Liverpool new boy Fabinho speaks out after being benched by Jurgen Klopp for West Ham clash

Fabinho did not feature in Liverpool’s routine victory over West Ham (Picture: Getty)Fabinho says he was fully aware of the battle he faced to cement a place in Liverpool’s team after being benched for the Premier League opener.

Brazilian midfielder Fabinho was one of Liverpool’s marquee summer signings but he was left on the bench for the home match against West Ham on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp admitted Fabinho had endured a difficult pre-season and opted to start Naby Keita, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum in his midfield.

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‘When I came to Liverpool I knew this competition would exist in midfield and I think it’s really good for the team,’ Fabinho told Premier League Productions.

‘If anything happens to a player, there’s adequate cover. During pre-season I played alongside a variety of different players and we blended really well.

‘So, overall, I think it’s a good thing for the team.’

Before the West Ham fixture, Fabinho has featured in all nine of Liverpool’s summer friendlies and says he is adapting well to the nuances of playing under Klopp.

Jurgen Klopp opted to bench the Brazilian midfielder (Picture: Getty)‘I think my performances have been good,’ he added.

‘It’s a different playing style than at Monaco; there were two of us in midfield there and here at Liverpool there’s three.

‘My midfield partners have given me guidance and assistance, as have the defence. I knew [my role] would change and I feel I’ve adapted well.

‘You seek guidance and help from the players around you and that has worked really well up until now.’

Liverpool confirmed they had signed Fabinho, a former French title winner, just two days after the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

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And the 24-year-old insists he has settled into life at Anfield well, despite still awaiting his first competitive match for his new club.

‘It has been really good since I arrived here,’ Fabinho said.

‘The players and the coaching staff have been brilliant. I have been able to fit in really well with the club, the training and games we’ve played have been good.’

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Jose Mourinho wanted to buy Liverpool summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri before Jurgen Klopp completed move

Mourinho missed out (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho was pipped to the chase by Liverpool in the race to sign Xherdan Shaqiri, with Jurgen Klopp getting the deal done before Manchester United opened talks with the Switzerland international.

The Portuguese manager was keen to bring the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan winger to Old Trafford, who became available for just £12.5million after Stoke’s relegation to the Championship from the Premier League.

However, he couldn’t even get into a negotiating position with the ex-Chelsea manager as Klopp struck quickly and persuaded the Swiss to move to Anfield, according to Blick.

Shaqiri linked up with Klopp (Picture: Getty)Shaqiri was impressed with Klopp’s human nature and immediately decided to join Liverpool, despite being aware of United’s interest.

Southampton and West Ham were among the other clubs looking to sign him, but he opted to sign for the Reds.

The Switzerland international started Liverpool’s first match of the Premier League season on the bench, making his first appearance for the club with less than 10 minutes of normal time to play.

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Jurgen Klopp rates Naby Keita’s impressive debut in Liverpool’s win over West Ham

Naby Keita’s debut impressed Jurgen Klopp. (AMA/Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp admits he was impressed with Naby Keita’s debut performance in Liverpool’s 4-0 victory over West Ham on Sunday.

Liverpool got off to a flying start in their new Premier League campaign as Sadio Mane’s double, along with goals from Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge sealed a comfortable win at Anfield.

Keita made his official debut following his £48 million move from RB Leipzig in the summer and he made an immediate impact in Liverpool’s central midfield.

And Klopp was pleased with his summer arrival.

‘Absolutely good performance of course,’ said Klopp.

Keita is set to play a key role in Liverpool’s midfield. (AFP/Getty Images)‘Look, after six weeks I don’t make the difference between a new player and other players because for me, it’s exactly the same performance if Mili [James Milner] and Gini [Georginio Wijnaldum] are ready to make the next step in their development as well.

‘Naby is in because he’s a really good footballer, and I said it from the beginning he’s settled really quick.

‘It’s a similar style of play and a similar position to what he did at Leipzig.

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‘He can play different positions, obviously, but I think this is best for the moment.

