costly. Kept Aubameyang quiet when he came on late on.


Aided the clean sheet today with some crucial blocks. His decision making can be infuriating at times though, with his constant need to pass it back to Alisson. He needs to trust himself on the ball a bit more. Stood up well to the challenge today.

Robertson – 7

Gave it away twice in the opening minutes and was very conservative afterwards. Didn’t bomb on much. Kept allowing Ziyech to easily cut onto his left foot and either swing crosses in or get shots away. Made a wonderful run into the box and picked out Cucurella instead of a teammate.

Almost got on the end of Salah’s deflected cross. He made up for all that with a goal saving block on Chukwuemeka in the dying minutes. Was still offering an option on the counter in stoppage time. Endless energy.

Bajcetic – 7.5

A performance that belied his tender years. Didn’t look out of place at all as he provided the defence with a shield. Was assured in possession as well. Picked up a harsh booking but still managed to be aggressive in the tackle in a hotly contested midfield battle. Created a few openings, with a crisp pass over the top setting Salah away for a chance early on. Visibly tired and gave the ball away before being promptly replaced. It’s his shirt to lose now.

Keita – 6.5

Gave the ball away a few times first half but worked hard as part of the midfield three. Played an incredible outside the boot pass to find Salah in the box on the stroke of halftime. Second half he was better on the ball. Taken off after an hour.

Thiago 8

Once again played well with the legs of Bajcetic and Keita around him. Won the most duels in the game and registered the side’s first effort on target. His bromance and partnership with Bajcetic looks promising. Lovely ball into space for Darwin second half.

Salah 6

Has been below par of late and was again here. He was heavily involved but couldn’t quite do enough to break the deadlock. He should have done much better with a curling effort on the stroke of halftime. Didn’t get much change out of Cucurella and Badiashile. Didn’t manage a single shot on target. Did set up Gakpo for a decent chance early on.

Gakpo 6

Played through the middle again here and should have done better when Salah found him just inside the box. He blazed over before lashing at another effort over the bar on the break. He finally registered his first shot on target later in the second half. It was a weak effort though, straight at Kepa after good work by Darwin. Needs to be more aggressive.

Elliott 6.5

Curiously played out of position on the left wing. Didn’t fare too badly but didn’t really have much of an impact on the game. Kept the ball well and bought a few fouls. One wicked cross was almost turned into his own net by Thiago Silva. Dropped into midfield when Naby went off, before being taken off himself.


Darwin – 6.5

Offered the side an outlet on the break. He was found by Thiago and was able to get past his man before seeing Kepa smother his left footed effort. Came back into his own defensive third to pinch the ball off Havertz. Set up Gakpo with a chance after winning the ball back high up the pitch, before finding Trent at the backpost with a cutback. Won a few corners as well.

Fabinho – 5

Lost two challenges on the edge of the box that almost proved costly. Robertson had to bail him out on the second. Should have taken a first time shot when the Scot found him on the counter in injury time. He dallied, allowing Azpilicueta to block.

Henderson – 6

Provided a burst of energy. Could have swung in a first time cross to the backpost for Salah after being freed down the right but took a few more touches before sending in the cross. This allowed the Chelsea defence to get back and clear.

Jones – 5.5

Turned to late on for inspiration off the bench. Should have been awarded a free kick on the edge of the box when he was tripped. He took out his frustration on Cucurella and was rightly booked.

Alexander-Arnold – 6

Came on midway through the second half and was presented with a chance to open the scoring but he rushed it, taking it first time and seeing it fly over the goal.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager opted to maintain 8 of the XI that started at Wolves. It was a ballsy move that saw him drop Matip, Fabinho and Henderson, with Alexander-Arnold and Darwin only fit enough to start on the bench. It was an evenly contested first half, with Chelsea looking more likely to score.

The side came out with purpose second half and dominated without actually creating anything clear cut. The subs were made early enough but is Curtis Jones on the left wing a better option than say a Carvalho? That’s probably nitpicking. A solid point. On to the n



Liverpool are back in action tomorrow when they welcome Graham Potter’s Chelsea for an early kickoff (12:30pm GMT). The two sides lie 10 points off top four after underwhelming campaigns thus far. Victory here could boost the Reds’ chances. Here’s the predicted lineup.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

Jürgen Klopp reported no new injuries in his pre-match press conference, with all involved at Wolves fit and available. Darwin Nunez was also confirmed to be back in training and in contention following a hamstring complaint.

With the much changed side impressing at Molineux with their energy, intensity, defensive structure and control of the encounter, the manager is surely tempted to trust a number of them to go again tomorrow. Indeed he has hinted as much with his comments.

In goal, Alisson Becker will return in place of Kelleher. He’s been the Reds’ Player of the Season so far and will have to be at his best again here to thwart the Blues. It is quite astounding that the big Brazilian has now gone 8 matches without a clean sheet.

In fact he’s only managed four in 18 league matches this campaign, a far cry from the 20 shut outs he kept last season which landed him the Golden Glove award alongside compatriot Ederson. A clean sheet tomorrow would be very much welcome.

In defence, we could see the first sign of the gaffer rewarding Tuesday night’s back to basics display. Trent and Robbo will surely return in the fullback positions with Milner and Tsimikas making way. In the heart of the defence however, we could see Konaté partnered by Gomez once again.

Joel Matip has been underwhelming lately, with the manager demonstrating his displeasure by taking him off in the shambles at Brighton. Gomez didn’t endear himself when he came on either, with Danny Welbeck taking liberties with him.

A much improved display by the 25 year old at Wolves could have seen him play his way into the side. This would see him line up on the left, with Ibou on the right. The Frenchman seems to have recovered from a brief rough patch upon his return to the side and his pace and power will be key to covering for Trent.

The midfield selection is the one everyone is keeping a keen eye on. Let’s be frank, Fabinho and Henderson have been way off the levels required for huge parts of this campaign. There’s no dressing it up. The manager took a ‘play your way into form’ approach but that hasn’t worked.

Fabinho especially seems devoid of the energy and drive that saw him snap into tackles non-stop in his pomp. He’s now half a second slower and as such, opponents are able to escape the midfield press and just cut through to the defence.

Henderson meanwhile looks to have lost the engine that made him the beating heart of this Liverpool side. This is no slight on him either, he’s put in a whole lot of hard yards over the years under the manager’s high intensity style. It was bound to take its toll at some point.

The performance of the Bajcetic – Keita – Thiago triumvirate last time out has handed the manager a right old selection headache. 18 year old Stefan Bajcetic drew praise with his dominant display at the base of the midfield, with many suggesting he had put himself in contention to start against Chelsea.

The manager has confirmed as much himself, and that’s before thinking of Naby Keita who also reminded a few of his qualities when in full flow. Naby’s injury record is well known, but when fit, he’s more often than not a viable option.

Is the manager willing to drop both his anchor and skipper? Is Bajcetic ready for his first Premier League start? There’s also Harvey Elliott who ran himself into the ground after scoring a screamer. Does he drop back into midfield after a confidence boosting outing as a forward?

