Reds ease past Fulham

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri either side of half-time saw Liverpool ease to a 2-0 win over Premier League basement boys Fulham at Anfield.

The win hoisted Jurgen Klopp's side top of the table, at least until after Chelsea and Manchester City play later on Sunday afternoon.

Slavisa Jokanovic will be cursing his luck after Fulham had an effort controversially disallowed for offside just before Salah scored.

Aleksandar Mitrovic's header beat Alisson in the Liverpool goal but the offside flag went up. Replays showed the decision borderline at best, with Andrew Robertson appearing to be in line with the Serbia forward when the ball was crossed.

While Fulham were looking to celebrate, Liverpool were quickly re-starting the game and Trent Alexander-Arnold's pass sent Salah scampering through on goal. Just 13 seconds after Mitrovic had headed home, Liverpool were in front.

Shaqiri's cushioned finish early in the second half ensured victory for the Reds, with Fulham content to avoid further damage thereafter.

Liverpool have now equalled their best start to a Premier League season, matching their previous best which came in 2002-03.

Klopp felt his side deserved all three points, despite the doubts around Mitrovic's effort being chalked off.

"It's a good result and we have 30 points – that's perfect. I only saw it once [Fulham's offside 'goal']. Maybe it was offside, but we scored a good first goal and our second was brilliant," he told BT Sport.

"I expected this kind of game. It was harder but Fulham have a lot of quality and changed their approach. They didn't give us any chance to press them and made life a little bit uncomfortable."

Liverpool are 4/9 to win their next game away at Watford on 24th November, while Fulham are 15/8 to beat Southampton at Craven Cottage on the same day.

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Salah keen to keep scoring

Mo Salah hopes he can maintain his excellent goalscoring record for Liverpool after netting twice in the 4-0 victory against Red Star Belgrade.

The Egyptian became the fastest player to score 50 goals for the club as he hit back at his critics by scoring a brace in the easy Champions League victory against the Serbian side.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Sadio Mane also scored on Wednesday and Liverpool are 1/8 to beat Red Star again in Serbia next month.

Liverpool face Cardiff City on Saturday and are 6/1 to beat Neil Warnock's side 3-0 at Anfield with Salah available at 2/5 to score at any time against the Bluebirds, 2/5 to be relegated this term.

Salah, who has reached his half-century of goals in just 65 appearances for Liverpool, said: "It's a great record and I'm very proud. I just want to keep scoring and keep helping the team win games.

"The way we play and the system has been different but we know our qualities and we are happy with each other."

Meanwhile, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp hopes Salah will now be allowed to focus on his game after being criticised for a string of missed chances in the opening two months of the campaign.

The former Borussia Dortmund coach said: "He shouldn't constantly think about how can I score again? It happens. If you work hard, are in the right spaces, if your team-mates see you and you make the right runs, you will score.

"It's an exceptional number, hopefully he can continue. What's the next record he can reach?"

Egypt cool Salah injury fears

Egypt assistant coach Hany Ramzy has played down the seriousness of the thigh injury sustained by Mohamed Salah during the 4-1 victory over eSwatini.

Liverpool forward Salah was forced to leave the field late on in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, having earlier scored direct from a corner for his side.

Afterwards, Ramzy was calm about the problem, with initial treatment suggesting that Salah has suffered a strain rather than anything more serious.

He told beIN SPORTS: "The primary diagnosis confirms it's just a strain and no muscle rupture is apparent, but the player will need to undergo scans to determine the full extent of the injury and the time needed to heal.

"It's nothing major and we'll do the best we can to help him recover. We hope he will return without being affected by the injury as soon as possible."

Twenty-six-year-old Salah enjoyed a stellar first season with Liverpool scoring 44 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions.

This term he has netted three times in 11 outings, having seen his World Cup 2018 finals campaign disrupted by a shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

The Merseysiders return to Premier League action following the international break with a trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday 20th October.

