LONDON, Sept 15, 2018 (News Wires) - Liverpool continued their perfect start to the season to stay top of the Premier League after a goal in each half gave them a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Saturday.
Georginio Wijnaldum picked the perfect time to score his first away goal in the Premier League when he headed Liverpool into a 39th-minute lead, before Roberto Firmino steered home a second early in the second half to ensure Liverpool made it five wins from five.
In the time since Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat at Tottenham in October last year, they have had the best defensive record in the Premier League, having kept more clean sheets than any other team, but they were denied another in stoppage time by Erik Lamela.
Lamela’s goal from a tight angle was deemed a mere consolation, though, as Spurs slipped to consecutive league defeats for the first time since the final two games of the 2015-16 season, meaning they remain outside the top four.
LONDON, Sept 14, 2018 (News Wires) - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has dismissed claims that it is the perfect time to face Tottenham Hotspur because of injuries to key players and concern over striker Harry Kane’s form and freshness.
Kane, who won the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup with six goals, has started 61 matches in all competitions for club and country since the start of last season.
The England captain has been far from his best at the start of the new campaign and Klopp reckons the national team’s run to the World Cup semi-finals meant plenty of players were not afforded adequate recovery time.
“We all knew after the World Cup, especially when England went so far in the tournament they had no rest,” Klopp told Sky Sports ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League trip to Spurs Saturday.
“We all need rest. He (Kane) cannot get the rest match-wise but he will find his form, maybe at the weekend, he has already delivered, it’s not that he’s not in good shape.”
Tottenham will be without attacking midfielder Dele Alli and captain Hugo Lloris through injury.
Delays over the new stadium and a surprise defeat by Watford before the international break means Tottenham’s preparation for a game against Liverpool side boasting a 100 percent record so far has not been ideal.
But Klopp believes his team will be tested by Spurs, whose squad depth allows them to replace any player in the starting line-up.
“You go through the line-up of Tottenham and realise they can replace even Dele Alli, Lloris,” he added.
LIVERPOOL, September 13, 2018 (News Wires) - Liverpool will not have happy memories of their last visit to Wembley Stadium and will head south with a point to prove against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Eleven months ago Juergen Klopp's side were swept aside 4-1 by a rampant Tottenham leading to a bout of navel-gazing that, as it transpired, helped transform Liverpool's season.
The defensive lapses that undermined them that day were soon eradicated, the goals began to flow and with the addition of central defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton in January, Liverpool became a force to be reckoned with.
The damage had already been done though and, just like every other contender, they never got anywhere near a Manchester City side that strolled to the Premier League title.
They did reach the Champions League final and have continued the momentum into the new campaign, topping the table with four wins from four, scoring nine goals and conceding one.
Tottenham began with three wins but slipped up in their last game before the international break, losing 2-1 at Watford who are surprise joint-leaders.
Early in the season it may be, but the lunchtime clash will offer a pointer as to which club can push on and make a credible challenge to a City side who host Fulham.
Tottenham's starting line-up will be similar to the one that started last year's fixture after the London club bucked the trend by spending nothing in the transfer window.
Liverpool, on the other hand, splashed out in the region of 160 million pounds ($209 million) on the likes of Naby Keita, versatile Brazilian Fabinho, Brazil keeper Alisson and Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri from relegated Stoke City.
The Merseysiders have lost only one of their last 11 Premier League meetings against Tottenham but were also frustrated by them in a 2-2 draw at Anfield last season when Harry Kane scored a last-gasp penalty equaliser.
There is an edge between the clubs and Klopp knows three points on Saturday would send out a message of intent.
Defeat for Tottenham in a fixture that was supposed to be the christening of their new stadium will lead to further scrutiny of the decision to trust the same players that have achieved three successive top-three finishes but no silverware.
Watford's best-ever start to a top-flight season will be put to the test as they take on a Manchester United side without striker Marcus Rashford, who was sent off in their morale-boosting win against Burnley.