Loads of questions for Klopp to grapple with. I reckon he will only make up his mind on the day of the game. Upfront, it’s more straightforward. The returning Darwin Nunez will go straight back into the lineup if he’s fit enough. He will be flanked by Mohamed Salah and new boy Cody Gakpo.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Gomez, Robertson, Bajcetic, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Matip, Tsimikas, Milner, Fabinho, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carvalho, Elliott.



Following the gritty win at Wolves that reminded us all what this side should look like in terms of intensity, Liverpool now turn attentions towards a floundering Premier League campaign. The Reds host fellow strugglers Chelsea on Saturday (12:30pm GMT). Here’s a preview of the game.

It was a much better showing in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, with a much changed side fighting its way over the line to seal qualification for the fourth round after a Harvey Elliott stunner early in the first half. That victory and performance could serve as a springboard for what’s to come.

It has to really, with Jürgen Klopp’s men facing some huge fixtures in the coming weeks. The next four opponents at Anfield reads: Chelsea, Everton, Real Madrid and Manchester United. If this campaign is to be salvaged, we must see an uptick in form when the Blues visit on Saturday.

It has been an almighty drop off for both sides since the keenly contested League Cup and FA Cup finals last season. Chelsea won the UEFA Super Cup in August before taking the Reds to the wire in both Cup competitions, losing out on penalties.

Thomas Tuchel outfit threatened to make it a three horse race for the Premier League title in the early months of the campaign before falling away and finishing in third place. The upheaval at the club as Roman Abramovic was forced to sell certainly didn’t help.

New owners came in and it looked like a fresh start was afoot. The manager was backed to the tune of £250m as several big name players were signed. Six league games later, the German who had led the club to Champions League triumph a year earlier, was sacked.

Todd Boehly, intent on a hands on approach to running the club, appointed Graham Potter from Brighton. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Englishman. After winning each of his first three league games (and staying unbeaten in his first five), he’s lost five of the subsequent seven.

The only victories in that time have come at home to promoted Bournemouth and Fulham. Chelsea have only managed six goals in their last eight. They simply aren’t creating or scoring anywhere near enough. They are bottom half in the league for big chances created (26), xG (22.5) and actual goals scored (22).

They have tried to remedy that by going big again this window. About £150million has been spent to bring in Joao Felix (on loan), Mykhailo Mudryk (who could make his debut at Anfield), Fofana, Santos etc, not to mention further defensive reinforcement in Badiashile.

Both sides are coming off the back of confidence boosting 1-0 victories, but a victory on Saturday could truly reignite the season. In this battle of the underperforming giants, the side that makes the fewer errors will come out on top.

Klopp boasts an impressive record against Chelsea. In his time at the helm on Merseyside, he’s come up against the Londoners on 19 separate occasions across all competitions. His side have won nine of those meetings (including penalty shootouts), drawing six times and losing just four.

In the league last season, both meetings ended in a stalemate (1-1 at Anfield & 2-2 at Stamford Bridge). That game at Anfield seems a lifetime ago. Chelsea, who were defending champions of Europe at the time, held out for a draw despite playing the entire second half with ten men following a Reece James sending off.

Another draw here will see the two sides fall even further off the pace. They’re level on points at the minute, locked in 9th and 10th place, 10 points off Newcastle United in fourth. You can’t help but feel whichever side loses here will have to write off the season and start planning towards the next.

Team News

For Liverpool, Van Dijk (hamstring), Firmino (calf), Arthur (thigh), Jota (calf) and Diaz (knee) remain absent. Darwin Nunez meanwhile is expected back in training today having missed the last two games with a hamstring complaint. Should he get through the sessions unscathed, he will be in contention to play.

Chelsea have an injury list that even surpasses their hosts. Fofana (knee), Sterling (hamstring), Mendy (finger), Zakaria (thigh), Pulisic (knee) and Broja (knee) are all out injured. Joao Felix is also suspended following his sending off at Fulham on his debut.

The trio of Reece James, Ben Chilwell and N’golo Kante returned to training yesterday following prolonged spells on the sidelines. They are unlikely to be rushed back here and could sit this one out.



Liverpool eked out a deserved 1-0 win over Wolves to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup. A stunning Harvey Elliott strike after 13 minutes was enough after a gritty display that saw a first clean sheet in ages it seems. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Kelleher – 6.5

Wasn’t troubled much. Faced the one shot on target and that was a tame Cunha header late on. He was calm in possession and strong in the air when he had to come and claim. Clean sheet.

Milner 8

The 37 year old was rock solid at right back, completely dominating Ait-Nouri. What a fantastic servant he continues to be! This was his first game back since picking up a hamstring injury at City in the EFL Cup but you wouldn’t know it watching him play tonight.

Konaté – 9

He’s growing in stature by the game in Virgil’s absence. He was key to the clean sheet as he kept the backdoor shut and won some huge headers when they rallied late on. Hopefully he stays fit.

Gomez – 9

Assured at the back tonight. Had a lot to do as the left sided centre back, utilising his pace to ensure Traore wouldn’t cause any damage the few times he got away from Tsimikas. He switched to right back second half and was as solid as Milner was. A crucial goalline block denied Jimenez an equaliser.

Tsimikas – 8

Defensively he was outstanding. He kept Traore under wraps pretty much all game. He tired late on and the Spaniard was able to get a few dangerous crosses in as a result. Going forward he could have offered more. He kept crossing when the better option would have been a pass inside. Superb defensive display though.

Bajcetic – 9

Was quick on the scene whenever Wolves threatened to break through in midfield. Got stuck in and won his challenges. He has a lovely pirouette on him and is really good on the ball. It was refreshing to see a defensive midfield performance of such quality. He completely dominated Nunes who came on at the break. Struggled with cramps after 70 and was subbed.

Keita – 7.5

Battled well all game. Was part of a midfield three that exuded energy. He played quite a few through balls when the chance presented itself. Poor effort from range when he had time to pick his head up. Also tired late on and looked slow chasing a ball in behind. He kept at it though and helped the team fight to get the result over the line.

Thiago 9

Absolutely ran the show. It’s amazing how much difference it makes to have two runners next to him. He won his duels and got out of the tightest of spaces when he received the ball. He got the assist for the winning goal as well. Took one for the team when they threatened a counter. Won the ball back well and was energetic in the press. Rested late on.

Elliott 9

Back in his more natural position and he shone here. He broke the deadlock with a dipping shot from range that left Jose Sa clutching at thin air. He worked his socks off tonight. Won a tackle on Podence on the touchline in injury time and jubilated like he’d just scored again. He’s taken a lot of flak recently but the kid hasn’t hid. Man of the Match performance tonight.

Gakpo 6

Ran the channels and put in the effort up top. It was lonely at times but he kept plugging away. He went close with a strike inside the box but completely lashed at one effort second half. Not the easiest of starts to his Liverpool career having to play out of position in a team trying to find it’s way.

Carvalho 7

First half he was bright as a button. Created a couple of chances and was unlucky to see a tidy finish chalked off for offside. What I loved about his performance was the graft. He pressured Lembikisa into so many unforced errors that Lopetegui had to take him off at the break. He made a lot of intelligent runs that weren’t picked up by teammates but that understanding will come with time. Helped Tsimikas out defensively.


