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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Klopp feels the need for success

Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp accepts that he needs to deliver some silverware to be considered a true success at Anfield.

The German has led the Reds to the final of the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League, but they are yet to make that final step during his three-year reign.

And Klopp is well aware that he needs to take his team all the way, especially in the Premier League, with Liverpool without a domestic league success for nearly three decades.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "Nobody wants to look back in 10 or 20 years and say the best time we had without winning anything was when Klopp was in, it was so funny, all that stuff. That's not really something you want to achieve.

"We have still time to do something special, we know that. To underline our progress and development, we have to.

"But times have changed. It's much more difficult than it was in the past. We are maybe in the best moment for ages, but a few other clubs have made the same steps and that makes it difficult.

"In most sports, coming second in the Olympics you come home with a silver medal. In football, it's nothing and it's nothing for me as well. I want to win it and I know that's a responsibility."

Liverpool currently lie in third place in the Premier League table, level on points with both reigning champions Manchester City and Chelsea.

The Merseysiders can be backed at 9/4 to be crowned champions this season, with the Citizens available at 4/6 and the Blues 9/1.

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KDB close to Citizens return

Pep Guardiola has raised the prospect of playmaker Kevin De Bruyne returning after injury to play some part in the Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

Belgium international De Bruyne has been sidelined for nearly two months due to knee ligament damage sustained during training, but Citizens head coach Guardiola says his player has been involved in training this week.

That has raised the prospect of the forward being utilised against the Reds at Anfield, although Guardiola has vowed to be careful on bringing De Bruyne back into the fold too quickly.

He told reporters: "He made a part of the training session today (Friday), he is training with us. We will see tomorrow."

Meanwhile, Guardiola has played down talk of Reds head coach Jurgen Klopp having something of a hoodoo over his rival, with the German having overseen seven victories against sides coached by the Spaniard over the years.

"I don't play against Jurgen, I play against Liverpool, we play against Liverpool," Guardiola added. "Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Sometimes we win competitions, sometimes we lose competitions.

"He's an excellent manager. I have a lot of respect for the way his teams play, for how proactive they are, but it's not about me having to beat him."

Liverpool claimed three wins out of four meetings between the two teams last season, including victories in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final tie.

The hosts are 31/20 to secure a win again on Sunday, with City 9/5 to take all three points and 10/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

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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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Spurs response pleases Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino was proud of the way his Spurs team reacted to conceding an early goal to push Barcelona hard, before eventually losing out 4-2 at Wembley.

Former Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho gave the visitors the lead inside two minutes, with Ivan Rakitic making the half-time score 2-0 to the Catalan giants.

However, the second half was a 2-2 draw, with Harry Kane and Erik Lamela netting for Tottenham and Lionel Messi adding a double for Barcelona.

And, while being annoyed by such an early concession, head coach Pochettino was full of praise for the reaction of his players as the game progressed.

He told reporters: "To concede a goal so early, we destroyed the plan. If we start the game this way, it's so tough for the players.

"We were handicapped after conceding after one minute and I think our players were heroes to chase the game against a team with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

"That is why I want to congratulate the team, because we were always in the game, always fighting, never giving up – I feel so proud. I'm disappointed with the result, but the effort was massive.

"To give that advantage to a team like Barcelona is so difficult to come back from. The most important thing was our character."

Spurs are back in Premier League action on Saturday when they welcome in winless Cardiff City.

The Londoners are 1/4 to win the game and 15/2 to claim a 3-0 victory, with Tottenham 8/13 to go on and secure a top-four finish this season.

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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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Happy days for Guardiola

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said he enjoyed one of his happiest days in charge when his side came from behind to win 2-1 at Hoffenheim in the Champions League.

The Citizens went into the Group F encounter needing a result following their shock 2-1 defeat against Lyon at the Etihad Stadium in their opening game last month.

However, they were trailing after just 44 seconds when Ishak Belfodil fired the German Bundesliga outfit in front.

Sergio Aguero responded quickly for City with an equaliser on seven minutes and David Silva pounced on a mistake by defender Stefan Posch to score an 87th-minute winner.

Lyon's 2-2 home draw against Shakhtar Donestk means City are just a point off top spot with four games remaning and Guardiola was delighted afterwards.

He said: "After one minute we conceded and it's not easy, but after that we fought, as always, as a team.

"The previous two seasons were not simple, but we qualified with games left and this time it's not going to happen.

"Maybe for the future it's going to be good to live these kind of situations. You cannot go through to quarters, semis, without living these situations. That's why today is one of the happiest days I've had in this club because it's going to help us."

