Premier League: Juergen Klopp looks forward to full Anfield
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is relishing the return of a packed Anfield for Saturday’s lunchtime Premier League clash with Burnley but wants the fans to be on their best behaviour.
Not since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 has Liverpool’s famous stadium been packed to the rafters, but with restrictions lifted The Kop roar will return on Saturday. “Everyone is looking forward to it. You can imagine when you sign for LFC (Liverpool Football Club), one of the first things you want is that first game at Anfield,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
“So for everyone for us it was a special moment. They are looking forward to it. When you sit on the Kop or the Yellow Wall (at Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund) you are there just for football.
“If they get on their toes the whole stadium will follow, so I cannot wait to feel this connection again. We’re blessed with a really good crowd here.”
Klopp was critical of some Liverpool fans this week after offensive chants aimed at Norwich City midfielder Billy Gilmour in last week’s opening 3-0 victory at Carrow Road.
The German said in a statement on Thursday that he does not want to hear the song anymore and he spoke again of his displeasure at the chants towards Chelsea loanee Gilmour.
“I don’t feel proud about it, I think it was the right thing to do (speak out),” Klopp said. “If the response was great... job done. It was an important thing to talk about.”
Pep talks straight
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola laughed off a question probing possible interest in Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski on Friday and said he would be happy if the transfer window ended immediately.
Sky Sports had reported that Poland striker Lewandowski, signed by Guardiola when the Spaniard was at Bayern, was looking for a new challenge with another top European club.
“Next question,” said the Spaniard. “Lewy is such an important player for Bayern Munich and he will stay at Bayern Munich.
“I am not going to talk, with 11 days left, about the transfer market.”
Guardiola said Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne had not trained on Friday and was doubtful for Saturday’s home game against promoted Norwich City.
“Kevin still has a problem with his ankle. Tomorrow (Saturday) we’ll see how the situation is.”
Midfielder James Rodriguez faces an uncertain future at Everton, with manager Rafa Benitez saying on Friday that the Colombian international was part of his plans until August 31 when the transfer window closes.
Rodriguez missed Everton’s opening 3-1 home win over Southampton last weekend as he was isolating due to Covid-19 regulations, with Benitez stating that he hoped to find the “best solution” for the team and the player.
British media have linked the 30-year-old with a switch to Italian side AC Milan.
“A lot of speculation. We have to work with the players that are here. Until August 31, yes, he’s in my plans,” Benitez told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Leeds United.
“Hopefully he’ll be fine for next week and he can carry on with training sessions, and we can see what happens until the end of the transfer window.”
The Spaniard expects a tough test from Leeds, who were thrashed 5-1 by Manchester United in their opener.
“Marcelo Bielsa’s teams are intense, they run a lot. We have to match their intensity,” Benitez said.
⚫ Liverpool vs Burnley
⚫ Aston Villa vs Newcastle
⚫ Crystal Palace vs Brentford
⚫ Leeds vs Everton
⚫ Man City vs Norwich
⚫ Brighton vs Watford