Sadio Mane winning race to be fit for Liverpool’s clash with Napoli

Sadio Mane is expected to be fit to start against Napoli (Picture: Getty)Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed Sadio Mane is in line to face Napoli on Tuesday after recovering well from a foot injury.

The Senegal international missed wins against Burnley and Bournemouth after picking up an injury in a 1-0 win against Everton last weekend.

Liverpool need to win 1-0 or by two clear goals to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League but face an in-form Napoli at Anfield.

However, the Reds’ chances have been given a significant boost with the news that Mane is likely to be able to start.

Mane is likely to start (Picture: Getty)‘Sadio can deal with the pain obviously – it looked like that in Bournemouth, so that’s cool. It’s good enough that we can consider him at least.

‘We have two sessions still to come – we’ll train tomorrow morning as well. That’s very important.

‘We have the meeting to do. In the squad there is nothing really serious after the game, that’s good.’

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Liverpool are understandably desperate to reach the knockout stages and they’ll be equally determined not to drop into the Europa League.

The Reds knocked Manchester City off top spot in the Premier League this weekend but a Europa League campaign could hinder their chances of a first league title in 28 years.

MORE: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ‘not surprised’ at alleged racial abuse towards Man City’s Raheem Sterling

 

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp ‘not surprised’ at alleged racial abuse towards Man City’s Raheem Sterling

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (Picture: Getty)Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is ‘not surprised’ at the alleged racial abuse directed at Raheem Sterling during Manchester City’s defeat against Chelsea.

England international Sterling has told police he was racially abused at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

He informed members of the Metropolitan Police that he heard racist insults and other foul language as he went to retrieve a ball that had gone out of play during the 2-0 loss.

Cameras picked up several home supporters screaming at Sterling and the disturbing video has been shared by the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Ian Wright and Patrice Evra.

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Klopp says the incident did not surprise him and that the culprits must be punished. He also hailed Sterling as ‘brilliant’ for not reacting to the abuse.

The Liverpool manager said: ‘I watched the game and I saw him pick the ball up and then I saw the guys shouting.

‘I thought his reaction was just brilliant. Looking at his face, he gave the right response. They don’t warrant any reaction or respect.

‘I’m not surprised about it. It won’t stop just because we talk about it. But I like that they put the finger on it. You cannot say whatever you want.

(Picture: Instagram)‘There needs to be punishments. They need to get punished. What I like is that 95 per cent are not like this.

‘Yes, punish them, but don’t talk too much about them because they don’t deserve it.’

In the aftermath of the incident Sterling, who played for Liverpool before joining Manchester City in 2015, said newspapers were helping to ‘fuel racism’ by the way they portray young black footballers.

‘All I have to say is have a second thought about fair publicity and give all players an equal chance,’ the Premier League winner said.

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Joe Gomez speaks out on signing new Liverpool contract and his ‘devastating’ injury

Joe Gomez has signed a new contract at Anfield (Picture: Liverpool FC)Joe Gomez has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool.

The England international has committed his future to the Reds by extending his three-and-a-half-year stay with the club.

He told Liverpoolfc.com: ‘Signing this new deal means the world to me.

‘I’ve been at the club a few years now and have had the pleasure to play for Liverpool and experience what that means, so I am delighted to get the chance to extend my contract here.

‘I love the club, I love playing and learning here, and I am happy for that to continue.’

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Having shown glimpses of his immense potential for Charlton Athletic, Gomez was signed by Liverpool in 2015 and has since played over 50 games for the Premier League club.

‘There have been a lot of highs and lows, it’s my fourth season now and every one has been different,’ Gomez added.

‘Obviously I would like to have had a few less setbacks along the way, but it has all been part of my journey – one that I have loved and embraced. I have learned so much.

‘There have been good times on the pitch as well. Hopefully that can continue.

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‘I am learning under a great manager and great coaching staff and have all the tools around me to keep progressing and learning. I am looking forward to it.’

The England defender has been ruled out for around six weeks due to the lower left leg fracture he sustained during the win at Burnley.

But he is confident he will soon be back in the fold at Anfield to help Liverpool’s Premier League title push.

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‘Obviously I am devastated with the timing of it,’ he said. ‘You never want to get injured.

‘I’ve been here a few years and I am still young, but it’s something I’m used to and I am capable of dealing with setbacks like this. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.

‘You never want to be injured, as a player you always want to play. It will be tough for me sitting out for a while, but I will do everything I can to get back better and stronger.’

MORE: Maurizio Sarri sends message to Alvaro Morata after Manchester City snub

Jamie Redknapp warns Jurgen Klopp about a major threat to Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (Picture: Getty)Jamie Redknapp has warned Jurgen Klopp that dropping into the Europa League could derail Liverpool’s Premier League title hopes.

The Reds must beat Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday evening to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Klopp’s side overtook Manchester City at the top of the Premier League this weekend after maintaining their unbeaten league run with a 4-0 thrashing at Bournemouth.

