Come Saturday, we could all expect an enthralling battle at Old Trafford as Manchester United lock horns with arch-rivals Liverpool in the Premier League. The two teams drew 0-0 earlier this season with Romelu Lukaku missing a clear-cut opportunity at Anfield.
Defender Dejan Lovren claims he has no animosity with Lukaku as he prepares for another battle at Old Trafford.
The Croatian accused the United striker of deliberately kicking him in the face last year at Anfield. However, Lukaku escaped with a punishment but Lovren says he has no bitterness about that incident.
“No, it’s over, this is another game,” Lovren told Liverpool Echo.
“He is a top striker. We can say what we want, he scores many goals.
“Maybe United are not in the best shape but still they win ugly. What matters is the points. It will be a tough challenge, definitely.”
Lovren, whose performances have significantly improved since Virgil van Dijk joined the club in January, says he is relishing the prospect of facing Lukaku, who is United’s top-scorer this season with 22 goals.
“I enjoy playing against big top strikers,” the centre-back added.
“One of the biggest challenge for me is when you have Mo Salah and Sadio Mane at the training ground. Then you know where you are!
“Definitely, Lukaku is one of the best strikers in the Premier League. He has showed that many times. He’s quite challenging but if they don’t they have the ball.…”
Asked about facing second-placed United at Old Trafford, Lovren explained:
“It will be a tough challenge definitely. Last time, when they came here, they defend really deep so let’s see what happens now.”
Jose Mourinho had set up his team in an ultra-defensive mode and eked out a draw at Anfield. Lovren feels Mourinho would organise his team in a similar manner when the two sides meet on Saturday.
“I think so,” he added. “They need the points, definitely. For them it will be maybe a point good but for us, we never play for a point. We are there; we will give our best. We will play like we play every day, attacking football. Let’s enjoy it.
“You know, Mourinho has his own plans. Whatever he wants to do, it is not our job to know. It is our job to focus on ourselves and play how we hope will beat them. We didn’t do the best game in our season (against Porto) but we can concentrate for the next game, the big game against United.”
I think the onus is on Jurgen Klopp to utilise his attackers cleverly as United will simply defend deep and play on the counter-attack.
“It’s time for a change right now” – Former USA international urges Liverpool target to leave Bundesliga giants
Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic has been told that it is time for a change, with the January window around the corner.
The Liverpool Echo adds that the Reds have kept tabs on the 20-year-old and Chelsea are also interested in signing the winger.
Former United States international Alexi Lalas believes it is time for the winger to leave Dortmund for bigger things in the future.
“There are teams all over the world that would love to have Christian Pulisic right now. I think he’s done a great job in going over to Germany, he’s done a great job at Borussia Dortmund.
“But I think it’s time for a change right now for Christian Pulisic, and a change to an even higher profile team.”
The report adds that the American is out of contract in 2020 and should he refuse to extend his stay at Dortmund, the club could sell him in the coming window.
Liverpool could do with someone like Pulisic in their side, and he would certainly do well under his former boss Klopp.
The American is one of the bright players in the Bundesliga but hasn’t been great in the current campaign for Borussia Dortmund.
The youngster has been upstaged by Jadon Sancho, who is playing better than him at the moment.
“I rate him among the very best at the top” – Liverpool star heaps praise on teammate after Bournemouth win
Liverpool star Georginio Wijnaldum believes James Milner is one of the best players in the world and praised the versatility of the 32-year-old.
The Englishman played his 500th Premier League game for the Reds in our 4-0 win over Bournemouth and even captained the side as Jordan Henderson was on the bench.
“Which player in the world can you play in every position in a team and he will do really well in all of those positions? There is no-one, apart from Milner.
“He has played in so many different roles — and he is always brilliant. That’s why I rate him among the very best at the top, I really do.”
The Dutchman added that Milner always puts his 100% on the pitch, which is good for the team.
“What Milner is capable of at this level, I have never seen other players do that. Milner will always get great marks, no matter on what position our manager puts him.”
The midfielder has been used all around the park by Jurgen Klopp. The former Leeds United star even played a majority of a season as our first-choice left-back ahead of Alberto Moreno during the 2016/17 season.
The 32-year-old has only gotten better with each season under his belt and Wijnaldum highlighted the professionalism of the midfielder.
“Some players can get frustrated when they have to switch positions. But with Milner, you will never see a mood swing. His attitude just stays the same.”
The Reds play Napoli in a huge Champions League clash, and we can be sure that Milner will give his 100% on the pitch.
“It’s like one of those goals you’d see Maradona score” – BBC commentators in awe of Liverpool star in 4-0 win over Bournemouth
The Egyptian rounded the Cherries goalkeeper Asmir Begovic twice, before beating a couple of players on the goal-line.
The 26-year-old won a lot of plaudits for the goal, and one BBC commentator claimed this goal had an air of “Diego Maradona” about it.
Conor McNamara raved about Salah’s goal on BBC 5 Live (h/t Express):
“You don’t see that often. He goes around the goalkeeper twice, he’s calmness personified. It’s like one of those goals you’d see Maradona score in the 80s.
“It was the sort of flick you do if you’re playing with your nephews in the back garden or something ‘lets flick it passed you no problem’, he just sort of nonchalantly scored.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell compared it to a classic goal scored by Ricky Villa for Tottenham, while McNamara claimed the goal was “outrageous” and showed just how confident Salah is of his abilities.
“You go around the goalkeeper and he’s thinking hang on a minute, I’ve done it once, I’ll do it again.”
The Egyptian is peaking into form at the right time, which is perfect for us as we look to make it to the next round of the Champions League.
The Reds face Napoli at Anfield on Tuesday, where we need a 1-0 win or a two-goal difference win (if the Italians score).
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