Phillips – 6

Came on for just his fifth appearance of the season. Made a crucial clearance when he headed Ait-Nouri’s cross clear with Jimenez lurking. Almost cost the side when his weak clearance from a cross fell straight to Cunha.


One attempted through ball to Salah was poor. Almost made the game safe when he shot across the face of goal after standing his man up and breezing past him. Showed good feet to keep the ball under some pressure. Was sensible in possession bar one poor giveaway.

Salah – 6

Came on to play through the middle. Had to feed on scraps really, with aeriel duels against Toti and Collins not really his strongest suit. Combined well with Doak down the right but couldn’t really hold it up. His touch has been questionable of late.

Fabinho – 6

On for the cramped Bajcetic. Made a superb block on Cunha after Phillips’ error. Helped see it over the line.

Doak – 6

The youngster continues to impress (when used in his natural position). He almost teed up Salah for a tap in with a cross from the right wing. His intelligence to just keep possession late on rather than drive at defenders showed real maturity. Not something you’d attribute with a 17 year old winger.

Jürgen Klopp

The manager made eight changes to the side that got battered at Brighton. He went with youthful energy in the likes of Bajcetic, Elliott and Carvalho and was rewarded with a performance more akin to the Liverpool we know (in terms of the press, defensive structure and control of the game).

The changes were made on time and sought to strengthen us further as the game wore on (even though we lost control when Thiago and Bajcetic. It was a performance full of fight (something the side has failed to show recently). Well earned victory. Hopefully something to build on.



Liverpool travel to the Molineux stadium tomorrow night (19:45 GMT kickoff), as they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in a third round FA Cup replay. Here’s how the Reds could line up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

Jürgen Klopp confirmed he will make changes to his side when he sat down with reporters for his pre-match press conference. In terms of team news, James Milner and Stefan Bajcetic have trained fully whilst Darwin Nunez is said to be “close”.

It will be a tricky act trying to balance making those changes and ensuring it’s still a strong enough team to compete. Spots are up for grabs in what is an underperforming team, so hopefully those who step in make their case with strong displays.

In goal, Alisson Becker is expected to start again. This is despite talented number two Caomhin Kelleher making just two appearances this campaign. It is a curious bit of man management by Klopp in a season full of them unfortunately.

In defence, we could see at least two changes, with Konaté and Robertson both making way. Calvin Ramsay has been rarely spotted since joining in the summer. He was last seen playing for the U21s where he got himself sent off in the first half.

It doesn’t look like he is ready to step in, and as such the manager could opt to retain Alexander-Arnold. Joe Gomez, who was shambolic off the bench against Brighton, will likely get a start here alongside Joel Matip. Tsimikas would then slot in for Robbo on the left.

It is in midfield that fresh legs are needed the most. The returning duo of Bajcetic and Milner could both be handed starts in the engine room, with Naby Keita completing the trio. Keita has yet to start a single game this campaign, and that’s despite being fully fit since the resumption of club football.

The Reds have been outworked and outplayed in midfield way too many times this season, with Wolves enjoying so much space through the middle at Anfield. It will be up to this trio to stake a claim for more minutes by putting up more of a fight than the first choice trio have mustered.

It is tough to call what the manager will do with his frontline. He has only two senior attackers fit and could be looking to hand Mohamed Salah a breather. The Egyptian hasn’t looked himself in recent weeks and has performed rather poorly truth be told.

With Darwin Nunez unlikely to be fit enough to start, we could see January signing Cody Gakpo handed another go here. The Dutchman had the thankless task of leading the line at Brighton and recorded the least touches of any player to play the full game (25).

He will be hoping for more of an involvement here to show what he’s all about. It’s been tremendously difficult for him to shine in a team as dysfunctional as this. He will have to start through the middle once again. Alongside him, we could see Fabio Carvalho get his first minutes since being hooked off at halftime at the Etihad.

The 20 year old has been constantly overlooked, with all of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Elliott and even young Ben Doak played out of position on the left wing when he’s been available. It’s still not clear what he did wrong in his last appearance where he netted against City.

The manager was asked why the promising talent has seen so few minutes since the defeat in the EFL Cup and claimed it was all down to “sports reasons”. It is another bit of the curious man management I spoke about earlier.

Hopefully Carvalho is finally handed a start here, it will then be up to him to channel that frustration he must surely be feeling into an impressive output on the pitch. On the right wing, the manager has the option of the raw and exciting talent that is Ben Doak.

The 18 year old was handed the final 25 or so minutes against Brighton. He’s caught the eye everytime he’s played but couldn’t really get into the game at the Amex. It might not be the worst idea in the world to not give him too much too soon.

More cameos off the bench against tired legs could be no bad thing. Harvey Elliott could start on the right wing instead. He’s another who has struggled in midfield lately so why not push him further forward into his more natural position?

He will be free to focus on the attacking side of his game without worrying too much about tracking runners in midfield. He’s capable of slicing defences open when he gets his head up to pick a pass. He enjoys good understanding with Carvalho and could combine well with Gakpo.

That makes it a total of seven alterations to the side that got swept aside by Brighton. The players must first of all be up for the fight tomorrow night. Show a bit of passion and heart to match Wolves and then hope for the quality to shine through in the end.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Keita, Milner, Elliott, Gakpo, Carvalho.

Subs: Kelleher, Ramsay, Konaté, Phillips, Thiago, Henderson, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Doak.



Following the humiliation at Brighton, Jürgen Klopp and his men travel to Molineux seeking to put Wolves away at the second time of asking, after Julen Lopetegui’s men earned a replay last week. Here’s the match preview. 

It’s a truly tough time to be a red at the moment. It’s been a culture shock to go from challenging on all fronts till the final day of last season, to sitting mid-table in the Premier League and already out of the EFL Cup in the middle of January.

The worst part about getting played off the park by Brighton on Saturday was the fact that we could all see it coming from a mile away. Not many of a red persuasion expected three points pre-game and that’s telling. That is the major concern at the minute.

We’ve suffered dips under this manager before, but this feels different. This isn’t akin to the 2020/21 season where all the senior centre backs at the club suffered season ending injuries. This isn’t anything like the inconsistent first half of last season that left us 12 points behind Manchester City in January.

This slump runs deeper than just a loss of form or a run of bad luck and poor results. A midfield problem that has been allowed to get chronic seems to have sucked the life out of every department, with the defense all over the shop, and the attack not covering itself in glory either.

The manager has been left to look less than stellar as he’s so far been unable to find a solution. The performances keep getting worse by the week. It is unfathomable just how far we’ve dropped off after the training camp in Dubai.

Klopp has prided himself over the years in finding solutions on the training pitch. At the minute it’s hard to see it happening. Whether that’s a case of players no longer being able to carry out his instructions or more ominously no longer responding to his methods is up for debate.

Whatever it may be, it needs sorting out and quick. He seems to have made it clear that there will be no further incomings to boost an out of service midfield. It is therefore up to him and the coaching staff to utilise the options available to salvage the campaign.

He’s done it before, with the unlikely centre back duo of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams seeing the side to a respectable third place finish in the aforementioned 2020/21 season. The Reds are sinking fast, and a turnaround in fortunes is desperately needed.

