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Liverpool defender Glen Johnson’s future continues to be under the radar since he is out of contract at the end of this campaign, but he says that he is very much looking forward to facing Crystal Palace during the weekend. The Mersey side club will be returning to Selhurst Park to face the demons after losing a 3-0 advantage at this ground last season. This hurt the club immensely after they lost the title following this 3-3 draw. Liverpool do not seem to have recovered from this massive disappointment, as they have managed only four wins this season.
They come into the weekend match with a very poor run of form that has seen them suffer back-to-back defeats in three matches. It has been revealed that the club will be missing Daniel Sturridge for more number of weeks, as the England international has suffered yet another setback in his attempts to recover from the thigh strain he suffered in September.
Without Sturridge scoring the goals, Liverpool have struggled to win matches. Crystal Palace have the ability to put more misery on the visitors even though they are not in a good run of form themselves. Johnson says that even though this match looks easy on the paper, every match in the Premier League is difficult.
“It is a massive week.The first game back after the international break is always an important game because every team is obviously trying to go on a decent run of gaining points.We have got to take the weekend first and hopefully get three points and then we can hopefully go on a good run.
Crystal Palace have obviously had a break as well and will have been concentrating on this game since their last one. They need a few points, so it’s going to be an important game,” said Johnson.
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Liverpool’s €16 million signing Mario Balotelli has made 6 Premier League appearances but has not scored a single goal. This is not the way that the Italian forward wanted to kick-start his career in Anfield as Balotelli was signed with the purpose of replacing Luis Suarez.
Luis Suarez was offloaded to Barcelona for a hefty price tag of €64 million and Brendan Rodgers utilized that cash injection by signing new players in all areas of the team with defenders, midfielders and forward being signed but has not made an impact of any kind in his new club.
Jamie Carragher is a legend at Liverpool as the former player of the Premier League club who has made over 699 appearances for Liverpool has stated that Mario Balotelli should start getting dropped more often and give the chance for other players to step up and perform.
Despite all of these unconvincing performances from Mario Balotelli and all of the criticism that the Italian forward has been receiving lately, Brendan Rodgers has backed and supported the former Ac.Milan player by saying that he needs time.
“The criticism of him has been unfair, yes. And that’s because he’s probably seen as the direct replacement for Luis, and as I said before, Luis was irreplaceable and a real world-class talent. And that’s not what’s being asked of Mario. He’s not going to be what Luis was’’
“Mario’s come into here, everyone knows him and they’ve seen him over his career, he’s a great boy, and I’ve really enjoyed working with him. He wants to improve and be better, but it’s not going to happen overnight.” Brendan Rodgers said.
Mario Balotelli spent 2 seasons in Italy performing for Ac.Milan and he managed on scoring 26 league goals while making 43 appearances but the Italian club decided to sell him as he just caused too many problems outside of the pitch and in the dressing room. Let’s see if Brendan Rodgers can turn the Italian forward into a player that can cause less drama but more importantly, score more goals.
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Full-back has been one of the main areas where Liverpool have strengthened in the summer transfer window after bringing in the likes of Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo. The former comes from Sevilla in a £ 16 million deal, while Manquillo has joined from Atletico Madrid on a loan deal that could be made permanent depending upon his performances. Both players started the recent Premier League matches and it appeared into that they are likely to keep the likes of John Flanagan and Glen Johnson out of the first-team this campaign.
After having come through the youth academy at Liverpool, Flanagan holds a special place in the hearts of Liverpool fans. Just like Martin Kelly secured a move to Crystal Palace during the summer, Flanagan appears to have had the opportunities to move elsewhere and get regular first-team football. The defender, though, says that he is confident of returning back to the team and claimed his first-team place. Last season, he made 25 appearances and was a regular feature in the Liverpool team that finished second in the Premier League. However, he has been injured at the start of this campaign and it remains to be seen if he could replace Moreno, who scored his first Liverpool goal against Tottenham in the 3-0 win.
“I don’t think it will be too long now and I think I should be back after the international break if all goes well. It has been frustrating for me but I can’t dwell on it. It was tough to pick up the injury in pre-season but I’ve just got to forget about that now and push on. It’s going to be tough but I’m more determined than ever. It’s a massive season for me and I just can’t wait to get back now,” said the defender.
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Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez has reportedly decidedly to quit Liverpool at the end of the World Cup.
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are both chasing the Uruguayan striker, one of the hottest properties in world football at the moment and according a Spanish publication, he has told his friends that he wants to leave the club.
Another Spanish publication has gone one step ahead after running a story which said that Suarez is keen to win trophies and Spain is his preferred destination. Barcelona is believed to be the club that he favors with his wife’s family residing just 15 miles away from the Catalan city at Castelldefels.
The Catalan giants, according to reports, are pondering tabling a bid of around £ 68 million for the player who scored a massive 31 goals for the Reds as Liverpool a surprise challenge for the Premier League last season, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after a gap of five years.
It has also been said that Barcelona plan to use Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez as a makeweight in the deal, which would see the price of Suarez drop by a staggering £ 24 million with the cash strapped Spanish giants willing to sacrifice the Chilean to form their own strike trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Suarez to counter Real Madrid’s strike force of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema.
Liverpool have also reportedly held talks with Barcelona for the signing of Sanchez and believe any deal for the Chilean might just clinch a swoop for the Uruguayan hit man, who has already scored twice at the World Cup in one match so far, knocking England out of the competition.
Real Madrid is willing to offer £ 80 million for Suarez but with Suarez preferring Barcelona, they will have to look elsewhere for a striker.