Former Liverpool winger Xherdan Shaqiri believes his old club can win the quadruple this season, as the EFL Cup winners prepare to host Inter in the Champions League.

The 30-year-old, who is now plying his trade in Major League Soccer after joining Chicago Fire in February, won the Champions League, Premier League, and FIFA Club World cup titles in a three-year spell at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side defeated Chelsea to win the EFL Cup last month, and are preparing for a Champions League second-leg clash with the Italian champions, boasting a 2-0 lead from the first leg at San Siro.

With the Reds sitting just six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and advancing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, recent talk has surrounded the prospect of Klopp's men completing an unprecedented quadruple this term.

Shaqiri, who scored eight goals in 63 appearances for the club, has talked up their chances of doing so, as long as the Reds can keep their key players fit.

"They must do everything perfect, to win everything", Shaqiri told Sky Sports. 

"But if one team can do it, then for sure Liverpool is one of them.

"I think it's important to go from competition to competition, because there are so many with the Carabao [EFL Cup], FA Cup, and they are still in all of these competitions.

"Everyone needs to be fit and healthy, because injuries as you know are always difficult to deal with, but Liverpool have a great team and they dealt until now with everything.

"I'm really looking forward to the end of the season, [to see] how they're going to finish, but everything is possible." 

Liverpool's recent EFL Cup triumph represented the 10th major trophy of Klopp's coaching career, and the in-form Anfield side have not lost a game in any competition since a 1-0 reverse to Leicester City on December 28th. 

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has conceded injured forwards Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino will not be fit for the Premier League clash with Leeds United, and that both face a race against time to make Sunday's EFL Cup final against Chelsea.

Jota, whose tally of 12 league goals for the season is bettered only by Mohamed Salah among Liverpool players, suffered a knock in last week's Champions League win at Inter, while Firmino reported discomfort after the same fixture.

Both forwards sat out the Reds' 3-1 Premier League win over Norwich, with fellow attackers Salah, Sadio Mane, and Luis Diaz all finding the net.

Ahead of a week in which Liverpool can close the gap to Manchester City in the Premier League to just three points, before looking to lift their first domestic cup since 2012, Klopp was not hopeful about the pair's prospects.

"For tomorrow [Wednesday, against Leeds], no chance, and then [for] the final we will see", Klopp said. "It would be easy to say 'no' now, but we will see. 

"They are [pushing], but they were not on the training pitch [yet] so that's not a good sign. 

"We have to see what we can do with the boys in the next few days, and then make a decision later in the week."

Liverpool, who have only failed to score in one of their last 23 meetings with Leeds in all competitions, netting in each of their last 16 in a row since a goalless draw in April 1999, will go within three points of City if they beat the Whites at Anfield, but Klopp was keen to highlight Leeds' strengths before the contest.

"We saw all the faces of Leeds United on Sunday [in their 4-2 defeat to Manchester United]," he added.

"They are very brave and very exciting. Offensively, they go with everything they have. Defensively, you can cause them problems, but that is difficult as well, because of their man-marking all over the pitch.

"If you are not really up for the game, they will eat you."

Chelsea and Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy is relishing a huge week for the Stamford Bridge outfit, saying he will have time to celebrate his recent trophy wins at the end of the season.

Mendy has enjoyed another strong campaign, lifting the Club World Cup with Thomas Tuchel's team after starring in his nation's first major trophy success at the Africa Cup of Nations.

He kept four clean sheets and was named the tournament's best goalkeeper as Senegal lifted the trophy.

But with the London outfit facing a crucial week on two fronts, hosting Lille in the Champions League last 16 on Tuesday before facing Liverpool in Sunday's EFL Cup final, the 29-year-old says he is simply taking each game as it comes without any time to celebrate just yet.

"A lot of good things have happened in the last weeks," Mendy said ahead of Chelsea's first-leg clash with Lille. "I am very happy and proud of my success with the national team and Chelsea.

"I don't have time to celebrate, because we have a lot of big games in the coming weeks, so I am just focused on the next game. I will have time to celebrate at the end of the season.