Wolves on Tuesday night is a chance to show a response. With kickoff barely 75 hours after the final whistle at the Amex stadium, there could be a few changes to the side. That would be no bad thing as several of the mainstays have been off the boil for a while now.

Wolves meanwhile will be in bouyant mood as their improvement under their Spanish boss continues. Following the impressive display at Anfield (where they felt somewhat robbed of a victory), they managed to climb out of the relegation places with a crucial home win over fellow strugglers West Ham.

They will definitely have a go, with full confidence that they can progress. Wolves have knocked the Reds out of the FA Cup in each of their last two meetings in the competition (2017 & 2019). Liverpool will have to show serious improvement on recent displays to avoid an unwanted hat trick.

The reward for winning this tie is a fourth round trip to Brighton. I’m not sure the Reds want to see the Amex Stadium again for a while, but what better way to show signs of recovery than to knock out Wolves and go back to the scene of Saturday’s embarrassment and put things right?

The Reds away record this campaign doesn’t instill confidence however. They’ve only managed four away wins in all competitions. With the FA Cup remaining the most realistic trophy available to the side, they must turn around their away day blues to remain in the competition.

Team News

For Liverpool, Firmino (calf), Van Dijk (hamstring), Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh) and Luis Diaz (knee) remain out. James Milner is available after overcoming a hamstring complaint but Darwin Nunez will be assessed ahead of the game after missing the trip to Brighton.

For Wolves, Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (knee) and Chiquinho (knee) are long term absentees. Midfielder Boubacar Traore remains on the sidelines with a muscle injury but Diego Costa is expected to be fit. New signing Mario Lemina could be handed his full debut.



Liverpool were played off the park today as Brighton romped to a well deserved 3-0 victory. A brace from Solly March and a late Welbeck goal took the Seagulls above the Reds in the table. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 4

Off his line quickly to head clear a number of through balls over the top. Made a number of saves.

Alexander-Arnold 1.5

Cleared one off the line early on and showed great recovery to save a two on one counter first half. Second half he was poor, allowing Mitoma dance past him over and over again. He did create a big chance going forward, with a lovely cross finding Oxlade-Chamberlain six yards from goal.

Matip – 0

All over the place. Gave the ball away for one of their goals.

Konaté – 4.5

Came over to deal with Mitoma a lot early on. Shows you just how poor his partner was. Probably the best defender in red today. Big leap to get an effort on target deep into stoppage time.

Robertson – 0

Dreadful. Solly March tore him a new one. Offered nothing going forward.

Fabinho – 0

Should have been dropped months ago.

Henderson – 0

Kept hoofing the ball up in the air under no pressure. Brighton just played round him. It was too easy.

Thiago 0

Played behind the front two first half and was anonymous. Dropped back into his natural role deep in midfield and was not as woeful. Stopped Mitoma with a big tackle in the box late on.

Salah 0

He’s the big name, the leader in attack. Played like anything but. Terrible first touch throughout. Pocketed by Estupinan and Colwill.

Gakpo 2

Hard to make your Premier League debut amongst this shower of mediocrity. Grafted and went close once or twice.

Oxlade-Chamberlain 0

Was ducking out of challenges. Do you blame him? An injury means he probably won’t get that big contract at a new club this summer.


Gomez – 0

Came on and managed to play worse than Matip. I firmly believe he’s never going to get back to his pre-injury form in the title winning season. Turned inside out by Welbeck for his goal and again late on when Alisson had to make the save.

Elliott – 0

What’s the point? Great chance to pull one back and he stabbed it pitifully wide. Gave the ball away loads.

Keita – 0

Gave away loads of fouls. Found Elliott in the box for his chance. Overhit one down the line for Gakpo.

Doak – 0

Played out of position on the left wing with Carvalho on the bench. At this point Fabio just needs to hand in a transfer request. Doak looked out of his depth. Not his fault though. He’s the least experienced member of the squad. This result is on his senior colleagues.

Jürgen Klopp

This was embarrassing today. Brighton had the ‘oles’ out late on. The manager has allowed the wonderful team of mentality monsters he built to slowly disintegrate into this spineless show of ineptitude. His management of Fabio Carvalho is curious as well.

The 20 year old won’t solve all the problems but to constantly overlook him like this screams of something going wrong behind the scenes. The manager’s loyalty to certain underperforming players continues to bemuse. There are more than a few who could have been binned long ago but keep starting every week.



Liverpool travel to the Amex stadium tomorrow afternoon (3pm GMT kickoff), as they take on Brighton and Hove Albion. Here’s how the Reds could line up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

Jürgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Darwin Nunez is unlikely to be available having missed training all week owing to a hamstring complaint. That comes with the news that Roberto Firmino is still out and not even close to a return to training.

It’s a double whammy that leaves the gaffer without four forwards. Elsewhere, James Milner has resumed training and is set for a return to the matchday squad. With Van Dijk, Arthur, Jota and Diaz still out, the manager’s options are limited.

In goal, Alisson Becker will be aiming to put the Wolves clanger behind him quickly. The Brazilian has been the Reds’ best player in what has been a tough campaign thus far, and the last thing they need is for him to suffer a dip in form.

Ahead of him in defence, there’s an argument to be made for one change to the back four that started against Wolves last time out. Alexander-Arnold and Robertson will line up in the fullback positions whilst Konaté might lose his place as Matip’s partner.

It’s been an underwhelming return to action for the Frenchman following his World Cup exploits. He was woeful against Brentford where he scored an own goal for the first goal and made an error for the third. He followed that performance with a shaky display against Wolves and was especially culpable for their second.

Gomez could come in for him as a result. The Englishman himself has endured a topsy turvy season. He’s had some brilliant performances and some not so brilliant displays. He’s already played 21 times this campaign and will be hoping to establish himself in Virgil’s absence.

The midfield has garnered a lot of unwanted attention this season so how the manager shapes them up tomorrow will be interesting to say the least. He bemoaned a lack of bite in the challenge against Wolves as Lopetegui’s men constantly cut through the Reds.

This could see Naby Keita handed his first start of the season. Fabinho was dreadful last time out and has been for most of this campaign, but with no real alternative, he will start again. Thiago will then complete the trio. He’s been the best of a bad bunch.

The skipper will likely be left out, but his energy from the bench second half could be needed to get a result over the line. The manager can of course change shape. The shortage of forwards could see him return to the 4-4-2 system we saw prior to the World Cup.

That is probably fanciful thinking however. The German has been loathe to deviate from his approach, even with the decline of his midfielders. It would thus be no surprise to see the 4-3-3 rolled out once more.

Up top, Salah will line up on the right as usual. In Darwin’s absence, new signing Cody Gakpo will see his versatility tested early doors. After playing on the left wing against Wolves, he will be expected to play through the middle tomorrow.

