Klopp relishing prospect of return to full Anfield as Man City host Norwich
Not since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 has Liverpool’s famous stadium been packed to the rafters, but with restrictions lifted The Kop roar will return tomorrow.
Klopp was critical of some Liverpool fans this week after offensive chants aimed at Norwich City midfielder Billy Gilmour in last week’s opening 3-0 victory at Carrow Road.
The German said in a statement on Thursday that he does not want to hear the song anymore and he spoke again of his displeasure at the chants towards Chelsea loanee Gilmour.
“I don’t feel proud about it, I think it was the right thing to do (speak out),” Klopp said. “If the response was great… job done. It was an important thing to talk about.”
Liverpool was impressive against Norwich with key defender Virgil van Dijk back after missing most of last season with a knee injury.
The Dutchman’s absence was a major factor in Liverpool’s struggles last term, and his solid return to action did not surprise Klopp at all.
“I wasn’t impressed in a surprising way. He had a four-and-a-half-week pre-season. With rehab stuff it was the longest pre-season of all time,” Klopp said.
“He played as he trained. Virgil is a good footballer, so delighted to have him back.” Liverpool could have midfielders Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara back in the squad for the clash with Burnley after they were not involved against Norwich, having returned to pre-season training later than many of their teammates.
“They are much closer, yes. They look fine, now we have to make the decision,” Klopp said.
Despite losing against Brighton in their season-opener, Sean Dyche’s side travel to Anfield with some confidence, having ended their hosts’ 68-game unbeaten home run last January.
Man City Vs Norwich City
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is a doubt because of a shoulder injury sustained against Tottenham on the opening weekend and could miss the clash with Norwich City. Kevin de Bruyne is expected to return to the starting line-up, while Phil Foden remains the only long-term absentee.
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke has no fresh injury concerns and might name the same side that faced Liverpool. They are on an 11-game Premier League losing streak, a run only topped by Sunderland’s 20 consecutive defeats between 2003 and 2005.
Leeds Vs Everton
Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips is expected to start against Everton after being an unused substitute against Manchester United due to a lack of fitness.
However, defender Diego Llorente will not return from his leg injury until next week.
Everton are still without Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Ben Godfrey, Andre Gomes, and James Rodriguez. Forward Moise Kean is available again, having missed the win over Southampton because of covid-related reasons.
Brentford vs Crystal Palace
Brentford head to Selhurst Park to take on Crystal Palace tomorrow and The Bees and their fans are still buzzing after last weekend’s thoroughly deserved opening day win over Arsenal.
“I need to praise Crystal Palace because they have been in the Premier League for the last eight years and have been very consistent in everything they do,” said coach Thomas Frank. “They have a low budget and constantly produce good performances in the last eight years. It is very impressive what they have achieved.
Aston Villa Vs Newcastle
Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins hasn’t recovered from a knee injury in time to face Newcastle, while Bertrand Traore faces several weeks out with a hamstring problem.
Midfielders Morgan Sanson and Douglas Luiz could be involved, although the latter only recently returned from the Olympics and is unlikely to start.
Newcastle is without Jonjo Shelvey, who has a fresh calf injury, but Joe Willock is available after completing his permanent move late last week.
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