Last season both meetings of the two teams ended in 3-0 victories for the Reds, who are 13/2 to win by the same scoreline next Saturday, with Liverpool 8/13 to keep a clean sheet and 5/1 to claim a 2-0 success.

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Salah will come good

Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler feels Mo Salah will soon be scoring goals regularly, though he suggests it will be tough to scale the heights of last season.

The Egyptian scored 44 goals in all competitions for Liverpool last season and claimed both the PFA Players' Player of the Year and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards in a remarkable campaign.

Salah has so far managed just three goals in 11 games this term, half the tally he had bagged by the same point last season.

Fowler says people shouldn't be too quick to criticise the former Roma forward.

"I'm not saying he's having a bad year so far. He's still a good player, he's still an excellent player but to replicate what he did last year will be unbelievable," Fowler told Sky Sports.

"I think he'll still score goals, I think he'll still score a lot of goals."

Salah blazed a second half shot over the bar against Manchester City in Sunday's stalemate with the Premier League champions at Anfield.

For Fowler, it is very important to see the Reds talisman still getting himself on the end of chances, something he firmly believes will bring the goals back.

"What I like about Mo Salah is that his work ethic is brilliant, he doesn't shy away from anything. What I would be more worried about is if he wasn't getting chances," Fowler added.

"He will bang the goals in. I'm not sure he'll hit the heights he did last year but he is still a magnificent player."

Salah is 13/2 to finish as the Premier League's leading scorer this season again, while Liverpool are 9/4 to take the title off Manchester City.

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Stalemate at Anfield

The top of the table clash between Liverpool and Manchester City ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw at Anfield.

Chelsea's win earlier in the day put them temporarily top but the winner at Anfield would have replaced them.

As a result of the goalless draw City go back to the top on goal difference but the champions had a golden opportunity to claim all three points, Riyad Mahrez missing a late penalty.

Mohamed Salah had the first chance of the game, shooting wide after just three minutes but, despite Liverpool edging the opening exchanges, it was far from the anticipated classic.

The home side were hampered by James Milner's withdrawal after half an hour, the midfielder, who has been in such good form for the Reds, hobbling off to be replaced by Naby Keita.

The Anfield crowd were struggling to create the atmosphere befitting a genuine top of the table clash with neither side creating much in front of goal.

The second half began in a similar fashion with chances few and far between. City did have a penalty appeal turned down when Virgil van Dijk was ruled not have handled the ball in the area, then Mahrez showed good skill and control to get a shot in that went narrowly wide.

At the other end Salah also had a shot, the first on target in the game, but it was comfortably saved by Ederson.

The game entered its latter stages with both sides looking happy to collect a point only for City to have a golden late chance to snatch all three.

With just four minutes of normal time remaining they were awarded a spot-kick after Van Dijk fouled Leroy Sane in the area.

Mahrez took the penalty but it was a poor kick, going over the bar to the relief of the majority of the crowd.

Mahrez has now missed five of his last eight Premier League penalties and his latest miss means that the points were shared and both teams, along with Chelsea, remain unbeaten and go into the international break on 20 points from eight games.

Both teams are next in action on 20th October, Liverpool travelling to Huddersfield and City at home to Burnley.

City are 4/6 to win the Premier League title with Liverpool 9/4 and Chelsea 9/1.

Liverpool are 12/1 to not finish in the top four while City are 28/1.

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Champions League Napoli vs Liverpool: Time to Get Back to Winning Ways!

Napoli vs Liverpool

After failing to win in their respective domestic leagues the last time out, Liverpool and Napoli head to the Champions League with their eyes set on getting the victory they oh so crave.

Liverpool haven’t won in two games now, losing one and drawing the other in their back-to-back meetings with Premier League rivals Chelsea. Meanwhile, Napoli are coming off a defeat to Serie A champions Juventus, who scored three goals to frustrate the Partenopei.

It has been a long time since these two European giants played each other, but the Champions League Napoli-Liverpool clash is promising to be a cracker of a show.

