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With a $107m move to Man United under consideration, Virgil van Dijk has already warned Liverpool of “another Haaland”.



Barely a year after the arrival of Erling Haaland, Liverpool rivals Chelsea and Manchester United are ‘fighting’ over the transfer of another high-profile Premier League striker.

One of Liverpool’s worst performances of the season was a 4-1 defeat by Napoli on matchday one of the Champions League in September.

Unfortunately there have been plenty of options this year, and it is true that Napoli have been among the best sides in Europe this season, building a huge 18-point lead at the top of Serie A that could see them clinch the championship. next month.

Yet Liverpool’s performance that night at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona was terrible, despite Napoli’s brilliance.

Piotr Zieliski scored early in each half to help the team lose 4-1. André-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Giovanni Simeone also scored.

Luis Dáz’s goal was no consolation.
However, the Reds’ situation could have been worse in some respects.

After 15 minutes, with Napoli already leading 1-0, Zieliński sent the ball to Anguissa in the center circle and Victor Osimhen shoved his way throughErling Haaland, followed by Virgil van Dijk.

After the ball was played correctly, the long-awaited one-on-one match began. Osimhen held on despite an elbow from the centre-back, then scored before Van Dijk got to his feet.

A penalty was awarded after review by the VAR, but the striker’s weak shot was saved by Alisson.

In an attempt to make amends, later in the half he stole the ball from Joe Gomez and put it on to Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, but Van Dijk managed to clear it on the line.

After just 41 minutes, Osimhen should finally be off through injury. He should have scored, he could have provided an assist, and Liverpool were probably relieved to sit out the second half as Simeone, his replacement, hadn’t been able to do as much damage.

According to recent disturbing rumours, Osimhen could play in the Premier League this summer.

According to Sky Deutschland’s Florian Plettenberg, Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested in signing the Nigerian.

Manchester City applied but is already very well equipped in this area, like Liverpool which has Darwin Nunez, Cody Gakpo and Diogo Jota.

Osimhen is expected to top $107m (£88m/€100m) which would set a new record for the most expensive African footballer in history.

He cost $96m (£79m/€89m) to join Napoli in 2020, where he made a respectable but unremarkable debut with 10 goals in 16 league starts. Last season he rose to 18 goals in 32 appearances.

But this year he is truly blown away, already surpassing his all-time Napoli tally by scoring 21 goals in 27 games to spark his side’s unstoppable push.
Osimhen is the top scorer in Serie A and third in Europe’s top five leagues with 19 goals.

This figure is even more astonishing if you take into account the four games he missed against Liverpool due to injury.

In fact, only one player in Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Premier League is able to exceed his 0.93 goals without penalty per 90 minutes (Erling Haaland with 0.98).

Osimhen outperformed its expected goal (xG) of 3.9, but in a system that takes advantage of its advantages, its performance should be sustainable. He has the highest xG without penalty for 90 (. 74) of the five major leagues, which speaks to the caliber of his movement.

It’s scary that he’s only 24.

Osimhen, one of the best strikers in the world right now, may not be able to match Haaland’s performance at Manchester City, but who can? – but it can still be a devastating addition. He could be one of the things Manchester United are missing to be a title contender again. Among other things, the Red Devils lack an elite centre-forward.

Perhaps he can finally end Chelsea’s number nine curse which has cost the club hundreds of millions of dollars and possibly dates back to Didier Drogba, with Diego Costa being the possible exception.

After Manchester City’s seismic takeover of Haaland, Liverpool may have to prepare for the appearance of another unstoppable force.With a $107 million Man United transfer is being considered, Virgil van Dijk has already cautioned Liverpool of “another Haaland.”


Preview: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool – prediction, team news, lineups

Needing to conjure up a piece of Bernabeu magic to extend their European trip, Liverpool travel to the Spanish capital on Wednesday night to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg.

Continental veterans Carlo Ancelotti fought back from a 2-0 deficit to record a phenomenal 5-2 first-leg victory at Anfield three weeks ago and only the most disastrous of collapses would see the quarter-final tickets change. hands.
game preview

Even though Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah – the latter receiving a hand or knee from Thibaut Courtois – wowed the crowd at Anfield, there was not the slightest hint of concern over stone Carlo Ancelotti, whose misadventures precocious made their seven-goal win even more incredible.