It is a position he has played before but he will be directly up against Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster. It is not the easiest introduction to the top flight and Gakpo will have to sink or swim. On the left wing, the manager will in all likelihood opt for Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Klopp has preferred the 29 year old over Carvalho in that left wing position for some reason. With all due respect to the former Arsenal man, we shouldn’t be in a position in 2023 where he’s starting league games in attack. This underlines a lot of the frustration the fanbase have.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson, Fabinho, Keita, Thiago, Salah, Gakpo, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Subs: Kelleher, Konaté, Tsimikas, Milner, Henderson, Jones, Elliott, Carvalho, Doak.



Liverpool travel to Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday (3pm GMT kickoff), as they return to Premier League action. The Reds were last in action last Saturday when they were held to a frustrating draw by Wolves who forced a third round replay. Here’s the match preview. 

That performance against Julen Lopetegui’s outfit was once again symptomatic of the issues that have dogged this Liverpool side all season. Individual errors and a distinct lack of energy in midfield were once again the story of the day as a rotated Wolves side more than held their own at Anfield.

The manager had previously defended his midfielders, citing a general team issue instead of a midfield one. His tone changed after that display however as he bemoaned a lack of challenges in the middle of the park.

Klopp: “But for the whole game I thought we didn’t win enough challenges, to be honest. There are a lot of situations where I thought they win a challenge and all of sudden we are completely open.”

“We had two or three players in the challenge moving to the ball and when you are there, fine, you have to win the ball. If you don’t do that and they can get out then it looks like, ‘Where are they?'”

With no sign of further incomings in the transfer window and no sign of the manager changing a style that has brought him so much success, we are left with hoping the incumbent find hidden reserves of energy.

With the amount of minutes Fabinho and Henderson especially have chalked up in recent years playing Klopp’s intense style, that is very unlikely. The only other hope is for others who have not previously been first choice to stake a claim in the side and offer the side an energy boost.

Naby Keita has come off the bench in each of the last five games and has done just that. Oxlade-Chamberlain meanwhile has been pressed into action on the left wing. He’s got the pace and energy to cover the pitch quicker than most in midfield. Whether Klopp still trusts either of them to start in midfield remains to be seen.

Naby Keita hasn’t started a Premier League game for eight months (admittedly injuries haven’t helped) whilst Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t started in midfield since a 3-1 win over Norwich City eleven months ago. They are both out of contract in a couple of months but whilst they remain on the books, should be of use.

Energy in midfield will be needed on Saturday as Brighton boast the enviable trio of rumoured Liverpool target Moises Caicedo, World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and wily old fox Pascal Gross. Liverpool old boy Adam Lallana is fit and could as well feature.

In the reverse fixture, Belgian forward Leandro Trossard was devastating, netting a hat trick in a 3-3 draw. That result and display wasn’t an outlier either. Already this campaign, they’ve won at Old Trafford, held Newcastle, thrashed Chelsea and knocked Arsenal out of the EFL Cup.

The Seagulls have been excellent all campaign. They currently sit 8th in the table, just a point behind the Reds. They’re coming off the back of two goalfests; a 4-1 victory at Goodison Park and a 5-1 hammering of Middlesbourough in the FA Cup.

They haven’t been invincible at home however, with only four teams in the division managing fewer than their tally of three home league victories. Ironically, Jürgen Klopp’s men have been woeful away from home in the league this season.

The Reds have only managed two wins on the road. With several rivals going head to head in the next fortnight, there is a real chance to climb up the table. Victory here would definitely see ground gained on at least two of the top five teams in the table.

It’s difficult to predict a Liverpool victory of late though. For a side that was two results away from winning the quadruple seven months ago, it’s been a real fall from the standards we’ve become accustomed to. They’ve conceded the first goal in 14 of the 27 matches they’ve played this season.

That just isn’t good enough. The side is constantly fighting an uphill battle after gifting opponents a headstart. The manager would have had a week on the training ground by the time this fixture comes around. Hopefully we see the result on the pitch.

Since winning each of his first six meetings against Brighton, Jürgen Klopp’s record against the Seagulls has taken a nosedive in recent campaigns. The Reds have managed only one win in the last five, with that sole victory coming in a 2-0 win at Amex where a brave Diaz header opened the scoring.

Make no mistake this will be a tough battle. If the Reds don’t show any signs of improvement on recent displays, Brighton will have a field day. If the Reds can match the Seagulls for intensity and effort however, then their superior quality should tell in the end.

Team News

For Liverpool, Van Dijk (hamstring), Jota (calf), Arthur (thigh) and Luis Diaz (knee) are all out. Roberto Firmino has yet to resume training following a calf injury but James Milner is back fit after overcoming a hamstring injury. Darwin Nunez is reportedly suffering with a ‘minor injury’ but has yet to be ruled out.

For Roberto De Zerbi, Jakub Moder is a long term injury absentee. Leandro Trossard meanwhile has been dropped from the first team squad as a result of “poor attitude”.



Liverpool once again served up a worrying display at Anfield as they failed to put away a rotated Wolves side. Guedes capitalised on a terrible Alisson error before Darwin equalised late first half. Salah scored in the second half but substitute Hwang sealed a replay. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 4.5

Silly error to give Wolves a headstart. He could clearly see Guedes so why he still tried to pick a pass that close to him (minutes after the Portuguese had almost scored from intercepting a lazy Matip pass) I’ll never know. Made good saves from Guedes and Ait-Nouri and was quick off his line to sweep up and deny Traore. Could have done better for the second.

Alexander-Arnold 6

Wasteful early on with his passing but pulled out an absolutely unreal pass for the equaliser. Played a few more jaw dropping passes second half. Defended well when thwarting a counter on the edge of his own box.

Matip – 4.5

Not assertive enough for a man of his size. Almost gifted Guedes an early goal with a lazy pass. Strode out from the back but gave the ball away a fair bit. The most experienced player in a shaky backline tonight. Showed zero leadership. Should have headed a delicious Trent delivery but instead stuck out a leg out at it.

Konaté – 3

Error prone. Handed Wolves a cheap corner early on. The second goal came from him giving the ball away twice under no real pressure, and then he failed to get enough on the clearance. Wasted good openings from set pieces. Didn’t learn anything from Mbeumo’s goal as he again went down too easily and allowed Troare bear down on goal. Luckily Alisson was there to bail him out.

Robertson – 5

Loads of energy but little quality on the final ball. Combined well with Gakpo early on but wasn’t as influential as the game grew.

Fabinho – 3

Woeful yet again. Ait-Nouri kept waltzing past him like he wasn’t even there. He’s fallen off a cliff this season and needs dropping in all honesty. There’s no real options however so he’ll continue to start week in, week out.

Henderson – 4.5

A passenger first half. Poor hooked cross went straight out of play. Ait-Nouri and Ruben Neves breezed past him a number of times as well in midfield. Second half there was an improvement as he provided a foil for Salah on the right.

Thiago 4.5

He gets away with murder because he looks classy on the ball. He was absolutely woeful first half. Hodge constantly harassed him out of possession, with one such turnover indirectly leading to the opener. Second half he improved slightly but still wasn’t good enough on the night. Didn’t offer any control and was constantly left for dead when they broke.

Salah 6.5

Started brightly but soon faded. Took his goal really well when Toti’s header fell to him in the box. Was far too greedy on a few counter attacks with Gakpo free on the left. Tried to take on one too many men. Subbed off late on.