Talking Points

Liverpool haven’t been at their best in recent games, and while their loss to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup can be attributed to injuries to key players, their 1-1 draw with the Blues in the English top-flight match that followed was a bit surprising.

Chelsea are by no means weak opponents—they are undefeated in the league, after all. However, Liverpool’s failure to convert their chances in the game was uncharacteristic for a team that boasts one of the best attacking trios in football.

Even more surprising was the fact that they needed a late Daniel Sturridge goal to cancel Eden Hazard’s opener and get a share of the spoils.

It doesn’t help the Reds that Mo Salah is noticeably out of form after scoring just once in their last seven games in all competitions. Jurgen Klopp has admitted that his star striker is struggling for confidence right now, and that is certainly an issue he needs to address ahead of their visit to Italy.

With their offensive woes coupled with Salah’s struggles, Klopp must find a way to reignite their spark on the attack. It might still be too early to worry, slump happens to any team, but the German manager can’t afford to take risks and gamble, especially in the Champions League.

Mohamed Salah hopefully eyes to lead his team to victory in the Champions League Napoli-Liverpool game

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah being instructed by manager Jurgen Klopp during a Carabao Cup game against Chelsea

Sturridge has seen limited minutes this season, but he has been impactful for Liverpool with his four goals—joint-top with Sadio Mane in the Reds’ scoring charts. He even scored in their Champions League opener against Paris Saint-Germain a fortnight ago!

Xherdan Shaqiri, often coming off the bench, has also been sensational in his previous two starts. He is undoubtedly one of the best performers for Liverpool in their recent fixtures, and he could be in for a breakout game anytime soon.

Klopp may get the answer he’s looking for from the two, but it remains to be seen if he’ll take out Salah in their game against Napoli. Besides, he knows it’s only through playing games that Salah will be able to regain his confidence.

Napoli, on the other hand, will learn from Chelsea’s success against Liverpool as they aim to stymie the visitors’ firing line.

Carlo Ancelotti, however, knows that they are up for a tough challenge especially after their embarrassing 3-1 loss to Juventus over the weekend. The Italian boss has slammed his team for lacking “character, consistency and experience,” and it’s up to the players now to respond to their manager’s criticism.

Some positive notes for Napoli though: they also have a deadly attacking trio in Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Arkadiusz Milik, and they are unbeaten at home since March.

History

The two teams met in a club friendly last August, with Liverpool coming out as 5-0 winners behind goals from James Milner, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alberto Moreno, Sturridge and Salah. Nonetheless, they last played a competitive match eight years ago, in the Europa League.

Their UEL two-legged tie was their only meeting in European competition, and the Partenopei haven’t beaten the English team even once in those games. Napoli held Liverpool to a goalless draw in their first match at Naples, but the then Steven Gerrard-led squad bounced back in the return fixture at Anfield to win 3-1 en route to finishing top of their group.

Sure enough, the previous Napoli-Liverpool results matter little now, though knowing history is on their side can serve as a source of confidence for the Reds.

Betting Tip

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Napoli vs Liverpool Liverpool 1X2 @ 2.13
October 04, 03:00 (GMT+8)

While it might be tempting to put the money on underdogs Napoli given Liverpool’s recent skid, it’s still hard to see the 2017/18 Champions League finalists losing here.

Napoli-vs-Liverpool betting odds at us put Klopp’s men ahead, and I honestly see them winning too when you consider that Ancelotti’s men failed to find the back of the net in their opening draw with Serbian side Red Star Belgrade.

Liverpool’s offensive woes are concerning, but I think they have enough quality and depth to remedy that. Besides, Napoli are no Chelsea.

I predict a Liverpool victory, albeit by only one goal.

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Salah wins Klopp support

Jurgen Klopp is in no doubt that Mohamed Salah will rediscover his goalscoring form for Liverpool after his disapointing display at Chelsea.

