Monthly Archives: August 2013

Liverpool agree €17m deal for Sakho

Paris Saint-Germain accept the Premier League side’s offer, with the Reds also closing in on Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori as they look to bolster their defensive options

By Wayne Veysey

Liverpool have reached an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to sign centre-back Mamadou Sakho.

The Reds will pay the Ligue 1 champions a €17 million fee for the 23-year-old defender as Brendan Rodgers looks to improve his defensive options for the 2013-14 campaign.

Sakho has played over 150 league games for PSG, with the Frenchman having been capped 14 times by his country, and he will compete with Daniel Agger and Kolo Toure for a place in Rodgers’s starting XI.

Liverpool are also close to agreeing a deal for Sporting Lisbon youngster Tiago Ilori, with the Reds having tabled a €7m offer plus performance related bonuses to sign the 20-year-old.

Rodgers has felt the need to dip into the market for defensive reinforcements with the future of Martin Skrtel remaining up in the air, with Napoli strongly linked with a move for the Slovakia international.

The Anfield manager’s options have been further limited with Sebastian Coates sidelined with a long-term knee injury, while Andre Wisdom’s patchy pre-season performances have done little to convince Rodgers that he is ready for a regular first-team berth.

There is better news regarding Kolo Toure’s fitness, however, with Rodgers revealing on Friday that the Ivorian could recover from a groin problem in time to face Manchester United on Sunday.

Coutinho had never heard of Moyes before Liverpool switch

The Brazilian also insists that he did not know about Manchester United’s title wins before last season but claims the Premier League champions still have their winning mentality

Philippe Coutinho admits that he had never heard of David Moyes before joining Liverpool.

The Brazilian, who is set to face the Premier League champions at Anfield on Sunday, also insists that he knew nothing of Manchester United’s title triumphs before last season.

Asked if he knew who Moyes was before moving to Liverpool, Coutinho told reporters: “No. I don’t remember watching United win any cups,” he added when pressed on their history.

“I remember last season they won the league, that’s as far as I know.”

The youngster believes, however, that the United players still possess their winning mentality despite the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and sees Sunday’s fixture as a chance for Liverpool to edge closer to their rivals.

“They have some big players and just because they have changed manager does not mean they have lost their way,” he remarked. “We want to make up the ground we have lost on them and get back at them. Winning this match on Sunday can help us do that.

“I’ve not had the chance to play United yet, but from what I know about the history between the clubs, it’s even more passionate than the Milan derby.”

Daniel Sturridge has scored two goals in Liverpool’s opening two Premier League fixtures this season and Coutinho says that the striker has the hallmarks of a Brazilian player.

“Daniel is an excellent player and always makes his runs at the right time,” said the 21-year-old. “I think he’s similar to a Brazilian player because he is so quick with the ball at his feet. He has the qualities to be a Brazilian player.”

Liverpool – Manchester United Preview: Reds could take fifth successive league win for first time since 2009

Liverpool host Manchester United on Sunday looking to record a fifth successive Premier League win for the first time since May 2009.

Brendan Rodgers’s side have followed up their strong finish to last season by winning their opening two games of the new campaign against Stoke City and Aston Villa but, despite their good form, extending this sequence against their arch-rivals at Anfield will not be an easy task, as they have not beaten the Red Devils in their last four league meetings and lost the corresponding fixture 2-1 last season.

That victory was the first time that United had won at Liverpool in five attempts, though, and new boss David Moyes heads back to Merseyside looking for his first ever victory at Anfield.

The Scot masterminded just three wins in 22 matches against Liverpool during his 11-year stint in charge of Everton – with all of those successes coming at Goodison Park.

Captain Steven Gerrard and in-form striker Daniel Sturridge are the men to whom the hosts will look to for inspiration in the absence of Luis Suarez, who serves the seventh game of his 10-match suspension.

Gerrard has scored four goals in his last six league appearances against United – including a goal in each of the last two encounters at Anfield – while Sturridge has netted 10 goals in his last eight appearances in all competitions.

Robin van Persie is likely to be the main threat for the visitors. The Dutchman, who has finished as the Premier League’s leading goalscorer for the last two seasons, has netted four times in his last three top-flight appearances against Liverpool.

Rodgers will be without new signing Aly Cissokho as the 25-year-old is expected to be out for between four and six weeks after suffering an ankle injury during the Capital One Cup clash with Notts County.

However, close-season signing Kolo Toure, who also went off in Liverpool’s second-round win over the League One outfit, could be fit after recovering well from a groin problem.

United have doubts over Rafael and Chicharito (both hamstring), while Portugal international Nani continues to struggle with a groin injury. Darren Fletcher is unavailable indefinitely due to a bowel condition.

