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Euro 2012 prediction: Greece to struggle in all or nothing game

Arshavin can lead Russia to top Group A tonightGreece takes on Russia knowing they have a tough job ahead of them. Knowing nothing less then three points will do, if they are to qualify for the quarter finals.

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By Huw Rawlings

Arshavin can lead Russia to top Group A tonightGreece takes on Russia knowing they have a tough job ahead of them. Knowing nothing less then three points will do, if they are to qualify for the quarter finals.

Russia are top of the group, knowing that a sole point will be enough for them to advance.

Greece will need to show the resolute defending that their 2004 Euro win was based on if they are to have any chance beating Russia.

Russia have been the team to beat with Andrey Arshavin showing the sparkling form that impressed the world in the 2008 Euros. The 4-1 demolition of Czech Republic doesn’t bode well for the Greeks who have been below par in there first two games.

The goals they have conceded have been poor for a team who conceded just five goals in their ten qualifying games.

Greece’s lack of firepower doesn’t give them much hope either. Both of their goals against the Czecks and cost hosts Poland have come from goalkeeping mistakes.

The lack of creativity has hurt them a lot and losing Sokratis Papastathopoulos through suspension after his first game sending off and also losing Keeper, Kostas Chalkias, hasn’t helped their cause.

They will need to come out and attack more then they have in their previous games. But Russia are a dangerous team and if the game gets stretched then players such as Dzagoev and Arshavin can take full advantage and I think Russia will outscore Greece.

I think Greece will come and attack more then we’ve seen them do in the first two games and thus will leave themselves open to Russia’s potent attack.

Prediction: Russia 3-1 Greece

Rock ‘N’ Roll Football – Absolute Radio

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“The chances will come” – Klopp hints that this senior trio could feature for Liverpool later in the season

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Latest Liverpool news: Klopp hints at playing trio despite no minutes in league this season

Jurgen Klopp has played his strongest team in the two Premier League games this season.

Sadio Mane didn’t start against Norwich City but featured in the wins over Chelsea and Southampton.

Klopp has mixed his midfield about and handed games to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain too, but Adam Lallana is yet to play for Liverpool this season.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Dejan Lovren haven’t played any minutes this season.

The boss hinted that the trio are in great shape and this was a normal situation at the start of the campaign (h/t Mirror):

“Every year is the same and always in the same moment at the beginning of the season.

“You want to have that, and if you don’t have it then you have injuries from pre-season and that’s the last thing you want.

“Still, I would say in this moment, Shaq didn’t play enough, he is in a really good shape. Adam didn’t play enough, in a really good shape. Dejan didn’t play enough, in a really good shape.”

Klopp wants them ready for action

The German added that the trio should continue putting in the hard work and will get chances to play.

“It’s not the hardest thing to do. The boys know what they have to do, they have to be in the best shape they can be. They have to use that to achieve their level, and the chances will come. That’s how it is.”

Shaqiri played a big role in the first half of last season and it will be interesting to see when he starts for us.

Lallana and Lovren had injury-plagued seasons in the previous campaign but need to stay fit this time around.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

Liverpool have a packed schedule once the cup games start and hopefully, the trio can help us to some important wins in the coming months.

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“Let’s change it again” – Jurgen Klopp supports changing the early closure of the English summer window

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Latest Liverpool news: Klopp wants early transfer window closure scrapped for Premier League

Jurgen Klopp is the latest Premier League manager who wants the early closure of the transfer window to be removed.

The Premier League’s window closed before the first game of this season while other major European windows are still open till 2 September.

This puts the Premier League sides in a tough position as players can leave now but cannot be replaced.

Mauricio Pochettino had voiced his concerns regarding the window closing early, and Klopp joined in on the debate (h/t Sky Sports):

“I don’t care when it closes, I only think it must close at the same time (as the rest of Europe).

“When they spoke about ‘Let’s finish it before the season starts then everyone knows their squad’ – that’s a good idea. But then the rest didn’t do it and that makes no sense.”

The German added that the early closure doesn’t benefit any team and claimed this affected the focus of the players.

“Can somebody explain what is the benefit for the Premier League? We don’t really have a problem but for other teams, their key players are still on the market and everything can happen.”

Klopp wanted the decision to be reviewed and needs to be changed:

“I don’t understand why this decision is not already reviewed at least. At first it was a good idea but it didn’t work out so let’s change it again.”

Liverpool got their business done early

The Reds bought a couple of players early in the transfer window and late moves only took place in the goalkeeping department.

Simon Mignolet needed a replacement while Andy Lonergan was also signed as cover for Adrian.

Klopp’s comments make sense regarding the summer window closing this early for Premier League clubs, but this decision was taken before the season and problems were to arise for most teams.

However, Liverpool have done a great job in keeping hold of their first-team stars.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

Several of them have signed new deals with the club recently, and our future looks secure under Klopp.

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“Nothing to do with VAR” – Liverpool star rejects claims of playing a higher line this season

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Latest Liverpool news: Van Dijk rejects claims that Reds are playing a high line due to VAR

Liverpool’s defence hasn’t looked as tight as it did in the previous season.

Part of it can be down to the Reds missing Alisson in between the sticks. The Brazilian injured his calf against Norwich and has seen Adrian take over the goalkeeping duties.

The Reds, however, gave Norwich plenty of chances in the Premier League opener while we were open in the first half of the Community Shield against Manchester City.

Virgil van Dijk

Southampton and Chelsea also created several chances against us, but Virgil van Dijk rejected claims that the Reds are playing a higher line this season.

The Dutchman was speaking to the Times (h/t Metro) and claimed the Reds weren’t doing things differently:

“In certain situations it looks like it [a high line] but I don’t think we’re doing things differently.

“There were certain goals disallowed and it looks then that we’re not defending pretty well.”

The centre-back was further asked if Liverpool were trying to play offside more often thanks to VAR, but again, the Dutch defender claimed it wasn’t due to the new technology:

“No, no! It’s nothing to do with VAR.

“The new rule is we have to play on until the whistle, and sometimes it looks a bit chaotic, especially when we have a high line, and the player is offside and we still play on.”

Liverpool need to be better defensively

Although the Reds are yet to lose a match this season, we need to be tighter as a unit at the back.

Quality teams will punish us for any mistakes in the defence, and there have been occasions when our players have been caught out of position.

It is still early in the season and there will be some rustiness as the team is yet to click into gear.

Read more Liverpool news, click here – Latest Liverpool news

Van Dijk will ensure the defence improves in the coming weeks, and hopefully, we can start racking up the clean sheets.

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