EPL

Alisson: Liverpool deserve to win Premier League

By Sports Desk November 30, 2019

Star goalkeeper Alisson says Liverpool deserve to win the Premier League this season despite still having room for improvement.

The Reds are eight points clear of second-place Leicester City ahead of Saturday's home game against Brighton and Hove Albion.

Liverpool narrowly missed out on the title last term but a blistering start to the new campaign, in which they have won 12 of their first 13 league matches, has restored hope of a first top-flight triumph since 1990.

Alisson believes it would be nothing less than the European champions deserve.

"My aims are to win everything we play for," the Brazil international told Sky Sports. "Every time we go on the pitch to play a cup game, a league game or a Champions League game, we will give everything to win.

"The desire of the people is important for us and we have the same desire to win the Premier League this season.

"It's something we try with our full heart, to win, because the people deserve it, the club deserve it and we deserve it also because of what we did last season and what we have done this season so far.

"But we need to keep going, keep playing to win every game and keep improving – that's an important thing – but we will try to win all the tournaments we play."

Jurgen Klopp will expect his team to deliver a more convincing margin of victory against Brighton following a run of late winners and close results.

Liverpool drew 1-1 against Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday and have not kept a clean sheet in any of their past 11 matches in all competitions.

"I think we are playing the way that is necessary to win," Alisson said.

"I think we can improve and this is a good sign because we are winning and we are not playing our best. We are playing as best as we can but some things we know we can do better, like the clean sheets.

"In the defensive way, sometimes with the ball we can prepare better for the situations, but our mentality is our strong point and we are winning the games because of our strong mentality."

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    - Eric Garcia looks set to finish the season with Manchester City. Marca reports Barcelona cannot afford a transfer fee for the defender and the delay of the LaLiga club's presidential elections, now scheduled for March 7, mean Garcia will have to wait for a move.

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  • Man Utd have stopped scoring against the big sides – that must change at Liverpool Man Utd have stopped scoring against the big sides – that must change at Liverpool

    Manchester United's record against the so-called 'big six' of the Premier League this season reads zero wins, two defeats and two draws.

    They have conceded seven goals, six of them at home to Tottenham, and scored just once – a Bruno Fernandes penalty two minutes into that 6-1 hammering in October.

    Fernandes scored their previous goal in these encounters from the spot, too, in a 1-1 draw at Spurs last June. In fact, you have to go back to March 2020 and their 2-0 win at home to Manchester City, the last Old Trafford game played in front of a crowd, for the previous occasion that they scored a goal against a big-six team that wasn't a penalty.

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    This reflects a general balancing out in these matches. They are, for the most part, more attritional and less unpredictable affairs settled by fine margins – exactly the sort of contest you'd expect between true heavyweights. United are not significantly under-performing each time; they're just not quite tilting the odds in their favour.

    How, then, might they change that against Liverpool? There is one simple way.

    SLAB EXPERIMENT

    United have one particular weakness, regardless of opposition: set-pieces. This season, they have conceded 11 goals from set-plays; only Wolves (12), Brighton and Hove Albion (14) and Leeds United (16) have a worse record. They have shipped four goals from corners, the same number as Liverpool, but the champions have only conceded eight times from dead-ball situations overall.

    At the other end, United have scored 10 goals from set-pieces, a tally bettered by just four teams: Aston Villa and Southampton (11), and Chelsea and Liverpool (12). Only Chelsea (34) have created more dead-ball chances than United (31).

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    Since the start of last season, Harry Maguire has won 73 per cent of his aerial duels in the Premier League. That's the best rate of anyone who has contested at least 300 in that time. In fact, he has lost only 98 of the 341 he has been involved in, which is the lowest number of losses across the same period within that elite group.

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