Jurgen Klopp has expressed his frustration at the scheduling of Liverpool's Premier League clash with Watford just 35 hours after Brazil's World Cup qualifier against Uruguay.

Fabinho started for the Selecao as they beat Uruguay 4-1, while goalkeeper Alisson was named on the bench, and the pair will not return to England ahead of the Reds' next league game on Saturday.

Instead, Klopp will have to make do without them as they fly straight to Spain in the hopes of featuring in Liverpool's Champions League encounter with Atletico Madrid on October 19.

The German tactician explained that the decision had been made to avoid forcing the pair to isolate for longer than necessary, but bemoaned the fact that Liverpool's European opponents Atletico do not have a league game this weekend.

"Somebody decided to give Brazil the opportunity to play last night and then somebody made the decision for us to play on Saturday at 12:30," Klopp said. "It's not in our hands.

"Atletico [Madrid] are not playing at the weekend and they are our next opponents in the Champions League. That would not happen here. We have known it for a while so we have decided that the boys would not be here and they would go straight to Madrid.

"We had to sort quarantine issues and the decision we made is the boys will not be here, they will go directly to Madrid, wait there for us, hopefully, be able to play against Atletico, then will come back slightly later than us, so then they can come back in our normal procedure again.

"Obviously they could have flown into England but with all the quarantine stuff that would have meant they would have to isolate from their families and Ali has three kids and being away with the national teams and then 10 days in isolation with the same rubbish again. We need solutions for that and they are still not there.

"They have played in Brazil so they already had four days there not in a red-list country and that's what counts. Then another six days not in a red-list country then they can come back and start immediately so even when they go from bubble to bubble to bubble it is still 10 days and for us that is the solution."

Alisson has played every minute of Premier League football available for Liverpool, while Fabinho has started five of the Reds' seven games, but Klopp will be forced to look for alternatives within his squad against the Hornets.

However, Liverpool are already light on midfield options, with Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott all ruled out through injury.

Alisson has become the latest Liverpool star to commit his future to the Anfield club.

The Reds announced a "new long-term contract" for their goalkeeper on Wednesday, with the deal widely reported to run until June 2027.

Alisson has joined Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho in penning an extension ahead of the new Premier League season.

"I think I didn't waste too much time to think about that," the Brazil international told Liverpool's official website.

"It's something we just built in those last three years, the confidence, the trust that I have in the club and the club has in myself.

"Me and my family, we are really happy here. My kids are settled in England, in a different country, but they are growing up in that way. So, we are really happy.

"I'm really glad that I can keep going on with my work here, doing a good job here. So, I'm really happy to make this decision – that is not hard for me."

 

The 28-year-old joined Liverpool from Roma in 2018 and won the Champions League in his first season in England.

The Reds followed up that success by ending a 30-year wait for a domestic crown with their 2019-20 Premier League triumph.

Since his signing, Alisson has played exactly 100 times in the Premier League and kept 44 clean sheets – fewer only than Manchester City goalkeeper and international team-mate Ederson.

Among keepers with 50 or more appearances in the competition over this period, Hugo Lloris (74.7) is the sole man with a save percentage better than Alisson's 73.6.

The Liverpool star also memorably scored a late winner at West Brom last season that kept his side's Champions League qualification push on track, but he now has loftier ambitions.

"We have to set goals and we have to set them high – winning everything that we are playing [for], the Champions League, Premier League, the cups, everything," he said. "I think we can start from there.

"But obviously winning depends on what we will put on the pitch, what we will give on the pitch and we have to give 100 per cent at least. If we can push harder, we will go."

Liverpool's 69 points last season was the fifth-lowest total by a defending Premier League champion, but only City (32), Chelsea (36) and Arsenal (39) conceded fewer goals than the Reds (42), who had to deal with numerous defensive injuries.

Alisson has become the latest Liverpool star to commit his future to the Anfield club.

The Reds announced a "new long-term contract" for their goalkeeper on Wednesday, with the deal widely reported to run until June 2027.

Alisson has joined Trent Alexander-Arnold and Fabinho in penning an extension ahead of the new Premier League season.
 

Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be involved for Liverpool when they play Bologna on Thursday.

The Reds step up their preparations for the forthcoming Premier League season with two 60-minutes matches against the Serie A side.

The central defensive duo made their long-awaited returns from injury against Hertha Berlin last time out, playing the final 21 minutes of the 4-3 defeat.

Van Dijk had not played since suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Everton in October 2020, while Gomez played his first minutes since damaging a tendon in his left knee while on international duty with England the following month.

Klopp is pleased with the progress the pair are making and is confident they can get more minutes under their belts against Bologna.

"Hopefully, yes. That's how it looks in the moment," he told the official club website. "I want to make it really clear, we push nothing. 

"We know exactly how they feel – how they really feel and not what they tell us because they obviously are desperate to play again. 

"It looks good, this morning [it was a] normal training session. Sometimes in moments, we swap Virgil and Joe a little bit so maybe the intensity doesn't get too high, but in general it looks really good. 

"How many minutes on Thursday, I don't know but there will be some minutes for sure."

Klopp may also have Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino available for selection.

All three have returned from their extended break after helping Brazil reach the Copa America final, which they lost 1-0 to Argentina.

With Liverpool launching their Premier League campaign away at Norwich City on August 14, Klopp admits the returning trio's preparation time is far from ideal.

Nevertheless, the German said they could feature against Sinisa Mihajlovic's side, who finished 12th in Serie A last term.

"The players who play international football never have enough time; that was always like this," he added.

"You never have enough time to train and stuff like this – a week, two weeks before the season.

"[The Brazilian players] will start tomorrow with training properly with us.

"Maybe on Thursday in our two 60-minute games against Bologna, we can involve them already. I don't know yet – maybe 15, 20, 30 minutes. We have to see how they look exactly."

Is Cristiano Ronaldo's time in Turin coming to an end?

Juventus reportedly feel the end could be nigh.

Paris Saint-Germain are waiting in the wings…

 

TOP STORY –  RONALDO HEADING FOR EXIT?

Juventus are convinced Cristiano Ronaldo is considering his future with the Serie A giants, according to Goal.

Ronaldo has been tipped to leave Juve amid growing speculation, with Diario AS reporting Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with the superstar.

Juve and Ronaldo – also linked with his former clubs Manchester United and Real Madrid – reportedly met on Thursday following the return of head coach Massimiliano Allegri, who has replaced Andrea Pirlo.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester City are the team most interested in Tottenham's Harry Kane, says Fabrizio Romano. Kane is reportedly looking to leave Spurs and the England striker has been linked with Premier League champions City, United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona. City are eyeing a replacement for Barca recruit Sergio Aguero, with Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Eintracht Frankfurt forward Andre Silva also targets.

Tottenham are in talks with Son Heung-min over a contract extension, reports Romano.

- BBC Sport claims Alisson is set to hold contract talks with Liverpool. The Brazil international goalkeeper's current deal does not expire until 2024.

- Football Insider reports Everton's Richarlison is on Madrid's radar following the appointment of ex-Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti. Madrid have long been tipped to prise Kylian Mbappe from PSG.

Juventus and PSG are in the race to sign Sassuolo midfielder Manuel Locatelli, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. City and Inter have also been linked.

Memphis Depay is on the verge of completing a move to Barca on a three-year deal, per Diario Sport. Depay is available on a free transfer, with his Lyon contract expiring.

- The Yorkshire Evening Post claims Liverpool are among the teams interested in Leeds United's Raphinha. Manchester United and City are also believed to be among the possible suitors.

Alisson's historic late header in last month's dramatic 2-1 win over West Brom has been named Liverpool's Goal of the Season.

The Reds goalkeeper kept his team's hopes of Champions League qualification on track by heading in a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner to make it 2-1 in injury time at the Hawthorns on May 17.

In doing so, the Brazilian became the first goalkeeper in the club's 129-year history to find the back of the net in a competitive fixture.

Liverpool finished the season third in the Premier League on 69 points, securing Champions League football after winning their final five matches of the season.

