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Pep Lijnders with Glowing View of Harvey Elliott’s Mentality

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Harvey Elliott of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on September 09, 2021 in Kirkby, England.
Harvey Elliott of Liverpool during a training session at AXA Training Centre on September 09, 2021 in Kirkby, England. | Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

The youngster looked to make a real impact on the first team this season, making his positive response to his set-back all the more impressive.

After sustaining a dislocated fractured ankle against Leeds United at Elland Road, Harvey Elliot has been concentrating on his recovery following his successful surgery on September 12th.

While the news that Elliott is likely to feature again this season came as a welcome surprise to us all — and is no small thing given the normal conservative estimates we’re used to about returns after injury — no time scale exists for the youngster’s return.

Despite the uphill battle towards recovery and return, Pep Lijnders spoke to about his view of Elliott’s response to the challenge.

Harvey is Harvey, a young boy and he deals with it outstandingly, I have to say. If you see our squad of players, we have so many players who had not similar injuries, but similar situations where they had a long-term injury.

You see that our group is a proper family, you see how they reacted when it happened – Naby [Keïta] was with tears in his eyes next to the pitch, Curtis [Jones] was emotional.

You see how much it means to all of us, not just from a football point of view, but from a young player point of view [who was] in such a good moment and we lost one of our better midfielders.

He deals with it really well and we have a really strong structure in place with our medical department, with all the guys around, we try to support him as much as we can in these early stages.

With a long-term injury, each day is a victory – the small things, step by step, and he’s focusing on this.

While there is a long way to go, Elliott’s attitude — and the maturity it suggests — as well as the support Lijnders highlights as a major component of this team tells us that he’s already well on his way back.

Preview: Norwich vs. Liverpool

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Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The Reds start their domestic cup season and we look forward to getting a peek at the B-squad.

Norwich vs Liverpool

| Tuesday, September 21st |
Carabao Cup | Carrow Road
7:45PM BST /2:45PM EST

For the 18th time in 27 matches since Jürgen Klopp’s arrival at the club, Liverpool will face Premier League opposition in domestic cup competition. For the 20-somethingth time, the manager will — quite rightly — send out a pure youth/b-squad, including his assistant manager and heir apparent, Pep Lijnders, to lead proceedings. It’s the Magic of the Cup!™

How Norwich will approach the fixture is uncertain — a shot at Carabao Cup glory might sound tempting, but then again the Canaries have lost five straight in the league and Daniel Farke should probably focus on keeping his starters fresh so they can do something about that.

Indications from Klopp’s compatriot is that Norwich will be making “a few changes”, but whether that entails the sort of wholesale alterations expected from the Reds or if Teemu Pukki, Todda Cantwell, Pierre Lees-Melou and Milot Rashica are to be involved is unclear as of yet.

Projected Liverpool Lineup (4-3-3)

Kelleher; Bradley, Gomez, Phillips, Tsimikas; Jones, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson; Gordon, Minamino, Origi

For the Reds, many first-team players won’t even be making the trip east. Good Pep has already explicitly stated Kaide Gordon is expected to make his debut, while Conor Bradley’s absence during yesterday’s 4-0 loss to Leeds indicates the right-back is in line to be involved with the first team.

Minutes for Joe Gomez and Nat Phillips seem likely, while Neco William’s injury suggests a start for Bradley. Kostas Tsimikas

In midfield, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could be given a chance to stretch his legs in his favoured position alongside Curtis Jones, while the third spot is up for grabs. Tyler Morton or Elijah Dixon-Bonner could potentially be in line debuts.

Up top, Takumi Minamino should see his first minutes of the season, probably alongside Divock Origi and the aforementioned Gordon. We try very hard not to excite ourselves about the prospect of Oakley Cannonier, who has scored a goal every 30 minutes or so for the Under-18s this season, joining the first team anytime soon.

What the Managers Said

Pep Lijnders: “The challenge is always the next game in front of you, so we don’t look any further. Now it’s all focus on Norwich. A start is only a start.”

Daniel Farke: “It won’t be that easy tomorrow because we will have a few changes as I also want to learn a little bit more about my team in order to go forward, but I want to be there with a good performance and a good result.”

The Officials

Referee: Darren England
Assistant referees: Harry Lennard, Peter Kirkup
Fourth official: Andre Marriner

Kickoff is set for 7:45PM GMT/2:45PM EST tomorrow, and television listings for the match can be found on LiveSoccerTV.

In the meantime, and as always, we’ll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it’s released, our live matchday thread, and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside staff. If you want to join the discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the action as it happens.

Pep Lijnders Expects Kaide Gordon to Make Impact for Liverpool

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Pre-Season FriendlyLiverpool
Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images

Young winger Kaide Gordon is expected to make his Liverpool debut on Tuesday in the League Cup.

