Darwin Nunez will "score a lot of goals and show his talent" despite a tough start to his Liverpool career, says ex-Reds midfielder Mohamed Sissoko.

Striker signing Nunez, who scored on his Premier League debut against Fulham, has failed to add to his tally following a three-match ban for a red card against Crystal Palace in August.

But Sissoko – a Liverpool player for three years under Rafael Benitez – is confident the Uruguay forward simply needs time to adapt.

"It's not easy to play in the Premier League. It's a big difference between the Portuguese league and the Premier League," Sissoko told Stats Perform.

"If Liverpool spent a lot of money for this player, it's because he has quality. I'm sure he's going to score a lot of goals and show his talent, because he has talent."

Liverpool are down in eighth place in the Premier League after a disappointing start to the season in which they dropped points against Fulham, Palace, Manchester United and Everton.

And Nunez is not the only player to have struggled, with fellow forward Mohamed Salah criticised in scoring only twice in six league matches.

But Sissoko feels Salah's team-mates are as much to blame, adding: "It depends on the team also. When you play well, when you score, you make lots of good things, it depends on the team, not one player.

"The team has to play well, and after Mo Salah is going to show his talent."

With a tough run of fixtures ahead and with only two clean sheets so far, Liverpool will also need to improve defensively if they are to climb the table. 

When asked about Liverpool's back line and recent scrutiny of Virgil van Dijk, Sissoko said: "He's still one of the best defenders in Europe.

"[Just] because he's not playing well in one game or three games, you can't say he's a poor player. He has quality.

"He's captain of the Netherlands national team, he plays for Liverpool, and he's shown everyone he's a good player. He's a leader also. 

"Sometimes in football, [things] happen. Sometimes you play well, sometimes you play not good, but I'm sure after the international break all the team is going to win and [take] Liverpool higher."

Todd Boehly's suggestion for the creation of a Premier League 'All-Star' game attracted plenty of ridicule, but he certainly can't be accused of a lack of vision or creativity.

The new Chelsea co-owner – and chairman and interim sporting director – was speaking at a conference on Tuesday when he proposed the Premier League 'Americanised' (or should that be 'Americanized'?) itself a bit.

A relegation play-off tournament between the bottom four teams was one idea; but the other, which attracted most of the headlines, was for a North v South 'All-Star' game, pointing out Major League Baseball (MLB) in his native United States made $200million from such an event this year.

A potential Premier League 'All-Stars' game was the talk of football media on Tuesday, so at Stats Perform we decided to have a look at who might line up for the North and South.

It was decided the north-south cut-off point would see Nottingham Forest qualify for the North, ensuring each All-Stars team had 10 clubs to select from.

First up, we have unrestricted squads, so essentially the very best teams possible; then, we have squads that are limited to three players from each club and every single Premier League must have at least a single player selected. So, without any further ado, let's see who made the cut…

NORTH ALL-STARS (unrestricted)

4-3-3: Ederson (Manchester City); Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool); Rodri (Manchester City), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Phil Foden (Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Erling Haaland (Manchester City), Luis Diaz (Liverpool).

SUBS: Alisson (Liverpool), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Fabinho (Liverpool), Casemiro (Manchester United), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).

You knew the starting XI was going to look like that even before reading, didn't you? Manchester City and Liverpool obviously dominated the first team here, but it feels difficult to argue with almost any selection here.

The goalkeeper choice was probably the toughest, but only because Ederson and Alisson are both so strong and simultaneously significantly better than any other eligible shot stoppers in terms of their all-round game – Ederson ultimately got the nod owing to 13 more clean sheets over the past three-and-a-bit years, but either could've got the gig.

Similarly in defence, many of the North's options pick themselves. The centre-backs, Van Dijk and Dias, have each won the Premier League Player of the Season award in the past four years, while Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have at least 12 most assists than any other defender since the start of the 2019-20 season.

While the defence had a distinctively Liverpool look to it, City dominate the midfield because… well, they tend to dominate the midfield. Rodri provides the control and defensive protection, while Foden and De Bruyne can wreak havoc going forward and towards the flanks.

Salah and Haaland were obvious picks in attack. The Egyptian has been involved in 96 goals (66 scored, 30 assisted) since the start of the 2019-20 season, more than anyone else, while Haaland is arguably the most in-form striker in world football, having already netted 12 times in seven games for City.

Luis Diaz was perhaps the most uncertain one, but he's quickly become a key figure at Liverpool. His ability to cut inside or head for the byline makes him an unpredictable asset, and he's something of a double threat in terms of goals and creativity.

Cristiano Ronaldo's appearance on the bench owes much to his solid goal-scoring form last season.

SOUTHERN ALL-STARS (unrestricted)

4-2-3-1: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham); Reece James (Chelsea), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Kalidou Koulibaly (Chelsea), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal); Declan Rice (West Ham), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham); Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal).

SUBS: Edouard Mendy (Chelsea), Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marc Cucurella (Chelsea), Jorginho (Chelsea), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Martin Odegaard (Arsenal), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

This team has it all. A World Cup-winning goalkeeper, a defence with an ideal blend of youth and experience, a combative midfield and four world-class attackers.

Lloris gets the nod in net. He's been one of the most consistent goalkeepers in the league since his arrival from Lyon 10 years ago, and based on Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) conceded metric, Lloris has prevented 3.8 goals since the start of the 2020-21 season, significantly better than his South All-Stars back-up, Chelsea's Edouard Mendy (-3.8).

Chelsea star James is the right-back, with his 16 goal contributions (six goals, 10 assists) since the start of last season topping the charts for a defender. Koulibaly and Romero are a formidable centre-back pairing, while Zinchenko has four Premier League titles to his name from his time at Manchester City.

James and Zinchenko are brilliant attacking full-backs, but the defence will need screening, and that is where Kante and Rice come into their own. Both super ball-winners, Kante's relentless energy will be complemented by Rice's ability on the ball, as he has demonstrated at West Ham.

That midfield protection will be needed, with a four-pronged attack ready to lay waste to the North's defence.