The Reds boss substituted the Egypt international after 66 minutes of Saturday evening's 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge with the closest he came to scoring being in the first half when he had an effort cleared off the line by Antonio Rudiger.

Salah, who has scored three goals in his opening seven league outings, does not look like the same player who scored 44 goals in all competitions last term and picked up the Premier League golden boot with 32 in 36 games.

However, Klopp is refusing to press the panic button as the German can see Salah's game gradually coming together.

He said: "It was not Mo's best game of his career, 100 per cent.

"In a game like this constantly in situations he comes in, that makes you a world-class player. You fail, you miss, whatever, that happens.

"He wants to be decisive, he wants to score in these situations. The first ball he missed it was not the right position. The next one he passed. Why? He could've finished again.

"It's like riding a bike. It's not like you wake up in the morning and you cannot finish any more or cannot ride a bike any more.

"That's how it is, you only need to work for these moments when it's clicking. That's the period he is in, no problem with that, so all good."

Salah, who is 13/2 to finish top scorer in the Premier League again this term, will get a chance to get on the scorehseet in midweek when Liverpool travel to face Napoli in the Champions League.

Liverpool are priced at 1/1 to win the Group C clash and Napoli are 13/5 to come out on top with the draw 5/2.

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Klopp not concerned by Salah

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp says he has no concerns about star striker Mohamed Salah, who has gone three games without a goal in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old Egypt international has scored twice in five Premier League games so far this season, but still questions have been raised about Salah's form, with the former Roma man having netted 32 goals in 36 league appearances last season.

Ahead of a Saturday afternoon visit from Southampton, Klopp told reporters: "Of course everybody expects that (Salah repeating last season's form), that's clear.

"We don't expect that, but it's completely normal that everybody else expects that. It's really no problem.

"At the end of the season we will see how it was, not at the beginning. Was it already like he finished last season, the Premier League season especially?

"No, but he needed time last year, like we all needed time and we will take time this year – that's all.

"On the defensive side, the last two games he was outstanding, perfect. That says everything about him – that he is really ready to work for the team in these moments.

"It is a completely normal situation for an offensive player that they have times when they don't score. But he is still a threat, has fantastic situations and he is in a good shape."

Salah can be backed at 2/5 to score at any time against the Saints, having netted three times in two games against the side from the South Coast last season.

Liverpool, who have won five out of five in the Premier League this season, are 1/5 to make it six victories in a row, while they are 9/4 to be crowned champions come the end of the season.

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Klopp not concenred by Salah

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp says he has no concerns about star striker Mohamed Salah, who has gone three games without a goal in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old Egypt international has scored twice in five Premier League games so far this season, but still questions have been raised about Salah's form, with the former Roma man having netted 32 goals in 36 league appearances last season.

Ahead of a Saturday afternoon visit from Southampton, Klopp told reporters: "Of course everybody expects that (Salah repeating last season's form), that's clear.

"We don't expect that, but it's completely normal that everybody else expects that. It's really no problem.

"At the end of the season we will see how it was, not at the beginning. Was it already like he finished last season, the Premier League season especially?

"No, but he needed time last year, like we all needed time and we will take time this year – that's all.

"On the defensive side, the last two games he was outstanding, perfect. That says everything about him – that he is really ready to work for the team in these moments.

"It is a completely normal situation for an offensive player that they have times when they don't score. But he is still a threat, has fantastic situations and he is in a good shape."

Salah can be backed at 4/9 to score at any time against the Saints, having netted three times in two games against the side from the South Coast last season.

Liverpool, who have won five out of five in the Premier League this season, are 1/5 to make it six victories in a row, while they are 9/4 to be crowned champions come the end of the season.

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Tottenham vs Liverpool: Premier League Dream or Another Reds Nightmare?

Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp and his Liverpool are still undefeated in the Premier League after four gameweeks, but that immaculate record is in peril as they visit fellow title contenders Tottenham at Wembley this Matchday 5.