The victory at West Brom came right in the middle of that sequence, with the Reds following it up with a 3-0 win at Burnley and a 2-0 defeat of Crystal Palace on the final day of the season.

Alisson's unlikely winner saw him become only the sixth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League, joining Peter Schmeichel, Brad Friedel, Paul Robinson, Tim Howard and Asmir Begovic on an exclusive list.

He was the first keeper in the competition to score with his head, and Liverpool fans understandably voted it the club's Goal of the Season with 65 per cent of the votes.

Jurgen Klopp has revealed his role in Alisson's "world class" late winner against West Brom: not telling the Liverpool goalkeeper to head back to his own box.

The Reds goalkeeper kept his team's hopes of Champions League qualification on track as he headed in a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner to make it 2-1 in injury time at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

In doing so, the Brazilian became the first goalkeeper in the club's 129-year history to find the back of the net in a competitive fixture.

But, when asked if he had called for his No.1 to go up for his big moment, Klopp replied: "No, I looked at the corner. I don’t exactly know. I saw Ali starting [to go up]. 

"My part of the goal is that I didn’t shout, 'Stay back!' I just let him run. 

"The last minute of the game, nobody has to ask usually a ‘keeper to go in the opposite box when you have to win, which we obviously had to. 

"He went there and what a goal! It was incredible. Wow. We saw it now already 10 times back in the dressing room. It's absolutely incredible. 

"If Olivier Giroud scores a goal like this everybody says it's a world-class goal. When Alisson is doing it, we have to say the same."

After scoring, Alisson was swamped by team-mates who are fully aware of what he has been through during a difficult year that was made even more testing by the loss of his father.

On that reaction, Klopp added: "The way that his team-mates showed today how much they like him is the best description. 

"He is a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful person and [he is] funny, smart, thoughtful, intense in moments. 

"He is just a great guy and it couldn't have been for a better person to have such a special moment after all that he went through. I am really, really happy for him."

Klopp did not only have good news to share as he reflected on a big win, though, the German revealing that Liverpool have been hit by two further injury blows.

And they mean Diogo Jota and Ozan Kabak will not feature in the remaining two games of the season against Burnley and Crystal Palace.

He continued: "Diogo, I don't know actually. As I said, it is not too serious but as always, you have to wait [to see] how it develops, how it heals. 

"It is a little bone in the foot and we have to see. I think he will now be in a boot for two weeks or so and when he gets out of the boot then the doctors will check how it developed, how far the progress is, so I don't know that but of course, it is not a top moment. 

"Ozan isn't in the long-term [injuries] but nobody is coming back, I think."

Alisson paid an emotional tribute to his father and family after scoring a last-gasp winner in Liverpool's vital 2-1 victory over West Brom.

The Brazilian became the first goalkeeper to score a competitive goal in the club's 129-year history as he nodded home Trent Alexander-Arnold's corner deep into stoppage time.

Touching scenes followed at full-time with the 28-year-old, who lost his father in tragic circumstances in February, seen fighting back tears as he embraced his team-mates.

And he later hailed his goal as an uplifting moment in what has been a testing year on a personal level.

"I'm too emotional these last months for everything that happened with me, my family," he told Sky Sports.

"But football is my life, I played since I remember with my father. I hope he was here to see it; I'm sure that he saw with his God at his side, celebrating. 

"For my family, for the boys, what a fight! Sometimes, we are fighting, fighting and things just are not happening, as with this afternoon here. 

"Scoring this goal, I'm really happy to help because they really fight a lot, we fight a lot together, and we have a strong goal to achieve the Champions League. 

"We won it once and you know that everything starts with qualification, so I can't be more happy than I am now."

Alisson went on to thank players, managers and clubs across the Premier League for reaching out during his lowest moments.

The Brazil international declared that he would not have been able to move on from his father's death without such shows of support.

He added: "I've been away from interviews for a long time, it was a difficult time because always when I talk about it I get emotional. 

"I just really want to thank all of you, all the Premier League, all the players, I receive letters from managers, from teams. 