Sterling might not have made a flying start at Chelsea but is the best pick on the right wing, with Son – who shared the league's golden boot award last season – on the opposite wing. Kane will play a slightly deeper role, behind Jesus, who has had more touches in the opposition box (66), attempted more dribbles (34), more dribbles in the box (8) and won more fouls (21) than any other player in the Premier League this season.

NORTHERN ALL-STARS (restricted)

4-2-3-1: Jordan Pickford (Jordan Pickford); Kieran Trippier (Newcastle United), Vigil van Dijk (Liverpool), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool); Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City); Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Pedro Neto (Wolves); Erling Haaland (Manchester City).

SUBS: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Diego Carlos (Aston Villa), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Renan Lodi (Nottingham Forest), James Maddison (Leicester City), Youri Tielemans (Leicester City), Jack Harrison (Leeds United), Antony Gordon (Everton), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United).

Our self-imposed restrictions of no more than three players from a given team gives the North All-Stars a distinctly different feel – nevertheless, Van Dijk, Dias, Robertson, De Bruyne, Salah and Haaland retain their places, for obvious reasons.

Probably the biggest casualty is Alexander-Arnold, but the North benefits from having another excellent forward-thinking option at right-back in Trippier, while Jordan Pickford starts between the posts – David de Gea was another option here, but the England international is better with his feet.

Bruno Guimaraes comes into the midfield, offering a valuable combination of bite and craft, while Fernandes will take up the number 10 position with De Bruyne dropping a little deeper – this shouldn't stifle the team's creativity too much given the Belgian is the only player with more chances created (239) than Fernandes (224) since the latter's Premier League debut.

The other new face in attack is Pedro Neto. Perhaps a wildcard choice, but the Portugal international is an exciting winger with lots of pace and trickery. While Salah will cut in off the opposite flank, Neto looks to get crosses into the box, and that could be an effective route to goal knowing the predatory instincts Haaland has.

Again, Ronaldo is held back in reserve.

SOUTHERN ALL-STARS (restricted)

4-3-3: Robert Sanchez (Brighton and Hove Albion); Reece James (Chelsea), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal); James Ward-Prowse (Southampton), Declan Rice (West Ham), Mason Mount (Chelsea); Raheem Sterling (Chelsea), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Son Heung-min (Tottenham).

SUBS: Neto (Bournemouth), Ben Mee (Brentford), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton and Hove Albion), Joao Palhinha (Fulham), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace), Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal), Ivan Toney (Brentford).

Robert Sanchez has been a standout performer for Brighton under the now Chelsea boss Graham Potter, and he replaces Lloris now the restrictions have come into play. He has kept 24 league clean sheets since making his debut in November 2020, which trails only four other goalkeepers.

James, Romero and Zinchenko all keep their places in defence, though Koulibaly does not. He makes way for Joachim Andersen, who has been excellent since signing for Crystal Palace in 2021.

We have switched to a midfield three for this side, with Rice staying in the team but playing a deeper, anchoring role. Alongside him are two new faces in the form of England team-mates Ward-Prowse and Mount. Both provide energy and creativity in abundance.

Ward-Prowse's set-piece quality – no midfielder has scored more goals or created more chances from set plays since the start of last season as the Southampton captain – is a huge threat, while Mount has contributed to 21 league goals since the beginning of 2021-22.

Jesus is the unlucky striker to drop out of the starting XI, though he is on the bench, with Sterling, Kane and Son leading the line.

Joel Matip was the Liverpool hero as his thumping late header handed the Reds a much-needed 2-1 win over Ajax at Anfield on Tuesday.

The defender secured three priceless Champions League points with his 89th-minute heroics, a huge relief for boss Jurgen Klopp after last week's 4-1 humbling by Napoli.

Mohamed Salah earlier ended a seven-game goal drought in the competition to nudge Liverpool ahead, but Ajax were level before the half-hour mark as Mohammed Kudus capped a 26-pass spell of possession.

Ajax went close through Daley Blind late on, but Matip was more precise as his header crossed the line despite Dusan Tadic's desperate attempts to keep it out. 

The hosts edged ahead in the 18th minute as Alisson's kick reached Luis Diaz, who found Diogo Jota. From a central position, Jota fed the eager Salah, who lashed past Remko Pasveer and into the bottom-right corner.

Diaz and Jota went close as Liverpool threatened to add to their opener, but the Reds were caught out by a rapid Ajax break down the left, which culminated with Kudus' sublime finish into the top-left corner. 

Pasveer saved well from Virgil van Dijk's header, and then denied Trent Alexander-Arnold twice in quick succession before the interval.

Both Van Dijk and Matip then headed over the crossbar from set-pieces as Liverpool kept up the pressure after the break, but Blind almost stunned Anfield from Tadic's right-wing cross when he nodded a foot wide of the right-hand post. 

Liverpool Substitute Darwin Nunez shot wide with seven minutes remaining, but Matip came good with time running out, rising to meet Tsimikas' corner and power the ball towards goal.

While Tadic nodded away, the former Southampton man was was a foot behind the line when doing so, and the relief inside Anfield was obvious as the goal was awarded.

As the old adage goes, form is temporary, class is permanent.

It can happen to the best. Harry Kane, for example, scored just once in his first 13 Premier League games for Tottenham last season, before netting 16 in his next 24 outings once he had his mojo back.

Going under the radar slightly given their results did not particularly suffer as they hunted down an unprecedented quadruple, but opposite to Kane, Mohamed Salah's outstanding goalscoring form in the first half of the season for Liverpool regressed after the turn of the year.

Salah scored 20 non-penalty goals in 26 games in all competitions before heading to the Africa Cup of Nations, where his Egypt team suffered an agonising defeat on penalties to Sadio Mane's Senegal in the final.

On his return, Salah scored just five non-penalty goals in 25 outings. The assumption was that the 30-year-old needed a break, and he began the new campaign with a penalty against Manchester City in the 3-1 Community Shield victory and scored the equaliser at Fulham in an opening day 2-2 draw.

However, he has failed to score in three home games against Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Newcastle United, with his only other goal so far being a consolation in the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.

