Klopp taking nothing for granted

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp says his side will have to be 'spot-on' if they are to secure a fourth consecutive victory over Manchester City.

The Reds have already seen off the Citizens three times this year, winning a Premier League clash at Anfield 4-3, before triumphing in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

However, Klopp is not reading too much into those recent results, as he prepares his players for a league showdown with the reigning champions on Merseyside on Sunday.

He told reporters: "It is a home game against Manchester City and that is a tough one. Last year they were really special and I expect them to be like this again.

"Teams that play like them can lose focus, but it never happened to City last year, so they have all my respect.

"We have to be spot-on and really be our best to keep them away from our goal and create chances. It will be hard work, no problem with that, everybody knows it."

Liverpool can be backed at 31/20 to win the game at Anfield on Sunday, with the draw priced at 13/5, while a final scoreline of 2-2 is available at 11/1.

Meanwhile, Klopp is waiting to see whether Naby Keita will be able to play a part against City, with the midfielder having needed hospital treatment for a back problem after being replaced during the midweek Champions League loss at Napoli.

He added: "He had a back spasm. He's in today, but whether he can do something on the training ground I don’t know.

"We have to see the doctor again and we'll make a decision. Tomorrow we'll have to see. It didn't look to serious, so there is a chance he can play, but we don't know."

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Reds sweat on Keita verdict

Liverpool are waiting to discover the extent of the back injury sustained by midfielder Naby Keita during the 1-0 Champions League defeat at Napoli.

The 23-year-old summer signing had to be replaced just before the 20-minute mark in Naples, and was subsequently taken to a local hospital for checks and tests.

A statement from the Reds confirmed: "Naby Keita was taken to hospital in Naples on Wednesday evening during the first half of the Champions League fixture with Napoli.

"The midfielder started the game at the Stadio San Paolo, but was substituted inside the opening 20 minutes and replaced after alerting the team’s medical staff to back pain.

"He was transferred to a local hospital with the club doctor, where he underwent a number of precautionary health checks to assess his condition."

Meanwhile, Reds head coach Jurgen Klopp, who now has to prepare his players for a Sunday showdown with Premier League champions Manchester City, accepted that his side had not been at their best in Italy.

He added: "It was an interesting looking group before we started and it's still interesting now.

"We want to play better than we did tonight, but even if we don't play brilliantly, we want a result. Tonight we weren't as good as we could be.

"We didn't perform and that's how football works – against a good side in the Champions League, you lose. That's happened and nothing more."

Liverpool are priced at 13/8 to defeat the Citizens at Anfield on Sunday, with the draw available at 13/5, while the Reds are 10/1 to secure a 2-1 victory.

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Keita pleads for patience

Naby Keita is "motivated" to be a success at Liverpool but called for patience as he adapts to the demands of playing in the Premier League.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp spent £52.75million of his summer transfer budget to bring the 23-year-old into his Anfield squad from German Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

The Guinea international midfielder has featured in all of Liverpool's opening four Premier League matches, but started the recent win at Leicester on the substitutes' bench.

It has been a dream start for the Merseysiders as they sit at the top of the Premier League with a 100 per cent record, but Keita claims it will take time before the Reds' fans see the best of him.

He told Liverpool's club magazine: "I've been told by many people that a lot of overseas players come into the Premier League and they take time to integrate, depending on the circumstances.

"So playing in the Premier League can be difficult, but I am very motivated to play here, not just for myself and my team-mates, but for the club.

"Everybody around me has been very supportive towards me so I am certainly giving everything I can to get settled into the team quickly."

Keita added: "The Premier League is different to other leagues where I have played and everybody knows it is very tough, but I will do my best to beat my own personal records – I'm very motivated."

Keita will hope to be involved on Saturday when Liverpool travel to face Tottenham at Wembley as the Premier League returns.

The Reds, who are 11/4 to win the Premier League this season, are 7/5 to make it five wins on the spin, while Spurs are priced at 19/10 to win and the draw is 9/4.

