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Michael Oliver appointed as referee for Huddersfield-Liverpool game

Michael Oliver has been appointed as referee for Liverpool’s first game after the October international break- an away trip to the John Smith’s Stadium to take on Huddersfield Town.

The Reds have already played twice under Oliver this season in the league. Both were away fixtures- a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace in Week 2, and a 2-1 win at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur in Week 5.

Huddersfield, by comparison, have struggled in recent games under Oliver. He reffed their 0-0 stalemate at home against Cardiff in Week 3, a fixture in which he sent off Jonathan Hogg. In Town’s last three games with Oliver in the middle, they’ve failed to score a single goal.

Will Michael Oliver again end up red carding a Huddersfield player?

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Liverpool Player Ratings v Southampton- How did the media rate them?

Liverpool really did not have to get out of second gear as they managed an easy 3-0 win over Mark Hughes’ Southampton over the weekend- the scoreline a repeat of their win from last season.

The Reds tried out a 4-2-3-1 formation at the beginning of the game to accommodate Xherdan Shaqiri, but reverted back to the 4-3-3 that Klopp has generally favoured after the Swiss international’s withdrawal at half time.

The win also means that LFC are the only team in the league with a 100% record following Chelsea’s goalless stalemate at the London Stadium against Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham.

That Liverpool didn’t really hit their stride, but were also not posed any real problems, is shown in their ratings, with most players earning a 7 for their efforts at Anfield. Southampton took 90 minutes to register their first shot on target, and that was easily saved by Alisson.

Most of the papers, bar the Echo, thought that Virgil van Dijk was the best LFC backline player on show. They also agreed that Xherdan Shaqiri had an impressive full debut.

This was a relatively easy fixture in a tough schedule for the Reds- this Saints clash was preceded by their Champions League clash against PSG, and will be followed by back to back games against Chelsea (Cup & League) and a trip to Italy to take on Napoli. Continue reading

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Liverpool vs Southampton Review- Klopp tries out 4-2-3-1 formation against Saints

Liverpool made it six wins in as many games as they brushed aside the challenge of Mark Hughes’ Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. For Saints, it was effectively a repeat of last season’s game, having lost 3-0 in 2017/18 as well. LFC had the game wrapped up by half time, and didn’t even have to get out of second gear- this was a pretty easy win for them despite Southampton’s best efforts.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp handed Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri their first league starts of the season and opted for a change in formation to 4-2-3-1. This saw Henderson and Wijnaldum in midfield, Salah as the sole striker upfront, Shaqiri effectively employed as a No.10, with Roberto Firmino on the left and Sadio Mane on the right.

LFC Lineup v Saints 2018 Continue reading

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Pundit Predictions- Liverpool v Southampton 2018 (September 22, Round 6)

Liverpool are on a bit of a roll, having won their opening five league games of the new season and seeing off the challenge French giants Paris Saint-Germain in their first CL group game in midweek. Beating Southampton this weekend will see the Reds win their sixth straight Premier League game, a feat that has only previously been managed in the top flight by Newcastle, Man City and Chelsea.

Liverpool won the corresponding fixture between these two sides 3-0 last season thanks to a brace from Mo Salah and a second half strike from Philippe Coutinho.

Can Liverpool make it 6 wins out of 6 against Saints? Here is what the pundits have predicted for this clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro has gone for a repeat of last season’s scoreline, predicting that Liverpool will beat Saints by three unanswered goals. Lawro’s celeb opponent for the weekend, Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, like him, has gone for a 3-0 win to the Reds

Paul Merson: Sky pundit Merson also reckons that Liverpool will be too strong for Southampton, and has also gone for a 3-0 scoreline in favour of the home side. Continue reading

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Pundit Predictions- Who will win? Leicester vs Liverpool (2018 Round 4)

Liverpool face Leicester at the King Power Stadium this weekend in MD 4, a tricky test for Jurgen Klopp’s table toppers. Despite losing to Manchester United on the opening day of the season, Claude Puel’s Leicester bounced back with wins over Wolves and Southampton- victories that one might say to be a tad lucky given how well their opponents played. Nevertheless, with six points from 3 games, Leicester are 7th in the table going into Round 4.

Here is what the pundits say for Leicester vs Liverpool

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons Liverpool will drop points this weekend and says this will end in a 1-1 draw. His celebrity opponent for this round, radio host Greg James, however thinks Liverpool will continue their 100% record and will win 2-0 at the King Power. Continue reading

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Liverpool get Group of Death in UCL Group Stage Draw- Paired with PSG and Napoli

After having been given a relatively easy draw last season (Sevilla, Spartak and Maribor), Liverpool have been placed in a virtual Group of Death for the 2018/19 Champions League group stages. The Reds have been drawn alongside PSG, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade in Group C.

Benfica’s win over PAOK last night pushed Liverpool to Pot 3- they would’ve been in Pot 2 and potentially got an easier draw if the Greek side had triumphed.

Red Star, former European champions, are taking part in the group stages of the modern Champions League for the first time in their history.

Liverpool’s last European games against Red Star and PSG were back in 1973 and 1997 respectively, while they last did battle against Napoli back in 2010 in the Europa League. Continue reading

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Three wins out of three & top of the table- LFC 1-0 Brighton

A goal midway through the first half allowed Liverpool to keep their winning run intact as they beat Brighton 1-0 at Anfield. The Reds were unchanged for this fixture, with Klopp happy to keep faith with the same set of players that had done the business in the opening two weeks of the campaign.

Despite the Seagulls having beaten the Reds’ great North West rivals Manchester United in Week 2, few pundits had expected to them to upset Jurgen Klopp’s side, and the first few minutes showed why- there were easily three clear cut opportunities for the home side to score.

First Sadio Mane’s shot tantalizingly went on the wrong side of the post with Brighton keeper Ryan well beaten. The latter was called into action again, producing a good save to deny Firmino’s header after an excellent cross from Andy Robertson. Trent-Alexander Arnold then rattled the woodwork with an excellent free kick.

Mo Sa Continue reading

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Pundit predictions- Liverpool vs Brighton (2018 Week 3)

Brighton upset Manchester United last weekend and will travel to Anfield in Round 3 to take on in-form Liverpool. How will the Reds fare against their opponents from the South Coast this weekend? LFC Zone decided to check out what the pundits (messrs Lawro, Merson and Owen) had to say about this fixture.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says Liverpool “are flying” and the pace of their play “is difficult to cope with”, and has predicted a 3-0 win for the Reds

Lawro’s celeb opponents this weekend are Idris Elba and Aml Ameen. Elba also sees Liverpool scoring 3, but also reckons Brighton will be able to beat Alisson twice this weekend. Aml Ameen has gone for another Brighton upset, backing the Seagulls to win 2-1. Continue reading