EPL

Liverpool could be without Brazil trio against Leeds, says Klopp

By Sports Desk September 10, 2021

Jurgen Klopp hinted that Liverpool will be without Roberto Firmino, Alisson and Fabinho for the trip to Leeds United on Sunday.

Firmino misses out through a hamstring injury sustained against Chelsea but the availability of Alisson and Fabinho remains in doubt after Brazil called on FIFA to suspend the players from playing this weekend.

Brazil requested the governing body to take action after the Premier League clubs agreed to not let their players travel to South America, amid quarantining fears on their return subsequently causing them to miss fixtures.

When asked for an update on the situation, Klopp told reporters at Friday's pre-match news conference: "I know Bobby [Firmino] will not be available because of injury. About the rest, no.

"It’s a really difficult situation and really tricky for all the clubs and players, especially.

"We should not forget the players wanted to play, the clubs wanted to let players go but it was not possible.

"It looks like the real punishment is on the players because they can't play and, of course, the clubs as well.

"That's really not okay, we didn't decide that the players could not go.

"Brazil played 1.30am this morning [UK] time, they won all 3 games and still there is a complaint.

"Before the last break I met [Arsene] Wenger and he showed me World Cup plans. In that moment I got the message from our guys 'no exemptions from government for our players'.

"Now we have that situation, we still don't know who we can line-up at the weekend.

"I've no idea when I can expect a solution, we will see. I don't know what moment I have to make the decision. I want to play them on Sunday but we will see."

Klopp's side travel to Elland Road on the second-longest unbeaten run in England's top four tiers (13), also winning seven of their last eight Premier League matches on the road.

Leeds are winless in their last eight top-flight meetings with the Reds, though they held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Elland Road last season.

Related items

  • Foster has 'no idea' if he will remain as All Blacks coach despite Springboks win Foster has 'no idea' if he will remain as All Blacks coach despite Springboks win

    Ian Foster has "no idea" if New Zealand's 35-23 Rugby Championship win over South Africa on Saturday will be enough to save his job.

    Foster has faced huge pressure as head coach of the All Blacks after a dismal run of five defeats in six Tests, but his team put in an impressive performance in Johannesburg.

    Tries from captain Sam Cane and Samisoni Taukei'aho gave them a strong start, only for the world champions to fight back and take the lead with 12 minutes to go courtesy of scores from Lukhanyo Am and Makazole Mapimpi, as well as 15 points from the boot of Handre Pollard.

    Beauden Barrett had been sent to the sin bin for New Zealand, but late tries from David Havili and Scott Barrett turned things around for the All Blacks and secured a defiant win.

    Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Foster was asked if he thought the victory might allow him a stay of execution, to which he said: "I have no idea, I am just going to enjoy tonight.

    "It's never easy when you are coming off a couple of losses, but [I am] so proud. Just so proud of the effort... they hung in and finished strong."

    Three consecutive defeats saw New Zealand plummet to fifth in the world rankings after losing their Rugby Championship opener last weekend, their lowest point in history.

    Foster said after that defeat in Mbombela that it had been his team's best performance of the year, despite being beaten by South Africa.

    "I know I got a little bit mocked for saying that last week, after the loss, but we made a big shift last week through our forward pack," he added.

    "The work [forwards coach] Jason Ryan has done out there was strong, and I really felt we were creating a few opportunities. We wanted it so much we were rushing things. Whereas today [Saturday], we were just more patient."

    The All Blacks' next game is against Argentina in Christchurch, and it remains to be seen if Foster will still be at the helm when that takes place on August 27.

  • Argentina 48-17 Australia: Pumas romp to rare win over depleted Wallabies Argentina 48-17 Australia: Pumas romp to rare win over depleted Wallabies

    Argentina claimed a rare win over Australia as the Pumas emerged 48-17 victors in an entertaining Rugby Championship clash on Saturday.

    Australia had only lost one of their previous 14 Tests against Argentina, but the depleted Wallabies were clearly second best in San Juan as Michael Cheika's side got their first points on the table.

    A fast start had the Pumas 14-0 up by the seventh minute thanks to tries from Juan Imhoff and Thomas Gallo, and just when Australia looked to have the momentum, another quickfire double courtesy of Jeronimo De La Fuente and Juan Martin Gonzalez had the hosts back in charge.