"For example, Everton and [Carlo] Ancelotti, all the players, Manchester City, Chelsea. I don't want to be not fair with the others that I don't remember. 

"I just want to say thank you to everybody for the support, if it wasn't for you I could never get through this. 

"I'm away from my family since the thing happened, I mean my mother. My wife has been amazing with me and my kids give me energy.

"This is the way God loves us, through people, and we should do that every time every day. I just want to say thank you in this moment."

He also explained how his remarkable winner at the Hawthorns came about, revealing that Liverpool's goalkeeping coach played a key role. 

He continued: "I tried to look at the bench but nobody called me and then John Achterberg called me with conviction and it was the perfect time. 

"The cross was brilliant, I tried to put my head on the ball and I think it was one of the best goals I saw. It's the best I ever scored! 

"I don't know how to celebrate and hopefully I don't need to come so many times to the box to score a goal. 

"Hopefully our players will do that for me and I just have to think to defend and help them there."

Fabinho returns from injury to claim a place in Liverpool's starting XI against Chelsea on Thursday. 

A muscle injury has kept the Brazilian sidelined since the home defeat to Manchester City in early February, but he is back at the heart of a defence that also features January signing Ozan Kabak. 

Fabinho is joined in the team by fellow Brazilian Alisson, who missed the weekend win over Sheffield United following the death of his father. 

Liverpool have also received a further boost in the return of Diogo Jota to the squad. 

The Portuguese forward has been out since sustaining a knee injury in mid-December and saw his comeback further delayed by illness on Sunday. 

However, he has the chance to make an impact from the bench against Thomas Tuchel's side at Anfield. 

As for Chelsea, they make three changes to the side that earned a 0-0 draw against Manchester United last time out. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mateo Kovacic and Olivier Giroud make way, with Reece James, Jorginho and Timo Werner their replacements. 

Alisson and Fabinho are back in contention for Liverpool ahead of Thursday's clash with Chelsea, and Diogo Jota could potentially return if he manages to shake off an illness.

Brazil international goalkeeper Alisson missed the 2-0 weekend win at Sheffield United following the death of his father, with Adrian deputising at Bramall Lane.

It was not immediately clear how long Alisson would be absent for, but Klopp confirmed on Wednesday that he has trained all week and is in line to face Chelsea at Anfield.

Alisson's international colleague Fabinho has also been out lately, missing each of Liverpool's previous four matches across all competitions due to a muscular injury.

He will return to the squad as well on Thursday, though Klopp was a little less certain regarding Jota, who has not played since damaging knee ligaments in December.

However, the doubt surrounding the former Wolves star only relates to a stomach complaint, rather than a setback with his knee.

"Ali trained full week, so yes, we should expect he is ready to return," Klopp told reporters. "Fab has now five or six sessions in his legs, we have to make a decision about how we deal with that, but he looks good, he's ready for squad for sure.

"And Diogo had now a little stomach problem, or whatever you can say. He trained yesterday only a little bit – he was only out there for the warm-up, rondo and a little run, so…

"We got the message this morning that he feels better so we'll see what we can do with that. Before, he was doing exceptionally well but unfortunately got ill overnight and now we have to see how big the steps are that he can make towards the team again."

Fabinho has played much of the season away from his natural role in midfield, instead filling in as a centre-back such has been Liverpool's struggle with injuries.

Klopp was unsure whether he will be required at centre-back again, though he made no secret of how important he felt it would be to restore some familiarity to the midfield.

"Both [Fabinho in defence and midfield] is possible, which is good, it gives us options," he said. "If we can find a way to play him in midfield, that would be helpful.

"Our most consistent player this season is probably [Georginio] Wijnaldum, touch wood and long may it continue. He's played as a number six and pretty much all other positions, but with Fab in as a six would be helpful in some games. We will see. Both positions are intense.

In the past we had to play the players when they came back immediately because another player left pitch injured the game before, this time we don't have to do that.

"That's the first time, maybe. There's still a lot of games to come, so we'll see - is Fab close enough to start or is he only ready for the bench? Then which positions. These decisions are still to be made, though even if I had made them already, I wouldn't tell you exactly what my decision was."