Gakpo 6

Registered the side’s first shot on target with a fierce drive straight down the keeper’s throat. Showed some lovely control and balance. His chipped pass found Salah for the second goal (via the head of Toti). Could have been played through by Salah on a number of occasions when he was free on the left. Battled well against Traore.

Darwin 7

Wasn’t given much service first half. He had to pull wide to get involved. He brought the side level with his first sight of goal, steering Trent’s pass into the bottom corner with a first time finish. He deserved that goal. Second half he showed lots of heart but wasn’t presented with any real chances. Lovely exchange of passes with Robbo down the left wing, with his cross finding Salah who should have done better.


Keita – 5.5

Offered a real boost in the middle of the park for about 15 minutes. He got on the ball and found line breaking passes. He won it back well too and helped ramp up the pressure on Wolves. Final 10 or so minutes he kept giving it away. Jekyll and Hyde.

Elliott – 5

Almost caught in possession with his very first touch, a collective ‘man on’ shout from the crowd helped him out. Found half a yard to swing in crosses but kept hitting the first man. Won the ball back well when Doak lost it.

Gomez – 5.5

Offered an option on the overlap and saw a few crosses cleared.

Oxlade-Chamberlain – 0

What has Fabio Carvalho done wrong? Since scoring at Etihad (where he was hooked at halftime) he hasn’t been handed a single minute. Ox came on ahead of him here on the left wing. He was dreadful, gage it away almost every time he touched it. Put one ball straight over the head of Doak and into touch. Why is he getting minutes over a promising talent like Carvalho?

Doak – 6

The brightest player in red on the night. Only one who wasn’t scared to run at a man and beat him. Unlucky with a right footed strike from just inside the box.

Jürgen Klopp

Went as strong as possible but again his side conceded the first goal. I thought for sure we’d see halftime changes because some of the performances first half were bordering on embarrassing. He kept the same team and was repaid when Salah edged the side infront.

Wolves made changes on the hour mark and changed the flow of the game. Klopp was too late to react and Lopetegui’s men found an equaliser. They almost found a winner as well but for a favourable VAR call. His management of Fabio Carvalho since the youngster scored at City remains baffling.

He can bury his head in the sand all he wants about his midfield but they will keep getting overrun. The defence will keep making mistakes as they’re getting overexposed, and every match will be an end to end affair with zero control. Now he has a replay to fit into the schedule.



Liverpool are back in action tomorrow night when they welcome Julen Lopetegui’s Wolves side to Anfield for an 8pm (GMT) kickoff. The Reds are aiming to progress to the fourth round as the defence of their FA Cup trophy begins. Here’s the predicted lineup for the encounter.

For a match preview, you can head over here.

Jürgen Klopp in his pre-match press conference confirmed Virgil Van Dijk is now out for over a month with the hamstring injury he sustained against Brentford. Skipper Jordan Henderson is however back after suffering a concussion.

New signing Cody Gakpo has trained with his new teammates for two days and is looking sharp according to the gaffer. He could be part of a strong starting XI, with Jürgen confirming he will go strong due to how the scheduling has worked out.

The Reds will enjoy a full week between games from now till the middle of next month. This should allow for more time on the training pitch (although cynics may say the Reds didn’t show much improvement following their training camp in Dubai).

It should at least see the load lightened on a squad that is already stretched thin. The only real head scratcher the manager faces in picking a lineup for tomorrow is who starts in goal. Kelleher deserves all the minutes in both Cup competitions but Alisson was preferred in the FA Cup last season.

Despite the Reds exiting the EFL Cup early this campaign, the manager has insisted Alisson is his pick for the FA Cup. The Brazilian has been overworked this campaign (he’s already equalled his total number of Premier League saves from the title winning season) but will be hoping for a first clean sheet in six games.

In defence, we can expect Alexander-Arnold and Robertson to start at full back. With Van Dijk now out for a while, Matip and Konaté will likely be handed another opportunity to work on their fledgling partnership. 

In midfield, the first choice trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago will in all likelihood start together. There isn’t a lot of alternatives to be honest. Keita has had a few bright cameos lately but was not pictured in training yesterday whilst Elliott needs time out of the firing line.

Curtis Jones just returned from injury and Milner seems to have yet to shake off his own injury. Stefan Bajcetic would have had this match pencilled in his diary as an opportunity to get another start under his belt but with the manager going strong, he can only hope for minutes off the bench.

Upfront, there is the tantalising prospect of watching Salah, Darwin and Gakpo start together for the very first time. With Jota and Diaz still some way off a return and Bobby Firmino still to resume training, this new trio could be the way forward for the next few weeks at least.

The manager was coy when pressed on Gakpo’s involvement from the start but I’m pretty sure he won’t be able to resist starting this new trio together despite the Dutch international only having a handful of training sessions under his belt.

It certainly beats the prospect of watching Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left wing once again that’s for sure.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konaté, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Darwin, Gakpo.

Subs: Kelleher, Ramsay, Gomez, Tsimikas, Bajcetic, Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carvalho, Elliott.



Following the woeful performance and defeat at Brentford, Liverpool now turn their attentions to the FA Cup. The Reds, holders of this competition having defeated Chelsea on penalties back in May, begin their defence at home to Wolves on Saturday night. Here’s a preview of the game.

Last season’s competition was a successful one for the Reds as they clinched their first FA Cup trophy since the 2006 final nicnkamed after Steven Gerrard. The Reds ended the 16 year wait by defeating Chelsea in similar fashion to the League Cup final success.

Unlike the League Cup, Jürgen Klopp went very strong with his lineups in the FA Cup. There were only five starts for Academy youngsters throughout the entire competition, with all five coming in the third round tie against Shrewsbury Town.

That could be the case again this time, especially with the Reds struggling this campaign. The side’s problems have been well documented and won’t get a rehashing here. Liverpool are already out of the Premier League title picture and have been knocked out of the EFL Cup by Manchester City.

The FA Cup and Champions League remain the only pieces of silverware achievable for the Reds at this point. It would be a shame to end the season ‘trophyless’. This side (despite it’s glaring issues) boast some of the best players in the world.

It is criminal to waste another season after the 2020/21 campaign where a centre back crisis saw the side end the season with no silverware. With the manager we’ve got, and the calibre of players at the club, the bare minimum should be a trophy a season.

With that being said, Wolves at Anfield on Saturday night needs to be manouvred with minimum fuss. Cody Gakpo is set for his debut as well, which should at least bring a level of excitement. It is a throwback to Virgil’s debut for the club five years ago in this competition.

More recently Luis Diaz also made his debut for the club in this competition, coming on as a second half substitute in the fourth round tie against Cardiff City last season. If Gakpo can have a similar impact on the Reds fortunes as the Colombian, the side will be better for it.

Opponents Wolves are enduring a harrowing campaign of their own. They sit 19th in the league table with relegation looking a real possibility. Bruno Lage was relieved of his duties as a result, with former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui hired to try and salvage the situation.

The Spaniard has overseen four games thus far, registering two wins a draw. Their sole defeat under the Spaniard was a close run thing. They held out against Manchester United till Marcus Rashford broke their resolve in the 76th minute.

