It was late yesterday in Madrid when Liverpool returned where last season was proclaimed champion of the Champions. The Metropolitan A stadium that tonight will try to snatch the You’ll never walk alone to swell with courage the legs of its players, this Atleti that this February is at the same point as the previous one: forced to play the eighth of the Champions League against the European coconut. A year ago it was called Juve de Cristiano. This one sounds even worse, a lot. Liverpool of Klopp. And from Alisson, Van Dijk, Fabinho, Firmino, Salah, Mané. The current champion. If names scare you even more, their numbers do. Like open jaws over the rest of Europe (follow the match live on As.com).Because this Liverpool of Klopp is even better than the one that last June stepped on the Metropolitan to beat the Tottenham. Undisputed leader of the Premier, with 76 points, 25 more than the second, the City. He has only given a draw in 26 games, 26 games with 25 wins, the last 17 in a row. With 61 goals scored (2.44 per game) and only 15 conceded (0.6). Because if that happens in your league, the rest is the same: only two defeats in the season, against Naples in the Champions League and against Aston Villa in EFL Cup (who played with team C). 42 games played, 36 wins and four draws. And more emphatic than numbers are sensations. Because that is the greatest strength of this Liverpool. Klopp has built an almost indestructible team, of solid foundations based on solidarity, group and intensity. On each ball, each play. And without casualties. Even Mané, injured on January 23 against Wolverhampton, is recovered to play against an Atleti who has been obsessed with this game for three months. The season goes through these eighths. And nothing makes him more favorite than not. He fed that spirit that he so often showed in the Champions League. Juve last year, Bayern in 2016, Chelsea in 2014, twice at Barça de Neymar, Messi and Suarez. In seven qualifiers he was, a priori, vulnerable and four took them. Giant slayer. The fans have spent days mobilizing to Spanishize the You’ll never walk alone Y dressing the Metropolitan of what old Calderón was tonight. Cholo’s plansIf Klopp’s eleven seems clear, Gomez-Van Dijk behind, with Fabinho pivot, accompanied by Henderson and Wijnaldum, and the trident above, Simeone has not given any clue to his plan. A plan that could be a carbon copy of last season, against Juve, with Costa titular as a surprise. A Coast that returns to the list, 19, and that seems fundamental, whether it plays or not, whether it is worse or better: its fury infects. But Costa, operated on a cervical disc herniation in November, may not yet be in shock.. Without João, Herrera and Trippier, the idea of Cholo may be to repeat the Mestalla (quadruple with Correa and Vitolo pointed) or give ownership to Morata, his best footballer. Or maybe give the left-handed side to Hermoso and not Lodi, That is why Liverpool suffers without spaces or concessions and this is a 180 ‘game and not just 90’. These first in which the team of never stop believing, insurance, will not walk alone. Never never never.
Kevin Campbell insists Everton ARE in a relegation battle – but has backed his former side to go on an unbeaten run.The Toffees are currently 12th in the Premier League table, nine points off bottom placed Leicester City.Romelu Lukaku’s strike handed Roberto Martinez’s side all three points against Crystal Palace last weekend, but the victory was their first win in nine matches.And Campbell claims the club have to built on the performance if they’re to pull away from the drop zone.“At the moment Everton are in a relegation battle, the table doesn’t lie,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show. “We’ve seen before though that Everton can go on a run [of winning games].“They have kept a clean sheet [against Crystal Palace] which they haven’t done much this season and have nicked a goal.”Everton will play Swiss side Young Boys in the Europa League Round of 32 and Campbell added that continued participation in Europe’s secondary competition may be behind the Toffees’ poor league form.“When you play in Europe it is a distraction,” he continued. “The occasion is so much bigger than a Premier League game, so you are on a bit of a come down.“Normally you’ll see the big clubs switching their squad around. Players who aren’t playing, and have something to prove, get some time on the pitch.“Everton haven’t had that luxury, that’s been hindering them.”
Ander Herrera is not fazed by the prospect of having to compete with Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin for a place in the Manchester United starting XI this season.After a difficult start, Herrera ended his debut season at United on a high last term.The Spaniard became a regular in Louis van Gaal’s first team, but he will have to fight harder for a place in the starting XI this year following the arrival of Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin for a combined total of £40million.Herrera is convinced he will still get plenty of time on the pitch for United this term, despite the midfield additions to the squad.“We want to play in the Champions League, fight for the FA Cup and the Premier League,” Herrera said.“When you want to make a good season, it’s not just with 11 players.“I wish there were not but there are injuries. And there are good and bad moments for the players so everyone is going to be involved in what I think will be a very good season.”Very few believed United would be able to prize Schweinsteiger away from Bayern Munich, but Van Gaal managed to persuade the 30-year-old to swap Bavaria for Old Trafford.That gave Herrera the chance to play alongside a player who he has looked up to for years – a man he believes is one of the top five midfielders on the planet.“He is someone I looked up to coming through the ranks,” Herrera said.“He is one of the five or six best midfielders in the world and of course I have to learn a lot from him, Michael Carrick and others.“I always want to play with the best players and Bastian is one of the best in the world. I’m sure I am going to learn a lot of things from him.”Herrera thinks Schweinsteiger will offer United’s often vulnerable back four more protection next season.“He’s always safe with the ball,” Herrera said, when asked why he rates the Germany captain so highly.“He always knows what is happening behind him and I have to learn that from him.” 1