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Pre-season tour, Sparta in Europa & injury news for final – Latest LFC News

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It has been a bumper day of Liverpool news, with the pre-final press conference, the Europa League draw, and details of Liverpool’s pre-season tour being announced.

 

A Europa League rundown

Liverpool have drawn the Czech champions, Sparta Prague, in the Europa League round of 16. The first leg in Prague will take place on March 7, just three days before the match vs. Man City.

The second leg is on March 14, with a match against Everton or an FA Cup quarter-final the following Sunday.

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC, Thursday, February 17, 2011: AC Sparta Prague players salute their supporters after their goal-less draw with Liverpool during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 1st leg match at the Letna? Stadion . (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While fans are relatively pleased with the draw, the Reds will have to be on their game, especially away from home.

Sparta are unbeaten at the Letna Stadium this season, excluding their defeat on penalties to Copenhagen in Champions League qualifying.

In their recent play-off round, they swept aside Galatasaray 4-1 in the home second leg – an opposition side including Mauro Icardi, Lucas Torreira and Dries Mertens.

You can read more on Sparta Prague here. No room for complacency, Reds!

 

Mixed news on the injury front

  • Lijnders didn’t sound too optimistic when asked about whether Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah will be fit for the League Cup final. Read his full quotes below to interpret for yourself…
  • “Dom (Szoboszlai), Darwin and Mo we have to really see, we have two more days. So today’s session and tomorrow’s session. We will check if they can be there,” Lijnders said.

 

Lijnders turns down offers to leave

During the Lijnders’ press conference, the assistant manager revealed that he has turned down offers to leave over “the last years.”

With the Dutchman set to leave with Klopp at the end of the season, he explained: “The last years, I got offers. My heart always said yes, my loyalty and my respect and friendship with Mike and Jurgen said no.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 24, 2024: Liverpool's first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders before the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“So, the moment we spoke and he said ‘I’m thinking about [leaving]’ I said that is, for me, clear: I will go and manage.”

Lijnders has previously attempted management, leaving Liverpool for NEC Nijmegen before returning to Merseyside just five ill-fated months later.

The good news for supporters is that he added: “Until the last final of the season, I’m focused on Liverpool, not on what’s happening now. That’s why we have agents, no?”

 

Latest Liverpool FC news

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 3, 2023: Liverpool's Wataru Endo celebrates after scoring the third goal to equalise and level the score at 3-3 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. Liverpol won 4-3. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Wataru Endo has said “it will mean a lot” to win his first trophy with Liverpool – he deserves it!
  • Mauricio Pochettino thinks Liverpool are “favourites” for the final – he’s right but the injuries have made things closer than they should be
  • Liverpool have announced their USA pre-season tour dates, including games against Arsenal and Man United – read more details here

 

Latest chat from elsewhere

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 19, 2020: West Ham United's manager David Moyes during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and West Ham United FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Rasmus Hojlund has been ruled “out for two to three weeks” with a muscle injury, report Sky Sports
  • David Moyes says he has been offered a new contract as West Ham manager, but will wait until the end of the season to make a decision

 

Video of the day and match of the night

We shared this video on Thursday but here’s another chance to watch it, getting you in the mood for Sunday’s League Cup final!

Match of the night is second against first, Leeds vs. Leicester, in the Championship.

The game kicks off at 8pm (GMT) and is live on Sky Sports Football.