With Kaide Gordon having been left out of the squad for Liverpool’s U23 match against Leeds on Sunday, the 16-year-old forward is expected to be handed his senior debut for the club on Tuesday evening against Norwich City.

The highly regarded youngster joined the Reds from Derby County at the start of 2021 in a deal worth between £1M and £3M and was one of the standouts early in pre-season when given the chance to train and play with the first team.

“I went to watch the U23s training and I see one player and he has fire in each moment he touched the ball,” said assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders of the young winger catching the eye of Liverpool’s coaches over the summer.

“He was passing players like they are not standing there, so I called Jürgen immediately like, ‘Wow, we have a new player here.’ All our [first team] invited him in our group and that made it good for him, to help adapt to our team and our style.”

Gordon, who joined Derby at the age of nine, made his senior debut in December of 2020 as a second half substitute against Birmingham City in the Championship. Just a little more than a month after that, he joined Liverpool.

On Tuesday, it will be a surprise if he isn’t in the starting eleven on the right of Liverpool’s attacking three, with Lijnders and the rest of the coaching staff believing he’s already ready to make an impact—and maybe to score a few goals.

“He has a goal in him and this natural ability to be in the box between the goalposts to score,” Lijnders added. “Not many [young wingers] have that. They have maybe dribbling skills but not desire to come in the box, to score.

“So in my opinion he is a typical Liverpool Football Club winger, because he has speed and he also has goals. So we really like him and we are really happy that he is with us.”

Minor Knocks to Keep Liverpool Stars Sidelined for Norwich League Cup Tie

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Liverpool Training Session
Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Tuesday’s game comes too soon for Trent-Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcantara, and Neco Williams.

When Liverpool take on Norwich City in the third round of the League Cup on Tuesday evening at Carrow Road, it is expected to be a heavily rotated squad sent out to face the Canaries by the Reds and assistant manager Pepjin Lijnders.

That rotation, though, won’t include a handful of first team players who weren’t available for Saturday’s league game against Crystal Palace, with none of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino, and Neco Williams ready to play.

“Let’s start with Trent,” said Lijnders, who for the third season now is handling preparations and press duties in place of Jürgen Klopp for the League Cup. “These guys want to play everything, [even] if they feel ill, but he took responsibility.

“That’s Trent, there are no symptoms—no COVID symptoms—but Norwich comes too early. Then we have Bobby, who will do parts of team training but also not ready. And Neco is progressing but tomorrow also comes too early.”

Of the three, it’s right back understudy Neco Williams who seems certain to have started had he been fit, with the league cup likely the 20-year-old Welshman’s best chance at starting minutes and a chance to impress the coaches.

Less likely to have been involved is Thiago Alcantara, who did start on the weekend but came off in the second half against Palace with a calf injury, and while his injury timeline isn’t yet clear, what is clear is that he won’t play this week.

“It was a calf injury,” Lijnders said of Thiago. “I can’t say now how long it will take but definitely not tomorrow and not at the weekend. A shame as well because he was taking the game by the hand, he was a proper playmaker.”

Meanwhile, one player who is certain to start is second choice goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, with Lijnders confirming that the 22-year-old Ireland international will as expected get the nod again ahead of Alisson in the League Cup.

Anaekwe Ebuka and Victor Okoro joins Wikki Tourist from Nasarawa United

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Nasarawa United players Anaekwe Ebuka has officially signed for Wikki Tourist FC of Bauchi ahead of the 2021-2022 Nigeria Professional Football League season.


The deal was completed a few days ago after the Club reached an agreement with the players.


Ebuka signed as a free agent following the expiration of his contract with the Solid Miners.


He became the second player from the 2021 Aiteo Cup finalist to sign for the Elephants in this current transfer window.


Wikki Tourists also secured the signing of Victor Okoro from Nasarawa United last week.


Ebuka and Okoro were constantly present in Nasarawa United’s team that narrowly missed out on CAF Confederation Cup ticket last season. Read more …

Finidi George sets trophy targets for Enyimba

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Former Ajax winger Finidi George says he’s delighted to sign for Enyimba and he is confident the team will succeed under his watch.


Finidi replaced Fatai Osho who left the Club following the expiration of his contract last August.


The former Super Eagles winger is managing in the Nigeria Professional Football League for the first time in his coaching career and he’s expected to hit the ground running at Enyimba.


Speaking to the media channel, the former Ajax Amsterdam and Real Betis winger said he’s happy to get the job and will everything humanly possible to achieve success with the team.


“It’s a great opportunity that the club has that kind of confidence in me. I want to thank the Chairman, board members, and the supporters for thinking about me.”


“I just want to do my job, I know it is not going to be easy, but I’m here to help the team play better and win trophies.”


“It is always important to start very well so that we don’t start doubting if the team is good enough to win. ”


“I’m trying to pick the best and make sure that every player gets the opportunity to play and perform so they can be motivated. I know by the grace of God we will have a good season.” He said.


