Jurgen Klopp believes Mohamed Salah still has the body of a young player even as the Egyptian grows wiser with experience.

Salah came off the bench to get Liverpool’s final goal in Thursday night’s 5-1 Europa League win over Toulouse, his 43rd European goal for the club – breaking surpassing Thierry Henry’s tally of 42 for Arsenal as the most scored by any Premier League player for a single club in continental competition.

It came after the 31-year-old got both goals in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Everton, which meant that Salah has now scored or assisted in each of his last 13 Premier League games at Anfield.

Salah will aim to extend that run when Nottingham Forest visit on Sunday and Klopp is enjoying the spectacle of a maturing player with a more-rounded game, yet one who still has the physical attributes to match anyone.

“Off the pitch he behaves like a grown-up man but besides that he’s still a young player,” Klopp said. “He’s so fit. I think if we scan him the majority of the bones are probably 19 or 20 (years old) because he just keeps in such good shape.

“(He has) game understanding. That’s what we try to give young players. They all know an awful lot about football when they finish their career at 35 but the earlier you can get this information the more useful it is.

“And with Mo he understands the spaces much better, he knows how players react on him and if he cannot score he can still be a threat for us and that’s super important… I cannot compare Mo to other 30-odd-year-old players because I don’t think biologically he is.”

Klopp admitted he had no idea that Salah had surpassed Henry’s European tally but, given the number of records the Egyptian has broken during his time at Anfield, it is not easy to keep up.

“Maybe he would have broken a few more records if I would be more into that because sometimes I left him out when he could have broken a record,” Klopp said. “It wasn’t intentional but I’m not too much into this.

“He broke a record (against Toulouse) but if not he would have broken it in two weeks or three that’s clear. He’s just such a good player.

“We appreciate him and we will appreciate him even more after his career when we realise we saw something really special.”

Klopp had made eight changes from the Merseyside derby for the visit of Toulouse, but will reverse most if not all of them on Sunday when Forest head to Anfield.

Liverpool go into the weekend three points off the top of the Premier League table and aiming to show they can balance a Europa League campaign with a title challenge at home.

“So far we could do it,” he said. “Thursday-Sunday is not great but it’s something we know really for long enough and that’s fine.

“The boys that didn’t play (against Toulouse) will have a proper training session so that’s good.

“If you play always the same team like we did in the past in the Champions League then it’s no training at all, it’s just recovery and then go again but so far we are able to do it like this with not too many injuries.

“A lot of the players who didn’t play will probably start on Sunday so for them they had if you want a day off, just warming up and kicking a few balls. (On Friday) we will have a proper session to prepare for Nottingham.

“This rhythm is the rhythm we have this year. We should get used to it sooner rather than later.”

Jurgen Klopp called his Liverpool team “easy to fall in love with” after watching them ease to a 5-1 win over Toulouse that puts them in complete control of their Europa League group.

Ryan Gravenberch was outstanding in midfield, creating one and scoring another, Diogo Jota got his eighth goal in seven in Europe’s second-tier competition, Wataru Endo opened his Liverpool account and there were also goals for Darwin Nunez and substitute Mo Salah.

But the night also demonstrated the depth in Liverpool’s squad as Klopp made eight changes from the 2-0 win over local rivals Everton, handing a full debut to teenager Luke Chambers while Calum Scanlon and James McConnell both made their bows off the bench.

Klopp had to conduct a significant rebuild of his side this summer after last season’s disappointments and the unexpected exits of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, but the early signs are promising with Liverpool three points off the top of the Premier League and firing on all fronts.

“I think it’s really easy to fall in love with this team,” Klopp said. “There is so much excitement in it. We have to make massive steps, we have to grow, we have to do a lot of things but a lot of the signs are really promising.

“How the team interacts with each other is really nice because when you talk about a rebuild of the team it’s all about the things you see on the pitch, obviously, but to see that there has to be a rebuild off the pitch as well and that’s going really well.”

Liverpool were not perfect on the night, allowing Thijs Dallinga to cancel out Jota’s early opener when their high line was exposed quarter of an hour in.

They also needed Trent Alexander-Arnold to block a Gabriel Souza shot on the line after a Caoimhin Kelleher mistake, but Klopp was more than happy with what he saw from a team featuring so many changes as others were kept in reserve for Sunday’s visit of Nottingham Forest.

“The result was good, the performance was good,” he said. “There were a lot of really good individual performances which is nice because it’s important for development. Besides the goal we conceded and the chance we gave them when Trent had his spectacular save around that it was everything we expected.”