‘He he has a lot of help from the players around, Sadio works really hard, same with Gini, Milli and Robbo [Andy Robetson] in this case.

‘I’m really pleased but that’s what we expected.’

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Liverpool vs West Ham TV channel, live stream, kick-off time, odds and head-to-head

Jurgen Klopp has had a great summer in the transfer market (Picture: Getty Images)Liverpool have had an exciting summer in the transfer market and Jurgen Klopp will unleash his new-look side against West Ham for the first time on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds have brought in the likes of Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Naby Keita and are now expected to mount a strong challenge for the Premier League title.

West Ham have had a good summer themselves, appointing Manuel Pellegrini as manager and making big name signings like Felipe Anderson and Jack Wilshere.

We are in for an entertaining 90 minutes at Anfield, so here is everything you need to know about the match…

Felipe Anderson’s arrival has got West Ham fans excited (Picture: Getty Images)When is Liverpool vs West Ham?

The match is on Sunday, 12 August with kick-off at 1.30pm at Anfield.

Alisson doesn’t look too keen to play Sadio Mane’s game (Picture: Getty Images)What channel is Liverpool vs West Ham on and is there a live stream?

Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League will be showing the game live with coverage starting at 12.30pm.

Sky Sports subscribers will be able to stream the match through Sky Go, whilst you an also get a Sky Sports Day, Week or Month pass from Now TV to watch the match.

Manuel Pellegrini is back in the Premier League with West Ham (Picture: Getty Images)What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

1/4 Liverpool

11/2 Draw

12/1 West Ham

Head-to-head in last five meetings

24 Feb 2018 – Liverpool 4-1 West Ham – Premier League

04 Nov 2017 – West Ham 1-4 Liverpool – Premier League

14 May 2017 – West Ham 0-4 Liverpool – Premier League

11 Dec 2016 – Liverpool 2-2 West Ham – Premier League

09 Feb 2016 – West Ham 2-1 Liverpool – FA Cup

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Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool have to ‘improve everything’ to launch serious title bid against Manchester City

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists his team should improve everything this season (Getty Images)Jurgen Klopp insists Liverpool need to ‘improve everything’ to challenge champions Manchester City for the Premier League title this season ahead of their opener against West Ham.

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The Reds have drastically strengthened this summer with the additions of Alisson, Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita but Klopp claims they still need to work on their consistency as well as aggression and might even need more luck to launch a serious title bid.

The Kop boss also noted that City haven’t lost any players from last season’s dominant side and insists they shouldn’t underestimate other Premier League sides who intend to impress.

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‘We have to be more consistent,’ Klopp said. ‘We know that. More clinical. More aggressive in the right moments. We need to improve everything.

‘You ask me about the gap with City. We had three points from City and they had three points from us. It’s about losing them in other games.

‘It’s not the other big six. You see how Fulham, Wolves and Everton act – and I’m not forgetting anybody – they are all ambitious. It’s difficult for all the teams.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refuses to underestimate the rest of the Premier League competition (Getty Images)‘We have to be in a championship mode. We jump into the water and we dive until we don’t have oxygen anymore. That’s the plan. A lot of people think because of the transfer window we will [challenge more] – but that’s not how it is.

‘City – the champions – have not lost a player and brought in Mahrez. They were impressive against Chelsea, both sides were.

‘We are still Rocky Balboa and not Ivan Drago. We need to want more and fight more. That must be our attitude.’

Liverpool face West Ham on Sunday at Anfield and might be without Fabinho who felt ill and was sent home.

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Jurgen Klopp reveals Liverpool signing Fabinho has picked up illness ahead of West Ham clash

Fabinho may have to wait for his Premier League debut (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has revealed that summer signing Fabinho has come down with an illness ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League opener with West Ham.

Fabinho completed a £39million move from Monaco to Merseyside at the end of May and the 24-year-old has got some minutes under his belt for the Reds in pre-season.

The Brazil international picked up a knock in training earlier this week but scans on the injury came back clear.