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Keita stays put until the summer

RB Leipzig have closed the door on midfielder Naby Keita being allowed to join Liverpool during the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old Guinea international has already agreed a deal to move to Anfield next summer, but the Reds were reported to be keen to reach an agreement to push the player's arrival forward to this month.

However, Leipzig, who moved up into second place in the Bundesliga with a 3-1 weekend win over Schalke, have firmly put an end to continued suggestions that Keita might be moving on in the very near future.

Sporting director Ralf Rangnick stated. "We won't allow Liverpool to sign him early. They have shown renewed interest to bring him in during this transfer window.

"As everyone knows, we are not a selling club, therefore it would only have been possible had we reached a mutual agreement involving an exorbitant additional fee. That is not the case."

A tweet from the Bundesliga club put their position even more clearly, reading: "OFFICIAL: Naby Keïta will remain an RB Leipzig player until 30th June 2018. We wish to put the speculation about a January move to Liverpool to bed."

Keita, who scored in the victory against Schalke, joined Leipzig in the summer of 2016 from RB Salzburg and has since scored 11 goals in 45 Bundesliga appearances.

As well as domestic matters, Leipzig are also still involved in the Europa League, where they have been drawn to face Napoli in the last-32 of the competition.

Leipzig can be backed at 25/1 to win the Europa League this season, with Napoli available at 10/1 and Borussia Dortmund 10/1.

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Winning is the Best Way to Start 2018!

RB Leipzig 3-1 Schalke 04

RB Leipzig made sure to start the year with a bang as the Bundesliga returned to regular programming after a month-long winter break.

The Red Bulls, winless in their last four top-flight football games before the match, handed Schalke their first defeat since September to move above their top-four rivals and reclaim the second spot.

Pre-match betting odds were tight between the two, but the Royal Blues fell short after a swashbuckling second half saw Leipzig thrill live betting and pull away for good with a quick-fire double.

Liverpool-bound Naby Keita opened the scoring for the hosts to give them the lead at halftime. Amid speculations that he could leave earlier than planned, the Guinea international put the issues to one side and scored from 25 yards with the help of a huge deflection from Schalke’s Naldo.

Having a penchant for fighting back, the Royal Blues restored parity moments after the restart. Naldo made amends for his blunder earlier and met Daniel Caligiuri’s free-kick to fire an unstoppable header past keeper Peter Gulacsi.

Schalke appeared to be on the ascendancy, but another costly mistake from Naldo allowed Leipzig to regain their lead and win. The 35-year-old lost possession in the 69th minute and the resulting attack paved the way for Bulls’ Timo Werner to blast the ball from close range.

Werner then turned provider two minutes later, setting up Bruma for their third goal and first victory since November.

Earlier on Saturday, Bayern Munich increased their lead at the top after taking down Bayer Leverkusen, 1-3. James Rodriguez scored one and assisted on another as the Bavarians moved 13 points clear off the second-placers.

Hannover also had a sensational win this Week 18 as Niclas Fullkrug bagged a hat-trick to power HSV past Mainz 05, all after the visitors went 2-0 up. Elsewhere, Stuttgart beat Hertha BSC 1-0 to end their four-game skid, while Augsburg piled more misery on relegation-threatened Hamburg.

On the other games, Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim, as well as Frankfurt and Freiburg, shared the spoils in their respective fixtures.

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No January move for Keita

RB Leipzig are adamant that Naby Keita will not be moving to Liverpool this month and intend to keep the Guinea international until the summer.

Jurgen Klopp's side have paid a premium to secure the midfielder's services in July when a £48million buy-out becomes active.

However, it had been reported that, following the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for £142million earlier this month, the Reds would attempt to bring the signing forward by six months.

However, RB Leipzig head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl insists Keita will not be heading to Anfield in January, saying: "The situation hasn't changed.