The 21-year-old Gravenberch, a summer signing from Bayern Munich, was making back-to-back starts at club level for the first time in 18 months, and delivered a stand-out performance, regularly driving forward from midfield and proving a constant menace to Toulouse.

His goal may have come from what Klopp described as a “slapstick” moment – when Nunez rounded the goalkeeper only to hit his shot against the post with Gravenberch picking up the pieces – his performance certainly merited an appearance on the scoresheet.

“I really like him, as a boy, as a player, it’s really nice to see how much he starts believing in himself again,” Klopp said. “That’s obviously very important for a young player especially. There’s lot to improve on still which is good news because everybody sees the potential he has.”

Nunez left the pitch still kicking himself for his miss, but Klopp was delighted with the Uruguayan.

“(Darwin) played incredible,” he said. “Honestly in this moment I couldn’t care less than he hits the post because everything before was super convincing, how he took the defender away, how he went past the goalie it was a perfect situation.

“He played really good, the goal he scored, the situations he was in. He is in a good moment and for us that’s really important. I’m really pleased for him. Yes it’s a bit of slapstick when the ball doesn’t go in but Ryan puts it in and it’s cool.”

Liverpool seized control of Europa League Group E as they breezed to a 5-1 win over Toulouse at Anfield to go five points clear after three games.

Diogo Jota continued his love affair with Europe’s second competition, scoring his eighth goal in seven appearances, and although Thijs Dallinga levelled for the visitors, Wataru Endo got off the mark in Liverpool colours and Darwin Nunez added another to put Jurgen Klopp’s men in charge before half-time.

Nunez then hit the post of an open goal just after the hour, but Ryan Gravenberch tucked in the rebound and substitute Mohamed Salah added a fifth in stoppage time to leave Liverpool – three points off the top of the Premier League – looking strong on all fronts as they face an intense run of fixtures.

Klopp had promised to make “not too many” changes to his side following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Everton in the Merseyside derby, but there were only three survivors in the starting line-up – Jota, Gravenberch and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Klopp had also said he wanted to ensure Toulouse, who lost 4-0 on their only previous visit to Anfield in 2007, did not enjoy their evening and all three of those players had a big say in making sure they did not.

Jota got the opening goal, Alexander-Arnold the assist for the second and Gravenberch, a driving force throughout in Liverpool’s midfield, creating the third before scoring the fourth, but this was also a show of the depth in Klopp’s squad.

Jota opened the scoring with only nine minutes gone. Joe Gomez prodded the ball forward to the Portugal international, who turned on the edge of the centre circle and ran at goal, holding off two opponents and skipping past Logan Costa before beating Guillaume Restes with a low shot.

Liverpool, dominant on the ball and winning the midfield battle, looked poised for a comfortable night, but Toulouse then gave their noisy travelling support a moment to savour, hitting their hosts on the break with quarter of an hour gone.

Aron Donnum turned on the halfway line to play in Dallinga, being kept onside by Alexander-Arnold and he had space to run at goal before slotting a shot under Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool soon regained their composure. Gravenberch almost scored a remarkable goal in the 28th minute, controlling a raking pass from Alexander-Arnold, breaking into the box and then – having seemingly run into traffic – twisting his way through to test the 18-year-old Restes with a low shot.

Moments later, Endo’s moment arrived as the Japan international got in front of his man to direct Alexander-Arnold’s cross into the corner of the net.

Toulouse were rocked and soon fell further behind. Gravenberch drove at goal from his own half, laying the ball off for Curtis Jones to shoot from a central position. His effort was charged down but the ricochet fell for Nunez, whose emphatic finish found the roof of the net.

There was a scare at the start of the first half as Kelleher got a clearance all wrong, leaving Gabriel Suazo with what should have been an easy chance, but he shot straight at Alexander-Arnold on the line.

Liverpool’s fourth came about in almost comical circumstances in the 65th minute. Jota’s pass found the run of Nunez, who had done the hard work by rounding Restes, only to see his shot come back off the post.

Nunez still had his head in his hands as Gravenberch picked up the pieces to get the goal his performance deserved.

Cody Gakpo then replaced Nunez in a flurry of substitutions, making a welcome return from a knee injury, while there was also a late cameo for Salah, who scored his ninth goal in 12 appearances for Liverpool with almost the last kick of the game.

Cody Gakpo could return for Liverpool when they face Toulouse in a Europa League clash on Thursday night.

The Dutch forward has been missing since suffering a knee injury in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham at the end of last month, but after returning to training in the build-up to the 2-0 derby win over Everton at the weekend, Gakpo is now available for selection, Jurgen Klopp has said.

Andy Robertson, meanwhile, has undergone surgery on the shoulder he injured while on international duty with Scotland, but faces a longer road to recovery.

