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Xherdan Shaqiri has been left out of Liverpoool’s squad to travel to Belgrade for their Champions League clash against Red Star. The versatile playmaker was not named in the 21 member team announced by the Reds, with Jurgen Klopp wary of a potentially harsh reception for the Swiss star, who has Kosovar-Albanian heritage, especially after his Double Eagle celebration at the World Cup earlier this summer in Russia. The Swiss came from behind to win 2-1 against the Serbs thanks to goals from Shaqiri and Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka.

Liverpool’s 21 member squad to travel to Belgrade for Red Star game:- Fabinho, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Gomez, Alisson, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Mignolet, Robertson, Origi, Solanke, Matip, Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold

Here is what manager Jurgen Klopp had to say on the matter.

We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions that would take focus away from a 90-minute-plus contest that is important for football and only football. So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday

Red Star fans can be a passionate lot- the Serbian giants attracted a crowd of 49,112 for their 0-0 draw against Napoli earlier in the competition. They’re currently bottom of the group, while the Reds narrowly top it ahead of Paris SG and the Partenopei after three game weeks.

Liverpool beat Red Star 4-0 in MD3 thanks to a brace from Mo Salah and goals from his attacking partners Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.

LFC drew 1-1 with Arsenal over the weekend, with Milner’s opener cancelled out by the Gunners’ French star Alexandre Lacazette.

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Stuart Attwell has been appointed as referee for Liverpool’s clash against Cardiff this weekend. The Bluebirds registered a much needed 4-2 win over Fulham at home last weekend, aided by some truly dire defending from the Cottagers. It was the first win of the season for Neil Warnock’s promoted team.

Attwell has been given the whistle for this one. He has refereed four Premier League games featuring Liverpool.

March 2010- Liverpool 4-1 Portsmouth
September 2010- Liverpool 2-2 Sunderland
February 2018- Liverpool 4-1 West Ham
April 2018- West Brom 2-2 Liverpool

Going by this 4-1 and 2-2 sequence, this weekend’s game is likely to end 4-1 in favour of Jurgen Klopp’s Reds!

Another interesting stat- Cardiff have not won in their last four games (all in the Championship) under Attwell.

Attwell’s assists for this LFC Cardiff clash will be Constantine Hatzidakis and Adrian Holmes, with Craig Pawson to serve as the fourth official at Anfield.

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Michael Oliver has been appointed as referee for Liverpool’s first game after the October international break- an away trip to the John Smith’s Stadium to take on Huddersfield Town.

The Reds have already played twice under Oliver this season in the league. Both were away fixtures- a 2-0 win at Selhurst Park against Crystal Palace in Week 2, and a 2-1 win at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur in Week 5.

Huddersfield, by comparison, have struggled in recent games under Oliver. He reffed their 0-0 stalemate at home against Cardiff in Week 3, a fixture in which he sent off Jonathan Hogg. In Town’s last three games with Oliver in the middle, they’ve failed to score a single goal.

Will Michael Oliver again end up red carding a Huddersfield player?

Liverpool’s referee from their last game v City, Martin Atkinson, has been handed the reigns of the West Ham-Spurs game. Atkinson was also the ref for West Ham’s first game after the September international break (when they beat Everton 3-1)

Mike Dean will handle the weekend’s first kick off (Chelsea v Man Utd), while Man City’s home clash against Burnley will be reffed by Jonathan Moss.

Oliver will be assisted by Stuart Burt and Simon Bennett, with Simon Hooper to serve as the fourth official.

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Liverpool made it six wins in as many games as they brushed aside the challenge of Mark Hughes’ Southampton at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. For Saints, it was effectively a repeat of last season’s game, having lost 3-0 in 2017/18 as well. LFC had the game wrapped up by half time, and didn’t even have to get out of second gear- this was a pretty easy win for them despite Southampton’s best efforts.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp handed Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri their first league starts of the season and opted for a change in formation to 4-2-3-1. This saw Henderson and Wijnaldum in midfield, Salah as the sole striker upfront, Shaqiri effectively employed as a No.10, with Roberto Firmino on the left and Sadio Mane on the right.

The home side went ahead in the 10th minute. The ball from a corner fell to Mane, and his through pass found Shaqiri. The Swiss international’s attempt took deflections off Shane Long and Wesley Hoedt as Saints conceded a bizarre own goal.

In the 21st minute, a great challenge from Cedric prevented Mo Salah from making it 2-0. But Saints were caught out from the resulting corner, with Matip heading in Trent Alexander Arnold’s corner. Very poor defending from the visitors, especially from Jannik Vestergaard, who was beaten to the ball by Matip despite the latter being several inches shorter.

