EPL

Alisson improving but 'not that close' to Liverpool comeback

By Sports Desk August 23, 2019

Alisson is walking without crutches but Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp remains determined not to rush the goalkeeper back into action.

The Brazil international suffered a calf injury during the opening fixture of the Premier League season against Norwich City a fortnight ago.

Deputy keeper Adrian came on as a substitute and started the penalty shoot-out win over Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup and the 2-1 league victory at Southampton last weekend.

The former West Ham man saved from Tammy Abraham in the Super Cup but committed an error to gift Southampton a goal and put Liverpool's win under threat.

Alisson has resumed fitness work in the gym, but Klopp appears ready to be patient over his return.

"Not that close," Klopp said of the 26-year-old on Friday when asked how near he was to playing again.

"I had lunch with him today so at least he can eat! He looks good, good shape, good mood, but it will take time. I don't know how long exactly.

"[There is] No date really in my mind, or nobody told me a date. We didn't ask [the medical department]; we want to give him the time he needs.

"At the beginning, he was on crutches, which is normal with the injury he had. They are not there now so he walks normally. He can really train now, [which is] completely different to a week ago.

"I think now it will go quickly but I don't know how quick."

Liverpool also remain without Naby Keita, who will miss Saturday's match against Arsenal due to a muscle strain.

The Reds won 5-1 when the Gunners visited Anfield last December but, with the teams level on six points after two games this term, Klopp is braced for a tighter contest.

"I wouldn't expect [a high-scoring match], to be honest," he said.

"Both teams are probably offensively orientated, at least. Arsenal will probably change at least two key positions. Probably [Nicolas] Pepe will start, which does not make them weaker, and [Granit] Xhaka.

"It happened a lot to us in the last few months: we analyse a team and then they play completely different against us.

"I am not saying Arsenal will, but it makes life tougher, especially in the early stage of the season."

He added: "If you look at how they set up, they have good footballers in each position and real speed up front. Wow, real speed.

"That makes it tricky to defend. You have to be brave, play your own football, try to keep possession, be direct.

"There are a lot of things to consider in this game."

Related items

  • Olmo opts for RB Leipzig according to Dinamo Zagreb coach Bjelica Olmo opts for RB Leipzig according to Dinamo Zagreb coach Bjelica

    Dani Olmo is set to join Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig despite reported interest from Barcelona, Milan and Chelsea, Dinamo Zagreb's coach has confirmed.

    Olmo, who impressed for Spain Under-21s at last year's European Championships, has scored eight goals in all competitions this season, including five in the Champions League.

    The playmaker's form had seen him linked with a return to Barca, who he left to join Dinamo in 2014, while Premier League side Chelsea and Serie A club Milan also reportedly hold an interest.

    However, the 21-year-old has opted to make a move to Germany, with Leipzig his destination, according to Zagreb boss Nenad Bjelica, who believes Olmo has made the right decision for his career.

    "He had really good offers, he opted for Leipzig," Bjelica told Croatian media outlet 24sata. "We believe he will show his best as he did here at Dinamo.

    "From the numerous offers he had, he picked Leipzig. In my opinion it is the best club for him to develop.

    "Leipzig is a club at the top of the Bundesliga, they are growing year after year and playing the Champions League."

    Bjelica also revealed Olmo said his farewells to the Dinamo squad on Thursday, prior to flying to Leipzig to complete the formalities of the transfer.

    "We will have to do without him, we wish him the best," he said. "He said goodbye to the boys, he tried to say something more but did not succeed, it was difficult."

    Reports of the fee have varied between €20million and €35m plus add-ons. It is expected Olmo - who earlier in January claimed Barca had made his representatives a formal offer - will undergo a medical on Friday.

  • Mane forced off injured in first half of Liverpool's clash with Wolves Mane forced off injured in first half of Liverpool's clash with Wolves

    Sadio Mane went off injured in the first half of the Premier League clash between Wolves and Liverpool at Molineux.

    The Senegal star pulled up after running to meet a Mohamed Salah backheel around 32 minutes into the game.

    Mane immediately signalled to the Liverpool bench that he needed to come off and he was replaced soon after by recent arrival Takumi Minamino.

    It was unclear what the problem was with Mane, although it appeared to be muscular as he made his way down the tunnel.

    Any long-term problem for Mane would be a blow to Jurgen Klopp, the forward having scored 11 and assisted a further six goals in the league this season.

    The Reds were 1-0 up at the time of the injury, Jordan Henderson having broken the deadlock with a header from Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner.

  • Setien and Valverde not that different, says Barcelona star De Jong Setien and Valverde not that different, says Barcelona star De Jong

    Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong says tactics have not changed much since Quique Setien took over as head coach from Ernesto Valverde.

    Valverde was sacked following the 3-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semi-finals, with Setien – an advocate of Johan Cruyff's possession-based approach – named as his successor on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

    The 61-year-old appears to have had a prompt influence on Barca's style, the Catalans enjoying 82.4 per cent of the ball in the LaLiga win over Granada and 78 per cent in Wednesday's Copa del Rey victory in Ibiza.

    Barca only managed three goals across those two games, though, suggesting they are yet to find a fluency to their attacking play – something for which Valverde was often criticised.

    And De Jong says Setien has not made many alterations yet to the team's approach, telling reporters at a sponsor event on Thursday: "He doesn't ask anything concrete of me. The idea he has is the same as Valverde, the style of Barcelona possession.


    "The only things that have changed are small details, but the intention is to have the ball.

    "It seems like I've adapted easily, and I'm happy, but I know I can do much better. I also believe we have a lot of room to evolve as a team and we'll be better throughout the season."

    De Jong signed for Barca last January but did not move until the end of the season, helping Ajax to the Eredivisie title and the Champions League semi-finals before his departure.

    The Netherlands midfielder is now hoping to go further in European competition, perhaps as part of a treble.

    "I want to win every trophy but, if I had to choose one, I'd choose the Champions League, although I want to lift LaLiga and the Copa del Rey," he said.

    "Last year, Barcelona-Ajax would have been a beautiful final. Hopefully, I can be there this year."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.