EPL

Joe Gomez: Everton clash will help Liverpool against Palace

By Sports Desk June 24, 2020

Joe Gomez believes there were positives for Liverpool to build from after their Merseyside derby draw with Everton as they prepare to do battle with Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

With eight games to play, Liverpool are 20 points clear of Manchester City as they close in on a first title in the Premier League era.

Liverpool drew 0-0 away to rivals Everton in their first match back after the coronavirus lockdown on Sunday and welcome Palace to Anfield next. 

England international Gomez had to step in at left-back when he came on for the injured James Milner, who was already deputising for regular starter Andy Robertson.

"Unfortunately we didn't get the three points but it was a step closer at the end of the day," Gomez told the club's website.

"I think the familiarisation [of Anfield and having played the first game without fans] will help us in the next performance. Obviously it will be a tough game, but hopefully we can build on it."

Gomez made a key contribution when he deflected a Tom Davies shot onto the post as Everton launched a late flurry of attacks, but he felt Liverpool were the better side as they get ready to face Palace.

"It was a heart-in-mouth moment, moments like that I think it is just instinct, it could go either way - a couple of centimetres and it would have been a different result," he said.

"Obviously they had their fair few good chances but we like to think we came away dominating the game. There are definitely positives we can take from it, it is just about building on that now."

Of his positional change, Gomez added: "It was strange really. It wasn't expected and obviously I'm no Robbo.

"But it is part and parcel of the game sometimes, you have to do your best to help the team and get your result. 

"Everyone knows Robbo is our main man but I have learned to adapt in a way and full-back is a position I have played, albeit mainly on the right."

Jurgen Klopp confirmed in his pre-match media conference that Robertson was back in training and therefore in contention to face Palace.

Related items

  • RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid: Just how big a miss is Timo Werner in Lisbon? RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid: Just how big a miss is Timo Werner in Lisbon?

    It does not exactly take an Einstein-like genius to suggest any team, let alone RB Leipzig, would miss a striker the quality of Timo Werner.

    But when coming up against a team with the defensive quality of Atletico Madrid it appears an even bigger loss.

    Werner opted not play in the remainder of Leipzig's resumed Champions League campaign, however long that may last, after signing for Premier League side Chelsea.

    So, just how big a loss will he be to Leipzig? Well, using Opta data for the Bundesliga and LaLiga in 2019-20, we have compared Werner's stats against Marcel Sabitzer, Patrik Schick and Yussuf Poulsen and analysed Atleti's defensive strength to highlight the size of the task in Lisbon on Thursday.


    TIM-WOE WITHOUT WERNER?

    The raw numbers show Werner was, and prepare to be very shocked here (disclaimer: you won't be), Leipzig's most potent forward this season – yeah, we were surprised too.

    His 28 goals was bettered only in Germany's top flight by Robert Lewandowski (another surprise…), with Schick's 10 the next best of our four chosen Leipzig players. Sabitzer had nine and Poulsen five.

    Of course, that does not tell the full story given Werner played all 34 games, while Sabitzer (32), Schick and Poulsen (both 22) each played fewer.

    However, even when looking at the data per 90 minutes, Werner's average of 0.9 is still comfortably the best, with Schick (0.69) next in line and Poulsen (0.37) and Sabitzer (0.32) well behind.

    Werner's 64 shots on target equate to 2.05 per 90 minutes, which is also better than Schick (1.38), Sabitzer (0.86) and Poulsen (0.74).

    So, not particularly friendly reading for Leipzig fans so far. Things do not get much better when looking at big-chance conversion, with Werner's at 46.15 per cent.

    Schick's 42.86 is not too far behind, but Sabitzer (22.22) and Poulsen (37.5) are some way off Werner's figure.

    A shot conversion rate of 28 per cent means Werner also led in this category. Throw in five braces and three hat-tricks, none of the other three managed any in those areas, and the Germany star's absence is pretty pronounced.

    Werner had eight assists too, with Sabitzer only one back here on seven.