"We have always said that there's no reason to let Keita leave early and that's the way it will be. Keita will play against Schalke this weekend and hopefully he'll play well. That's the only thing I'm interested in." Leipzig are 11/10 to beat Schalke.

Meanwhile, Liverpool are 1/3 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season and 21/10 to come out on top against Manchester City on Sunday.

Leipzig are currently fifth in the Bundesliga and will be involved in the Europa League in the second half of the campaign after finishing third behind Besiktas and Porto in Champions League Group G. They are 25/1 to win the Europa League this season.

More Bundesliga Action for Football Betting Fans

If you’re looking for quality football games, you can always count on the Bundesliga to deliver!

The top professional league in Germany keeps live betting fans on their toes as every squad in the table are out to play. The fact that Bayern Munich were beaten by Monchengladbach should give people an idea of how competitive this league is.

This coming weekend promises more of the top-quality football we’ve come to love in the Bundesliga.

WEEK 13 SATURDAY:

SC Freiburg vs Hamburger SV

The weekend may start with a tight relegation battle, but don’t simply brush this game off as a snooze fest. Hamburg shocked many with an eye-popping win over Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, Freiburg won a great clash at home versus Hoffenheim. We can expect a thrilling match to happen at Schwarzwald-Stadion.

Bayern Munich vs Hannover 96

Bayern’s faithful supporters were probably shocked by the upset they experienced at the hands of Monchengladbach, so we can be sure to see fired-up plays from the rest of the squad. I think they have a good shot at victory against a struggling Hannover side.

However, the visitors have done extremely well against squads like Schalke and Dortmund. It would not be advisable to simply brush off the visitors, but Bayern should still win. With that being said, Hannover +2.25 @ 2.03 is a tempting punt to make.

Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig

Hoffenheim have recently fallen off the top due to a string of subpar performances over the past two months. Meanwhile, Leipzig are closing the gap at the top after winning seven points in their last three games.

Leipzig look like heavy favourites to win this match, especially if we consider the fact that the 1899 lost 3-0 to Hamburg last time out. This game is theirs to lose, so punters should not hesitate to choose Leipzig’s -0.50 @ 2.29.

Werder Bremen vs VfB Stuttgart

The Red Bulls may have cut Werder Bremen’s fun short, but their 4-0 win over Hoffenheim should give them all the confidence they need to put up a fight against Stuttgart. The visitors have only drawn with Hannover, but they won three of their last five matches.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund’s aspirations for the title might as well end here if they don’t manage to win against Bayer Leverkusen this weekend. The BVB have not won a Bundesliga game in so long, but their high-scoring draw with Schalke gives supporters hope.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen are on an impressive unbeaten streak, putting their confidence on the highest level. I don’t think they will be beaten at home, but Dortmund should be able to turn this into another draw. Punters should not hesitate to consider punting on the outright odds of a Draw at 3.30 odds.

Mainz  05 vs Augsburg

Alfred Finnobogason and Philipp Max are the driving force behind Augsburg’s impressive run to the top half of the table. Abdou Diallo and Yoshinori Muto are also doing great on helping Mainz battle in the middle of the pack. Expect these four to play well then these two sides meet at the Opel Arena.

WEEK 13 SUNDAY:

Schalke 04 vs FC Koln

Schalke players are definitely thrilled that they escaped the Signal-Iduna-Park with a point in tow, but they will surely want the entire three points when they face Koln. They still haven’t notched a win in the Bundesliga despite their astounding win over Arsenal, so I don’t see them winning on the road.

Hertha BSC vs Eintracht Frankfurt

This mid-table clash doesn’t seem like there is anything worth watching, but this could still provide enough drama to the neutral.  Sebastien Haller and Ante Rebic will probably cause a lot of havoc on the Berlin defences, but the hosts have been long used to coming back from behind. We could catch a back-and-forth between these two sides happening.

WEEK 13 MONDAY:

VfL Wolfsburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach

The visitors are still high off of their fantastic victory over the league leaders, so they will be coming to the Volkswagen Arena full of confidence. Meanwhile, Wolfsburg endured a second-half beating to Augsburg and will be hungry for a bounce-back win. Fans should expect fireworks in the final match of the game week.