Liverpool-Manchester United Betting Preview: Red Devils to come out on top in explosive game

After Notts County tested the Reds in midweek, Brendan Rodgers’ men welcome the Champions to Anfield with our tipster backing the away side to take the spoils

One of the biggest games of the year kicks off on Sunday as Manchester United travel to Liverpool in the Premier League. The rivalry between the fans and players constantly makes the headline, with a fiery encounter pretty much guaranteed.

Liverpool come into this match after a frustrating match in the Capital One Cup midweek. Despite Brendan Rodgers men leading 2-0 at home, Notts County staged an unlikely comeback and scored two to take the game into extra-time. With the Reds down to 10 men due to injuries, they fought hard against a resilient County side to eventually qualify with two extra-time goals. Liverpool have had a great start to the League campaign, winning against Stoke and Aston Villa to sit in second position in the league. bet365 price the home side at 13/8 (2.63) to take all three points.

Manchester United come into this match having had the week off. United last played on Monday against Chelsea where both sides cancelled each out in a 0-0 draw. Although David Moyes’ men shaded it on possession and shots, they just couldn’t find that all important goal. This result followed an exceptional win against Swansea away on the opening day of the season. A Robin van Persie-inspired performance saw the champions win 4-1. bet365 price them at 15/8 (2.88) to win the match on Sunday. The same firm has the draw at 12/5 (3.40).

With Liverpool’s injury list being added to after their midweek cup tie, they are struggling for numbers in defence, with Raheem Sterling finishing the game playing right-back against Notts County. With Manchester United fresh, the price of them to win at 15/8 (2.88) is tough to ignore. Moyes will be keen to get his first major scalp for United and there are no doubts it would be sweet against Liverpool for the former Everton manager. United have won the last three meetings between the sides and expect them to keep that run going.

For those looking for more value, backing the correct score to be 2-1 to United at 10/1 (11.00) is hugely tempting. Had you backed this result in their last three meetings then the bet would have paid out. This is certainly worth a small investment.


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Rodgers: Length of transfer window is morally wrong

The Liverpool boss has been frustrated by the rumours surrounding Luis Suarez this summer, and believes that deals should be off the table when the Premier League season starts

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants the transfer window to close before the season begins as Luis Suarez’s transfer saga drags on.

The 40-year-old is the latest figure in football to voice his frustration at the length of the window, particularly with Premier League clubs required to play three fixtures before it closes this season.

As seen with the attempted transfers involving Suarez, Gareth Bale and Wayne Rooney, complex deals take time to get done, and Rodgers would prefer his business to be concluded prior to their season beginning.

“I just think there’s something morally not right when players are sat in the changing room and the season has already kicked off, you’re underway in your job, and I’m sure every changing room in the country – no matter what level it is – there’ll be players asked and agents working to get them to other clubs,” he said on Friday.

“But I believe it should finish once the season begins, and what you’ll find after the weekend once Monday passes, everything returns to the norm and clubs are a much better place then.”

Suarez has been regularly linked with moves to Real Madrid and Arsenal in the close-season, but the Uruguayan – who is banned for another three matches after biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic – is reportedly still keen on an Anfield exit.

Rodgers refused to comment extensively on Suarez’s future, but did reveal that he was impressing in training as his bid to gain match fitness continues.

“I think I said last week, I’ll talk about the players that’s available,” he continued.

“What I will say is he has been working very hard in training and played a game behind closed doors.

“The focus is purely on getting him up to match fitness by the time he’s available but really concentrating on the players that are available.”

Manchester United boss Moyes prepared for Anfield reception

The new Red Devils manager expects just as fiery a welcome from the Liverpool fans on Sunday as he did on his many visits in charge of Everton

David Moyes admits he is prepared for a fiery reception from Liverpool fans when he takes Manchester United to Anfield for the first time on Sunday.

Having managed city rivals Everton and the Reds’ arch-enemies, the Scot knows that he will not be a popular man inside the stadium but is relishing the occasion.

United won on their last visit and completed the double over Brendan Rodgers’s side later in the season, while Moyes has never won at Anfield, having only tasted victory on three occasions against Liverpool – but he is confident of turning that record around.

“Everybody tells me about the big rivalry between Liverpool and United and it was certainly there when I was at Everton as well,” he told the press. “I would think I’ll get as good a reception as I did with Everton.

“It has always been a difficult place to go but I am looking forward to going back there.”

Moyes also refused to guarantee any new arrivals at Old Trafford ahead of the transfer deadline despite his pursuit of moves for Marouane Fellaini, Leighton Baines, Ander Herrera and Daniele De Rossi.

“I don’t know how busy it’s going to be but it’s a busy football market,” he added. “It might be busy in the next few days and I hope we do a little bit of business but I couldn’t guarantee that.

“I wouldn’t disclose any names, just let the clubs deal with it and we’ll try and do it in a professional manner.”