That is not to say Salah is necessarily out of form (three goals in six outings is hardly bad so early in the season) but when he has set such high standards, seeing Liverpool have to so often rely on goals from elsewhere just feels a bit... strange.

Ahead of the Merseyside derby on Saturday, Stats Perform has taken a look at why Salah might not be producing the numbers we so often associate with him in front of goal. And in fact, playing against Everton at Goodison Park could be just the tonic.

Three of Salah's four Premier League goals for Liverpool against Everton have come at the home of the Toffees, with only Michael Owen (four) having scored more away goals for the Reds against their local rivals in the competition.

Salah's next goal in the Premier League will see him overtake Steven Gerrard's haul of 120 for the club.

It is frankly remarkable the goal has not already arrived, with Salah somehow unable to score in Liverpool's win against Bournemouth last weekend, even though almost everyone else did as Jurgen Klopp's men ran out 9-0 victors at Anfield.

He had chances, incredibly missing from close range after excellent build-up down the left in the first half, before controlling a lofted Fabinho pass in the second and firing over the bar.

In the much more difficult 2-1 win against Newcastle on Wednesday, Salah was relatively anonymous in front of goal, having just two shots, with neither on target.

Is this bad form though, or is Salah just being asked to fill a different role by Klopp?

The sale of Mane to Bayern Munich always felt like it was going to have a significant impact, with the Senegalese attacker such a vital part of their forward line in recent years.

Luis Diaz's January arrival looked to be setting the table for the next evolution of the attack, with Mane playing down the middle after the Colombia international came in, but the signing of striker Darwin Nunez at the end of the season seemed to signal a slightly more drastic change.

What would it mean for Salah? Well, so far it appears to have had an impact on his role, even with Nunez missing for the last three games through suspension after getting sent off on his home debut against Palace.

Last season, Salah averaged 56 touches per 90 minutes in the Premier League. So far this season he has averaged just 48, seemingly indicating fewer moves are going through him.

More noticeably, although the season is still very young, he is taking fewer shots than usual. Last season he was taking 4.5 shots per 90 in the league, which so far this campaign is down to just 2.8.

You might think that could be due to being more selective in his shots, but that also does not appear to be the case, with his shooting accuracy down at 33.3 per cent from 59.4 last season.

It is not all numbers going down though, as Salah appears to be on a mission to act as chief creator, having already crafted 21 chances from open play for team-mates in his five Premier League games, already more than a third as many as the 62 he created in 35 league games last campaign.

He made eight key passes in the draw with Palace, four at United and six against Newcastle, more than any other Liverpool player in each game, suggesting Salah is preparing himself for life alongside Nunez, who gobbled up chances at Benfica last season.

The 23-year-old had a shooting accuracy percentage of 62.3 per cent in the Primeira Liga in 2021-22, and a shot conversion rate of 30.6 per cent, compared to Salah's conversion rate of 22.8 per cent in a season in which he still scored 23 Premier League goals.

This could mean that, while not exactly reverting back to being the winger he was at Roma when playing with Edin Dzeko, Salah's job in the team may be evolving from main goal-getter to someone who can either score or create in equal measure, making Liverpool a little less predictable.

In his final season with Roma in 2016-17 before moving to Merseyside, he averaged 2.9 shots per game and created 2.5 chances from open play, not entirely dissimilar to the numbers he has put up in the early stages of the new season.

The plan with the presence of Nunez is presumably to cause one of two things, either lead to the Uruguayan making use of the space left by defenders all rushing to stop Salah, or allow the Egyptian more room than usual as opposition players are forced to keep an eye on his new team-mate.

You will never extinguish Salah's thirst for goals. Breaking scoring records is what he lives for, but as he said recently in an interview with Sky Sports: "I never say before the season [my individual goals]. But the collective one is the Premier League and Champions League. It has to be. That was my target last season and I go again until I win both again."

Whatever it takes to win more silverware at Liverpool, Salah will do it, and don't be surprised if that starts with a return to form against winless Everton.

After all, class is permanent.

Luis Diaz does not believe Liverpool's start to the Premier League season has been "problematic", but accepted the stumbling Reds must improve quickly. 

Liverpool have failed to win any of their opening three league games for the first time since Brendan Rodgers' first season at the helm in 2012-13, having fallen to a 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Monday.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford dealt the Reds their first Premier League loss of 2022, which followed back-to-back draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Liverpool have now conceded the opening goal in seven successive Premier League games for the first time in their history, while a number of injuries to key players have led to calls for Jurgen Klopp to dip into the transfer market.

While Diaz recognises the need for rapid improvements, he was keen to avoid overstating Liverpool's troubles when speaking to Sky Sports.

"It's been a bit of a difficult start," he said. "It's not quite the outset we wanted for the season. We're a club that goes out to win three points from every game we play.

"I wouldn't say it's problematic for the players or for the manager, but certainly we all know we need to do better."

Reflecting on Monday's defeat at Old Trafford, the Colombia winger added: "We were fully aware of what kind of rivalry exists between the clubs and we knew we had a big task ahead of us. It didn't go our way on the day.

"We know now we have to just do our job and train hard, rest hard and look forward to the next game, when we can hopefully accumulate some points and get a proper start to the season."

Liverpool have now lost four games against United in all competitions under Klopp, with each coming against a different Red Devils boss; Louis van Gaal in 2017, Jose Mourinho in 2018, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021 and Erik ten Hag last time out.

Although there were few positives for Liverpool to take from the loss, Mohamed Salah's late consolation made him Liverpool's all-time top scorer against United with 10 goals, and Diaz described the Egypt star in glowing terms. 

"It's stupendous for me, being able to share my position in the team with Mo," he added. 

"I've seen him over many years on television at so many tournaments and I'd like to say I'm proud of myself, having reached this position where I can share with him these experiences, to wear the same shirt and be a team-mate of his. 

"It's really something special. Every day, playing alongside players like him, it helps you to improve, not just in a footballing sense as a player but also as a person.

"He's a great guy and there's a very special connection between him and me, and between all of us, in fact."

Liverpool welcome Bournemouth to Anfield looking for their first win of the Premier League season on Saturday.

