VAR to be used in Premier League next season

VAR was used at the World Cup earlier this year (Getty Images)Video assistant referees (VAR) will be used in the Premier League from the start of next season.

The decision was made following a vote from all 20 Premier League clubs and now the use of video replays will be used to assist officials during matches once next season begins.

VAR was used at the World Cup this summer, while the technology is now being used in La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga.

In April, Premier League clubs voted against implementing VAR for the start of this season after officials struggled with the technology during FA Cup games.

But a statement from the Premier League on Thursday read: ‘Premier League clubs have agreed in principle to introduce Video Assistant Referees (VAR) to the competition in the 2019/20 season.

VAR is already being used in Serie A (AP Photo)‘At a Shareholders’ Meeting today, clubs were provided with an update on the non-live VAR trials being undertaken by the League and Professional Game Match Officials (PGMOL) this season.

‘Key learnings from VAR’s use in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and other leagues across the world, were discussed in detail.

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‘The Premier League’s non-live testing programme will remain in place for the rest of this season, with a continued emphasis on those Saturday afternoons which have several matches being played concurrently, and developing a clear protocol for communicating VAR decisions to fans.

‘The League will now formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and FIFA to use VAR next season.’

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Jurgen Klopp first to start party after Champions League heartbreak, says Steven Gerrard

Klopp has suffered three cup final defeats with Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp was the first to start the party after Liverpool lost heartbreaking cup finals in the Champions League and Europa League, according to Steven Gerrard.

The German has appeared in three major finals as Liverpool boss and has lost each one, with the latest heartbreak coming in the Champions League in May against Real Madrid.

Liverpool have improved again since that defeat and Klopp is now targeting a Premier League title tilt this season.

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Gerrard, a former Liverpool captain and current Rangers manager, explained he admires Klopp because the coach knows when to switch off.

He told the Guardian: ‘I was like a sponge, watching and learning. I watch him on TV and see how he handles situations.

‘I could never be Jurgen with his charisma and energy. But if I can take a few things from him it will be such a help.

Former Liverpool captain Gerrard watches Klopp closely (Picture: Getty)‘And if I text, call or see him, Jurgen’s always got time for me,’ he said.

‘Jurgen’s really good at switching off. When the game is on he’s very emotional but once it’s over he can park the emotion.

‘That’s why he’s so good at handling the pressure. After cup finals and a big setback he’ll be the one to start the party.

(Picture: Getty)‘Tomorrow is a different day and that’s a big lesson I have to learn.

‘I have to live my life outside football while still being a manager. It is difficult but I’m trying.’

Gerrard’s management career has started promisingly at Ranger with the Gers third in the Scottish Premiership, just two points behind leaders Celtic.

Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic says Liverpool will not win the title because of Dejan Lovren

Mateo Kovacic says Dejan Lovren will cost Liverpool the title (Getty Images)Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic has joked that Liverpool will not win the Premier League title this season because of Dejan Lovren.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are currently second in the Premier League and have not suffered a defeat in their 12 games so far.

But Chelsea have also emerged as early title challenges as they remain unbeaten under Maurizio Sarri and are only four points behind league leaders Manchester City.

But Kovacic has jokingly dismissed Liverpool’s title credentials because of his Croatia teammate Lovren.

The Chelsea midfielder linked up with his Croatia team-mates to raise money for charity on Monday, while the players also watched a film showcasing their nation’s run to the final at the World Cup this summer.

Dejan Lovren is struggling for playing time at Liverpool this season (Getty Images)More: Football

According to 24Sata, Kovacic joked after the film: ‘Liverpool will not be English champions. Why? Because they have Dejan Lovren.’

Lovren has already been given plenty of stick from his Liverpool teammates Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah after claiming that he was one of the best defenders in the world.

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Virgil van Dijk should be shouting at frustrated Roberto Firmino, says Liverpool legend John Aldridge

Virgil van Dijk could help get the best out of Roberto Firmino, says John Aldridge (BPI/REX)Virgil van Dijk has been urged to bring the best out of an ‘out of sorts’ Roberto Firmino by Liverpool legend John Aldridge.

Firmino has scored just one goal in his last 11 appearances for Jurgen Klopp’s side.

And in the 2-0 win over Fulham on Sunday, the Brazilian was dropping too deep in midfield to have much of an impact Liverpool’s attacking play.