City were also unbeaten ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures but lost 2-0 at Chelsea.

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Redknapp sees Liverpool as genuine title contenders but fears their domestic push could be derailed if they enter the demanding and gruelling Europa League.

‘Tuesday night is Liverpool’s biggest game of the season,’ the former England international told the Daily Mail.

‘Their result against Napoli will have a huge say on whether they can win the Premier League.

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‘Qualify for the Champions League knockout stage and they go into Sunday’s Anfield showdown with bitter rivals Manchester United with incredible momentum.

‘Failing to make it through would not only be a significant blow to their confidence but could also mean they are playing Europa League football.

‘Playing on Thursday then Sunday is gruelling and it means you are more likely to have to play catch-up in the Premier League. It would threaten to derail their title push.’

Redknapp added: ‘Despite making their best start to a top-flight season, Liverpool are still only a point clear at the top.

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‘Manchester City may have lost to Chelsea but that result makes them no less formidable.

‘I cannot see them making many more slip-ups, especially when Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne return to fitness.

‘Since their last league championship in 1990, Liverpool have never looked better equipped to win the title.’

MORE: Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all in the Premier League title race, says Dimitar Berbatov

Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham all in the Premier League title race, says Dimitar Berbatov

Former Premier League champion Dimitar Berbatov (Picture: Getty)Two-time Premier League champion Dimitar Berbatov says Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all capable of winning the title this season.

Liverpool, who thrashed Bournemouth 4-0 on Saturday, climbed to the top of the table after Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea.

Defending champions City have looked in unstoppable form this term but saw their unbeaten run ended by Maurizio Sarri’s team at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool are now the only team yet to suffer a defeat in the Premier League this season and Berbatov insists they are a ‘big rival’ to Man City.

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But the former Manchester United striker also sees Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham as genuine title challengers.

Speaking on Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday, he said: ‘Liverpool are a big rival for Man City. We don’t like that but you need to give credit.

‘They’re playing great football. They enjoy the way they play. It is good for the league. Now you have Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal all in the race.’

Asked specifically about Chelsea’s title credentials, Berbatov added: ‘Sarri said they were not in the race. But then they beat Man City. Was it a trick?

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Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on Joel Matip after Liverpool thrash Bournemouth

Matip played for Schalke before joining Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has heaped praise on central defender Joel Matip after his performance in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah bagged a hat-trick while a Steve Cook own goal also contributed to the scoreline, but the German manager was keen to highlight the defensive strengths of his team.

But he didn’t choose to heap praise individually on Virgil Van Dijk or Alisson Becker, but Matip instead.

‘I could write a book about Virgil’s strengths and about Alisson’s strengths, but look what Joel Matip did today,’ Klopp said.

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Salah didn’t celebrate any of his three goals vs Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)‘How good he was, and he has absolutely no rhythm. He trains on the highest level and he’s not even in the squad sometimes.’

Matip has made just nine appearances this season, with five of those coming from the substitutes bench.

However, more impressive performances like the one he put in at the Vitality Stadium could see him become more of a regular in the Liverpool defence.

The Reds’ next game is against Napoli, with the Anfield club requiring a victory to ensure their qualification to the last 16 of the competition.

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Liverpool? Manchester City? Graeme Souness predicts who will win the Premier League

Souness believes City have the edge (Picture: AMA/Corbis via Getty)Graeme Souness believes Manchester City ’have the edge’ in the race for the Premier League title, although he expects Liverpool to ‘challenge right until the death’.

The former Reds ace was impressed by the manner in which Jurgen Klopp’s side blew Bournemouth away in a 4-0 win – a result that maintained their unbeaten run in the Premier League this season.

Their comprehensive victory against Eddie Howe’s men saw them rise to the top of the table, although Manchester City will return to the summit if they avoid defeat against Chelsea later on Saturday afternoon.

Neither side has been defeated yet in England’s top flight and Liverpool are posing a serious threat to Pep Guardiola’s defending champions.

Klopp and Guardiola are fighting for the title (Picture: Getty)But Souness still believes City have enough to see off their title challenge and expects them to be crowned title winners.

‘I think Liverpool have got strength in depth now,’ Souness told Sky Sports. ‘I think Liverpool will be fine. I think Liverpool will challenge right until the death.

‘I think it’s between – with all due respect to the others and they’ll go on runs and make an impression – Liverpool and City.

‘If you ask me right now, I think City have the edge.

‘For anyone who has aspirations to win this league you have to finish in front of City.’

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Hat-trick hero Mohamed Salah gives man-of-the-match award to James Milner

Salah scored Liverpool’s first hat-trick away from home since 2014 (Picture: Getty)Mohamed Salah refused to accept his man-of-the-match award, instead insisting James Milner should have it instead.