Mohamed Salah has "a year to prove" himself worthy of the new bumper deal handed to him by Liverpool, believes former Netherlands international Nigel de Jong.

The Egypt international put an end to long-running speculation about his future in July by signing a fresh three-year contract to take him through to 2025 at Anfield.

With Sadio Mane having departed for Bayern Munich, the move represented a major part of Liverpool's off-season transfer business to keep one of the key figures of the Jurgen Klopp era on Merseyside.

But a slow start to the season for Liverpool has seen Salah among others come in for criticism, with the forwatd's second goal of the new Premier League campaign on Monday against Manchester United not enough to stave off a 2-1 defeat for the Reds.

With just two points from their first three games, Liverpool are already arguably facing an uphill battle in the title race with Manchester City, and now De Jong has opined that Salah is on limited time to justify the faith shown in him.

"If I was the sporting director and I'd just extended the contract of probably the best player in my squad, I'll give you a year to prove yourself," he told beIN SPORTS.

"Are you worth another [three] years? You need to produce the same numbers, especially on the wages he's on.

"I think it's really important for Salah, and also for Liverpool, to find a way to be successful together in order to strive for him to stay at Liverpool for a long time. If not, they have to make a decision as well.

"I've said it many times over the past couple of years: Mane is the soul of the team. He is a complete player in his energy, in producing numbers, in the way he strides forward.

"Of course, I'm not saying Salah isn't a great player, but he's staggering when it comes down to the numbers."

Manchester United earned a deserved 2-1 victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford to kickstart the Erik ten Hag era and leave their rivals winless after three Premier League games.

Ten Hag elected to drop Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire following successive losses to begin the campaign, a decision that was rewarded by a much-improved display.

An incisive move culminated in Sancho calmly slotting past Alisson after 16 minutes as Liverpool conceded first in a club-record seventh consecutive Premier League game.

Marcus Rashford's goal early in the second half gave United breathing space prior to Mohamed Salah's header nine minutes from time, which proved a mere consolation.

The hosts' first-half display was in complete contrast to their 4-0 loss at Brentford, with Anthony Elanga – preferred to Ronaldo – striking the post early on with just Alisson to beat.

United were ahead soon after when Sancho collected Elanga's pass, fooled James Milner and Alisson with a dummy and found the bottom-left corner from the first shot on target.

Liverpool struggled to get going but nearly levelled before half-time in bizarre circumstances as Bruno Fernandes miscued a clearance against Lisandro Martinez on the goal-line.

With Old Trafford rocking, despite threats of a walk out in protest at the club's owners, half-time substitute Anthony Martial played in Rashford on the counter for United's second.

Rashford was denied another by a good Alisson save, while David de Gea kept out Luis Diaz and Roberto Firmino before Salah's nodded in after United failed to deal with a corner.

Despite some late pressure from Liverpool, the home side – perhaps fortunate not to see Fernandes sent off following a kerfuffle after Salah's goal – held on for a massive victory.

Mohamed Salah believes under-fire Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is "a top coach", while the Liverpool forward acknowledges there is already "a little bit of pressure" on Liverpool heading into Monday's clash with their old rivals.

Jurgen Klopp's Reds make the trip to Old Trafford this weekend seeking a first win of the new Premier League campaign, having so far been held to draws by Fulham and Crystal Palace.

Liverpool are still in a better position than United, though, with new manager Ten Hag suffering consecutive defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford.

United's only goal under Ten Hag to date was a Brighton own goal, while their defensive failings have been ruthlessly exploited.

Despite those issues, Salah still believes United present a formidable proposition for Liverpool, shutting down suggestions their encounter could be an easy one for the visitors while pointing to Ten Hag's pedigree.

"I don't look at this game like that, because they're still a top team with top players," the attacker told Sky Sports. "They've not had a great start, but they want to win against us.

"So from my side, I have too much respect for them, and I'm sure they want to fight with all they can to win that game as well. It's not going to be easy, and I'm not thinking I'm going to score one, two or three goals.

"I know it's going to be a really tough game. They have top players, they have a top coach, so it's not going to be easy at all."

Liverpool could be seven points behind champions Manchester City by the time they play on Monday, with Pep Guardiola's men visiting Newcastle United on Sunday in pursuit of a third straight win.

And even at this early stage, Salah acknowledges that would be a significant gap, even if he backs the Reds to recover.

"It could be a little bit of pressure if we're seven points behind City, but I think it's too early to think about that," Salah said.

"Last season, we were behind by about 10 or 11 points, and we came back. So, it's too early to think about that."

Jurgen Klopp has joked Mohamed Salah "found a right foot on holiday" as he hailed the forward's continued development ahead of Monday's trip to Manchester United.

Salah has picked up from where he left off last season with two goals and an assist in Liverpool's opening three games of the 2022-23 campaign.

The Egypt international has also created 12 chances across those three outings, which is five more than next-best Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Indeed, only Borussia Monchengladbach's Alassane Plea and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar (both 13) have created more chances this term across Europe's top five leagues.

And as Salah looks to match Thierry Henry in winning the Premier League Golden Boot for a record fourth time, Klopp believes the 30-year-old is only getting better with time.

"I think he found a right foot on holiday. He always develops. It's really crazy," Klopp told Sky Sports. 

"This year he arrived with crosses with his right foot. He's obviously a top professional and he really tries to add on things into his game.

"He is a top, top, top striker and with the numbers he had, not only scoring-wise but assisting-wise as well, it's big."

Salah has scored eight goals in his past four games against United in all competitions, netting six of those at Old Trafford, including a hat-trick in this fixture last season.

He has nine goals against United overall and could become the first Liverpool player ever to reach double figures against their fierce rivals.

"I'm pretty sure he knows that," Klopp said what that statistic was put to him. "I didn't know it but I'm pretty sure Mo knows it, so good news!"

Salah signed a new three-year deal at Anfield last month, coming on the back of fellow forward Sadio Mane's departure to Bayern Munich.

Liverpool offset that exit by bringing in Darwin Nunez from Benfica, while Luis Diaz has made a big impact since arriving from Porto midway through last season.