“Robbo had surgery and all went well, as good as it could be, so the recovery starts after he wakes up,” Klopp said. “I think it happened this morning. That’s it. We don’t know how long it will take or whatever, but the first step is done, that’s good.

“Cody is in full training now since Sunday, which means he is available for the squad. Whatever we do with that we will have to see, but that’s good as well.”

Klopp hinted at making changes for the visit of Toulouse, but with the game an opportunity to open up a commanding lead in Group E, Klopp does not want to take anything for granted.

“Toulouse deserve all our respect,” he said. “It is a really interesting story, winning the (French) Cup last year…it was a massive thing. They are a young team, a talented team, you see them playing really nice football and they have a clear idea.

“They got a point against PSG and it was a massive one so we have to make sure we are really ready. Then it is about us. We have to create an atmosphere through the way we play.

“I’m pretty sure they are looking forward to playing at Anfield as players and coaches, but we have to make sure they cannot enjoy it.”

Liverpool would go five points clear in the group with a win and put one foot in the knock-out stages, and with that in mind Klopp said he would be careful in not making too many changes that might disrupt his side.

“We want to win football games and this is the next opportunity,” he said. “(A win) would bring us to nine points with Toulouse on four, but knowing that changes nothing. We have to play our best. We will make a few changes but not too much.

“The boys have shown they are really ready for the competition. That’s what I wanted to see. We hope to go a long, long, long way in this competition, but for that we have to make all the decisive steps and tomorrow is another big one.”

Curtis Jones will hope to get another opportunity in midfield, having played only once – in the Europa League win over Union St Gilloise – since his controversial red card at Tottenham brought a three-match Premier League ban.

Jones was sent off for going over the top of the ball to catch Yves Bissmouma, but the replays made the incident look worse than it perhaps was.

“It’s been tough,” the 22-year-old said of his enforced time out. “I was at a point where I was playing games and doing well and then a small mistake like that stops the run of games. That’s in the past now and I’ve moved on, and I’ve got a chance now to play again so I’m excited.

“In terms of the tackle itself, I’ve seen it at the end of the game. It was unfortunate but then I’ve seen what the ref was shown, he was only shown the clip of my foot on the leg so I understand (the decision). I’ve moved past that and I’m excited for the next games.”

Former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia believes Virgil van Dijk will prove this season he is once again the best centre-back in the Premier League.

The Netherlands international has faced questions about whether can rediscover the form which arguably made him the world’s top defender prior to a knee ligament injury in October 2020.

However, there are signs the current Reds skipper is edging closer to his best with his commanding performance in the weekend’s Merseyside derby win over Everton another indicator of a return to his previous high level.


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“He is one of the best in the business in the world,” Hyypia told the PA news agency at a Nike Game On initiative which, in conjunction with the LFC Foundation, has provided more than 8,000 local schoolchildren with access to a range of sports.


“I think he has raised the standard with everyone expecting him to play at that level every time and that is very difficult.

“But he is doing well, he is a big part of our team and a big leader of the team so I think we all need to be patient and his best is coming.

“I think this season he has shown in some games he is still at the level and I have no doubts he will be the best centre-back in the league this season.”

Despite their good start to the season there has been scrutiny on Liverpool’s defence, with right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold now operating in a hybrid midfield playmaker role in possession and opponents seeking to exploit the space in behind.

The focus is likely to intensify following the news left-back Andy Robertson will be sidelined for three months after shoulder surgery, with Kostas Tsimikas having to deputise.

But Hyypia has faith in both Liverpool’s full-backs, adding: “Trent is like a midfield player. He can pass short and long and has the vision to see the passes.

“I think this role suits him well and when he is in the midfield position he doesn’t have that big distance to go back defending when we lose the ball.”

On Tsimikas, the former Finland international said: “I think he will get a lot of responsibility now and he has his chance to show what kind of player he is.

“Hopefully he is courageous and takes his chance. If that is not going to work then Jurgen (Klopp) needs to think of something else to solve the problem but I have confidence in Tsimikas that he can do the job.”

Having come through a testing set of fixtures Liverpool sit third in the table, a point behind leaders Manchester City. With games to come against Nottingham Forest, Bournemouth and Luton – all teams in the bottom six – and Brentford before a late November trip to the Etihad Stadium, Hyypia believes the platform has been laid for another title challenge.

“The ambition is to win the league,” he said.

“As long as we are competing until May to be the champions I think we can say we will have had a successful season.

“The top four is always the minimum target to reach but everyone wants success and some trophies this season.