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However, Fabinho is a serious doubt for Sunday’s clash with West Ham after it was confirmed that the midfielder had picked up a separate illness.

New arrivals Alisson, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri are all expected to feature against Manuel Pellegrini’s men.

The Brazilian featured heavily for Liverpool in pre-season (Picture: Getty)‘The [Fabinho’s] scan was clear. It was only a check-up and the scan was clear, but he felt ill when he came back so we sent him home again,’ Klopp said at his press conference on Friday.

‘Obviously he was not feeling really well so we sent him home again and I didn’t see him so far and I didn’t ask anybody, so we will see.

‘We will see about the England boys and Dejan [Lovren]. They are all in different shape. Trent [Alexander-Arnold] has had longer, which is good.

‘[Jordan] Henderson is full of power but hasn’t been back long. It’s Hendo though, you always think about him. Dejan is unavailable for the weekend.’

Jurgen Klopp is without several first-team stars (Picture: Getty)

Dejan Lovren is not available for selection (Picture: Getty)Klopp revealed that Ragnar Klavan would be another absentee at Anfield while Joel Matip and Joe Gomez face late fitness tests.

‘Ragnar has no real chance,’ the German added.

‘Joel did train in small parts like Joe did so we will see how they are today.’

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Is Liverpool vs Torino on TV? Channel, live stream, tickets, kick-off time and odds

Mohamed Salah is back in action after the World Cup (Picture: Getty Images)Liverpool are in action one more time in pre-season on Tuesday night as they take on Italian side Torino at Anfield.

The Premier League season may only be a few days away from starting, but Jurgen Klopp wants to put his team through their paces once more before their opener against West Ham at the weekend.

The Reds have had a very encouraging summer, signing a number of big-name players and picking up some eye-catching results.

However, fans will mainly be hoping that they simply avoid any injuries in this last outing before the competitive contests begin.

Alisson Becker is hoping to cure Liverpool’s goalkeeping issues (Picture: Getty Images)When is Liverpool vs Torino?

The match is being played on Tuesday, 7 August with kick-off at 7.30pm at Anfield.

Are tickets still available?

There are some left and you can get them here.

Jurgen Klopp has had a very busy summer with Liverpool (Picture: Getty Images)Is Liverpool vs Torino on TV and is there a live stream?

The game is being shown on LFC TV, which is available on Sky channel 425 and Virgin Media channel 544.

Subscribers can also watch the game by streaming it on LFC TV GO.

Former Watford boss Walter Mazzarri is now in charge of Torino (Picture: Getty Images)What are the odds? (Courtesy of Betfair)

1/3 Liverpool

4/1 Draw

6/1 Torino

Liverpool’s next five fixtures

07 Aug – Torino (h) Friendly

12 Aug – West Ham (h) Premier League

20 Aug – Crystal Palace (a) Premier League

25 Aug – Brighton (h) Premier League

01 Sep – Leicester (a) Premier League

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Four big decisions Jurgen Klopp must make before Liverpool’s season starts

Jurgen Klopp addresses his Liverpool squad during their pre-season tour of the United States (Getty Images)Liverpool’s defeat in the Champions League final to Real Madrid in Ukraine could have been the big ‘what if?’ moment in Jurgen Klopp’s Merseyside tenure.

After the loss and everything which surrounded it – from the Reds losing control in midfield late on to Lloris Karius’ inexplicable mistakes and Sergio Ramos’ perceived man-handling of Mohamed Salah – there was some concern that those issues could hang over the side in the build-up to the new campaign.

But the club’s American owners saw through all of that noise. They saw a manager who took a team with a midfield of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Giorginio Wijnaldum to within a whisker of winning the big one. Relative success which was achieved mainly thanks to innovative tactics married with astute transfer dealings the summer before.

The trust Klopp built last season saw Fenway Sports Group back him with a £170m outlay on transfers to take that extra step. The Reds now boast the most expensive goalkeeper, defender and defensive midfielder in world football.