Meanwhile, Finidi and his players are currently camping in Omuko ahead of their  CAF Confederation Cup game. Read more …

Osimhen has everything to be a world class center forward – Rohr

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Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr says Victor Osimhen has could become one of the greatest goalscorers in the history of football.


Osimhen is an integral part of the Gernot Rohr squad and he has scored seven international goals under the Franco-German tactician.


Osimhen also grabbed the headline last week, after scoring two for Napoli against Leicester City in the Europa League at week Thursday.


In a chat with Italian daya, Tutto-Mercato Web, Rohr hinted that Osimhen has everything to becomes a world of class player.


“I think Osimhen has what it takes to become a great striker, one of the best ever. But he still has to grow….”


“He can become the new Drogba, I have no doubts about this. Victor has many qualities that recall those of the Ivorian legend,” he said. Read more …

Klopp Talk: “When You Win, Usually You Are Really Good or Brilliant”

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Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

The boss talks about the Crystal Palace win and the Reds’ performance.

A win against Crystal Palace is always a big thing. A 3-0 win (and note that 0) is even bigger. With goals from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Naby Keita, Liverpool’s excellent start to the season continues apace. For the boss, the game was just business as usual.

“We were not here today for sending any kind of signs to the outside world,” Jurgen Klopp said after the match. “We were here to fight a real strong Crystal Palace team, that was really a tough one. We could have scored from other situations but didn’t so we needed our set-pieces. That Mo scored should not be a massive surprise. Sadio scored for the ninth time in a row against Crystal Palace, which is exceptional, and he scored his 100th goal for Liverpool in all competitions, which is exceptional. Naby Keita scored the most wonderful goal of all three, so that’s all important for us.”

The 3 goals and the clean sheet were deceptive, per Klopp.

“I told the boys after the game that this was one of the most hard-fought 3-0s I ever saw,” he said. “We had to give absolutely everything. So, I’m really pleased, I’m really pleased. In a season, when you are Liverpool, you win football games from time to time. When you win, usually you are really good or brilliant. Today we were not brilliant but we were good. We accepted the battle Crystal Palace was here for and that’s why I am really happy about the result, really happy about the performance. This Sunday-Wednesday-Saturday rhythm is just the most tricky one in the Premier League and so that we came through that now in the moment is very important, with all the changes we had to make and one we didn’t want to make but that worked out really well with Millie on right-back. So, it was not brilliant, but really good and I liked that.”

Liverpool will hopefully continue this fantastic streak when they take on Norwich in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, and Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday.

Sadio Mané Reaches 100 Goals For Liverpool

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Liverpool v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker reached the milestone against Crystal Palace. Mohamed Salah has already hit the mark, and Roberto Firmino is only 12 goals away himself.

Liverpool have had one of the most potent attacking lines in all of football for quite some time now. A major component of that attack, Sadio Mané, just hit a major milestone against Crystal Palace. The Senegalese striker tucked home a rebound from close range to open the scoring for Liverpool, counting as hist 100th goal for the club. It was fitting that the reached the century mark against Crystal Palace as Mané has now scored against the London team in nine straight games.

Mané has been incredibly consistent for Liverpool, both with his availability as well as with his goal scoring exploits. Since joining Liverpool in 2016 from Southampton, Mané has hit double digit goals in the Premier League in every season. He now has 77 goals in the league across his 5+ seasons in a red shirt. His biggest season came in 2018/19 where he struck the back of the net 22 times in the Premiere League to join Mohamed Salah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a share in the Golden Boot. Mané also finished fourth in the Ballon D’Or voting in 2019.

Mané has also been a threat in the Champions League, knocking in an additional 19 goals in the competition. He rounded out his scoring for Liverpool thus far with two goals in both the FA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup.

Sadio has been very versatile in how he scores. Being quite two-footed, he has scored almost a quarter of his goals with his left foot. And despite just standing 5’9” (1.75m), he has scored 14 goals with his head. Video analysis shows approximately half of his goals have occurred with Mané falling over in some fashion.

Sadio Mané is the 18th player to reach the century mark for Liverpool. On the current squad, Mohamed Salah sits on 130 goals already, and Roberto Firmino is within striking distance of the mark with 88 goals.

You can watch all 100 of Mané’s goals for Liverpool below.

Bayelsa United to face Tunisian side CS Sfaxien in CAF Confederations Cup

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Bayelsa United are through to the second round of CAF Confederations Cup after recording a 4-2 win over Ashanti Golden Boys of Guinea on Sunday.

The Nigerian Federation Cup Holder hosted the Guineans at the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenegoa and delivered a complete performance.

A goal each from Favour Martins, Emi James and brace from Okardi Inikurogha put Bayelsa United in perfect control, while Moussa Keita bagged the double for the visitors to make the scoreline respectable.

Bayelsa United will now face CS Sfaxien of Tunisia n the next round of the competition. Read more …