“It would be foolish to look at what the others are doing. We just concentrate on what we are doing and do what we do best and then we see what the result is.”

The first three years of Game On programme, funded by Nike and delivered by the LFC Foundation, has engaged more than 8,000 children – including 950-plus disabled and 1,000-plus ethnically-diverse participants – aged between seven and 12 and 46 grassroots sports clubs with coaching delivered in 15 different sports.

“Game On is about using the power of sport, Nike and Liverpool to engage local young people in sport – unusually for us not football,” said LFC Foundation chief executive Matt Parish.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk accepts they were lucky not to have Ibrahima Konate sent off in the 2-0 Merseyside derby win over 10-man Everton.

Mohamed Salah scored twice late in the second half after Ashley Young was dismissed for a second bookable offence just before the interval but the hosts were fortunate referee Craig Pawson did not deem the already-cautioned Konate’s tackle on substitute Beto to be worthy of another yellow.

Manager Jurgen Klopp’s decision to immediately substitute the France international to avoid a fifth red card of the campaign was almost an admission of guilt and Van Dijk believes they may have finally had some fortune with the officiating after a number of decisions going against them this season.

“Definitely. He (Pawson) could have given it, he didn’t give it. Bit of luck for us. So what can I say? Nothing else,” said the Netherlands captain, who has suffered personally already with a red card at Newcastle in August.

Liverpool managed to have Alexis MacAllister’s dismissal at home to Bournemouth overturned on appeal but have seen Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones sent off in the controversial defeat at Tottenham during which VAR officials made a huge error in disallowing Luis Diaz’s perfectly-good opening goal.

For a time it appeared the club were engaged in a running battle with Premier Game Match Officials Ltd over the incidents in that game, which has led to a lot of questions being asked about refereeing standards and some of the decisions being made generally.

In particular the threshold for yellow cards appears to be lower this term in relation to time-wasting and complaining.

Van Dijk said the players were trying to steer clear of allowing that to spill out onto the pitch.

During the win over Everton there were a couple of occasions, such as for Young’s second caution and during the wait for VAR to overturn Pawson’s decision not to award a handball against Michael Keane, when the Liverpool captain could be seen ushering his team-mates away from the official.

“I think tackles and stuff that’s for the referees to judge,” said the Dutchman.

“When there is a decision we wanted to stay away from the referee and to make sure we don’t get yellow cards for shouting or saying, ‘Ref, yellow for this’.

“That’s something we have influence on and something we should stay away from. We did that very well, especially with the circumstances.”

While Young’s dismissal made Everton’s task more difficult they were on the back foot for the entire match after their only shot on target came in the opening minute.

A solid defensive effort plus some poor execution in the final third kept the game goalless until Keane’s handball allowed Salah to score his 200th career league goal from the spot, adding his second from a rapid breakaway from Darwin Nunez deep into added time.

“It was the game we expected. The red card changed it a little bit but we had our game plan, we had to be very patient,” added Van Dijk.

“In these games when you score the 1-0 it changes the whole dynamic of the game.”

A fourth successive home win maintained Liverpool’s position in the top four and only a second Premier League clean sheet was another boost.

“Obviously we are still at the beginning of the season but there are very positive signs, very pleased we kept a clean sheet, won quite comfortably, didn’t give many chances away,” said Van Dijk.

“We shouldn’t panic anyways, we have the quality that whatever happens in the game, 1-0 down or in the last couple of minutes still 0-0, chasing for the winner, we have to be calm.

“That’s a sign of a great team because we have players that can make a difference.”

Sean Dyche described referee Craig Pawson’s decision not to send off Ibrahima Konate in the Merseyside derby as “nearly impossible”.

Everton were reduced to 10 men late in the first half at Anfield when Ashley Young was shown a second yellow card but Pawson opted not to make the same decision midway through the second half when Konate pulled back Beto.

The Toffees had succeeded in keeping the game goalless to that point but Mohamed Salah then scored a penalty after a VAR review saw Michael Keane penalised for handball and the striker added a very late second to give Liverpool a 2-0 win.

Dyche was booked following the Konate decision, and he said: “I have no clue. I have asked the referee and he said he didn’t feel it was a bookable offence and he felt that straight away. I don’t know what is then.

“I think people who were here today would be stunned it was not a second yellow. Their manager took him off as quick as he could, he’s realised. I don’t want to talk about referees. I can’t remember the last time I spoke this openly about referees and decisions but that one is incredible to me.

“And I got a yellow card. I don’t even know why I got a yellow card. It was a near impossibility. For literally gesticulating like everyone in the stadium was probably. That’s ridiculous.