Fair to say, Liverpool ‘won’ the transfer window, but now the German tactician has some big decisions to make to get his team into a position to win that elusive first Premier League title.

Who partners Virgil van Dijk?

One of Joel Matip or Joe Gomez are likely to start against West Ham on August 12 (Getty Images)Liverpool’s season turned around when the Dutchman swapped St Mary’s for Anfield in the January window for a cool £75m. Before his arrival it was inconceivable Liverpool could be perceived as Manchester City’s biggest threat to retaining their title ahead of the new campaign.

His assured performances and calming influence turned a side leaking goals at an alarming rate to one which had something that resembled a top-class defence. But for all his good work he had Dejan Lovren lurking beside him, keeping fans on edge of their seats for all the wrong reasons.

A run to the World Cup final with Croatia would suggest he’s done enough to command a place in Klopp’s XI, but he would still be considered the weakest-link in Liverpool’s default strongest line-up by fans, pundits and probably (secretly) Klopp himself.

His excursions in Russia mean one of Joe Gomez or Joel Matip will get a chance to deputise against West Ham in the Reds’ opening fixture. If one of those two manage to hit the ground running, Lovren’s place in the team long-term could be under considerable threat. The rise of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold last season have shown Klopp is anything but averse to putting his faith in an in-form youngster.

Naby Keita and Fabinho’s plus one

Fabinho and Naby Keita train at Melwood during Liverpool’s pre-season preparations (Getty Images)Liverpool’s midfield has been completely transformed. Fabinho will sit at the base of it and play the role with the discipline and passing ability which Emre Can sometimes attempted but rarely pulled off. While Naby Keita is the closest thing the Reds have had to a Steven Gerrard since his retirement – and that’s not a slight on captain Henderson.

But it is the England international who looks like he’ll be worst off. Keita plays in the role Henderson took up when he first arrived at Anfield, while Fabinho takes up the role which he has admirably adapted to in the latter stages of his career. Henderson’s leadership and drive may well see him play in the third slot, but in big games against high-calibre opposition he won’t serve an obvious enough purpose and will likely be left out. The same can be said about James Milner in a midfield three.

With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (the outstanding choice) out for the majority of the season with injury, that leaves Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana. While Wijnaldum has more industry, Lallana offers more sophisticated creativity and, crucially, intelligent pressing.

Milner may well start against West Ham in the role, but Lallana could crowbar his way in as he builds up his fitness following an injury lay-off.

Trust Sturridge’s fitness or Shaqiri’s discipline?

Daniel Sturridge and Xherdan Shaqiri in action for Liverpool in Michigan (Getty Images)In the scenario where Roberto Firmino does not play against West Ham, should Klopp stick the returning Daniel Sturridge down the middle as a like-for-like replacement or shuffle the pack to get new signing Xherdan Shaqiri on the right, with Salah tucking into the central spot?

Sturridge has been brought back into the fold during pre-season but no one could have envisaged him starting for Klopp after his disastrous loan spell at West Brom.

Injury issues aside, filling the shoes of Firmino is an unenviable task for Sturridge. It’s difficult to overstate the influence the Brazilian has on Liverpool’s counter-attacking transitions, he brings out the best in Mane and Salah and there is little to suggest Sturridge can adapt his game enough to do the same.

Shaqiri, meanwhile, could slot into the right flank with chief goalscorer Salah moving infield. On the face of it, it seems a no-brainer, but Klopp’s attacking patterns have worked so perfectly that there is a danger that moving your best player (Salah) out of his preferred role could throw a spanner into the entire system. Surely Salah should be the fixture in the team around which everyone else is arranged?

There’s also the fact that Trent Alexander-Arnold, likely to be deployed at right-back, will have a heck of a lot to do if Shaqiri lives up to those accusing him of not tracking back enough.

Can Liverpool throw caution to the wind with 4-2-2-2 (4-2-4)?