    BREAKING DOWN DIEGO'S DEFENSIVE WALL

    Of course, it is not just Werner's goals that make this such a difficult tie. Even with him involved getting through Atletico's notoriously difficult defence would have been tricky.

    And there is plenty of encouragement for Atleti when looking at the numbers since LaLiga resumed in June.

    In the 11 games Atleti played, their defence was breached just six times and the team kept six clean sheets. 

    In the 27 matches pre-lockdown, the opposition scored 21 times and Atleti registered 11 shut outs.

    Their tackle success jumped up slightly from 61.23 per cent to 63.37, while there were no errors leading to goals in the 11 games since the resumption (impressively there were only two in this category pre-lockdown).

    In terms of shots on target faced, Atleti averaged out at three per game (81 from 27 before the league was suspended, 33 in 11 after the restart).

    For total shots, Atleti faced a few more on average (11.6 compared to 10.6) but there is no doubting Leipzig face a daunting task.

  • Rumour Has It: Man City, PSG eye Liverpool target Thiago Rumour Has It: Man City, PSG eye Liverpool target Thiago

    Liverpool look set to have some major competition in their bid to sign Thiago Alcantara.

    Out of contract at Bayern Munich next year, Thiago has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League champions.

    However, two big-spending European giants are reportedly joining the race for the midfielder.

     

    TOP STORY – MAN CITY, PSG EYE LIVERPOOL TARGET THIAGO

    Manchester City and PSG are interested in reported Liverpool target Thiago, according to Le 10 Sport.

    Sport Bild says Liverpool are prepared to pay £27.1million (€30m) for the midfielder, an offer which could be enough for Bayern.

    However, it also reports the champions are worried a club like City may trump their bid.

    ROUND-UP

    - While it looks like Jadon Sancho may remain at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United are not giving up on the star attacker. The Mirror reports the Premier League club have put other moves on hold as they chase Sancho.

    - Staying at Old Trafford and Paul Pogba's future is yet to be sorted. Sky Sports reports the midfielder, who is contracted until 2021 with the club holding an option to extend it for a further year, is expecting talks over a new deal after United's Europa League campaign ends.

    - After crashing out of the Champions League in the last 16, Real Madrid have been expected to strengthen. However, Marca reports Madrid have told players there will be no new signings.

    - With Ismaila Sarr linked to Liverpool, Watford are seemingly holding firm. The Evening Standard reports Watford are demanding £40m for Sarr, who has also been linked to Wolves and Crystal Palace.

    - Arsenal and Roma could be close to a swap deal. Nicolo Schira reports the clubs are in advanced talks about a deal that would send Lucas Torreira to the Serie A club and Amadou Diawara to Arsenal.

  • Neymar proved he is a top player again – Gasperini Neymar proved he is a top player again – Gasperini

    Neymar proved his class again during Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League win over Atalanta, Gian Piero Gasperini said.

    PSG produced an incredible late comeback to edge Atalanta 2-1 in the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.

    Neymar set up Marquinhos' equaliser in the 90th minute to cancel out Mario Pasalic's opener, before Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting struck the winner three minutes later.

    Atalanta head coach Gasperini praised Neymar's performance at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon.

    "He is a player we paid a lot of attention to, because we saw that as soon as he had a little space, he would become very dangerous," he told a news conference.

    "Neymar is a great football player, a crack. And he proved it [again] as well, even though I believe we managed to limit him quite often.

    "However, he proved he is a top player."

    Kylian Mbappe came off the bench for PSG on his return from an ankle injury and set up Choupo-Moting's winner.

    Gasperini said the France international's introduction gave the Ligue 1 champions a huge boost.

    "Without any doubt his entrance gave PSG some energy they were losing, at that moment," he said.

    "It was definitely a fundamental, important entrance, because of his accelerations and the dangers he caused. However, it seemed that the worst was over, that we had overcome it.

    "Therefore, the goal we conceded, the equaliser especially, leaves us with great bitterness."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.