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Leipzig rule out early Keita exit

RB Leipzig are eager to ensure a return to the Champions League next season and are not considering allowing Naby Keita to leave the club before next summer.

The 22-year-old midfielder has already agreed a big-money move to Liverpool at the end of the season, with rumpus continuing to surface that the Guinea international could move on in January.

However, sporting director Ralf Rangnick has again dismissed such suggestions, with Leipzig currently second in the Bundesliga and still in contention for a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

He told Leipziger Volkszeitung: "Even if we do not reach the knockout stages of Champions League, it would make no sense to allow Naby to join Liverpool early.

"We want to qualify for Europe again and we need Naby for that."

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has warned that his club need to keep recruiting top talent to maintain their place among the elite of European club football.

He told Reuters: "We shouldn't delude ourselves. Each club needs to get a top player every two or three years to refresh the team, to bring some new blood, new quality.

"At this point we really have a good team, but it is known that players are getting older."

Lewandowski has scored 11 times in the Bundesliga so far this season, with his tally one better than that of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Borussia Dortmund.

Aubameyang is 11/8 to end the season as the top scorer in the Bundesliga, with Lewandowski available at 8/11 and Timo Werner of Leipzig 25/1.

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Keita relishes 2018 Anfield switch

Midfielder Naby Keita says he is excited by the project on offer at Liverpool, having agreed a club record deal to join the Reds from RB Leipzig next summer.

The Merseyside outfit have agreed to meet the reported £48million release clause in the contract of Guinea international Keita, with an added premium also thought to be involved.

And Keita, who could face his future employers in the Champions League this season, is clearly happy to have got his long-term future sorted with the new season having just got under way.

He told the official Liverpool club website: "I am delighted that an agreement has been reached which will allow me to join Liverpool next summer, when I will become part of a project that excites me greatly.

"My commitment to RBL remains absolute for the remainder of my time at the club. I have given my all every time I have worn the shirt – that will be the case until the final whistle, in my final appearance.

"Having my future resolved means I can now focus on helping RBL achieve great things this season. Until I join my new club, I will remain an interested supporter from a distance."

Keita scored eight times in 31 Bundesliga appearances last season as Leipzig finished second in the table behind Bayern Munich, ensuring a first-ever campaign in the Champions League.

There they have been drawn in Group G alongside Besiktas, Monaco and FC Porto.

Leipzig are available at 5/2 to top Group G, with Monaco priced at 5/4 and FC Porto 11/4.

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Keita points to Leipzig exit

Midfield ace Naby Keita has dropped a major hint that he is set to leave RB Leipzig this summer, having been linked with a number of top clubs.

The 22-year-old Guinea international was a big hit in his one season to date with Leipzig, sparking talk of a big-money move before the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign gets under way.

And Keita has done nothing to dampen such speculation, telling Die Welt: "I love Leipzig and I will never forget this city.

"I hope that I am at the level in two, three years that I could play for one of the very big clubs. This includes Barcelona, but it also includes Real Madrid or Manchester City."

Keita was a key member of the Leipzig side who finished second in the Bundesliga last season and qualified for the Champions League for the first time in their history.

Leipzig are 20/1 to win the Bundesliga title next season, with Borussia Dortmund 7/1 and Bayern Munich 1/7.

Meanwhile, Cezary Kucharski has moved to try and put an end to talk of his client, Robert Lewandowski, leaving Bayern.

The Poland international striker was known to be frustrated at the end of last season, but Kucharski says talk of an exit are being overplayed.

He told Futbolfejs.pl: "I don't want to say anything more on this subject, because everything I say here is translated into German and every word is analysed by the media.

"I've always said, and I'm still of the same opinion, that Bayern Munich are the best club for the development of his career. My opinion hasn't changed, not today nor yesterday."

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