Whether Lopetegui will pick his regulars is unclear as at now. He did go close to full strength against Gillingham in the EFL Cup last month but that was his maiden game in charge. Whatever side he picks, he will come up against a fired up Liverpool side.

Wolves don’t concede many goals (they’ve conceded only 5 league goals more than the Reds), but they tend not to score a lot either. Their tally of 11 goals scored is the worst in the entire division. This could be a fiery third round cup tie between two sides looking for better fortunes in a different competition.

Team News

January signing Cody Gakpo is set to make his Reds debut after his registration was finalised earlier this week. Roberto Firmino and James Milner meanwhile are still yet to return from respective calf and hamstring injuries.

Jordan Henderson was back in training today after missing the trip to Brentford with a concussion. Virgil Van Dijk is however ruled out with a hamstring injury picked up in the capital. Arthur Melo, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz remain long term absentees.

For Wolves, Chiquinho (cruciate ligament), Pedro Neto (ankle) and Sasa Kalajdzic (crucial ligament) are all out.



Liverpool were battered and bullied tonight as Brentford cruised to a 3-1 home victory. It could have been more, with the Bees seeing two goals chalked off by VAR first half. Here are player ratings from the encounter.

Alisson – 6

I feel sorry for him. It’s a joke of a defence that’s ahead of him. He’s having to bail the side out too many times. He did just that when Mbeumo went clean through on goal at 0-0. He faces a one on one every game. It’s beyond a joke. Was alert to push a cross away late on to prevent it being 4-1.

Alexander-Arnold 5.5

Last season their tactic was to outnumber him at the backpost and swing crosses in. They did just that for the second goal with Norgaard and Wissa both waiting for the cross. Wissa got to it and powered it home despite the best efforts of Alisson. How the Reds didn’t plan for that is on the coach. Trent provided a moment of quality second half with a superb left footed cross for Ox to nod home. He rushed his crosses after that.


Thought he defended well enough till late on when he was just too weak, allowing Mbeumo to send him sprawling before finishing past Alisson to seal the points. Unfortunate own goal first half as well. Not an easy return to action. He needs to keep his chin up.

Van Dijk – 4

All over the place at the back. Gave one ball away cheaply and Brentford countered with Mbeumo almost scoring at the backpost. He was burned for pace by Mbeumo around the halfway line, with Alisson coming to his rescue. The side was terrible defending set pieces and as the leader, he takes the flak. Subbed at halftime.

Tsimikas – 4

Should have scored when Ox found him at the backpost with a flick. He went near post when he should have been driving that ball far post. Gave it away loads. Didn’t offer the energy we’ve grown accustomed to on the left flank. Taken off at the break.

Fabinho – 5

Won a few challenges. Joined the attack to try and offer up an extra body against the deep lying defence. Gave it away at times second half but was part of a brief turnaround that threatened a comeback.

Elliott – 2.5

Seconds after a Brentford goal is disallowed, Alisson passes to him and for some reason he goes for a dummy. We had been under pressure and had gotten lucky to still be a goal down and he chose that moment to attempt a dummy in his own defensive third. No defending that performance. He’s a creative midfielder that doesn’t create enough. Found out tonight.

Thiago 6

First half he couldn’t really impose himself on proceedings, as he just moved the ball from side to side. Second half I felt he stamped himself on the game a lot more, forcing openings that weren’t there and finding passes that set us on the attack. Wonderful through ball to Darwin for his disallowed goal. Saw two shots charged down on the edge of the box.

Salah 5

A fantastic touch to bring down a long ball early on and then an exquisite through ball to Darwin. Was quiet thereafter. Played far too wide first half. Got closer to the goal second half and still couldn’t get into the game. Tried to deceive Raya at his near post but Mee deflected it behind.

Darwin 5

It’s getting hard to defend him. Yes he was unlucky to see his early effort cleared off the line after rounding the goalkeeper. Yes he was unlucky to have been adjudged just offside after he sprinted in behind and lobbed Raya. At what point does it go from rotten luck to just poor form? A shot from an angle late on was just embarrassing.

Oxlade-Chamberlain 5.5

Lovely backheel flick to present Tsimikas with a chance backpost. Was poor the rest of the half. Second half he was much better and scored with a pinpoint header.


Matip – 6

Added a bit of urgency with his runs upfield, causing several overloads. Defended well. Almost profited off Konaté’s knockdown in the box deep into stoppage time.

Robertson – 6

Brought a huge dose of energy, with his first involvement setting the tone of the second half. Thiago found him in space down the left and his cross was just cleared behind by Zanka with Darwin lurking. His set piece deliveries weren’t good enough though. Took control after their third goal and barked instructions at his teammates, including charging Matip and Konaté with striking roles. Halted one counter brilliantly as the last man.

Keita – 6

Brought a bit of calm to the midfield. Was assured in possession and didn’t give it away as much as Elliott. Dribbled through the middle a number of times and tried to thread the eye of the needle. Could have attempted a shot or two. Was caught in possession for the third.

Jones – N/A

He’s not played in a while. Surprised he came on when we needed a goal. Not like we didn’t have an attacker that had scored goals this season on the bench or anything like that. His touch was rusty, understandably. Combined with Trent on the left wing as the right back’s cross-shot was blocked on the line.

Jürgen Klopp

He picked Harvey Elliott ahead of Naby Keita again. I just don’t get it. Harvey struggled against Leicester, why throw the kid in again? Once again I’m left wondering what Carvalho has done wrong. He scored at the Etihad in his last appearance but was taken off at halftime and hasn’t featured since. Even a goal down he brings on Jones instead.

Away from the decisions, there are more pertinent issues. How is his side so vulnerable at the back? What is the plan against low block teams? Why is there no pressure on the ball when the opponents win it? What’s happened to ‘ New year but it’s the same old issues. The manager has a lot to work through.



Liverpool are in action again tonight when they travel to the Gtech Community Stadium to take on Thomas Frank’s impressive Brentford outfit. Here’s how the Reds could line up for the encounter. For a match preview, you can head over here.

It’s a short turnaround from Friday night’s hard fought comeback victory over Leicester City. This could well see Jürgen Klopp make a raft of changes to his side. There is bound to be injury enforced alterations as well, with a few struggling with knocks.

In goal, Alisson Becker is set to continue. The Brazilian has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of his last six league appearances. That is not all down to him though, with the setup infront of him being way too open at times this season.

Ahead of him in defence, there’s likely to be two changes to the backline. Joel Matip has started each of the last three in all competitions and is due a break before he breaks down. In his place will come the returning Ibrahima Konaté.

The 23 year old has yet to really get going for the club this season, making just the three starts thus far. The side won all three matches he’s started though and he will be hoping to build on the tremendous displays he exhibited at the World Cup with France.

At left back you’d expect Kostas Tsimikas to come in for Andy Robertson who suffered a dead leg against Leicester. The side has kept clean sheets in each of the ‘Greek Scouser’s last three starts so that’s a good omen.

In midfield, we should see Fabinho return to the lineup after missing the last game due to his wife being in labour. A huge congratulations to him and the missus is in order. Alongside him we can expect Naby Keita to start his first game of the season.