Diaz rescued Liverpool a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace on Monday after Nunez was sent off and Klopp has been impressed by his swift adaptation to a new league.

"He had to play immediately because [Salah and Mane] were at the Africa Cup of Nations, so that helped him settle in," Klopp said.

"That gave him immediate confidence. It's his quality, his talent, his skill set. He's a really good player. We knew it before and when you're really good it's easier to settle in.

"He has this special thing: He can score from outside the box, which for a striker is really important. He's very, very important for us."

The Premier League is officially 30 years old.

On Saturday, August 15, 1992, the Premier League's inaugural season began with a packed schedule of 15:00 kick-offs.

Its foundation came as a result of clubs in the old First Division breaking away from the Football League in order to maximise their earning potential, with much of that initially focused around the possibility of lucrative TV rights deals.

As the Football Association (FA) had a strained relationship with the Football League at the time, the FA backed plans for the formation of the breakaway league, and in July 1991 the Founder Members Agreement was signed by the top-flight clubs.

While the Premier League fell under the auspices of the FA, the league was given economic independence from the governing body and the Football League, and that has been a major contributing factor in it becoming the behemoth we know in 2022.

Thirty years on, many believe it to be the best league in world football, and on this day it only seems right to take a trip down memory lane with a look at key records, stats and figures from the competition's three decades...

Managing expectations

This is classic 'pub quiz' territory: which manager has presided over the most Premier League games?

You know it's either Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, don't you? You probably end up going for the Manchester United icon because of his sheer longevity.

Alas, you'd be wrong.

Wenger took charge of 18 more Premier League games (828) than 'Fergie' before he brought his long Arsenal career to a close.

Nevertheless, Ferguson's 13 titles look unlikely to ever be matched. His closest rival in that respect is Pep Guardiola (four), with Wenger joined on three by Jose Mourinho.

Play on, player

Over the first 30 seasons of the Premier League, 4,488 players appeared in the competition at an average of 149.6 debutants per campaign.

If we ignore the inaugural and ongoing seasons for obvious reasons, the campaign with the most debutants was 2015-16 when 162 players made their Premier League bows.

Of the nearly 4,500 individuals to feature in the competition up to the start of the 2022-23 season, Gareth Barry sits clear with the most appearances (653), the last of which came during the 2017-18 season with West Brom.

It's a record that will take some beating, but if anyone's got a chance of toppling him, it's his former Manchester City team-mate James Milner.

The 36-year-old, now of Liverpool, is fourth on the all-time list with 589 outings.

Forever young

Everyone loves a 'wonderkid'. The Premier League has seen more than its fair share over the years, and some got started very, very young.

Mark Platts was the first 16-year-old to ever play in the Premier League when he made his Sheffield Wednesday debut in February 1996.

When Matthew Briggs came along 11 years later and featured for Fulham at 16 years and 68 days old, you'd have been forgiven for thinking his record would stand the test of time.

It lasted 12 years until another Fulham player shaved 38 days off Briggs' record – that player was Harvey Elliott. Now at Liverpool, the young midfielder looks set for a glittering career.

The name of the game

Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Wayne Rooney – when you think of Premier League goalscorers, these are probably the names that immediately spring to mind.

Well, you're wrong. You should be thinking about Andrew Johnson, Glen Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Roger Johnson et al.

Why? Because there are more players with the surname Johnson to have scored in the Premier League than any other surname.

There have been 21 of them to be exact, two more than the Williams clan.

Synonymous.

Get to the points

It's been a frustrating few (nine?) years for Man United fans, and this season has started in horrific fashion. But don't worry, folks, if you just look at the big (massive) picture, it'll definitely all feel much better.

United still sit top of the overall Premier League table with 2,366 points, giving them a healthy 219-point cushion over second-placed Arsenal.

Manchester City may have won four of the past five league titles, a feat only United had achieved before them in the Premier League, but the real story is that they're way back on 1,635 Premier League points.

Yo-yo with the flow

To be fair, almost every single one of you knows what's coming here.

You guessed it, Norwich City's relegation from the last season makes them the yo-yoingest (yes, we've just made that up) club in Premier League history.

That was their sixth relegation to go with their five promotions to the top flight since 1992, taking them one clear of West Brom, who have the same number of ascensions but only five demotions to their name.

I love goals, goals, goals, goals

Of course, Shearer remains the Premier's League all-time leading scorer with 260, 52 more than Wayne Rooney in second.

But Harry Kane looks to be in with a chance of usurping both England greats – in fact, another solid season could take him beyond 200 as his header against Chelsea on Sunday took him to 184.

Kane also appears among the very best goalscoring combinations in the competition's history as he and Son Heung-min have linked up for 41 goals – that's five more than Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard as the next-best.

As for high-scoring matches, there have been three Premier League games that have finished with a nine-goal margin – two were achieved by Man Utd (9-0 v Southampton in February 2021, and v Ipswich Town in March 1995) and Leicester City managed it in October 2019, also crushing Saints 9-0.

Do call it a comeback

Your team's trailing 2-0, you're despondent and bereft of hope. But then, out of nowhere, you've got a goal back. Then the equaliser. And then, just when you'd convinced yourself "this draw feels like a win", a third goes in, and it's pandemonium.

There are few more satisfying situations in football than when you team produces such a turnaround – the despair you were feeling earlier only makes your full-time jubilation that bit more intense.

The biggest such turnarounds that led to wins all involved teams coming back from three goals down. Leeds United, Wimbledon and Wolves have all managed it in 4-3 victories, while Man United beat Spurs 5-3 from 3-0 down.

No team have done so since Wolves in October 2003, although Newcastle United certainly deserve a special mention – they are the only team to find themselves 4-0 down and avoid defeat. Their 4-4 draw with Arsenal in February 2011 remains a Premier League classic.

Stop the clock!

Here's another for the pub quiz enthusiasts: who scored the quickest goal in Premier League history?

Netting just 7.69 seconds into an April 2019 game between Southampton and Watford, Shane Long opened the scoring to break a 19-year record that had been set by Spurs defender Ledley King.

To put that into context, it'd take you longer to read that sentence. It was also quicker than Usain Bolt's world-record time in the 100 metres (9.58 seconds).