“I would get in trouble so I’m not going to get too involved in it, I think I’m trying to be fair. How that’s not a second yellow is nearly impossible I think in the modern game.”

Dyche had no real complaints about the Young decision or the penalty, saying: “The sending off happens. I think the first one’s touch and go, the second yellow is a yellow. That’s the way it goes.

“The penalty, I don’t like the modern rule but I am aware of it. I don’t think it is a deliberate act but they’re the rules now, it’s going to get given.

“I must say I’m getting bored of all this running over to the TV. We all know what’s going to happen. They’re talking about speeding the game up, why not just get on with it? There is somebody in an office with 47 views. If it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty.”

Dyche called for VAR to be used for instances such as Konate’s that could lead to a sending off but does not believe Liverpool were given the rub of the green as a result of the high-profile officiating errors in their recent loss to Tottenham.

“I doubt it, I think referees just referee whatever’s going on in front of them,” he said. “I just think it was a bad decision. I think there were a lot of bad decisions, both ways. But that’s a vital decision in a game like this.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp immediately substituted Konate and had sympathy with Dyche, although he insisted he did not see the incident clearly.

“I didn’t see it back, and I was not sure I saw it 100 per cent, I think I was somewhere else in that moment, but then when he’s going down, and Ibou I knew had a yellow card, I knew that could be tricky,” said the Reds boss.

“He didn’t get the second yellow then I thought we don’t give it a chance and take him off. I can imagine the frustration of Everton and Sean, absolutely.”

Nevertheless, Klopp believed his side fully merited the three points and praised Salah, who took his goal tally for the season to eight.

“What I love most about Mo is that Mo Salah played for us an incredible amount of fantastic games,” said the Reds boss.

“Today it was not his best game but being that clinical is probably his biggest quality and I love that, because you need somebody who brings the ball over the line.

“I couldn’t respect that fact more. That’s absolutely outstanding. The numbers are crazy. He will never stop, that is his nature and that’s really cool for us.”

Mohamed Salah became the first Liverpool player since Peter Beardsley 32 years ago to score in Anfield’s opening four league matches with both goals in a 2-0 victory over 10-man Everton in the 243rd Merseyside derby.

Ashley Young, who has played in some of the world’s biggest cross-city clashes in Manchester, Milan and Birmingham, was sent for a second bookable offence shortly before half-time to make the Toffees’ task of ending their woeful record across Stanley Park even more difficult.

Salah converted a 75th-minute penalty after a Michael Keane handball and then converted a counter-attack in added time which meant the Everton fans present were still to see a ‘live’ victory at Anfield since 1999 as their only win in 2021 came behind closed doors during the Covid era.

Egypt international Salah’s penalty was the 15th consecutive Premier League match in which he had either scored or assisted and brought up Liverpool’s 50th goal against Everton at Anfield in the Premier League.

It was also his 200th career league goal, but his second was his 104th at home for Liverpool, taking him past greats Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard into fifth place on the club’s all-time Anfield scorers list.

But despite Salah’s stellar statistics this was far from a classic derby encounter, even it was a predictably typical one.

Young’s 37th-minute red card – the 29th in this fixture and the 13th of the last 16 to be shown to Everton players – was not quite a turning point as Liverpool were well on top even at that stage but it was contentious.

Luis Diaz looked to have somewhat bought the first yellow when he went down after a tackle on the halfway line but once referee Craig Pawson had given that he had no option when Everton’s right-back brought down the Colombia international on the edge of the area.

Sean Dyche’s response at half-time was to replace his two wingers – Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil – with defenders Nathan Patterson and Michael Keane and switch to a back five.

It did little for striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s prospects, whose only opportunity came just 36 seconds into the game when he headed tamely at Alisson Becker.

After that it was virtually one-way traffic, although Liverpool’s best openings seemed to come on the counter-attack and often from Everton attacking set-pieces.

They had a four-on-two at one stage but when Dominik Szoboszlai released Diaz in the penalty area his delayed shot that allowed Young to block.

Trent Alexander-Arnold drove a free-kick into the wall, Salah muscled McNeil off a 50-50 and curled a shot just over and an Alexis Mac Allister half-volley from 30 yards was claimed at the second attempt by Jordan Pickford.

But Klopp’s side were nowhere near their sharpest in the final third and that played right into Everton’s hands.

Young’s sending-off tipped the balance even further in favour of the home side but they continued to be repelled with Salah’s 52nd-minute shot blocked by James Tarkowski.

Everton’s numerical disadvantage and lack of wingers emboldened Klopp to replace left-back Kostas Tsimikas, making his first start of the season in place of the long-term injured Andy Robertson, with Diaz to allow the introduction of Darwin Nunez and Harvey Elliott.