The manager has been carefully managing the Guinean since he returned to full fitness. He’s made cameos off the bench in each of the last three and is due a start here. He will likely take the place of Thiago Alcantara, with the Spaniard also due a breather.

Jordan Henderson will likely be asked to go again here to complete the midfield trio. The skipper was dreadful in the holding role on Friday night and will be hoping for a better level of performance tonight in his preferred right sided role.

Upfront, there is expected to be one alteration. Oxlade-Chamberlain has featured heavily in the last three games but should make way for the returning Roberto Firmino here. Ox has put in as solid a shift as can be expected but this should mark the end of him as a forward.

Bobby’s return could be key for the Reds in an attacking sense. It would see Darwin switch to the left wing where he could use his blistering pace to even more devastating effect whilst allowing for the Brazilian to weave his magic in linking up play between the midfield and the attack.

It would be a huge boost if Cody Gakpo’s registration went through in time as well. Having him as an option off the bench could be useful as Darwin and Salah have ran themselves into the ground over the past fortnight.

Predicted team:

Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Henderson, Keita, Salah, Firmino, Darwin.

Subs: Kelleher, Ramsay, Gomez, Matip, Bajcetic, Thiago, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carvalho, Gakpo.



Liverpool ended 2022 on a winning note after an unconvincing 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Anfield. 2023 kicks off with a tougher test in a trip to Thomas Frank’s in-form Brentford. Here’s the match preview. 

The Reds travel to the capital tomorrow night (17:30 GMT kickoff) on the back of a four game winning sequence. Spurs away, Southampton at home, Villa away and Leicester at home have seen twelve points garnered.

It may not have been pretty but it was effective. It is that time of the year where loads of teams will drop points so a significant winning run could see the table change drastically. Victory over Brendan Rodgers’ side, although not aesthetically pleasing, was crucial to keeping the momentum going.

It saw the Reds move to within four points of top four, cutting the gap by half since the resumption of league football following the World Cup break. Maintain this run and who knows where we’ll sit in the table in a few weeks time.

There needs to be an improvement on the level of performance if Brentford are to be turned over tomorrow night infront of their own fans. The Bees have only lost one home league game all season, that coming at the hands of runaway league leaders Arsenal back in September.

They are in fact unbeaten in their last five home and away, and have taken the scalps of Manchester United (4-0 at the Gtech Community Stadium) and Manchester City (2-1 at the Etihad) already this season. They’ve held Chelsea and Spurs to stalemates too and have proven themselves a tough nut to crack.

Thomas Frank’s men boast the joint fourth fewest defeats in the league so far (4 – level with Liverpool and Manchester United) and are enjoying a strong campaign. Star man Ivan Toney has been banging in the goals for fun.

In the corresponding fixture last season, a ding dong battle broke out between these two sides. Ethan Pinnock handed the home side the lead before Diogo Jota levelled before the break. Salah then struck in the second half but Janelt equalised shortly after.

Curtis Jones then belted one home from range to put the Reds ahead again, only for substitute Yoanne Wissa to pull it back level late on. It was a breathless encounter, with Ivan Toney tormenting the Liverpool defence throughout.

The self confessed Liverpool fan is on a roll this season. His tally of 12 league goals is only bettered by Harry Kane and Erling Haaland. He’s scored 11 goals in his last 12 appearances across all competitions. If he’s passed fit to start, expect him to be heavily involved once again.

The Reds will have to be way more clinical upfront than they’ve been recently if they’re to come away with the points. Darwin Nunez netted 7 goals in his last 10 appearances before the World Cup break and it looked for all intents and purposes that he had found his feet.

When he returned from the World Cup to net a brace off the bench against Milan in the Dubai Super Cup, it felt like he was ready to pick up where he left from. It hasn’t gone according to plan since though. He’s missed a whopping 8 big chances in the three games since the break.

Granted he has created most of these chances for himself with his blistering pace and intelligent movement, he still needs to be putting a few away. To not score a single goal from those chances is profligate and wasteful, which is a shame because his all round game deserves a couple of goals.

He has worked his socks off for the team but is stuck in a bit of a rut infront of goal at the minute, one not too dissimilar to the run he suffered after his sending off against Palace. He went six games without a goal before netting away at Arsenal. The goals seemed to flow after that. He badly needs one to go in right now.

If he can find that elusive goal and subsequently confidence boost, the Reds should be confident of claiming all three points. If not, it could be another long night. This should be a fantastic football match no matter what happens with both sides set to have a real go at each other.

Team News

Roberto Firmino is fit to return following a calf injury. There is no definitive word on the inclusion of new signing Cody Gakpo. It’s a race against the clock to get the paperwork through in time. Andy Robertson and Harvey Elliott meanwhile are doubts after picking up knocks last time out.

Curtis Jones remains out, with no real update on what type of injury he’s struggling with or how close he is to a return. James Milner you’d expect to miss out again as he struggles with a hamstring injury. The trio of Arthur Melo, Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz remain long term absentees.

For Brentford, Ivan Toney was stretchered off with a terrible looking knee injury at West Ham. It has since been revealed he avoided any real damage and could be back involved as soon as tomorrow night. Whether he is thrown straight back into the lineup remains to be seen.

Thomas Strakosha, Aaron Hickey, Kristoffer Ajer, Frank Onyeka and Aaron Hickey are all out with various injuries.



With the January transfer window officially opening today, it’s time to try and make sense of the tepid display at Anfield a few days ago and assess the glaring midfield issue. This team has put in one too many of those performances this season for it to be glossed over by the result.

They played well enough at Villa and said all the right things pre-match about looking forward to playing at Anfield under the lights for the first time in a while. Then barely four minutes into the match and Dewsbury-Hall is breaking through from midfield unchallenged, to slot past Alisson.

It marked the 13th time the Reds have conceded the first goal in a game this season and we’ve only played 24 matches! It also marked the 9th time we’ve conceded in the opening twenty minutes of a game this season.

It’s hard to fathom why this side is starting games half asleep. They’re better than that. All that before you come to the crux of the issue, a midfield that has frankly been left to rot. I saw Leicester’s lineup the other day and feared for our midfield.

Not because Ndidi, Soumare and Dewsbury-Hall were better than our lot, but simply because they would outrun us. I’ve seen teams do that to us so many times this season. The Liverpool midfield doesn’t have the same intensity/bite/energy it used to.

Part of it is by design as well, with Jürgen Klopp opting for more control through midfielders who possessed technical attributes. The arrival of Thiago and the conversion of Harvey Elliott kick-started that transition.

The departure of the workhorse that was Gini Wijnaldum also allowed for this new tweak to the engine room. At our best last season (as we chased the quadruple), there was a perfect balance/blend of intensity, aggression and control. It worked a treat. 

The preferred trio of Fabinho, Henderson and Thiago offered you that in abundance. For whatever reason (age, fatigue, injuries, decline etc), that balance seems to no longer be there. Too many teams are now able to play through our midfield and create chances at will.

How many times has Alisson had to face a one on one this season? On the flip side, the Reds aren’t able to exert any real level of control on games. The World Cup break was su