Aldridge believes Firmino is ‘frustrated’ because he is not constantly involved in Liverpool’s build-up play but feels Van Dijk should be urging the Brazilian to hold his position in attack.

‘Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Fulham couldn’t paper over the cracks when it comes to how badly Roberto Firmino is struggling right now,’ Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.

Roberto Firmino has scored only one goal in his last 11 appearances (Getty Images)‘Firmino is just out of sorts completely – I don’t know what’s wrong with him mentally – but he’s just not on the same wavelength as anyone else on the pitch.

‘He’s getting that frustrated he’s coming to the back four to try and receive possession.

‘They should be shouting at him. If I were Virgil van Dijk I’d be telling him to get up the park and not [be] cluttering things up for the midfield players.

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‘But that’s frustration from the lad, because it’s not happening for him up there he wants to come back and get hold of the ball.

‘Firmino wants to get touches but he shouldn’t want to back there – he’s a forward – and needs to be dragging the opposition centre-half away.

‘He doesn’t even look like scoring right now but he’s pivotal to Liverpool with his movement and little deft touches in and around the 18-yard box.’

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Arsenal & Liverpool lead running statistics, but Chelsea star N’Golo Kante reigns supreme

Arsenal have become a different animal under Emery (Picture: Getty)Arsenal have covered the most ground in the Premier League this season, with Unai Emery’s side clocking up 1375.7 kilometres.

Despite Arsenal’s dominance, no player has covered more ground than Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante.

The Gunners just pip local rivals Tottenham to the top of the charts and the achievement will be seen as a major marker for Emery’s work at the Emirates.

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Emery has ushered in a new era at Arsenal after Arsene Wenger’s departure, and recently led the side to an eleven-game winning streak.

While Arsenal sit top of the distance covered chart, Liverpool lead the league in terms of overall sprints.

Considering Jurgen Kloppp now likes to deploy pressing in bursts, it is no surprise the Reds and Mohamed Salah impress in those areas.

Teams: Distance covered

1. ARSENAL 1375.7km

2. TOTTENHAM 1370.7km

3. EVERTON 1356.1km

4. BOURNEMOUTH 1354.2km

5. CHELSEA 1347.8km

Sprints are key to Salah’s and Liverpool’s game (Picture: Getty)Salah is third in the list of individual sprints with 210, with Leicester City’s full-back Ben Chilwell top on 252.

Liverpool are battling Manchester City for the title this season, and will be pleased to learn they are ahead of the defending champions when it comes to sprinting.

City have completed 1454 sprints, but Liverpool are on top with 1486.

Players: Distance covered

1. KANTE (CHELSEA) – 141.87km2. MILIVOJEVIC (PALACE) – 140.69km3. NEVES (WOLVES) – 138.63km

Kante covers more ground than any other Premier League player (Picture: Getty)But while Arsenal and Liverpool are out ahead in terms of team running stats, Kante once again proves himself as the league’s most tireless worker.

Kante has already covered 141.87km, ahead of Crystal Palace midfielder Luka Milivojevic and Wolves star Ruben Neves.

The statistics show that even thought Kante is playing further forward under Maurizio Sarri, the Frenchman is still getting through a huge amount of work.

Chelsea fans will also be pleased to see summer signing Jorginho coming in at fourth on the distance covered charts.

Sprints

TEAMS:1. LIVERPOOL – 14862. MAN CITY – 14543. BOURNEMOUTH – 14204. ARSENAL – 14155. EVERTON – 1385

PLAYERS: 1. CHILWELL (LEICESTER) – 2522. STERLING (MAN CITY) – 2213. SALAH (LIVERPOOL) – 210

MORE: Chelsea send classy tribute to Joe Cole after retirement announcement

Ousmane Dembele’s agent rates chances of Barcelona star joining Arsenal or Liverpool

Ousmane Dembele is not leaving Barcelona, claims his agent (PA Images)Ousmane Dembele’s agent insists there is ‘no doubt’ that the French winger will stay at Barcelona despite his ongoing problems at Camp Nou.

Reports have claimed that Barcelona’s senior players are frustrated by the 21-year-old turning up late to training and his lack of professionalism.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked with the France international but the player’s agent, Moussa Sissoko, is adamant that he will remain at Barca.

‘There is no doubt about his future, at all, Ousmane continues to work, he is in a big club and [Ernesto] Valverde loves him, and he is also in the national team and Deschamps continues to trust him,’ Sissoko told RMC Sport.