"It's an important week but like I said, when you play for Chelsea you play for this kind of week, with finals and big games.

"We just [have to] focus on ourselves and what we have done well this season. We don't need to do something new, just rely on our work and our game."

Mendy, who has kept nine clean sheets in 21 league appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League this season, was also keen to praise teammate Kepa Arrizabalaga, who deputised ably when he travelled to Africa.

"My relationship with Kepa is good since I came here, we have a good relationship on and off the pitch," he said.

"When you play for Chelsea, you have competition in every position, so you have to give your best and play at your highest level to be in the team at the weekend."

Mendy also warned of the challenge posed by Lille ahead of the Ligue 1 holders' trip to London, as Chelsea try to retain their Champions League title.

He added: "When it's the Champions League and this stage of the competition, there are no easy draws.

"Lille are a very good team. They've struggled a bit more this season in the league [sitting 11th in Ligue 1 after 25 games] but it's always difficult to be reigning champions.

"They will give everything to make it hard for us and get a result. It's up to us to be wary of that and play our best football."

Chelsea are the first Champions League holders to progress to the knockout stages without winning their group since Real Madrid in 2017-18, but the Spanish side did go on to retain their title that season.

Thomas Tuchel praised the performance of the returning Romelu Lukaku after Chelsea's EFL Cup win over Tottenham.

The Blues took a huge step towards reaching the final after claiming a 2-0 victory in the first leg of the last-four tie at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku was restored to the starting line-up after he was left out of the squad for Sunday's Premier League clash with Liverpool due to comments made in the Italian media.

The former Inter striker was quoted as saying he was "not very happy with the situation" he finds himself in, while expressing a desire to return to the Nerazzurri one day.

However, the Belgium international subsequently apologised to Tuchel, as well as the fans on the club's official website.

He played the full 90 minutes against Spurs – recording game-high tallies of three shots on goal and two on target – and the head coach was pleased with his contribution under difficult circumstances.

 

Asked what he made of Lukaku's performance, he told Sky Sports: "Good, absolutely happy. I was pretty sure he was not affected. 

"I see him on a daily basis. Even the last days, he seemed relaxed, fine with the situation and mentally moved on. 

"Romelu can handle pressure and adversity. It was a good performance; he contributed a lot to our defensive setup and had chances."

Tuchel also praised the focus and commitment of his players, although he believes they could have increased their margin of victory.

"It seems like a deserved win, an excellent result because it reflects the game," he added. "We could have scored more, but it is hard to score against Tottenham.

"We did create a lot – some huge chances – it could have been possible to score more.

"We never lost the focus; [we] never lost the commitment."

Reggae Boyz midfielder Ravel Morrison has hit back at comments made by Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick about Premier League teams participating in the Carabao Cup.

The current Derby County and former Manchester United player was reacting to Rangnick’s comments calling for Premier League clubs to step back from involvement in the competition.

Rangnick made the comments in a pre-match press conference looking ahead to his team’s Premier League Clash with Newcastle United on December 27, 2021 at St James’ Park.

“England is the only country again in the top five leagues in Europe that plays two cup competitions. In France, they abolished the second one two or three years ago. This is something that we could speak about and discuss,” Rangnick said.

His comments came after a number of Premier League managers expressed concerns about fixtures piling up and the turnaround between matches becoming shorter and shorter.

Manchester United exited the Carabao Cup in the third round after a 1-0 loss to West Ham, team of Reggae Boy Michail Antonio.

Morrison disagrees, citing the competition as an opportunity for youngsters to gain experience and exposure that they wouldn’t normally get in the Premier League to make a name for themselves.

“It’s a good cup for the younger generation to get their chance and shine,” Morrison wrote on Twitter.

Morrison has so far played six matches for the Reggae Boyz.

Morrison's Derby County are currently at the bottom of the table in the EFL Championship with 10 points from their 25 matches.

 

Nuno Espirito Santo hailed the unity demonstrated by Tottenham in their 1-0 EFL Cup fourth-round win over Burnley. 

Lucas Moura's 68th-minute header proved the difference at Turf Moor as Spurs progressed to the quarter-finals of the competition for the third time in four seasons. 