Curtis Jones dedicated his goal at Sheffield United to Liverpool team-mate Alisson, whose father died in tragic circumstances in Brazil.

Alisson was not included in Liverpool's squad as the reigning Premier League champions stopped their slide with a 2-0 win over the struggling Blades on Sunday.

It was reported that Jose Agostinho Becker drowned on Wednesday while swimming close to his holiday home. The 57-year-old was declared missing and, following a search, his body was found.

Jones scored the opener at Bramall Lane, with Kean Bryan's own goal then securing a much-needed victory for the Reds.

"It's been a difficult time for myself and the rest of the team, but I'm happy that I got on the scoresheet and I'd like to take this time to say that this goal is for Ali's dad, actually," Jones told Sky Sports.

"So, may he rest in peace and if Ali sees this, this is for you bro."

Asked how difficult the news had been for Liverpool's squad, Jones replied: "He's a strong lad, a big part of the team of course.

"He's not here today, we miss him for sure. I'd like to give the goal to him, his dad and the rest of his family."

Jones' goal was his second in the Premier League, and his first away from Anfield, while the 20-year-old midfielder also became the youngest Liverpool player to score a top-flight goal on the road since Raheem Sterling against Burnley in 2014.

"I'm a player that likes to assist and score goals – I think the right time is now," Jones added. "We've had good games but not scored as many goals as we'd like.

"Today was a good example of it all coming together. It was a good performance."

Jones finished with a game-high four goal attempts, with three of them on target, while his passing accuracy of 96.3 per cent was better than that of any other player who started the game.

It was a display which came as no surprise to Jurgen Klopp, who said it is vital that Jones – who was involved in both goals – starts to produce at the top end of the pitch on a consistent basis.

"A top player, no doubt about that. That's why he was playing. He was very important," Klopp said.

"We have talked about him being involved in more goalscoring situations as well, that's clear. Everyone has space for improvement. Tonight he was involved [in the goals] – that's good."

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson thanked his fans for their support following the tragic death of his "beloved" late father.

It was reported that Jose Agostinho Becker drowned on Wednesday while swimming close to his holiday home in Brazil.

The 57-year-old was reported missing and, following a search, his body was found.

Alisson wrote in a message on Twitter on Thursday: "I would like to thank everyone for the messages and tributes to my beloved father!

"Our family feels loved by everyone! May God bless each one's lives!"

The Brazil international has played 27 games in all competitions for Liverpool this season.

The Reds play bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp's side are seeking to halt a four-match losing run in the Premier League that has seen the defending champions slip to sixth place.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson's father is reported to have drowned, with former club Internacional tweeting their condolences. 

According to widespread reports, the 57-year-old was swimming close to his holiday home in Brazil on Wednesday when he was reported missing. 

A search was launched and his body was found. 

Internacional, for whom Alisson's brother Muriel also used to play, tweeted: "It is with great sadness that we received the news of the death of Jose Agostinho Becker, father of our former goalkeepers Alisson and Muriel. 

"Clube do Povo wishes strength to family and friends in this moment of so much pain." 

Brazil international Becker moved to Anfield from Roma in 2018, after appearing for his country at the World Cup in Russia. 

The 28-year-old won the Champions League in his debut season and helped Jurgen Klopp's side to the Premier League title last term. 

 

Jurgen Klopp has been suitably impressed by Ozan Kabak so far as the defender looks to make the most of his opportunities at Liverpool. 

Kabak moved to Anfield on the final day of the mid-season transfer window, initially joining on loan from Schalke until the end of the current campaign. 

However, the deal reportedly includes a purchase option, meaning the 20-year-old Turkey international has a window in which to prove he should be signed permanently in a deal worth £18million. 

The centre-back endured a moment to forget on his debut against Leicester City, colliding with goalkeeper Alisson to gift Jamie Vardy a goal that helped the hosts go on to seal a 3-1 triumph at the King Power Stadium. 

Yet Klopp felt Kabak was still solid despite that incident, with the new signing going on to help the Reds keep RB Leipzig at bay in a 2-0 Champions League victory in midweek. 