‘If he is with France today it is because he deserves it, I also spoke with Eric Abidal and he told me that he is very happy with him, that he is training very well.’

Dembele has been linked with Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool (Getty Images)Sissoko also clarified reports claiming that Dembele did not contact Barcelona when he missed training due to an illness last week.

‘It is true that Ousmane was sick [before the Real Betis game],’ Sissoko said.

‘He had not slept all night, he was very tired.

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‘He missed the morning training and what the club has blamed us is that he did not warn a little before that a doctor can see his mismanagement at home. He did it a little late.

‘But he was sick, the club confirmed he had a [gastrointestinal illness], he missed the training because of that. And I am surprised that we also make controversy when he is sick.’

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Xherdan Shaqiri compared to Lionel Messi & tipped to become Liverpool’s best player by Thorsten Fink

Shaqiri scored at the weekend (Picture: Getty)Xherdan Shaqiri is more naturally gifted than Cristiano Ronaldo and can become Liverpool’s best player, according to former FC Basel boss Thorsten Fink.

Liverpool fans would see Mohamed Salah as their best player, but Fink believes Shaqiri can overtake the Egyptian if he continues to remain focused.

Shaqiri scored his second goal for Liverpool against Fulham, and has impressed each time he has been called upon from the bench this season.

Naby Keita speaks out on recent Liverpool struggles and reveals advice from Jurgen Klopp

The Guinean midfielder is taking a while to adapt to the Premier League (Picture: Getty)Naby Keita insists he has improved as a player since joining Liverpool despite struggling to make an impact on Anfield after his £52million move from RB Leipzig.

After starting the first three games of the season, Keita has struggled for both form and fitness, starting just twice more in the Premier League since August.

He made his return to action against Fulham on Sunday, coming off the bench in stoppage time, and he admits he is still learning how to play the Liverpool way.

Keita made his first appearance in a month against Fulham (Picture: Getty)‘I am really, really happy to play with my teammates and I am learning from their experience,’ Keita told reporters.

‘I’m training with them every day and I am trying to get them better, to learn from them.

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‘I watch them and of course the coach is always speaking to me, saying “you can do this better, you need to do this”.

‘He makes me feel like I want to do better and I want to progress so I feel lucky and happy to train with him and the players here.’

Keita has been sidelined with hamstring and back injuries (Picture: Getty)Keita is also looking to improve his English to speed up the adaptation process: ‘I am following English courses and I am really, really motivated to speak English. It is really important to me.

‘I want to be able to speak to the coach and I want to be able to speak to the other players in the team so I am really working hard.’

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Liverpool vs Fulham TV channel, live stream, kick-off time and odds

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)Liverpool host Fulham this Sunday as they try to keep the pace with Chelsea and Manchester City.

Manchester United star confiding in Manchester City rival over Old Trafford strugglesJurgen Klopp’s side is currently third in the Premier League after drawing 1-1 with Arsenal last weekend.

Fulham are currently bottom of the table after just one win so far this season which was against Burnley back in August.

Liverpool will be hosting Fulham after a disapointing mid-week defeat against Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League.

Aleksandar Mitrovic (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)When is Liverpool vs Fulham?

The match is on Sunday 11 November with kick-off at 12.00 at Anfield.

What TV channel is Liverpool vs Fulham on?

BT Sport 1 will be showing the game live with coverage starting at 11.30.

Subscribers will also be able to stream the game by using the BT Sport app.

What are the odds? (Courtesy of William Hill)

Liverpool – 1/10

Draw – 10/1

Fulham – 20/1

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Head-to-head

12 Feb 2014 – Premier League

Fulham 2-3 Liverpool

09 Nov 2013 – Premier League

Liverpool 4-0 Fulham

12 May 2013 – Premier League

Fulham 1-3 Liverpool

22 Dec 2012 – Premier League

Liverpool 4-0 Fulham

01 May 2012 – Premier League

Liverpool 0-1 Fulham

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Alexis Sanchez poses problem for Jose Mourinho as Maurizio Sarri ponders Olivier Giroud recall

All eyes will be on the Etihad this Sunday as champions Manchester City host rivals Manchester United in the pick of this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

Jose Mourinho’s men trail their city rivals by nine points and can ill-afford that gap to widen in their pursuit of a top four finish.