Klopp often leant into playing a three in midfield because of Liverpool’s personnel last season and their lack of mobility. But Keita and Fabinho have enough about them to operate as a double pivot without getting overrun in those situations.

That offers the German manager the mouthwatering prospect of having four detached attackers who can go on and create havoc with little to no defensive responsibilities. The third midfielder slot can go to Shaqiri on the right, Mane can withdraw ever-so slightly into a left-winger role and Salah and Firmino can dove-tail as an unorthodox front two.

Liverpool often bludgeoned opposition teams in the first half hour – think Roma and Manchester City at Anfield in the Champions League. They now have the tools to do the same but with greater effectiveness at both ends of the pitch and that is a genuinely terrifying prospect for anyone coming up against them.

Only two Liverpool players would get in Manchester City’s team, claims Danny Murphy

Jurgen Klopp will be leading Liverpool’s title challenge this season. (Getty Images)Only two Liverpool players would get in Manchester City’s strongest starting line-up, according to Danny Murphy.

Pep Guardiola’s side are favourites to retain their title this season but Liverpool are looking to close the gap after significantly strengthening in the summer.

Jurgen Klopp has spent £65 million on signing Alisson as his new first-choice goalkeeper, while Fabinho and Naby Keita have arrived to strengthen the midfield.

In attack, Xherdan Shaqiri was signed from Stoke City to give Klopp another option to his sublime trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

But Murphy, who made nearly 250 appearances for Liverpool, believes only Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk would get in City’s best team.

Xherdan Shaqiri is looking to hit the ground running alongside Mohamed Salah. (Getty Images)More: Football

‘Fabinho, Keita, Alisson are all good players and they give Liverpool strength in depth and competition for places, which does increase performance, but would any of those players get in City’s team?’ Murphy told talkSPORT.

‘Salah and Van Dijk would get in City’s team. Other than that, probably no others [would get in].

‘You can’t base your transfer policy on buying better players than City have. It is nearly impossible. You can’t buy a better player than [Kevin] De Bruyne in midfield, so you have to compete in a different way.

Virgil van Dijk will be a key part of Liverpool’s defence. (Getty Images)‘What I like that Klopp has done is he has signed quality where he has needed it – the middle of the park they were lacking – there is great competition for places and he did it early.

‘Shaqiri is a good ‘un as well. That is not bad business the money they have spent there. He had a good World Cup and he will create competition for places.

‘Liverpool have done really well and will bridge the gap with City.’

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Jurgen Klopp warns Liverpool fans over Fabinho: ‘It’s been a hard pre-season for him’

The Brazilian is taking a while to get used to Liverpool’s demanding style (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp says he is happy with Liverpool’s signings this summer but warned fans that £43m arrival Fabinho is still taking time to adapt to the side’s demands.

The Reds have been the biggest spenders in the Premier League this summer, signing Naby Keita from RB Leipzig, Fabinho from Monaco, Xherdan Shaqiri from Stoke and world’s most expensive goalkeeper Alisson from Roma.

Liverpool have had a gruelling pre-season, playing their eighth friendly on Saturday, and Klopp says Fabinho is still taking time to adjust – while Keita has plenty to work on too.

Klopp admits his new arrivals may not make an instant impact (Picture: Getty)‘I am really happy with the new players,’ Klopp said after Liverpool’s 5-0 win over Napoli at the weekend.

‘Fabinho, much better in offensive pressing, but still struggling a bit as not fresh enough. It’s been a hard pre-season for him.

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‘Shaqiri comes on as a nine and looked really good. He can play as a 10 and on the wing. It was fantastic what he did.

‘Naby played 50 minutes at the highest level and then left some gaps open, transition in defence could be better, so many things to work on.

Klopp feels Fabinho is still lacking freshness ahead of the new season (Picture: Getty)‘The impression they make in training is outstanding. I like it a lot. But we need to be ready for 95 minutes again, again and again.’

Liverpool have one more pre-season friendly against Torino on Tuesday evening before the Premier League begins, and that match is likely to be Alisson’s Anfield debut.

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