Alisson Becker vied with Courtois for the error of the night with a pass directly to Vinicius Junior’s leg, conceding twice against the Brazilian star in the remaining minutes of the first half before Eder Militao’s header and Karim Benzema’s double does not put the icing on a famous Merseyside. mallet.

The reigning La Liga champions, who had apparently spent all their energy on winning at Anfield, failed to prevail in the three domestic encounters that followed – including a 1-0 loss to Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final – but they returned to their type with a comfortable 3-1 win against Espanyol at the weekend.

With Benzema in bubble wrap, Vinicius and Militao were once again on target alongside Marco Asensio, while Los Blancos are nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona, ​​but a Champions League game number 300 now steals the spotlight amid their top-flight woes.

Of the last 27 times Madrid have won the first leg of a Champions League away match, they have come up from 26 – in that span only Ajax have excelled in 2018/19 since Erik ten Hag – but won’t take everything comes out of the Dutchman’s book after Manchester United’s humiliation at Anfield.

A timely replay of their 7-0 defeat to Manchester United at the Bernabeu would undoubtedly be regarded as the greatest ever Champions League result, but a week is a long time in football given Liverpool’s lackluster display in the defeat shock against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

Ignoring warning signs at half-time and consequently conceding the opener to Philip Billing, Liverpool had a rare golden opportunity to equalize from 12 yards out – their first Premier League penalty since April 2022 – but Salah normally reliably sent a wild penalty kick into the stands.

A south coast defeat has allowed Tottenham Hotspur to stay further afield in the race for fourth place in the Premier League, so prioritizing a stunning comeback in the Champions League on Wednesday would be the first step towards safety, and Klopp then declined with waving the white flag. witness the beating on the way out. Admittedly, Liverpool are no newcomers when it comes to spectacular European comebacks – from 3-0 down to beaten Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in 2018-19 – but the absence of the Anfield faithful and a certain Divock Origi l ‘each other quickly to Meet. the curves taken are far from ideal.

Furthermore, Klopp’s men have just two away wins to cheer about in eight away games in 2023, and have been winless in seven games for Real Madrid since clinching victory in the 2008 edition’s quarter-finals/ 2009 . The score in the second leg of that battle of the giants? 4-0.

Team news

Ballon d’Or winner Benzema sat out against Espanyol as a precaution with an ankle problem and has since joined his team-mates for a full training session. Ferland Mendy returns.

However, the Frenchman has been out with a thigh problem since late January so Ancelotti may be reluctant to risk him from the first whistle, while David Alaba himself went off with a thigh problem in the first leg and should be out.

After using Eduardo Camavinga at left-back against Espanyol, Ancelotti should deploy Antonio Rudiger or Mendy – depending on his conditions – for the return, with the presence of the former allowing Nacho Fernandez to move into a winger role.

As for Liverpool, Klopp has yet to deal with the absences of Luis Diaz, Thiago Alcantara and Calvin Ramsay – the former could return to training this week but won’t be eligible until after the international break – although Joe Gomez he recovered the muscle problem he suffered in the first leg.

Arthur made a rare appearance on the bench at Vitality following thigh surgery but was not included in Liverpool’s Champions League squad, while a knock also left the hapless Naby Keita doubtful for this game, and Jordan Henderson did not made the trip made due to illness.

Diogo Jota was a bright spark against Bournemouth when he replaced Harvey Elliott at half-time, and with an enthusiastic approach needed to save their European bacon, Klopp could very well be considering taking the Portuguese to an ambitious 4- 2-3-1. especially with Henderson and Thiago both watching from the sidelines.

Possible starting line-up for Real Madrid:

courteous; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr

Probable starting line-up for Liverpool:

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Baicetic; Salah, Jota, Nunez; Gakpo

Say: Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool (Real Madrid win 8-3 on aggregate)

Given what happened to their Catalan counterparts four years ago, Real Madrid may want to be cautious, knowing Klopp’s current pick at Liverpool won’t instill the same fear in the hearts of their opponents, especially with their poor record in 2023.

Ancelotti’s side can’t count on keeping a vengeful Reds side at bay, especially given their own patchy streak, but Los Blancos in the Champions League are usually always a foregone conclusion and comeback de Benzema should only make their victory in the second leg all the more convincing. solidly on course for a place in the last eight.

For a data analysis of the most likely outcomes, scores and more for this game, please click here.

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