"Big potential, 20 years old and already pretty experienced, to be honest," Klopp replied when asked about Kabak in his pre-match press conference ahead of the derby against Everton.  

"He didn't take the easy way in his career so far, when you are in Istanbul when you can play for probably one of the biggest teams in the world [Galatasaray] and always be around at the top of the table.

"Then you go to Stuttgart and Schalke, where you have to fight really hard to win football games. That's good from an education and development point of view.

"Now he's here and looks really promising. Both games, he looked really solid.

"Yes, we all know what happened in the Leicester game, but around this situation he played a really solid game, not to forget who we played that day. They were second or third in the Premier League, a tough one with all the forwards they have.

"He did really well - long may it continue."

Kabak has swapped a Bundesliga relegation battle for a top-four fight with Liverpool and, with Fabinho ruled out again, could be set to continue in the team for the visit of Everton on Saturday.

His performance against Leipzig in the first leg of the last-16 tie certainly suggested he has adapted quickly to the change of scenery. He made twice as many tackles (four) as any of his team-mates in Budapest, also managing a joint match-high three interceptions while completing 84.3 per cent of his attempted passes.

The clean sheet on Tuesday was also a confidence boost for Alisson, as his involvement in the Vardy goal against Leicester came after two high-profile errors in the 4-1 home loss to Manchester City. 

While understanding such moments can lead to self-doubt for any player, Klopp made clear to the media that he has never lost faith in his first-choice keeper. 

"My confidence? Nothing changed. We are all human beings, Ali as well. It's not about telling him he's a world-class goalkeeper, he knows that," the Liverpool boss said.

"If you made a mistake in the game before, the previous games and it's nothing you like, humans are all the same. Ali is too smart to ignore it completely.

"Other personalities would perhaps not struggle, but in the end he can rely – and we can rely – on his quality and his attitude, plus how focused he is during a game, how much he lives in it. 

"There was not one second of doubt. Ali, for sure, did not have the best time between the two games – that's how it is. But the Leipzig game was a really good one to get back."

Liverpool are unbeaten in their previous 23 meetings with Everton in all competitions, which is their longest run against any opponent.

They go into the latest meeting with their neighbours looking to avoid a fourth successive league loss, having not suffered such a run of form in the competition since Gerard Houllier was in charge in December 2002.

Alisson has been under fire lately but he will "sleep really well" according to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp after keeping an assured clean sheet in Tuesday's 2-0 win over RB Leipzig.

Second-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane earned the Reds the Champions League last-16 victory in Budapest, ahead of the return leg in Liverpool on March 10.

However, prior to those goals Alisson came up with a big save in the 46th minute to deny Christopher Nkunku.

The clean sheet comes after the Brazilian goalkeeper was criticised for his turnovers in the 4-1 loss to Manchester City and a defensive mix-up in the 3-1 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League.

"Definitely, definitely," Klopp said when asked about Alisson feeling better. "He honestly had big moments in the Leicester game also, some brilliant saves. So that's how it is, but of course it helps.

"A clean sheet, I can imagine Ali will sleep really well on the plane on the way home, and as always he helped us a lot."

Liverpool’s triumph snapped a run of three consecutive defeats amid a period of tumult for Klopp's side as their Premier League title challenge has fallen apart, slipping down to sixth.

The German manager was delighted with his players' response against last season's Champions League semi-finalists, which provided a morale boost although he insisted that was not a tonic for their problems.

"Look, we are not children anymore so we would now think 'OK, now we won that game and everything is fine again'," Klopp said.

"For me it is much more important that we played again good football. Again, not the first time, in the last few weeks, I understand that and I respect that 100 per cent, that nobody is really happy with the results, that's clear."

Klopp's caution is understandable given last month's form dip was halted with wins over Tottenham and West Ham before their latest slump.

He added: "I know Leipzig pretty well and I know how dominant they can be, football-wise, and how overwhelming they can be in a game from a physical point of view.

"That is what we had to deal with tonight and the boys played a really good game, a really good game."

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