Jurgen Klopp hits back at Manchester United legend Gary Neville over Liverpool Champions League advice

Liverpool are currently top of the Premier League after a perfect start to the new season (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has hit back at Gary Neville’s suggestion that Liverpool should consider forfeiting the Champions League this season.

The Reds sit top of the table after four wins from four games so far and look well equipped to challenge Manchester City and win what would be their first league title since 1990.

Liverpool reached the final of the Champions League last season but Neville believes, despite three major signings during the close season, Klopp’s side is still not equipped to challenge on multiple fronts.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s testing trip to Wembley to face Tottenham, Klopp laughed off Neville’s suggestion and insists he will send out his side to win every game they play.

He said: ‘Gary should come over and tell me exactly how that would work. How do you prepare a game and not focus on it? You bring your kids in the Champions League? That would be funny!

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‘I don’t know what he means with that, to be honest. We have to play football. A lot of people watch our games when we play Champions League and that’s our job that we do the best we can do in all these games.

‘That’s what we try. I don’t know exactly what it means but to focus on one competition can only be if maybe you are already out of the competition nearly.

‘If it’s late in the season that you see you have a chance to do that or do this and all that stuff.

Liverpool have made a 100% start to the new season with four wins from four games (Picture: Getty)‘Last year, for example, we had no chance to focus on one competition because we had to qualify for the Champions League and I don’t think that even Gary Neville would have said, ‘Quarter-finals of the Champions League, let City win’.

‘It doesn’t work like this. I don’t want to be too critical because I don’t know exactly how he said it but sitting in an office and talking about football is completely different to doing the job, to be honest.

‘But it’s an opinion. What did he say about Manchester United in that case? The club he’s more interested in. Nothing?’

Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher reveal Premier League predictions for top-four, POTY & Golden Boot

Carragher and Neville made their predictions (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher are both expecting Chelsea and Arsenal to miss out on a place in the 2019/20 Champions League, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur all predicted to finish inside the top-four.

The Manchester United and Liverpool legends are both in agreement that Pep Guardiola’s side will finish the season on top of the pile, with Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri both failing to secure elite European football in their first seasons in the Premier League.

Arsenal have lost both of their opening two matches against City and Chelsea, while Sarri has enjoyed an 100% start to life in England along with Spurs, Liverpool and City.

Despite Jose Mourinho cutting an unhappy figure and United losing early in the season to Brighton, the Sky Sports pundits both expect him to turn it around and guide his side into the top-four.

Guardiola is tipped to defend the title (Picture: TNS via Getty)Both also agree that Everton will be the closest team to challenging the established top six under new boss Marco Silva, while they are tipping David Silva to be crowned as Player of the Year.

However, they disagree on who will end the year as top scorer.

Neville expects Sergio Aguero, who bagged a hat-trick against Huddersfield at the weekend, to end the year at the top of the pile, while Carragher sees Harry Kane banging in the most goals.

The duo made predictions for a young player to keep an eye on, with Neville expecting a big season from City hotshot Phil Foden and Carragher hoping to see a lot from Fulham’s teenage sensation Ryan Sessegnon.

And finally, they each predicted a player to watch. Both went for a Liverpool star, with Neville viewing Brazil international Allisson as a great signing from Jurgen Klopp and Carragher thinking the same of Naby Keita.

Carragher & Neville Premier League predictions

Title winner

Neville: Manchester CityCarragher: Manchester City

Top-four

Neville: Liverpool, Manchester United, SpursCarragher: Liverpool, Manchester United, Spurs

Top goalscorer

Neville: Sergio AgueroCarragher: Harry Kane

Player of the Year

Neville: David SilvaCarragher: David Silva

Young talent

Neville: Phil FodenCarragher: Ryan Sessegnon

One to watch

Neville: AllissonCarragher: Naby Keita

Top-six challengers

Neville: EvertonCarragher: Everton

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Gary Neville rates Manchester United’s chances of winning the title after Brighton defeat

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville fears Manchester United are ‘nowhere near good enough’ to win the Premier League this season.

After beating Leicester City 2-1 in their opening game, the Red Devils suffered a hugely disappointing defeat at Brighton on Sunday.

Goals from Glenn Murray, Shane Duffy and Pascal Gross provided Brighton with a 3-1 lead at half-time despite Romelu Lukaku’s header.