Guardiola, who refused to discuss the match officials afterwards despite being unhappy with a couple of decisions during the game, also singled out Aguero for praise afterwards.

The Spaniard said: "He is one of the best players I have trained in my life.

"I am a lucky guy to have many of them who are top players at Barcelona and Bayern Munich and he is in that list.

"In terms of mentality, I love the players who in the bad moments step forward and say 'I am here guys' and he is one of them.

"I am so happy for him. He deserves all of my respect."

City are now 1/4 to win Group F, while Lyon are priced at 5/1.

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Mourinho praises United effort

Jose Mourinho claims he could not fault the effort and commitment of Manchester United despite their 0-0 Champions League draw against Valencia.

The under-fire Red Devils' chief watched as his players made it four games without a win at Old Trafford on Tuesday night as they struggled to create anything against the Spanish La Liga outfit.

Indeed it took until the final 20 minutes for United to register a serious attempt on the Valencia goal with the home fans making their dissatisfaction known as they chanted for the side to attack.

Speaking afterwards, Mourinho said he respected the fans and said they have "freedom of speech", while he was quick to praise the response from his players following successive defeats against Derby and West Ham in the Carabao Cup and Premier League respectively.

He said: "I am pleased with the effort, I am pleased with the commitment, I am pleased with the improvement.

"I am not pleased, of course, with the result which is not a good result but it is not a bad result."

United's preparations were not helped when it took them 75 minutes to reach Old Trafford from the Lowry Hotel in Manchester due to traffic congestion, which resulted in the kick-off being put back five minutes.

Mourinho added: "It was not a problem with the club's organisation. We tried everything. We couldn't anticipate that it would be dangerous in terms of being late. But we were informed that the police refused an escort."

United's draw leaves them second in Group H on four points after Juventus won 3-0 against Young Boys, while Valencia sit third with one point.

The Red Devils, who are 7/4 to win the group, face Juventus next at Old Trafford on 23rd October with the Italians 4/9 to progress to the knockout stages at group winners.

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Klopp maintains immediate focus

Head coach Jurgen Klopp says his focus has to remain always on the next game, as he prepares his Liverpool squad for a Champions League visit to Napoli.

The Reds' German boss saw his side win their opening Group C fixture 3-2 at home to Paris Saint-Germain and is keen to make it two wins out of two on Wednesday evening.

And he has vowed not to make wholesale changes, despite a massive Premier League clash with Manchester City coming up on Sunday.

He told reporters: "It's really difficult to think about anything other than the next game – we only think about the next game, but not the next game after the next game.

"We will see, maybe we will make one or two changes or whatever – maybe more – but it's all about this game. It's the only way I understand it.

"We are in good shape, we have good rhythm and that's something we have to use."

Liverpool can be backed at 6/5 to secure a win in the San Paolo on Wednesday and are 11/1 to earn a 2-0 victory, with the draw priced at 13/5.

Meanwhile, vastly-experienced Napoli head coach Carlo Ancelotti has spoken of his respect for Liverpool, who he believes are amongst the strongest teams in the competition.

He added: "Liverpool have improved a lot, they managed to reach the final last year and they started this season very well.

"I think they have become one of the strongest teams in Europe. They have a great physical condition, they play with intensity and so they manage to overcome the challenges of the Champions League."

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Tuchel happy with Neymar form

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel is confident that superstar Brazilian forward Neymar will soon be back to full fitness after a difficult few months.

The 26-year-old went into the summer World Cup finals still struggling with a foot problem and he has not been able to undertake a full pre-season with PSG as a result.

He has still scored seven goals in seven Ligue 1 outings this season, with Tuchel confident that there is still more to come from one of his star names.

The German told reporters ahead of a Wednesday evening Champions League clash with Red Star Belgrade: "For me, it's normal because he was injured for a long time and it was a very difficult and complicated World Cup for him.

"He did not have a normal pre-season and everyone is watching him to see if he is in top form, or if he makes mistakes, it's difficult for him.

"He's a player who needs to be in a good state of mind, training with a smile. Honestly, I am very happy with him, he will reach top form and that is very necessary.

"Now he is very confident, involved in the club and in the project here and we are very satisfied."

PSG lost their opening Group C game 3-2 at Liverpool and will be looking to get their European campaign back on track against the champions of Serbia.

They are 1/14 to win the game on Wednesday evening and are 5/1 to claim a 3-0 victory, with Neymar 1/4 to score at any time in the game.

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