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Liverpool star confirmed to be fit for huge clash against Manchester City

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that star defender Virgil van Dijk is fit ahead of their crucial fixture against title rivals Manchester City on the weekend.

The Reds host Pep Guardiola’s side, who currently sit second in the Premier League, in what is already a potential title decider as both sides require three points.

Manchester City are 6 points behind Liverpool and thus, are slight underdogs coming into the fixture with the bookies having a City win at 13/8.

The Reds, on the other hand, are 6/4 for a win and a draw is currently 13/5, highlighting how close this match-up is.

Virgil van Dijk missed training on Thursday afternoon causing Liverpool fans to fear whether their talisman would be unable to feature in a game that could put the Reds 9 points ahead of their rivals.

However, manager Jurgen Klopp eased the fears as the charismatic German confirmed that the defender returned to the Netherlands to have dinner with the Dutch Royal family.

The Dutch captain has been a crucial part of Liverpool’s success since his £75m move from Southampton as evidenced by the fact that he has played every minute in the Premier League.

His contribution to the Reds has been unparalleled so much so that last campaign, the defender beat both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to grab the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award.

Therefore, the 28-year-old is a heavy favourite to win the Ballon D’or and would be the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006 to win the prestigious award.

The bookies have van Dijk at 4/9 to lift the golden trophy whereas Messi and Ronaldo have odds of winning the trophy of 9/4 and 6/1 respectively.

This is due to the fact that van Dijk helped Liverpool win their sixth Champions League title and guided his national team to the final of the Nations League, where they lost to Ronaldo’s Portugal.

The Dutchman’s partner in defence for Liverpool, Joel Matip, is said to miss the Manchester City fixture with Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne already on the sideline for Klopp’s side.

Skipper Jordan Henderson is available, however, having missed Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Genk in the Champions League due to illness.

Liverpool’s task of winning has become easier following Ederson’s injury in the Champions League earlier this week, which means Claudio Bravo will start, despite his red card in the same game.

Spanish midfielder David Silva is also set to miss the clash in what will undoubtedly be an exciting affair between two of the most dominant sides in Europe, let alone in the Premier League.

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Liverpool

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp revels in clean sheet and win over Bournemouth

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revels in the Reds’ 3-0 shut-out win over Bournemouth especially considering their recent lack of clean sheets.

This was the German’s team’s first clean sheet in 14 games and the boss stated that the players were ecstatic in the dressing room following their win over the Cherries.

The 52-year-old encouraged his players to kick on and keep a few more as the season progresses and he joked that he had forgotten what it felt like to keep a clean sheet.

Liverpool’s win over Bournemouth helped them continue their incredible run of form as they have now made it 33 games unbeaten in the Premier League.

Goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and star forward Mohamed Salah has now tightened the Reds’ grip on their Premier League lead.

With Manchester City also losing 2-1 to bitter rivals Manchester United over the weekend, Klopp’s team are now 14 points ahead of the reigning champions.

However, former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and his side Leicester City are still keeping up with the Reds, having won their last 8 games.

They only sit 8 points behind the league leaders and are comfortably in second place with a top-four finish looking extremely likely under the Northern Irish manager.

Liverpool are, of course, heavy favourites to lift their first-ever Premier League title with the bookies setting their odds at 1/7.

Manchester City are the second favourites with odds drifting to 8/1 whereas Leicester’s odds have shortened to 14/1.

Liverpool have only failed to gain three points in a league fixture once this season and that was against rivals Manchester United in what was a tightly contested 1-1 draw.

Despite being unbeaten so far, the Reds don’t have the best attacking or defensive record in the league. Title rivals Manchester City have scored four more whilst Leicester have the best defensive record conceding four less than Klopp’s men.

Therefore, it is no surprise to see the charismatic German be so excited about keeping a clean sheet and the former Borussia Dortmund manager is hoping that his team can keep some more in the Champions League.

The reigning European champions need a draw against RB Salzburg, which is their next fixture, to qualify but a win would mean that regardless of other results in the group, they will finish top.

A clean sheet against Jesse Marsch’s side is difficult considering the fact that Salzburg have one of the most in-form and young strikers in the world in Erling Braut Haaland, who has scored in all five of the group stage games so far.

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Bayern Munich

Former Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac become a favourite for Everton job

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Former Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has become one of the favourites to take over from the recently sacked Marco Silva to become the new Everton boss.

