Virgil van Dijk is a slight doubt for Liverpool’s Premier League game at home to Leicester City, but Jurgen Klopp has suggested that the Dutch defender will be involved.Van Dijk has started all 23 league games for the Reds this season, winning December’s Premier League player of the month award, but has been struggling with illness ahead of Wednesday’s visit of the Foxes.Former Southampton and Celtic centre-back Van Dijk has played a key role in Liverpool’s stunning campaign, with Klopp’s side four points clear of last term’s champions Manchester City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? He has been nursing a virus over recent days and would be a big miss if forced to sit things out in midweek.Liverpool have major problems in defence for the Leicester game without bringing Van Dijk into the equation, with Joe Gomez still recovering from a fractured leg while Trent Alexander-Arnold has a knee injury.James Milner filled in at right-back in Liverpool’s last Premier League game, a 4-3 win over Crystal Palace at Anfield, but he is suspended as he was sent off late in that game, with another makeshift option – Fabinho – another of those to have been nursing a knock.However, Dejan Lovren could come in as the Croatia defender has been passed fit following a hamstring injury.”Virgil was a little ill but he trained yesterday [Monday], so we will see. He will train today, so we will see,” Klopp told reporters.“Gini trained, Fabinho will train today, Trent is getting closer and closer and it looks all very positive, but he will not be ready for tomorrow. Joe is a no.”With Liverpool having been knocked out of the FA Cup, Klopp took advantage of a rare break in his side’s schedule to take his squad to Dubai for a warm-weather break.”It was good we could do that and usually you’d say no games in that time, usually one game in that time would be good, difficult lineup-wise as we needed couple days for the boys and a few players were not a part of training until a few days ago,” he added. “But it was good, we didn’t have to play important cup competitions but it would not have been possible for a lot of players. We had a few more days and now have to show [it made a difference]. But Leicester are in the same situation so it’s not a massive advantage. “It’s just the situation and they can bring back [Harry] Maguire I heard after injury in the last game and so we had a few more days and could wait for one or two players but we have to see if they are available for the game.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Kevin De Bruyne believes Manchester City new boy Rodri is the “perfect fit” for Pep Guardiola’s defending Premier League champions.Spain international Rodri became City’s record signing when he joined from Atletico Madrid in July.He made his competitive debut as City retained the Community Shield with a penalty shoot-out triumph over Liverpool at Wembley on Saturday, turning in an assured display. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Guardiola has been searching for a long-term heir to Fernandinho to operate at the base of his midfield for some time, with interest in Fred, Jorginho and Frenkie de Jong ultimately failing to bear fruit.But De Bruyne feels Rodri has acclimatised impressively to a pivotal position within City’s tactical setup and, at 23, aligns with the broader long-term plan of the club’s transfer policy.”He’s a perfect fit for us. I think the way that we did transfers the last years add up,” he said, with Guardiola’s men now preparing for the start of their Premier League title defence at West Ham on Saturday.”You see a lot of young talent coming in willing to play our style. I think that’s what they’re looking for and he’s a perfect fit for us.”A composed competitive debut so far from Rodri 1-0 #mancity pic.twitter.com/25wT2QFcxb — Manchester City (@ManCity) August 4, 2019 At Wembley, Rodri attempted more passes than any of his City team-mates, with 62 at a 91.9 per cent completion rate, and was level with defensive duo Nicolas Otamendi and Oleksandr Zinchenko for the most touches (74).At almost 6ft 3ins, the former Villarreal man is an obvious asset to a largely diminutive side Guardiola famously claimed has to “go to the church to pray” when they concede a set piece .He won all of his aerial duels against Liverpool and gained possession nine times – again the highest figure in that metric.”I think he’s the perfect [defensive midfielder] for the way we want to play,” De Bruyne continued.”Our DM is a really difficult position. You need certain players for it and there’s not a lot of people who can do both sides of it.”Obviously we’re very good on the ball. You can’t just be defensive, you have to be offensive also.”One down! pic.twitter.com/rEqJvukpu7 — Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) August 4, 2019 Working well in tandem with Rodri, De Bruyne turned in an all-action display as City were the better side in the first-half, taking a 12th-minute lead through Raheem Sterling.It was enough for the Belgium international to be named man of the match and, although he credited Rodri’s influence, he also cited operating somewhere close to full fitness being a factor, after two medial knee ligament injuries limited his impact during his club’s treble-winning season.”It wouldn’t be different with Fernandinho there,” he added. “It’s maybe a difference with last year because I’m feeling physically better than I did last year. I needed more time.”I think the way he’s performed in pre-season and in training has been phenomenal. To be the new guy and still be on this level is a good sign.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
CINCINNATI — Rookie Phillip Lindsay ran for a career-high 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday as the Denver Broncos adapted to a windy afternoon and got their third straight victory, 24-10 over the Cincinnati Bengals.The Broncos (6-6) have emerged from their bye week and knocked off the Chargers, Steelers and Bengals to stay in contention in December.Denver handled an unseasonably warm day: 66 degrees at kickoff with wind gusts up to 40 mph that redirected kicks and throws. Case Keenum completed 12 of 21 passes for 151 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton.Lindsay ran for TDs of 6 yards and 65 yards — the longest of his career — as Denver got up 21-3 in the third quarter and closed it out against the unraveling Bengals (5-7), who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Lindsay’s two touchdowns matched his career high.Lindsay also became the first undrafted rookie in Broncos history to top 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in a season.The Bengals’ season continues to implode under 16th-year coach Marvin Lewis, who has also co-ordinated the defence in the last three losses. The crowd of 44,392 was the smallest at Paul Brown Stadium since 2011.The Bengals lost Andy Dalton to a torn ligament in his passing thumb last week. Jeff Driskel made his first NFL start Sunday and went 25 of 38 for 236 yards with a touchdown, an interception, a fumble and four sacks.Standout receiver A.J. Green returned after missing three games with an injured toe on his right foot, hoping to give the Bengals’ offence a lift, but he lasted only one quarter. Green reinjured the foot while running a route and came off the field for perhaps the last time this season, slamming his helmet on the ground before leaving on a cart.Cincinnati was penalized eight times in the first half, its most in an opening half since 2009.INJURIESBroncos: LB Brandon Marshall was inactive for the fourth straight game with a knee injury. He practiced last week and was listed as questionable. CB Chris Harris Jr. hurt his lower right leg in the first quarter. DE Derek Wolfe suffered a rib injury in the second quarter.Bengals: LB Vontaze Burfict suffered a concussion in the second half.UP NEXTBroncos: play at the 49ers next Sunday.Bengals: play at the Chargers next Sunday.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFLJoe Kay, The Associated Press