Konate, whom Everton’s coaching staff felt should also have had a second yellow card for a foul on Calvert-Lewin’s replacement Beto, was also removed for his own good.

Keane must have wished he could have been afford the same courtesy when his outstretched arm blocked Diaz’s cross.

Dawson initially gave a corner but VAR advised him to review the pitchside monitor and he reversed his decision and Salah sent Pickford the wrong way from the spot.

Elliott and Jota both went close as the onslaught continued but it was Salah who benefited from Nunez’s quick counter-attack as he clipped home his second as Liverpool extended their record to one defeat in the last 28 derbies and Everton slumped to a sixth loss of the season.

Storm Babet disrupted football in England and Scotland on Saturday as adverse weather conditions swept the UK.

Ross County’s home match against St Mirren in the cinch Premiership was the latest fixture to be postponed north of the border.

And in England, Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold was involved in an accident after a 40ft electricity pylon smashed onto a car in front of the England international, according to The Sun.

The high voltage power line was pulled up by 70mph winds and landed in front of Alexander-Arnold’s black Range Rover near Knutsford, Cheshire, the newspaper reported.

Alexander-Arnold reportedly slammed on the brakes before colliding with a BMW X5. Cheshire police said nobody was injured in the incident.

The footballer’s agent was contacted by the PA news agency, but declined to comment on the story.

The storm showed no signs of abating as downpours continued to batter the UK on Saturday, with three people dead and another red “danger to life” warning in place.

After conversations with the SPFL and Police Scotland, the decision was taken to call the St Mirren game off on Saturday morning with supporters’ safety in mind.

A club statement said a new date and kick-off time would be rearranged in due course.

County’s match at the Global Energy Stadium became the first fixture to be called off on Saturday but several others were already postponed on Friday, including Aberdeen’s home game against Dundee and Motherwell’s trip to St Johnstone.

Other Saturday fixtures to have fallen include Mansfield’s home clash with Forest Green in Sky Bet League Two, and Altrincham’s match against Dorking in the Vanarama National League.

Chesterfield’s home fixture against Gateshead has also been called off “on the recommendation of various external partner agencies”.

The Scottish Championship game between Arbroath and Raith Rovers – in the worst-hit area of Angus – was called off, as was Greenock’s match against Inverness.

Cove Rangers against Montrose in League One was also postponed along with two games in League Two – Elgin versus Forfar and Stenhousemuir against Peterhead.

Saturday’s race card at Market Rasen was also postponed due to standing water on areas of the track.

An inspection was held on Friday but the race course confirmed after 50mm of rainfall in the area that the decision was made to abandon the meeting.

Rotherham’s Championship game with Ipswich, scheduled to be played on Friday night, was also postponed due to the stormy conditions.

The area was hit with torrential rain which caused the River Don, which runs behind the AESSEAL New York Stadium, to burst its banks which left areas around the stadium flooded.

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson is facing three months on the sidelines with manager Jurgen Klopp admitting the defender’s pending shoulder surgery will be “a big loss” for the club.

The Scotland captain sustained the problem on international duty against Spain but having been assessed on his return to Merseyside the club have decided an operation is the best solution – even if it means the 29-year-old faces a lengthy absence.

“There is a little chance we could try without but talking to pretty much all experts it looks like surgery will be the best thing, especially in the long term definitely, and that means he is out for a while,” said Klopp.

“You only see the real extent of injury when you have a look into it, like properly open (up the shoulder) and fix it – but my experience tells me around about three months.

“That is a shoulder (injury), usually not a lot of times you say it was earlier but Robbo is a quick healer, that is true.

“In this specific case we have to make sure the shoulder structure is stable, because the moment the boy starts all the normal contact stuff again the player has to be ready for that.

“I don’t exactly when, but next Wednesday (or whenever he has the operation) we will know more.

“In my experience you can train pretty quickly again but not football-specific because you have to be careful of challenges and all these kind of things so he will be out for a while. It is a big loss.”

Robertson has played every minute of all eight Premier League matches this season and has been ultra-reliable for Klopp, having missed just five matches in 275 appearances in more than six years for the club.

It means the Scot’s back-up Kostas Tsimikas, who has made 65 appearances in just over three seasons and many of those as a substitute, could make only his second appearance in a Merseyside derby on Saturday.

Other alternatives are the predominantly right-sided Joe Gomez, who has more experience, and 19-year-old Luke Chambers, whose only first team appearance was as an 89th-minute substitute in last month’s Carabao Cup win over Leicester.

On the significance of Tsimikas being ready, Klopp added: “It always was like this.