The latest goal ever is maybe a less notable record, but it nonetheless belongs to Bruno Fernandes, who in September 2020 scored a penalty after 99 minutes and 45 seconds to seal United a dramatic 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – yes, that's the game when the Seagulls hit the woodwork a record five times.

As for the quickest hat-trick, that was scored by Sadio Mane for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015, with his first and third goals separated by just two minutes and 56 seconds.

Mohamed Salah is ready to light up the Premier League again after committing his long-term future to Liverpool, claims Jurgen Klopp.

Last season's Golden Boot joint-winner, who shared the prize with Tottenham's Son Heung-min, signed a three-year contract last month to calm fears he could quit Anfield.

Salah's previous deal was due to expire at the end of the 2022-23 season, when he would have been able to walk away as a free agent.

Now that Liverpool have him tied down to fresh terms, the player and club can focus on chasing more trophies, having lifted the FA Cup and EFL Cup last term.

"Knowing where he will be for the next important years of his career – I wouldn't say for the rest of his career because he can play much longer – that gave all of us a boost, him as well," Klopp said.

"It's much better than if there was any contract [to resolve] next summer."

Thirty-year-old Salah's new deal served as a pick-me-up for a club who were pipped at the post for the Premier League and Champions League titles in late May, dashing hopes of an unprecedented quadruple.

There is likely to be at least one new challenger for the league's top scorer prize in the new season, with Erling Haaland having arrived at Manchester City after racking up 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund.

Liverpool's new recruit Darwin Nunez may also have an eye on the honour, but Klopp suspects Salah will only be interested in the Golden Boot when the season nears an end.

"People are motivated by different things and i think Mo's biggest motivation is to win football games and to score," Klopp said.

"I don't think he looks about other players and how many they've scored. That may be in May when he has hopefully 34 or 35 and the other two have 32. Then maybe, but before that I can't see that."

Klopp has no doubt Salah would have been motivated to perform even if he had just months left to run on his Anfield deal, but the Liverpool manager accepts there would have been incessant talk about such a scenario.

"Mo would have been the same person, I'm 100 per cent sure he could have pushed that aside as long as he was only with us," Klopp said. "But the world does not stop asking, and that's a problem we are constantly facing.

"It helps, it's much better to know as much as possible, even about the season after."

Salah could match a record in their opening game of the season, with Liverpool tackling Fulham on Saturday.

He has scored in Liverpool's first Premier League game in each of the past five seasons and has seven matchday-one goals to his name, meaning he stands one short of a competition record that is held jointly by Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, who managed eight each.

The former England trio are three of the Premier League's all-time goalscoring greats, with Shearer's 260 strikes putting him top of the pile. Rooney (208) and Lampard (177) sit second and sixth on the Premier League era goals list.

Salah has scored 118 Premier League goals in 180 outings for Liverpool, putting him 10 away from matching Robbie Fowler's club record in the competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo faces an uncertain Manchester United future, but he stands to pass a string of landmarks if he stays and plays for Erik ten Hag this season.

Tottenham's Harry Kane, set to captain England at the World Cup later in the year, is chasing a significant club landmark.

And guess who will join Mohamed Salah in bidding to set an opening-day career goals record.

Of course, it's......  Jamie Vardy.

As the new season gets under way on Friday, Stats Perform looks at the records and milestones coming into view.

KANE, RONALDO, HAALAND: TARGETS IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF THE BIG GUNS

What role Ronaldo has to play remains in the balance, given he appears keen to leave United for a second time.

But if the 37-year-old features for the Red Devils, he can begin to chase down landmarks. For starters, he is just four victories short of having had a hand in 150 United wins in the Premier League, having drawn 43 times and lost 37 while a member of the team across his two Old Trafford spells.

Ronaldo is a mere six goals away from becoming the first player to amass 500 goals in Europe's top five leagues. His record 494 goals to date have come from 616 league matches. On his heels, however, is perennial rival Lionel Messi, once of Barcelona and now at Paris Saint-Germain (480 goals in 546 league games).

Kane is 17 away from hitting the 200-goal mark in the Premier League, a total only ever achieved by Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208). Sergio Aguero (184) and Andy Cole (187), third and fourth on the Premier League era list, are poised to be knocked down a peg as Kane continues his assault on the league record.

Both Leicester City's Vardy and Liverpool's Salah will be looking to equal or break the Premier League matchday one goals record, which is currently held jointly by Shearer, Frank Lampard and Rooney (eight goals). Vardy and Salah have seven each, like the retired Teddy Sheringham and Aguero.

Manchester City new boy Erling Haaland has caused a sensation with his goalscoring wherever he has played, dazzling for Molde, Salzburg, Borussia Dortmund and Norway. He could become the seventh Norwegian to score on his Premier League debut, and the third to do so in the opening game of a season, after Tore Andre Flo for Chelsea in 1997-98 and Adama Diomande in 2016-17 with Hull City.

DESERVES A LONG SERVICE MEDAL

Liverpool's James Milner, fresh from signing a new one-year contract, is 12 short of reaching 600 Premier League games. Only three players have reached that mark to date: Gareth Barry (653), Ryan Giggs (632) and Lampard (609).

Milner made his Premier League debut for Leeds United as a 16-year-old in November 2002, so a 20-year anniversary is approaching for the former England midfielder.

David Moyes was already a Premier League manager by the time Milner made his first appearance. At Everton then, he has done the rounds since and is a mere two games away from completing 1,000 matches in all competitions as a manager in English football.

Now at West Ham, Moyes looks to be at the opposite end of his touchline career to Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager who is one away from bringing up his first 50 wins as a Premier League boss.

STICK AROUND LONG ENOUGH...

Only six teams have been constant members of the Premier League since its first year in 1992-93. Completing the first 30 seasons without suffering the indignity of relegation have been Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton and Arsenal. Sooner or later, all sorts of landmarks arrive for these league lynchpins.

Arsenal have lost 249 Premier League games and headed into Friday night's season opener against Crystal Palace under threat of becoming the 13th side to lose 250. They would have had the longest wait to lose 250, however, having already played four games more than Chelsea, who took the longest (1,148 games) of those to have reached the not-so-desirable milestone.