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Paul Pogba scored an injury-time penalty but Brighton held on for a well-deserved victory over Jose Mourinho’s side.

Asked whether he believes Manchester United can win the title this season, Neville told Sky Sports: ‘That’s the big question.

‘It will get better and United will get stronger with players back. I do think United will finish in the top four.

Brighton caused an upset against the Red Devils (Picture: PA)‘But that’s not always been the benchmark with the club who usually aspire to win titles.

‘At this moment in time it looks unlikely. It looks unlikely that they’re anywhere near good enough.

‘That back four is not good enough to win the title. The midfield is strong… Up front is strong. But that back four will always cause you problems and concede goals.

‘Jose knows what it takes to win titles and the base is a good defence.’

Jose Mourinho’s side finished second last season (Picture: Getty)The centre-back pairing of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof endured a difficult afternoon, with Bailly conceding a penalty and Lindelof’s performance drawing criticism from Paul Scholes.

Mourinho admitted his team made some ‘incredible mistakes’, telling reporters: ‘We were punished by the mistakes we made.

‘For me that’s the story of the game. We made incredible mistakes in some crucial moments. Mistakes that killed us.’

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Brighton manager Chris Hughton, meanwhile, said he was proud of each and every one of his players after they secured another famous win over United.

‘I thought we were very good. It was a victory we deserved,’ he said.

‘There’s not a player that didn’t play well. To get that result with the quality they have you have to put in a good performance.’

MORE: Anthony Martial not good enough for Manchester United, claims Sam Allardyce

Gary Neville compares Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk to Manchester United legend Jaap Stam

Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool in January for a world-record £75m (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville has compared Virgil van Dijk to Manchester United hero Jaap Stam and says the Liverpool defender is a ‘monster’.

Netherlands international Van Dijk became the most expensive defender in history last winter after joining Liverpool for a fee of £75million from Southampton.

Van Dijk was quick to adjust to his new surroundings at Anfield, playing a key role as Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the Champions League final.

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The 27-year-old also impressed in Liverpool’s Premier League victory over West Ham on Sunday as the Reds started the 2018-19 campaign with a 4-0 thrashing.

Neville says Van Dijk has made a huge impact at Liverpool and says the centre-back is beginning to remind him of Dutch legend Stam, who won three Premier League titles with Manchester United.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast for Sky Sports, he said: ‘I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn’t think he was worth £75m.

‘I also didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had.

Van Dijk helped Liverpool beat West Ham 4-0 on Sunday (Picture: Getty)‘He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam, which worries me as a Manchester United fan. It looks like he just throws people out of the way.

‘You look at that midfield, with Wijnaldum, Keita and Milner, with Henderson and Fabinho still to come in. There is some strength in depth there.

‘Can Liverpool reproduce that high-intensity football Saturday-Wednesday? And did they need another centre-forward in case Firmino is out?

‘Because I do think there is a big drop in intensity in their play when him or Salah are not playing.’

Gary Neville has heaped praise on Van Dijk and Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Having bolstered Klopp’s squad with five key signings over the summer, Liverpool are expected to challenge Manchester City for the title this season.

They finished fourth during the last campaign, 25 points behind Pep Guardiola’s rampant champions.

‘I think Liverpool are the side [City] will feel threatened by directly,’ Neville added. ‘Certainly in terms of the style of play, Liverpool have certainly got the measure of Manchester City. You can see that.

‘City like to push up the pitch, the centre-backs play high and even push in when they’re attacking. The likes of Mane, Salah, Firmino, if you leave space in-behind, they just cut right through you.

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‘I think directly there is a threat, and I think indirectly in terms of the bigger picture in the league, certainly with the signings they have made, the good feeling of getting into a Champions League final and finishing in the top four consecutive seasons is something where City will feel a threat.

‘People are not feeling that way about Manchester United or Tottenham or Chelsea at this moment in time, because of what has happened in pre-season.

‘But there does seem to be a definite threat from Liverpool at this moment in time, but Liverpool will have to prove that.’

Liverpool travel to south London on Monday evening to face Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.