Salah’s quest for a goal saw him attempt an outrageous backheel in the 43rd minute after a swift counter attack. It didn’t come off, but the Egyptian did get himself on the score sheet in first half stoppage time. Xherdan Shaqiri’s beautiful free kick hit the bar, but Salah was quickest to follow up, and his goal effectively killed any hopes Saints might have had of making a match of this.

That was Shaqiri’s last contribution of the afternoon- he was taken off at half time for James Milner. Liverpool reverted to a 4-3-3 after Milner’s introduction, with Firmino again taking up a central role. Salah also found the back of the net late in the game, but it was disallowed as Liverpool did not add to their first half tally.

Southampton did get into the final third a fair bit with Nathan Redmond getting the better of Andy Robertson on the right, but Liverpool’s defenders were quick to snuff out any threat. With Ings unavailable for selection and Gabbiadini injured, Saints never really posed a threat to Alisson, and it took them 91 minutes to finally get a shot on target (from substitute Charlie Austin)

This was a game for which both Mark Lawrenson and Paul Merson both got their predictions right- the duo had backed LFC to win 3-0.

The only bit of concern for Liverpool fans would’ve been seeing Virgil van Dijk subbed off early in the second half, but Klopp assured that it was merely a precautionary measure and nothing serious.

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Liverpool face Leicester at the King Power Stadium this weekend in MD 4, a tricky test for Jurgen Klopp’s table toppers. Despite losing to Manchester United on the opening day of the season, Claude Puel’s Leicester bounced back with wins over Wolves and Southampton- victories that one might say to be a tad lucky given how well their opponents played. Nevertheless, with six points from 3 games, Leicester are 7th in the table going into Round 4.

Here is what the pundits say for Leicester vs Liverpool

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro reckons Liverpool will drop points this weekend and says this will end in a 1-1 draw. His celebrity opponent for this round, radio host Greg James, however thinks Liverpool will continue their 100% record and will win 2-0 at the King Power.

Paul Merson: Merson reckons that Jamie Vardy’s suspension is a massive blow to the Foxes’ chances of coming away with something from this game, and says he can’t see “anything but a Liverpool win”. Has gone for a 3-0 win to the Reds.

Michael Owen: Former Liverpool striker Owen also reckons Liverpool will win, but says Alisson will not keep a clean sheet. Liverpool are yet to concede a goal this season.

Lawrenson: LCFC 1-1 Liverpool
Merson: LCFC 0-3 Liverpool
James: LCFC 0-2 Liverpool
Owen: Liverpool to win, but Leicester will score

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Brighton upset Manchester United last weekend and will travel to Anfield in Round 3 to take on in-form Liverpool. How will the Reds fare against their opponents from the South Coast this weekend? LFC Zone decided to check out what the pundits (messrs Lawro, Merson and Owen) had to say about this fixture.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says Liverpool “are flying” and the pace of their play “is difficult to cope with”, and has predicted a 3-0 win for the Reds

Lawro’s celeb opponents this weekend are Idris Elba and Aml Ameen. Elba also sees Liverpool scoring 3, but also reckons Brighton will be able to beat Alisson twice this weekend. Aml Ameen has gone for another Brighton upset, backing the Seagulls to win 2-1.

Paul Merson: Merson says Liverpool are a “different kettle of fish” at home, and like Lawro, has gone for a 3-0 win for Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Michael Owen: Like Lawro and Merson, Owen has also predicted that Liverpool will win 3-0, and has said that Brighton, despite their Week 2 heroics against Man Utd, will find the Reds “a different proposition” at Anfield.

Interestingly enough, ALL three pundits have gone for 3-0 wins for Liverpool. Will that be the case in this 5.30 kick off? We’ll have to wait and see.

Lawro: Liverpool 3-0 Brighton
Merson: Liverpool 3-0 Brighton
Owen: Liverpool 3-0 Brighton

Celeb predictions

Elba: Liverpool 3-2 Brighton
Ameen: Liverpool 1-2 Brighton

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Leicester City have agreed a fee with Liverpool for the transfer of goalkeeper Danny Ward. The Welsh keeper, No.3 at the Reds behind Lorius Karius and Simon Mignolet, will now discuss personal terms with Leicester after the Foxes agreed a £10m fee for the Reds.

It remains to be seen whether Leicester see Ward as a potential replacement for Kasper Schmeichel, who has been linked with moves to Chelsea and Roma, or as a backup option for the Danish international.

Liverpool are themselves close to signing Roma’s Alisson Becker.

Ward signed for Liverpool in 2012 but has only made 3 first team appearances for the Reds.

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