Tottenham, another of those stalwart sides, are just five away from becoming the fifth team to score 1,000 goals at home in the competition (Manchester United 1,214, Liverpool 1,156, Arsenal 1,154, Chelsea 1,121).

Chelsea are 27 shy of 2,000 goals, home or away, having plundered 1,973 in their 1,152 games to date.

Aston Villa and Newcastle United are both 12 short of losing 400 Premier League games. Only West Ham (408) and Everton (414) have lost more games than those sides, who will hope to avoid spilling over that barrier this season.

West Ham are four away from reaching 1,000 Premier League games, while promoted Nottingham Forest are two away from 200.

MAKING UP THE NUMBERS

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson needs one assist to become only the second defender to register 50 Premier League assists, after Leighton Baines (Wigan, Everton). Robertson has 49, with Baines managing 53 across his career.

Aston Villa veteran Ashley Young and Tottenham new arrival Richarlison are two shy of reaching 50 Premier League goals, while Newcastle's former Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is four away from 50 clean sheets in the competition.

Brighton and Hove Albion are two away from 50 wins, with Aston Villa four short of 300 draws, a tally that only Everton (320) have reached.

Southampton need four victories to reach 100 away wins, and Aston Villa want four three-pointers on the road to reach their 150 wins. Leicester, on the other hand, are four away from 150 Premier League away defeats. Brendan Rodgers will hope to fend off that landmark until well into the new campaign.

The Premier League is approaching a landmark age: on August 15, the competition will be 30 years old, with that date ultimately ushering in a golden era for English football.

Although we may be 10 days away from that particular milestone, Friday sees the latest edition of the Premier League kick off with Crystal Palace and Arsenal contesting the opening game of the 2022-23 campaign at Selhurst Park.

As such, it only seems right to jump the gun a little and look back on the first 30 years of what many believe has become the greatest league in world football.

So, buckle up as Stats Perform takes you on a trip down memory lane…

Managing expectations

This is classic 'pub quiz' territory: which manager has presided over the most Premier League games?

You know it's either Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, don't you? You probably end up going for the Manchester United icon because of his sheer longevity.

Alas, you'd be wrong.

Wenger took charge of 18 more Premier League games (828) than 'Fergie' before he brought his long Arsenal career to a close.

Nevertheless, Ferguson's 13 titles look unlikely to ever be matched. His closest rival in that respect is Pep Guardiola (four), with Wenger joined on three by Jose Mourinho.

Play on, player

Over the first 30 seasons of the Premier League, 4,488 players have appeared in the competition at an average of 149.6 debutants per campaign.

If we ignore the inaugural season for obvious reasons, the campaign with the most debutants was 2015-16 when 162 players made their Premier League bows.

Of the nearly 4,500 individuals to feature in the competition, Gareth Barry sits clear with the most appearances (653), the last of which came during the 2017-18 season with West Brom.

It's a record that will take some beating, but if anyone's got a chance of toppling him, it's his former Manchester City team-mate James Milner.

The 36-year-old, now of Liverpool, is fourth on the all-time list with 588 outings.

Forever young

Everyone loves a 'wonderkid'. The Premier League has seen more than its fair share over the years, and some got started very, very young.

Mark Platts was the first 16-year-old to ever play in the Premier League when he made his Sheffield Wednesday debut in February 1996.

When Matthew Briggs came along 11 years later and featured for Fulham at 16 years and 68 days old, you'd have been forgiven for thinking his record would stand the test of time.

It lasted 12 years until another Fulham player shaved 38 days off Briggs' record – that player was Harvey Elliott. Now at Liverpool, the young midfielder looks set for a glittering career.

The name of the game

Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mohamed Salah, Wayne Rooney – when you think of Premier League goalscorers, these are probably the names that immediately spring to mind.

Well, you're wrong. You should be thinking about Andrew Johnson, Glen Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Roger Johnson et al.

Why? Because there are more players with the surname Johnson to have scored in the Premier League than any other surname.

There have been 21 of them to be exact, two more than the Williams clan.

Synonymous.

Get to the points

It's been a frustrating few (nine?) years for Man United fans, but don't worry, folks, if you just look at the big (massive) picture, it'll definitely all feel much better.

United still sit top of the overall Premier League table with 2,366 points, giving them a healthy 225-point cushion over second-placed Arsenal.

Manchester City may have won four of the past five league titles, a feat only United had achieved before them in the Premier League, but the real story is that they're way back on 1,629 Premier League points.

Yo-yo with the flow

To be fair, almost every single one of you knows what's coming here.

You guessed it, Norwich City's relegation from the last season makes them the yo-yoingest (yes, we've just made that up) club in Premier League history.

That was their sixth relegation to go with their five promotions to the top flight since 1992, taking them one clear of West Brom, who have the same number of ascensions but only five demotions to their name.

I love goals, goals, goals, goals

Of course, Shearer remains the Premier's League all-time leading scorer with 260, 52 more than Wayne Rooney in second.

But Harry Kane looks to be in with a chance of usurping both England greats – in fact, another solid season could take him beyond 200 as he begins the 2022-23 campaign on 183.

Kane also appears among the very best goalscoring combinations in the competition's history as he and Son Heung-min have linked up for 41 goals – that's five more than Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard as the next-best.

As for high-scoring matches, there have been three Premier League games that have finished with a nine-goal margin – two were achieved by Man United (9-0 v Southampton in February 2021, and v Ipswich Town in March 1995) and Leicester City managed it in October 2019, also crushing Saints 9-0.

Do call it a comeback

Your team's trailing 2-0, you're despondent and bereft of hope. But then, out of nowhere, you've got a goal back. Then the equaliser. And then, just when you'd convinced yourself "this draw feels like a win", a third goes in, and it's pandemonium.

There are few more satisfying situations in football than when you team produces such a turnaround – the despair you were feeling earlier only makes your full-time jubilation that bit more intense.

The biggest such turnarounds that led to wins all involved teams coming back from three goals down. Leeds United, Wimbledon and Wolves have all managed it in 4-3 victories, while Man United beat Spurs 5-3 from 3-0 down.