MORE: Ian Wright names two positives from Arsenal’s humbling defeat to Man City

‘Worried’ Gary Neville compares Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk to Manchester United legend Jaap Stam

Virgil van Dijk joined Liverpool in January for a world-record £75m (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville has compared Virgil van Dijk to Manchester United hero Jaap Stam and says the Liverpool defender is a ‘monster’.

Netherlands international Van Dijk became the most expensive defender in history last winter after joining Liverpool for a fee of £75million from Southampton.

Van Dijk was quick to adjust to his new surroundings at Anfield, playing a key role as Jurgen Klopp’s side reached the Champions League final.

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The 27-year-old also impressed in Liverpool’s Premier League victory over West Ham on Sunday as the Reds started the 2018-19 campaign with a 4-0 thrashing.

Neville says Van Dijk has made a huge impact at Liverpool and says the centre-back is beginning to remind him of Dutch legend Stam, who won three Premier League titles with Manchester United.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast for Sky Sports, he said: ‘I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn’t think he was worth £75m.

‘I also didn’t think he would have the impact on Liverpool’s defence that he’s had.

Van Dijk helped Liverpool beat West Ham 4-0 on Sunday (Picture: Getty)‘He’s a monster, and is looking a bit like Jaap Stam, which worries me as a Manchester United fan. It looks like he just throws people out of the way.

‘You look at that midfield, with Wijnaldum, Keita and Milner, with Henderson and Fabinho still to come in. There is some strength in depth there.

‘Can Liverpool reproduce that high-intensity football Saturday-Wednesday? And did they need another centre-forward in case Firmino is out?

‘Because I do think there is a big drop in intensity in their play when him or Salah are not playing.’

Gary Neville has heaped praise on Van Dijk and Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Having bolstered Klopp’s squad with five key signings over the summer, Liverpool are expected to challenge Manchester City for the title this season.

They finished fourth during the last campaign, 25 points behind Pep Guardiola’s rampant champions.

‘I think Liverpool are the side [City] will feel threatened by directly,’ Neville added. ‘Certainly in terms of the style of play, Liverpool have certainly got the measure of Manchester City. You can see that.

‘City like to push up the pitch, the centre-backs play high and even push in when they’re attacking. The likes of Mane, Salah, Firmino, if you leave space in-behind, they just cut right through you.

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‘I think directly there is a threat, and I think indirectly in terms of the bigger picture in the league, certainly with the signings they have made, the good feeling of getting into a Champions League final and finishing in the top four consecutive seasons is something where City will feel a threat.

‘People are not feeling that way about Manchester United or Tottenham or Chelsea at this moment in time, because of what has happened in pre-season.

‘But there does seem to be a definite threat from Liverpool at this moment in time, but Liverpool will have to prove that.’

Liverpool travel to south London on Monday evening to face Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace.

MORE: Ian Wright names two positives from Arsenal’s humbling defeat to Man City

Gary Neville SLAMS Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri for being ‘unprofessional’

Shaqiri played in Switzerland’s 1-1 draw vs Brazil on Sunday (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville has admitted he’s not a fan of Stoke City forward Xherdan Shaqiri and branded him ‘unprofessional’.

Shaqiri endured a dismal season for Stoke in the Premier League which eventually ended in relegation to the Championship.

Since the club’s relegation, Shaqiri has been attracting attention from a host of other clubs, including Liverpool.

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However, Neville insists he’s not as good as people think he is.

‘I’m not a fan of Shaqiri to be honest with you,’ Neville said. ‘I think that was to be fair made worse by the fact that he distanced himself from his team-mates as Stoke.

‘They were unprofessional last season Stoke there’s no doubt and he epitomises it.

‘He could score the goal of the tournament and he could have the most amazing game.

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‘But he could also be there for three matches, do nothing and just amble and wobble around.

‘To be honest with you, with him, players like that I can’t have. I struggle with it.’

Switzerland face Serbia in their second game on Friday evening before finishing their group campaign against Costa Rica.

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Manchester United legend Gary Neville trolls Liverpool after Champions League defeat against Real Madrid

‘We’ve conquered all of Europe.

‘We’re never gonna stop.

‘From Paris down to Turkey.

‘We’ve won the f***ing lot.

‘Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly.

‘The fields of Anfield Road.

‘We are loyal supporters.

‘And we come from Liverpool.

‘Allez, Allez, Allez.’