Chelsea, who have quietly gone about their business under new manager Maurizio Sarri, are also 100 percent after four games and will relish a home clash against Cardiff City.
While Liverpool's outlay on new players has, so far, proved beneficial, the same cannot be said of West Ham United.
The London club bolstered their squad with nearly £100 million worth of new signings for incoming manager Manuel Pellegrini, but are pointless after four games.
Things do not get any easier either with West Ham away to Everton on Sunday.
LONDON, Sept 11, 2018 (News Wires) - England manager Gareth Southgate expects Dele Alli to be fit for Tottenham's clash against Liverpool on Saturday after the midfielder was forced to withdraw from the squad to face Switzerland.
Alli was injured in England's Nations League defeat against Spain on Saturday and has pulled out of Tuesday's friendly with the Swiss in Leicester.
But Southgate played down fears of a long absence for Alli, insisting the 22-year-old will recover from the slight knock in time to play for Tottenham in their showdown with Premier League leaders Liverpool.
“He has just had a minor strain and should be fine for his club at the weekend I would think, but tomorrow's game will come too quickly,” Southgate told reporters Monday.
Southgate will make a host of changes against Switzerland because he would rather look at potential players who can feature in his long-term plans rather than worry about results in a largely meaningless friendly.
The likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Fabian Delph, Danny Rose and Danny Welbeck could all come into a new-look team alongside goalkeeper Jack Butland.
LIVERPOOL, September 5, 2018 (News Wires) - Former Liverpool player Harry Kewell has praised the Reds’ forwards Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino.
Sadio Mane has been in incredible form this season, having scored four goals in four league games, making him the current top scorer alongside Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah has contributed to two goals and two assists in four league games while Roberto Firmino had a slow start to the season, scoring just one league goal.
“They (Salah, Mane and Firmino) are exciting and you look at the players Jurgen Klopp has on the bench to come on… You look at their front three: it’s frightening,” Kewell said.
“We always talk about Liverpool and think ‘do they need that 30 goal a season striker?’
“But, for me, Firmino has been excellent, I can’t fault him. He works so hard in positions on and off the ball which is fantastic.
“Then you have Mane and Salah driving at you at any given moment and both of them seem to have a little competition with each other to see who can score the most goals. It’s just excellent,” he added.
Liverpool, who are top of the league table, travel to Wembley Stadium following the international break as they face title challengers Tottenham on September 15th.
LIVERPOOL, September 1, 2018 (News Wires) - Jürgen Klopp is confident Mohamed Salah’s row with the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) will not affect his focus at Liverpool or commitment to the national team.
The Liverpool manager talked with Salah about his dispute with the EFA over security and image rights, which resurfaced this week when the forward outlined his concerns over Egypt’s World Cup preparations.
Klopp does not believe the controversy will distract Salah on the pitch, or prompt him to quit international football, but admits the dispute needs to be resolved as a matter of urgency.
“I’m not worried about his focus, because I spoke to him,” he said. “I can’t see that [affecting his club form] at the moment. It’s 100% clear – he wants to play for his country from his heart and he wants to play for us. The rest is … you have to sort it and they have to sort it. When was the last time Egypt had a player like him? They need to get used to it. So far, maybe it was not perfect. Make it perfect, and then everything will be fine in the end.”
Salah has scored twice in Liverpool’s 100% start to the Premier League campaign and Klopp believes his star man is playing with more confidence than 12 months ago.
Klopp said: “He’s a very smart person, very smart. He’s not a kid any more and he doesn’t expect that everything will be at the highest level all the time. If it is not like that any more then he will dig deep. He is completely settled. We spoke about everything and he is completely fine.
“He’s not thinking about the end of the season and he has no number [of goals] in his mind. Last season he didn’t think: ‘Let’s score a new record’; it was only ever: ‘Let’s score goals, let’s play football.’ To me he looks exactly the same again only with more confidence because now he knows it’s possible. But that is the only change.”