No team have done so since Wolves in October 2003, although Newcastle United certainly deserve a special mention – they are the only team to find themselves 4-0 down and avoid defeat. Their 4-4 draw with Arsenal in February 2011 remains a Premier League classic.

Stop the clock!

Here's another for the pub quiz enthusiasts: who scored the quickest goal in Premier League history?

Netting just 7.69 seconds into an April 2019 game between Southampton and Watford, Shane Long opened the scoring to break a 19-year record that had been set by Spurs defender Ledley King.

To put that into context, it'd take you longer to read that sentence. It was also quicker than Usain Bolt's world-record time in the 100 metres (9.58 seconds).

The latest goal ever is maybe a less notable record, but it nonetheless belongs to Bruno Fernandes, who in September 2020 scored a penalty after 99 minutes and 45 seconds to seal United a dramatic 3-2 win over Brighton and Hove Albion – yes, that's the game when the Seagulls hit the woodwork a record five times.

As for the quickest hat-trick, that was scored by Sadio Mane for Southampton against Aston Villa in May 2015, with his first and third goals separated by just two minutes and 56 seconds.

Mohamed Salah was affected by his contract saga in the latter stages of last season, according to Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk.

Egypt international Salah signed a new deal at Anfield last month worth a reported £350,000 a week, making him the highest-earning player in the club's history.

That brought an end to months of speculation regarding the 30-year-old's future, having himself hinted that he may move away as he entered the final year of his previous deal.

Despite Salah finishing last season as the Premier League's joint-top goalscorer alongside Son Heung-min, Van Dijk believes the contract standoff took its toll on the Egypt star.

"At the end of the season, from maybe April until the end, there was a lot of talk about his contract and stuff," Van Dijk told The Telegraph. 

"We're all human beings and maybe that affected him a little bit, unfortunately."

The 118 Premier League goals Salah has scored since his first Liverpool campaign in 2017-18 is 13 more than next-best Harry Kane.

Former Chelsea forward Salah scored 27 goals in his first 31 appearances for the Reds in all competitions last season, compared to four goals in his final 20 games.

He was on the scoresheet from the penalty spot in Saturday's Community Shield win over Manchester City, and Van Dijk has backed his colleague to continue scoring regularly.

"He still showed high levels and quality and he played with a free mind and obviously he's happy to be here and I think everyone is happy to be here," the Dutchman said.

"He showed it already for the last three years. He's under the microscope all the time. He created that himself. He's such a good player and shows that consistently all the time."

Here we go again. Some 69 days on from taking their latest Premier League title battle down to the final minutes of the final day of the last campaign, Manchester City and Liverpool prepare to face off in the 2022-23 curtain-raiser.

Liverpool not only missed out to City on the title but also tasted defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League final the following week, although the 2021-22 season was not all bad as they lifted both the EFL Cup and FA Cup.

It has been a busy window for both clubs in terms of incoming and outgoing activity, but England's two dominant forces appear certain to battle it out for a share of the major honours once again this time around.

The first of the trophies up for grabs is the Community Shield this weekend, contested between the winners of the previous season's Premier League and FA Cup. 

While some question just how competitive the fixture exactly is – especially this campaign, with the match being held away from Wembley – it provides both sides with an opportunity to lay down an early marker for what is to come over the next 10 months. 


Community Shield with a difference

If Jose Mourinho was so eager to count it as a major honour, then who are we to argue against the Portuguese, who lifted the shield with both Chelsea and Manchester United.

This year's game is a little different in more ways than one, though, as for the first time since 1958 – when Bolton Wanderers beat Wolves 4-1 in the month of October – the showpiece will be held outside of August, a knock-on effect of the World Cup being staged midway through the campaign.

It is also the earliest in the calendar year the match has taken place since 1922 when Liverpool were beaten by Huddersfield Town in May.

Not only is the traditional date of the fixture different, so too is the venue. With Wembley being used for the Women's Euro 2022 final on Sunday, the contest will be held away from England's national stadium for the first time in a decade, since City beat Chelsea at Villa Park.

The game is instead being hosted by the King Power Stadium, and that could be bad news for Jurgen Klopp, who has lost more games at this venue (five) than he has at any other ground as Liverpool boss, excluding Anfield.

 

Reds' losing streak

There are plenty of familiarities this weekend, however, not least the fact that it will be City and Liverpool facing off for a trophy – albeit with this only their second encounter in the Community Shield, following City's penalty shoot-out success three years ago.

Liverpool are aiming to lift the trophy for a 16th time, which would move them level with Arsenal and behind only Manchester United (21), including occasions when the shield was shared. City are sixth on the list of all-time winners, seeking their seventh triumph this time around.

City may not have had as much success in the curtain-raising fixture down the years as Liverpool, but they have triumphed in three of their past five appearances – in 2012, 2018 and 2019.

The Reds' record is far less impressive in recent times, having lost four of their past six Community Shield matches, including each of the past two against City in 2019 and Arsenal in 2020.

 

Goals galore in Leicester?

If recent encounters between these sides have taught us anything, it is that we can expect to be entertained at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. 

Both teams have scored in eight of the past nine meetings between City and Liverpool in all competitions, including each of the past five in a row. Across those most recent nine matches, 33 goals have been netted in total – an average of 3.7 per game.

Last season alone saw both sides score at least twice in their three meetings in all competitions, which finished in a couple of four-goal draws in the league and a 3-2 win for Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals.

 

All eyes on Salah

Both sides will look slightly different following a busy period of transfers, and seeing how the likes of Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho perform – if indeed used – will be one of the most exciting aspects.

There will be plenty of familiar faces on show, too, including Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who has been involved in 11 goals in 14 games against City for the Reds, making them his second-favourite opponent behind West Ham (12 goal involvements).

Pep Guardiola will also hope to get some minutes out of Phil Foden, who has yet to feature in pre-season due to visa issues that prevented him travelling to the United States.

The England international enjoys playing against Liverpool, scoring and assisting a combined five goals against them in five starts, although he has failed to do so in his past two outings in this fixture.

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