Gary Neville pleads with Cristiano Ronaldo: ‘Please save Man Utd from a season from hell!’

Neville and Ronaldo used to be team-mates at United (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville has pleaded with Cristiano Ronaldo to ensure Manchester United supporters don’t fully endure the ‘season from hell’.

Ronaldo is expected to lead Real Madrid’s attack when the La Liga side take on United’s rivals Liverpool in the Champions League final on May 26.

And Neville remains hopeful the former Red Devils forward can prevent Jurgen Klopp’s side from lifting a sixth European Cup, helping to make life more bearable for United supporters.

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‘Oh no, make no mistake about it, this could be the season from hell,’ Neville told The Telegraph. ‘I mean, Manchester City have won the title [by 19 points], they’ve won two trophies.

‘If Liverpool now win the European Cup and Chelsea beat United in the FA Cup final, to be honest I might go travelling for a year to somewhere where there’s no Wi-Fi or phone signal.

‘Actually, there might be a few million United fans joining me. What date’s the Champions League final? May 26th? We’ve all got a charter booked for the 27th of May.

‘There will be a million flights booked out of Manchester to the forests of the Amazon. We’re out of here, we’re gone.

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Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 games for United (Picture: Getty)‘Let’s just live in hope that Manchester United win the FA Cup and Ronaldo – our friend and boy Cristiano – turns up, scores a lovely little hat-trick, puts us out of our misery in the second half and lets us relax.

‘Nah, I mean Liverpool have done brilliantly to get to a Champions League final. I just don’t want them to win it!’

The Reds travel to Kiev to take on the reigning European champions next Saturday in the final game of their club season.

MORE: Ronaldo and Carvajal to be fit to face Liverpool

Gary Neville puts Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Mohamed Salah in Ballon d’Or reckoning

Cristiano Ronaldo remains the best player on the planet – according to Neville (Getty)Despite talk that Mohamed Salah could scoop the next Ballon d’Or award, Gary Neville says there is only one winner – Cristiano Ronaldo.

Salah is enjoying an incredible season at Liverpool that has seen him score a hatful of goals and put the club on the verge of the Champions League final.

The Egyptian has bagged 31 in the Premier League – matching the record for the most goals in a 38-game season. Across all competitions the former Roma player has scored 43.

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Mohamed Salah scored twice and assisted another two in Liverpool’s 5-2 win over Roma on Tuesday (Getty)Having beaten Kevin de Bruyne to the PFA Player of the Year, some are now tipping him to be the player to break Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s stronghold on the Ballon d’Or. The pair have shared the award since Kaka won it in 2007.

However, Neville says there is ‘only one winner’ in a tweet responding to a comparison between Salah and his rivals for the award.

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Currently, bookmakers put Salah ahead of Lionel Messi for the award but behind Ronaldo.

Ballon d’Or winners since 2007

2007 – Kaka

2008 – Ronaldo

2009 – Messi

2010 – Messi

2011 – Messi

2012 – Messi

2013 – Ronaldo

2014 – Ronaldo

2015 – Messi

2016 – Ronaldo

2017 – Ronaldo

2018 – ???

Salah and Ronaldo may well come face-to-face in the Champions League final with Liverpool and Real Madrid on course after their semi-final first legs. Whoever comes out top in Kiev could have a major bearing on where the prestigious Ballon d’Or award ends up.

MORE: Roy Keane tells Mohamed Salah what he must do to reach Lionel Messi & Cristiano Ronaldo’s level

Roma will knock Liverpool out of the Champions League, predicts Gary Neville

Roma can knock Liverpool out of the Champions League, says Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville believes Liverpool’s Champions League dream will be ended by Roma.

Jurgen Klopp’s side will attempt to reach a Champions League final for the first time since 2007 after they beat Manchester City to reach the last-four.

The first match takes place at Anfield on Tuesday night, with the return leg in Rome booked for next Wednesday.

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Liverpool smashed Premier League champions City 5-1 in the quarter-finals but Roma also showed their class, overturning a 3-0 deficit to stun Barcelona.

The Reds are the favourites to progress in the competition but Neville believes Roma, who are third in Serie A, will cause an upset.

‘I’m going for Liverpool to win their first leg 2-1, but I’ll add that I also think they’ll get knocked out over the two legs,’ the Manchester United legend told Sky Sports.