“Thank God it is not only Kostas we have for that because for the amount of games we have we would already be a bit short.

“But we have Joe Gomez who can play the position, Luke Chambers and other young boys who show up in training quite frequently.

“There is a lot of talent in there so you need options and that is clear. Kostas is definitely the most experienced in the position but he cannot play all the games from now on so we need other options as well and we have to make sure we make all of them.”

Klopp could also field a midfield with no derby experience – Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Ryan Gravenberch and Wataru Endo all arrived in the summer – but the Reds boss does not believe that is a concern.

“It is a special game no doubt but a high pressure game and they all played them. Macca played the World Cup with Argentina, Dom played Serbia recently in a super-important, high-pressure game so they are all used to the kind of game,” he added.

“The exact game, not, but I cannot show them a movie of derbies and say that is how they should be. I don’t think we have to make it too big.”

Liverpool have lost just one of the last 18 matches against their closest rivals – the behind-closed-doors one at Anfield in the Covid era in February 2021 – but Klopp is not thinking about their record.

“It is rather uncomfortable if you tell me about my good record because it doesn’t matter,” he said.

“We try to make sure we don’t think about these things but make sure we are ready, we understand the importance of the game and can’t remember one moment when I said ‘weekend derby’ and enjoyed this thought.”

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson is set for a long spell on the sidelines as he is to have surgery on a shoulder injury.

The Scotland captain sustained the problem on international duty but having been assessed on his return to Merseyside the club have decided an operation is the best solution.

“There is a little bit there, I think the decision is we go towards surgery,” said manager Jurgen Klopp.

“There is a little chance we could try without but talking to pretty much all experts it looks like surgery will be the best thing, especially in the long term definitely, and that means he is out for a while.

“I don’t know exactly how long but it is shoulder surgery so not exactly an easy one.

“In my experience you can train pretty quickly again but not football-specific because you have to be careful of challenges and all these kind of things so he will be out for a while.”

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson is to have surgery on a shoulder injury.

The Scotland captain sustained the problem on international duty and is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“It looks like surgery will be the best,” said manager Jurgen Klopp.

“That means he will be out for a while. Shoulder surgery is not an easy one.”

Everton winger Jack Harrison took advice from Frank Lampard about the importance of having an on-field ego and believes he is reaping the benefits.

The rookie professional had to pluck up the courage to knock on the experienced England international’s hotel room door when they were team-mates at New York City.

He asked about confidence and Lampard, who was sacked as Everton manager six months before Harrison arrived, spoke to him about ego and self-belief.

It is advice he has carried with him since moving back to England with Leeds and now on loan at Goodison Park.

His confidence was boosted further by his maiden Everton goal – a brilliant instinctive lob over Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto – in only his third appearance in which the wise words of Lampard probably played some part.

“I remember going to Frank’s room one time, knocking on his door asking for advice on certain mentality, how to be. I sat in his room and just chatted for half-an-hour,” said Harrison, who gained more valuable information after four seasons with Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road.

“I think having that ego and confidence on the pitch was something that maybe challenged me a little bit. It was difficult for me to bring out.

“But after talking to Frank (he said) it was something he applied to himself. When you step out on that pitch he used to tell himself he was the best player.

“It doesn’t have to be in a nasty way or anything but it’s definitely important to have.

“I was watching an interview Zlatan Ibrahimovic did where he said he felt like God when he was on the pitch. Maybe I’m not at that level but it’s nice to hear similar stories.

“When you are lining up against Mo Salah you have to do your best against them. That mentality, feeling like you belong, is a big part of it.”

Harrison’s two seasons in New York playing alongside Lampard, Andrea Pirlo and David Silva and managed by Patrick Vieira were formative but after being brought home by Manchester City his real development came at Leeds.

Bielsa’s methods were so intense the 26-year-old still has ‘flashbacks’.

“It was beyond anything I’d seen before,” said Harrison ahead of Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

“Because everything was so regimented and we were working so hard the three years almost flew by. I don’t think in all of that time I took a step back to really enjoy playing with him.

“Looking back now, I just wish I enjoyed it a little bit more in the moment but I’m super grateful.

“It has made me the player I am today working with him, building those foundations when I first came back to England.

“I know what the standard is. If I’m ever struggling or lose sight of where I need to be, I can always go back to that time.


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“Sometimes even on a day off I will have in the back of my mind, ‘OK, I need to do something today.’ Some of the guys here (at Everton) will say ‘Bielsa has drilled you so much’.

“It is a good kind of characteristic to have in your back pocket just in case you need it.”