The Croatian coach was in attendance in the Toffees’ stunning 3-1 home win over Chelsea where young striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a brace.

The win over the Blues was led by Everton legend and former striker Duncan Ferguson who has helped Everton move out from the relegation zone to 14th.

His successful managerial debut for the club has meant that the bookies have made him the odds on favourite to take the job with his odds being set at 9/4 to become the next permanent manager.

Meanwhile, Niko Kovac’s odds have been slashed from 50/1 to 5/2 after he was spotted in the stands of Goodison Park.

Kovac has a superb CV for such a young career manager both the Croatian national team and German club Eintracht Frankfurt which earned him a move to European giants Bayern Munich.

He was appointed by the Bavarians following a hugely successful time at Frankfurt where he managed to upset his future employers by beating them in the DFB Pokal final with Frankfurt in his last game in charge for the club.

Odds of Next Permanent Everton Manager

9/4- Duncan Ferguson

5/2- Niko Kovac

4/1- David Moyes

5/1- Vitor Pereira

10/1- Mauricio Pochettino

Kovac helped Frankfurt become a powerhouse in the Bundesliga, and help lead them to a Europa League place.

His time at Bayern Munich was successful and trophy-laden but his style of play and relationship with the players deteriorated meaning he had to be let go earlier this campaign.

Kovac joined Die Roten in the start of the 2018/19 season where he led the team to a domestic double, which was the bare minimum for a club of Bayern’s stature. He also won the German Super Cup in the same campaign.

However, he was under heavy criticism for a huge part of the season having let rivals Dortmund have a nine-point lead at one stage in the season.

His tactics in the Champions League did also come under question from the bosses at the club albeit it was against Liverpool who went on to become the winners.

The 48-year-old’s time at the Allianz Arena came at an abrupt end this campaign after a devastating 5-1 loss to his former club Eintracht Frankfurt.

His relative successes at both Frankfurt and Bayern Munich could help him turn the ship around at Everton who are only a point above the relegation zone.

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Liverpool

Liverpool become favourites to sign wonderkid Jadon Sancho in the January transfer window

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Liverpool have become favourites to sign the highly sought after Jadon Sancho in the January transfer window.

The Reds are sitting comfortably at the top of the Premier League with second-place Leicester eight points behind after 15 games already.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are also looking to retain their Champions League trophy and might look to add more quality in their flying frontline.

Sancho has been touted as one of the best talents in world football and is regarded as a generational talent especially considering his output in the Bundesliga at such a young age.

The 19-year-old moved to Germany from Manchester City for a super low price of £7m in the summer of 2017 and after one season of getting used to the demands of top-flight football, he has flourished.

Since the 2018/19 season, he has registered 20 assists, a tally that has not been matched in the Bundesliga.

The winger had a breakout campaign last season contributing an incredible 29 goals in all of the 34 league games at the tender age of 18.

His performances in the league helped Dortmund finish second place in what was manager Lucien Favre’s first season but having led by as much as 9 points, from rivals Bayern Munich, they will have been extremely disappointed to have surrendered their lead and let the Bavarians win the league by one point.

The English international’s performances in the Champions League did leave a lot to be desired for as he only scored one, albeit against Atletico Madrid in a 4-0 rout.

Odds of Jadon Sancho’s Next Club

Liverpool – 4/1

Man Utd – 8/1

Chelsea – 20/1

Man City – 20/1

PSG – 20/1

Sancho’s brilliance last campaign helped him earn an England debut last October but it took until his 8th game for the Three Lions to score.

The electric winger scored twice and also assisted for Gareth Southgate’s men against Kosovo in what was a 5-3 win in the Euros qualification.

His talent and potential are there for all to see but it is unlikely that Klopp requires such a talented winger considering the front three currently at Liverpool.

Despite Mohamed Salah hitting a rough patch recently, he is still one of the world’s best players as showcased by his insane goal record and his recent fifth-place finish in the Ballon d’Or voting.

Salah’s teammate and fellow winger Sadio Mane has been exceptional the past year and has helped the Reds massively when Salah has not been performing to his usual standards.

The former Southampton man finished ahead of Salah in the Ballon d’Or voting, finishing fourth and was voted as the best player by the winner Lionel Messi.

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