    The second half was a much tighter affair until Gallo's second try of the day, the Pumas ultimately romping to an emphatic victory with more late tries from Emiliano Boffelli and Tomas Albornoz. 

    A purposeful Argentina were helped to an early lead as a defensive mix-up saw the ball drop kindly in Australia's 22 for Imhoff, who darted over before a successful conversion.

    They got their second try of the match in just the fifth minute as prop Gallo bundled over under the posts, with the extras added once again by Boffelli amid a ferocious start by the hosts.

    Australia responded as James Slipper went over from close range following a well-worked lineout, and James O'Connor converted before also successfully kicking a penalty.

    O'Connor looked to have put Australia in front with 21 thrilling minutes played, but an earlier infringement earned Argentina a reprieve that they duly took full advantage of.

    De La Fuente beat two men and dotted down for a gutsy try after seemingly pulling his hamstring partway through his run, and another fine Boffelli kick opened up an 11-point lead.

    The deficit was further increased five minutes later thanks to Gonzalez, who charged clear from outside the 22 following an O'Connor fumble, but Australia had a lucky escape soon after when Boffelli had a try harshly chalked off despite appearing to touch the line with the ball.

    After a quiet start to the second period, the Pumas effectively put the game beyond Australia with 16 minutes to go.

    Gallo again showed great strength to force his way over from close range, and Boffelli's conversion made it 36-10.

    Len Ikitau quickly hit back with a try of his own and O'Connor kicked the extras, but Bofelli then touched down after chasing down a low kick and with the final action of the game, Albornoz ran in behind to cap a memorable win.

    Gallo embodies Pumas' spirit

    This was some performance from 23-year-old Gallo. The prop's power and sheer determination was routinely on display, and never more crucially than with his two tries.

    The two efforts were very similar in style as he simply refused to be tackled, and the second of which essentially killed off any hope of an Australia comeback.

    O'Connor frustrated

    The mercurial fly-half was given the chance to impress in the absence of Quade Cooper, who suffered a serious Achilles injury in Mendoza last weekend, and he certainly had his moments.

    One such instance was his disallowed try, a decision that looked pretty harsh at the time. But ultimately he just did not have the influence he might have expected, and was also the man caught in possession prior to Gonzalez dotting down.

  • Milan 'must not repeat defensive errors' – Pioli warns champions despite opening-day win Milan 'must not repeat defensive errors' – Pioli warns champions despite opening-day win

    Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said his team "must not repeat" their defensive errors in Saturday's opening win against Udinese when they face Atalanta next week.

    The Rossoneri got their Serie A title defence off to a victorious start at San Siro as they beat Udinese 4-2, but had to come from behind after conceding just 90 seconds into the new season when Rodrigo Becao headed in a corner.

    A penalty from Theo Hernandez and an Ante Rebic strike quickly turned things around, only for Adam Masina to head in an equaliser just before half-time.

    Brahim Diaz restored Milan's lead less than a minute into the second half, before Rebic wrapped things up with just over 20 minutes to go.

    While Pioli was clearly unhappy with conceding twice, he did acknowledge that his side recovered and played some of the football that saw them win their first Scudetto in 11 years last season.

    "I didn't like conceding so early; we have to start better," he told DAZN. "Then we played half an hour of great football, against a very dangerous and physical opponent.

    "We conceded two goals from crosses, we had to work much better. We will review everything and deal with these situations better.

    "Sometimes we are more determined when we defend high instead of in front of our penalty area. This is a serious mistake, and we must not repeat it next Sunday against an opponent like Atalanta."

    Rebic scored twice, his first Serie A goals at San Siro in 482 days, having not registered a league goal on home soil since playing Genoa in April 2021.

    "Ante is a very strong player," Pioli added. "He knows how to move, he knows how to tie the game, he has all the characteristics to be important. He worked for the team, he really gave us a lot, so congratulations [to him]."

    New signings Charles de Ketelaere and Divock Origi made their debuts from the bench, with the former putting the ball in the back of the net only to see it disallowed for a foul by the latter.

    Pioli was asked about De Ketelaere, a big-money arrival from Club Brugge, and suggested the Belgium international will need more time before starting.

    "The [first] impressions are very positive, he is an intelligent guy," he said.

    "He can read situations in advance... He still doesn't have the best possible condition [fitness-wise]. He was probably used to working between the lines more, we aim to fill those spaces with more players.

    "There is no doubt about his talent, but he comes from a different league and will need the time to understand this football. "

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.