Chelsea take on Everton at Stamford Bridge and Maurizio Sarri’s side do so as the only remaining unbeaten side in Europe following United’s win against Juventus on Wednesday.

Newcastle’s long wait for a Premier League win this season ended last week against Watford and they face in-form Bournemouth at St James’ Park, while Tottenham face a tricky trip to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace.

Here’s four things to look out for in what is sure to be an intriguing weekend of Premier League football…

Jose Mourinho can keep feel-good factor going with Alexis Sanchez up front

Dropping Alexis Sanchez for Romelu Lukaku would represent a backwards step for Jose Mourinho (Picture: Getty)Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku returned to training on Friday after missing the Red Devils’ wins against Juventus and Bournemouth.

Mourinho’s men have looked undeniably sharper in attack in Lukaku’s absence and Alexis Sanchez has had two of his better games for the club in a central striker role.

The Chilean prefers playing on the left but his runs in behind have created a new energy up front for United, providing more room and options for midfield.

Mourinho is keen to get Lukaku fit for the trip to the Etihad but starting him would be more than just a fitness gamble.

Romelu Lukaku is expected to be fit to face Manchester United (Picture: Getty)United’s strides in recent weeks have owed to Mourinho removing the shackles from his side and letting them play with the handbrake off.

Lukaku represents a more methodical, slower and ultimately inferior option to Sanchez up front and reverting back to the Belgian could undo much of the progress Mourinho has made with United in the last month.

Raheem Sterling can lay demons to rest against Manchester United

Raheem Sterling took his tally for the season to seven against Shakhtar (Picture: Getty)Scarcely has the phrase ‘a game of two halves’ ever been more relevant than Manchester United’s 3-2 win against Manchester City last April.

Pep Guardiola’s men had the opportunity to wrap up the title with a win against their arch rivals at the Etihad and raced into a two-goal lead.

City blew United away during the opening 45 minutes and Raheem Sterling squandered three brilliant opportunities to put the game to bed before the interval.

United pulled off a miraculous comeback in the second half to deny City a famous victory and Sterling will be keen to right some wrongs against the Red Devils.

Sterling squandered three brilliant chances (Picture: Getty)The 23-year-old was criticised in some quarters this week for failing to challenge a penalty decision that he was awarded against Shakhtar Donestsk on Tuesday when replays showed he had tripped himself up.

It overshadowed what was a brilliant performance by Sterling and one in which he scored an astonishing goal to take his tally for the season to seven.

He’s City’s in form man at the moment and few would bet against him getting revenge on United on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri must choose between Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud was back among the goals on Thursday (Picture: Getty)Five goals in the last month have helped Morata emerge from his slumber at Stamford Bridge.

The Spaniard endured a torturous debut campaign at the club and contemplated leaving in the summer after just one year in west London.

Olivier Giroud’s arrival in January darkened Morata’s mood and Sarri is yet to pick his first choice striker this term.

Morata scored twice against Palace last Sunday (Picture: Getty)Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s standout player so far this campaign and the Belgian’s made no secret of how much he likes [prefers] to play with Giroud.

The Frenchman returned from injury on Thursday and scored the only goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 win against BATE Borisov but can Sarri afford to drop Morata after his double against Crystal Palace last week?

Removing the Spaniard now will kill his confidence but the Italian must choose between his heart and his head as the Blues aim to keep pace with Manchester City.

Leicester City return to King Power stadium for first time since Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s death

Leicester City take on Burnley at the King Power (Picture: Getty)Claude Puel insists his players will have to deal ‘step by step’ with their emotions as the Foxes prepare for their first home game since owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha tragically lost his life in a helicopter accident.

The Leicester squad unanimously decided to play last week against Cardiff but their fixture at the King Power against Burnley will be emotionally charged given it’s the first since the Thai passed away.

The Foxes are set to wear special commemorative shirts embroidered with their former owner’s name.

The Leicester squad were in Thailand this week for the funeral (Picture: AP)Puel is hopeful that his squad will feel inspired to put in a performance for Srivaddhanaprabha.

‘The players have shown great maturity, it is like a family. It is important to honour our chairman and play a good game,’ said Puel.

‘We will manage the moment step by step but I feel in my players’ focus and soul. They have learned a lot about themselves in all this and I am proud of them all.’

The club will present supporters at the match with scarves, banners, pin badges and a special commemorative matchday programme.

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