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Liverpool’s Club World Cup to be watched by surprise guest

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England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed he will be in Qatar next month, in part to monitor Liverpool’s FIFA Club World Cup campaign.

With the likes of Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Adam Lallana all potentially in action, the 49-year-old will certainly have plenty to ponder while he watches the two matches.

It remains to be seen whether Southgate will see English youngsters Rhian Brewster, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott – and indeed some of the senior players – in action, with the Reds travelling to Aston Villa for the Carabao Cup quarter-final just 22 hours before their semi-final kicks off in Doha.

In practice, this almost certainly means manager Jurgen Klopp will be forced into selecting two completely different squads for the two matches.

Surprisingly, given they have won the European Cup on six occasions, the Club World Cup Cup is a competition Liverpool have never won and it may therefore take priority.

Indeed, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum recently revealed he is “looking forward” to trying to add it to the club’s trophy cabinet:

“I’m really looking forward to playing in the World Cup for teams because back in the day I saw the Champions League winners play in the competition.

“What I like most is that if you win, you get a badge on your shirt. That’s something you want to achieve.

“That makes the World Cup so beautiful – [and] because you play against other teams from other parts of the world.

“You would never see them in competition, only pre-season. It’s nice to compete with those teams and see how they do it.”

However, the competition isn’t necessarily Southgate’s main agenda; first and foremost he will be in the Gulf state to prepare for England’s potential World Cup campaign in 2022.

“I’m actually going to go to Qatar to watch some of Liverpool’s games but also, it’s exactly the time [of year when] the World Cup will be played there,” Southgate said.

“So, the climate will be ideal to get a feel of and pinpoint a couple of camps that we would stay in there.

“You have to [do that]. You have to have preparation for all of those things going on. So, I’m excited to see what that’s going to look like as well.”

Despite this impressive research, Southgate was understandably coy on whether he will still be in charge of England for that competition in three years’ time, should they qualify of course.

“That will depend very much on how we get on next summer [at the European Championship],” Southgate revealed.

“When you have a week like you’ve had, you sense that people can fall out of love with you and if there isn’t a warmth for you to continue, then that can start to affect the team. So, I’m realistic about how quickly those tides can turn.

“But we’ve always planned short, mid and long term over the last eight years.

“When I started and we looked at other federations, we were almost embarrassed to go and look at where we should be preparing for. Germany were always there and they’d already secured the best bloody hotel.

“So, I think we’ve had to be a bit bolder and say ‘no, look, it’s not a jinx to go and do it’. We’ve got to have belief in what we’re doing and execute the right preparation.

“Without taking any focus off what we’re doing next summer, we’ve got to get the next bit right, otherwise we’ll be behind the curve.”

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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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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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Liverpool keeper Alisson believes that superstar Mohamed Salah has changed drastically since move from Roma

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Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker believes that his teammate and star forward Mohamed Salah has become a different person since his move from to the Reds.

Both Salah and Alisson played together at Roma before joining Jurgen Klopp’ side in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

The Brazilian international recalls that the attacker did not have the maturity or the self-belief in Italy as he does now.

The Copa America winner did, however, state that the signs of Salah’s potential and quality were there to see and quite obvious.

Alisson suggested that Liverpool has contributed a lot in the change of attitude and mentality of the Egyptian winger.

The duo both moved to Liverpool for relatively high fees at the time with Salah being bought for £35m whereas Alisson was a bit more expensive as it took £56m to make Roma part ways with the keeper.

They have become extremely successful both as a collective and individually since their moves to Merseyside.

At Liverpool, they were instrumental in leading Liverpool to 98 points in the Premier League last campaign, a tally only bettered twice in history.

Unfortunately for them, Manchester City finished on 99 points to lift the league title for the second consecutive season despite losing more often than the Reds.

However, Klopp’s men were able to lift silverware later on as they capped off an incredible Champions League run that included an unbelievable second-leg comeback, that did not feature Salah, against Barcelona, with a win over Tottenham Hotspur in the final.

Salah had an incredible debut season for Liverpool, scoring 32 goals in the Premier League and contributing to 60 goals in just 52 appearances in all competitions throughout the season.

His elite goalscoring in 2017/18 meant that he won countless individual awards which included the Premier League Golden Boot, PFA’s Fans and Players’ Player of the year and the BBC African Footballer of the year.

The 27-year-old did not reach the same insane heights the next season, which was expected, but once again finished as the top scorer in the league, but this time, he shared the honour with teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Salah did once again win the BBC African Footballer of the year and his superb 2019 meant that he finished 5th in the Ballon d’Or voting.

Alisson’s debut season was also sensational as his quality helped Liverpool become a force to be reckoned with in Europe let alone in England.

He was an important part in Brazil’s Copa America win in 2019 and his trophy-laden year in 2019 helped him become the inaugural winner of the Yashin Trophy, an award handed out to the best goalkeeper in the world.

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