The Reds may have won four straight to open the 2018/19 season; however, they haven’t faced any top team yet, with three of their past four games against clubs that finished in the lower half of the table last campaign.

Tottenham, currently fifth, finished third last year and certainly pose a huge threat to Liverpool. While Mauricio Pochettino’s men lost to Watford before the international break, they remain a dangerous team—especially when playing at home.

Talking Points

Liverpool have some matters to settle against Tottenham. After all, the last time Klopp and his charges visited Wembley, they got their arses handed to them with a 4-1 blowout.

Sure, that defeat woke up the Reds and sparked them to an 18-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Nonetheless, the Merseyside club will undoubtedly want to get back on the Spurs and take their revenge. Besides, victory here could be crucial in their quest for the English top-flight title.

Fortunately for Liverpool and their fans, they are no longer the same team as last year…literally and figuratively.

Their core of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino is still intact, and they have several fresh faces in every area that can make the difference for them.

Naby Keita and Fabinho bolstered the midfield immensely, while Xherdan Shaqiri added more firepower to an already strong offensive team. For what it’s worth, Shaqiri is in excellent form right now, recently helping Switzerland to a 6-0 thrashing of Iceland.

On the defensive end, Virgil van Dijk continues to anchor the backline following his January transfer. Simon Mignolet manned the post in their match with the Spurs 11 months ago, but the Belgian has to give way to Brazilian keeper and £65-million summer signing Alisson this time around.

Liverpool have only allowed one goal so far with Van Dijk and Alisson, and sure enough, they will be pivotal as the club tries to avenge their loss last year and extend their Premier League lead at the top of the table.

For Tottenham, they will look at that three-goal victory as a source of inspiration. They will also be keen to impress at Wembley after their planned move to the renovated White Hart Lane was delayed. However, psychological and home-court advantage aside, they know they have to step up if they want to take down Liverpool again and get the Premier League 2018 results they desire.

Harry Kane and Tottenham will look to snap the unbeaten streak of Premier League title rivals Liverpool

Harry Kane in action during Tottenham’s Premier League clash against Fulham

Harry Kane, Denmark hero Christian Eriksen and Player of the Month recipient Lucas Moura are capable of holding their own against the Liverpool frontline, but Pochettino needs to prepare his team defensively after keeping just one clean sheet in four matches. If he doesn’t, the Argentine boss knows very well what’s coming.

Dele Alli’s fitness remains a concern for the team, though news that he should be fit for the Saturday clash is a welcome boost to Poch and the Spurs.

Another interesting storyline to watch out for in the game is the meeting between Salah and Kane. The two had a close fight for the Premier League Golden Boot award last year, so it will be exciting to see the two vie it out again and prove their mettle against each other.

History

Tottenham got the better of Liverpool in their two meetings in the 2017/18 campaign. Aside from their huge victory at home, they also played out a 2-2 draw with the Reds in the return fixture at Anfield in the second half of the season.

Overall, the Spurs have beaten Liverpool 14 times, 12 of which being at home.

The good news for Liverpool is that they have won on 23 occasions—out of 52 meetings—against the Spurs. They also beat the North London club seven times on their own turf.

Furthermore, Liverpool have dominated their past 10 games against Tottenham. They have won five times, drawn four and lost just once against the Spurs. During that stretch, they averaged two goals scored and one goal allowed per game.

Betting Tip

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Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool Liverpool 1X2 @ 2.49
September 15, 19:30 (GMT+8)

The Premier League 2018 odds are tight between the two, with Asian Handicap betting at us even suggesting a close encounter.

Liverpool have the slight advantage over the Spurs, and it’s hard to argue given their perfect record. However, while the Spurs lost the last time out, they have a penchant for playing better against stronger opposition.

I expect the two teams to bring the heat right from the off, and I predict the first half to end up in a draw. Nevertheless, I think Liverpool have a little more quality and depth—characteristics that should give them the edge in what should be a feisty second half.

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?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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