Milner played his 500th Premier League game against Bournemouth and Salah fired Liverpool to victory with a hat-trick in a 4-0 win.

Salah was in sparkling form and was interviewed after the game, with his vice-captain Milner by his side.

The forward deservedly won MOTM, but would not take the award with Milner standing beside him.

He said: ‘I have to congratulate him, he has an amazing career so I hope we are going to win something together, but I will not take it today.’

Salah moved top of the Premier League scoring charts with ten goals in ten appearances, level with Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Milner was making his 500th Premier League appearance (Picture: Getty)Liverpool moved top of the table with the impressive win, but can be overtaken by Manchester City if the Sky Blues beat or draw with Chelsea in their game.

Salah was being branded a one-season wonder at the start of the campaign after a record-breaking debut season for the Reds.

But the Egyptian has proven his pedigree by continuing to hit the back of the net. Salah was happy with his performance, but insisted he only cared about the team winning.

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(Picture: Getty)‘My expectation is very high, everyone else has expectation very high,’ Salah said.

‘The most important is we are top of the table and win each game. That’s the most important thing.’

Liverpool are next back in action on Tuesday night when they take on Napoli at Anfield. The Reds must beat Napoli to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

MORE: Alisson breaks club record as Mohamed Salah fires Liverpool top of the Premier League

Alisson breaks club record as Mohamed Salah fires Liverpool top of the Premier League

Alisson Becker gave a commanding performance against Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)Alisson Becker set a Liverpool club record as Jurgen Klopp’s side moved, temporarily at least, to the top of the Premier League following a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

The Brazil international goalkeeper has played a pivotal role in his side’s unbeaten start to the season following his summer move from Roma and put in another commanding performance, mastering the difficult conditions at the Vitality Stadium to register his 10th clean sheet of the campaign.

Alisson is now unbeaten in his first 16 Premier League matches as a Liverpool player, surpassing the previous record held by Javier Mascherano whose 15-game unbeaten run was ended in December 2007 by Manchester United.

Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player to score a hat-trick away from home since Luis Suarez’s treble against Cardiff in 2014 (Picture: Getty)

Steve Cook endured a miserable game up against a rampant Mohamed Salah (Picture: Getty)Liverpool’s victory owed as much to their now customary defensive stability as it did the predatory instincts of Mohamed Salah, who struck either side of half time.

The Egypt international was fortunate to open the scoring in the 25th minute when he pounced on a mistake from Asmir Begovic, who could only parry Roberto Firmino’s speculative effort, but replays showed he was standing in an offside position.

7 – Mohamed Salah has now scored the opening goal of the game on seven occasions in the Premier League this season, at least two more times than any other player. Sharp. #BOULIV pic.twitter.com/tgrcTj0K8s
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 8, 2018

Salah’s second arrived three minutes after the re-start when he was fed by Firmino, managed to remain on his feet despite a cynical attempted foul by Steve Cook, and steered his shot into the far corner via a slight Nathan Ake deflection.

Liverpool surged further ahead when Cook spectacularly flicked the ball past his own goalkeeper following a typical rampaging run and cross from Andrew Robertson, and the Bournemouth defender’s misery was compounded 12 minutes from the end when Salah outpaced him, rounded Begovic and kept his composure to flick the ball past Nathan Ake.

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Liverpool ‘in contact’ with Paris Saint-Germain over Adrien Rabiot transfer

Rabiot seems set to leave PSG (Picture: Getty)Liverpool are in talks with Paris Saint-Germain over the potential transfer of Adrien Rabiot, according to reports.

The PSG midfielder is in the midst of a contract stand-off with his club, refusing to sign a new deal.

Rabiot’s deal expires in the summer and several top clubs are eager to snap up the Frenchman on a free transfer.

Barcelona and Liverpool are in talks with PSG (Picture: Getty)L’Equipe claim Liverpool and Barcelona are in ‘contact’ with PSG about Rabiot.

PSG want Rabiot to sign a new deal, but are thought to be desperate to ensure he does not sign for Barcelona.

Since Neymar swapped Barcelona for Paris, relations between between the two clubs have soured.

(Picture: Getty)That could give Liverpool a major advantage over Barcelona, although there are claims Rabiot wants to join the La Liga giants.

If Rabiot does run down his contract, he will be free to chose the club he wants to play for.

The 23-year-old is thought to be unhappy with his wages at PSG, compared to some of the superstar salaries in the squad.

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PSG do not want Rabiot to join Barcelona (Picture: Getty)Rabiot earns £55,000-a-week, while Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are on contracts upwards of £200,000-a-week.

Liverpool and Barcelona are not the only side to have made contact with PSG, as Metro.co.uk understands Manchester City are keen on a move.

Jurgen Klopp is keen for another midfielder after failing in his bid to sign Nabil Fekir from Lyon.

MORE: Jurgen Klopp explains why James Milner is playing right-back for Liverpool against Bournemouth