The visitors were made to dig deep as Burnley pushed for an equaliser late on, but they held out for victory and a first clean sheet in 11 matches in all competitions. 

Nuno felt his players deserved credit for their application as they responded to Sunday's Premier League defeat at West Ham. 

"We did a good job controlling the way they play," he said. "We were much better in the second half in terms of mobility and dynamic.  

"The end of the match is about defending, sticking together. It's good for the team.  

"We know that games require suffering and require unity, so we must congratulate the players because they did a good job." 

One sour note saw Tottenham lose Bryan Gil to injury after just 25 minutes of the tie, with Nuno revealing they are still awaiting a full assessment of the damage. 

Last season, Spurs were runners-up to Manchester City, whose quest for a fifth straight EFL Cup triumph was ended by a penalty shoot-out defeat at West Ham on Wednesday. 

Nevertheless, Nuno was quick to play down his side's chances of going the extra step this year after booking their place alongside the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester City in the quarter-final draw. 

"We cannot look much further," he added. "We came here to go through; we did it in a good way and with a good game.  

"Let's see the draw and wait for the next one. 

"There are still a lot of teams. Every team involved in the competition is an option, so let’s focus on ourselves." 

Lucas Moura scored the only goal as Tottenham beat Burnley 1-0 to progress to the EFL Cup quarter-finals.

The Brazilian settled the all-Premier League fourth-round clash in the 68th minute at Turf Moor, firmly planting home a header from Emerson Royal’s cross.

Victory means the 2021 finalists of this competition are through to the last eight for the third time in four years.

Nuno Espirito Santo's side also registered a first clean sheet in 11 attempts, and only a second away win in eight.

Tottenham had only lost once in their 14 previous meetings with Burnley and had a good chance after just three minutes.

Giovani Lo Celso played Harry Kane through on goal, but the England captain uncharacteristically dragged his effort wide.

Emerson came to Spurs' rescue at the other end 10 minutes later; the full-back importantly clearing Johann Gudmundsson’s deep cross with Dwight McNeil lurking.

Aiming to beat a Premier League opponent over 90 minutes for the first time in five attempts in this competition, Spurs turned up the pressure after the break.

Nick Pope produced brilliant reflexes to deny Lo Celso from Kane's through ball in the 65th minute.

However, the Burnley goalkeeper was powerless three minutes later as an unmarked Lucas – on as an early substitute for the injured Bryan Gil – headed in Emerson's cross from close range.

The hosts pushed for an equaliser late on with Ashley Barnes testing Pierluigi Gollini from distance.

However, Spurs held on and the Clarets' wait for a first quarter-final appearance since the 2008-09 season continues.

Liverpool are primed and ready for the intensity of their season to kick up a notch as the Reds prepare to do battle on three fronts in the coming weeks, says Fabinho.

Going into the international break, the Reds had taken seven points from their opening three Premier League games, with Sunday's trip to Leeds United next on the agenda.

Following that visit to Elland Road, Jurgen Klopp's men host Milan in the Champions League, with a visit to Norwich City in the EFL Cup coming hot on the heels of a top-flight home game with Crystal Palace.

Looking ahead to the matches to come, Brazil midfielder Fabinho told the club's official website: "It will be really intense, it will be tough. But we're ready for this.

"I didn't go to the national team so it will be almost two weeks without playing, so I want to play again. I want to play in the Premier League and the Champions League.

"I'm excited for this moment, we will play every three days, so everyone needs to be ready. The manager will need every player.

"The mentality of the group is really good, everyone is ready for this, everyone is in good shape. So we're very excited for this moment."

Fabinho, who signed a new long-term contract at Anfield last month, is anticipating a tough test against Marcelo Bielsa's side this weekend.

"Leeds are a really intense team, a really good team," he said. "We played there last year without supporters and without fans in it was really tough. It was a tough game, it was 1-1.

"We know their qualities and I think with the fans it will be something more for them. But, as I said, almost all the games are hard and tough in the Premier League.

"We want to go there and win the game.

"It's not easy to play against a team like Leeds but we have to be ready for everything."

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