For all the football input the biggest influence on his career is mum Debbie, who took him away from Liverpool’s academy when he was a six and Manchester United’s when he was 14 to send him to a United States boarding school for a better chance of success.

“Her providing me with that opportunity at the time was definitely outside the box. I was an only child and she was a single mother. I have to give all the credit to my mum,” said Harrison.

“Coming back to England I wanted to do everything I could to repay here for that, be it a house or a car or she doesn’t have to work any more.

“Going to New York and playing professionally for the first time I was really thankful to my mum because there were a lot of people saying ‘Oh why didn’t you stay at Man United?’.

“I’d always had that in the back of my mind because I’d seen the likes of Scott McTominay come up and absolutely smash it with the first team. I did think, ‘What could have happened if I’d stayed at United?’.

“But as soon as I made it to New York and saw where I was it gave me a different perspective where I was able to thrive.

“At that point I thought ‘It doesn’t matter what would have happened, this is my path now’. There’s nothing you can do about the past so you have to keep looking forward.”

Harvey Elliott insists he is ready to take his game to the next level as he eyes Euro 2024.

The Liverpool midfielder captained England Under-21s for the first time on Monday, leading the Young Lions as they slipped to a late 3-2 defeat to Ukraine in Slovakia.

He returns to domestic action this weekend, looking to force his way into the Liverpool line-up for Saturday’s Merseyside derby with Everton.

Despite a frustrating lack of starts for the Reds this term, Euro 2024 remains a real goal for Elliott, after England’s 3-1 win over Italy on Tuesday booked their place in Germany, and he is primed to take his chance.

He said: “Absolutely, I’ve felt ready for a while now. It’s just about making sure I keep applying myself to be the best possible player and person I can be.

“It’s a nice goal to reach and aim towards. The tunnel vision is there, it’s taking it game-by-game, and if the opportunity comes I’ll be the happiest kid in the world.

“The Under-21s is my main focus, make sure I’m applying myself and being the best possible person and player for myself.

“If you’re not doing that there’s no change. You have to do the basics right, set a good example, and if the opportunity comes it comes. If not, you have to keep working and, hopefully, one day it will come.”

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Elliott has started just once in the Premier League this term but came off at half time in the 2-2 draw at Brighton just before the international break.

Jurgen Klopp’s summer midfield refresh has seen Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Milner, Naby Keita and Fabinho leave Liverpool, with Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Ryan Gravenberch joining.

The competition has restricted Elliott to 164 minutes in the Premier League and he is under no illusions about the challenge at Anfield.

He said: “I’m just trying to take everything from Hendo and Milner, big characters in the dressing room who have left. I’m not trying to be the next Hendo or Milly but be the best version of myself and the leader I’ve learned to be off them.

“I always knew the season was going to be like this. Liverpool, being a world-class team, are always going to attract unbelievable players and that’s exactly what they’ve done.

“It’s healthy competition. Not everyone is guaranteed to play, and when you get your chance you have to make sure you take it. The quality is there, it’s about applying it on the pitch.

“I feel I can do a job wherever I’m put. The most important thing is putting that red shirt on and playing. I’m working as hard as I can to get into the team.

“It’s down to me to make sure I apply myself and not only show the boss but show the world I’m good enough to play wherever I’m put.”

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The former Fulham youngster also cherishes his relationship with Mo Salah as he learns off the forward.

“He’s always helping me out. We have a great relationship when we play. Off the pitch we’re always talking and I’m always trying to learn off him,” said Elliott.

“For me to look up to him, he’s the best possible player. As well as play with him, I’m trying to be as good as him, if that’s possible.

“He’s a great guy and an unbelievable player. To look up to him and everyone else in the team is great, I’m grateful to be playing with these guys.”

What the papers say

The battle to bring Napoli striker Victor Osimhen to the Premier League is hotting up, with Liverpool joining the chase, according to The Sun. Chelsea and Arsenal are already reportedly keen on the 24-year-old Nigerian, who is valued at around £95 million.

Newcastle are also looking at a Nigerian striker to add to their squad. The Sun reports they are considering a move for Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface, 22.

Jadon Sancho will be allowed to leave Manchester United in January, according to the Daily Mirror. The England winger, 23, will be made available after showing no hint of ending his feud with manager Erik ten Hag.

Former Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos could be heading to Bayern Munich. According to the Daily Mirror, the German giants could make an emergency move for the 35-year-old Greek as they tackle a mounting injury crisis.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Luis Suarez: The 36-year-old Uruguay striker, now with Gremio in Brazil, is the latest target for Inter Miami.

Thiago Silva: The Brazilian defender, 39, has hinted he could return home to Fluminense when his Chelsea contract ends in the summer.

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