Former Liverpool favourite Dirk Kuyt has backed Dejan Lovren to have a strong season with Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Croatia international has often been highlighted as the weakness in the Reds defence but Kuyt believes the centre-back can things around after enjoying a great summer with Croatia.
“Lovren is a great guy. I am big Liverpool fan, follower on social, and I saw Dejan joined the team. He will have a great season and I believe Liverpool can fight Man City for the title this season. I enjoyed watching Croatia at the World Cup and how passionate they fought, not giving up for one second. They deserved a little more, but France are a terrific team and reaching the final is, in itself, amazing,” he was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
AlirezaJahanbakhsh will be the man to carry the hopes of Iran at the World Cup in Russia. The forward is in superb form and would be expected to deliver the necessary goals to push the Middle-Eastern side to their first ever Last 16 round in the World Cup stage.
The national team defence was in the spotlight as Iran went through the qualification process. They conceded barely two goals in ten matches in the group qualification stage and are expected to continue their fine defensive run in Russia. However, they will have a tough task defending against a high scoring team like Spain, with Portugal – led by the outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo – and Morocco also in the Group B.
The Turkish side Fenerbahce began their title defending season by securing a hard fought 3-2 victory over Karabukspor. It was a match that saw plenty of goals being scored from side to side in a thrilling opening game of the season with Fenerbahce just barely scraping out a victory and kicking off the new campaign in full force.
Fenerbahce are the current champions of Turkey as they lifted the Turkish League trophy in the last season by having 9 more points than their nearest rivals Besiktas which came in 2nd place.
Pierre Achille Webo gave Fenerbahce the early lead as he scored at the 8th minute but the lead did not last very long as Karabukspor responded with Dominick Kumbela as the 30 years old forward equalized the match 1-1 a few minutes before the first half reached its end.
The second period of the game kicked off with both teams charging upfront in search for a quick goal and Moussa Sow restored the lead for Fenerbahce but Karabukspor once more tied the match up after Michal Kadlec scored an unfortunate own goal which gave his opponents hopes of ending the match with at least 1 point but Fenerbahce never stopped attacking Karabukspor as they wanted to kick-off the new season by capturing a victory and indeed it happened as Pierre Achille Webo netted the winning goal for Fenerbahce.
It’s a good way to start the season for the team of Ismail Kartal as they are determined to protect their league title and capture their 20th title and become the club with most Turkish League trophies ever. It will not be an easy task for them as Galatasaray and Besiktas are eager on taking the silverware away from Fenerbahce.
The ultimate goal of a manager and players that are representing a nation as they go to play a World Cup is to emerge as the champions however things did not go as planned for Netherlands during the 2014 World Cup as they lost against Argentina in a penalty shoot-out and later had to face off with Brazil in order to see which nation would take the 3rd spot.
Netherlands and Brazil battled each other at the Brasilia and a few minutes before the end of the 1st half, Dirk Kuyt and the Brazilian defender Maxwell clashed heads between one another which resulted with Kuyt having to require medical attention.
The Dutch midfielder was seen dripping blood from the back of his head and the medical team of the squad had to step in as they decided to staple shut the wound in order to prevent it from further blood spilling but instead of going to the sidelines of the team or a medical center, all of it occurred inside of the pitch as Dirk Kuyt just laid there when everything was happening as he did not want to miss out from the match.
Dirk Kuyt did not want to miss the remaining minutes of the encounter as he decided to simply lay down as the medical team took control of his wound and even with the staples being put into place, he remained being an active player for his team throughout the entire match which concluded with Netherlands securing the 3rd spot as they defeated Brazil 3-0.
Football is a sport that has received its fair share of criticism as there are a number of players that exaggerate an injury as they attempt to stall the game or make their opponents receive a yellow card but it seems like there still exist some others that just want to keep on playing no matter what.
Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva has said that he feels confident that striker Luiz Suarez will be able to rise above the criticism that he will get from the Everton supporters when Liverpool take on their Merseyside rivals at Goodison Park on Saturday. This is one of the highly anticipated matches during the course of a season for Liverpool and Everton supporters. Everton have not been doing well in this fixture of late, as they have been unable to get a win since 2010. They will be hoping that the arrival of Roberto Martinez works to their favour this time around.
Unlike in recent seasons, Everton will be facing a Liverpool team that lies with a chance of winning the title. They are second in the table, which not many would have expected going into the season, after 13 matches of the campaign. However, Brendan Rodgers is still searching for his first win at Goodison Park. Due to the fact that Daniel Sturridge maybe absent from the squad due to injury, Luis Suarez is expected to be the number one striker for the team.
“Luis always get a hot reception from opposition fans and I’m sure Saturday will be no different. The reason for that is he’s such a threat against any team. He’s used to getting jeers and it won’t affect him at all. If anything it will just make him play better. It’s not the first time Luis has arrived back late before a game and I’m sure he’ll be fine. Us South Americans are used to these type of situations,” said Lucas.
He has lived up to the expectations so far by managing to score eight goals in the league. He has scored in the past few appearances at Goodison Park. Everton have lost just one match this season and they are proving to be a tough team to beat.
Liverpool has a tough schedule ahead of them as the team of Brendan Rodgers has to face off against Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea in the month of December. Liverpool are following Arsenal closely behind with only 5 points being the difference between 1st and 2nd place as they are enjoying one of their best starts of the season.
The problem however with Liverpool is that they have go against some of the best teams in England without their talismanic and legendary captain Steven Gerrard who had to leave the pitch during Liverpool’s match against West Ham and according to a scan that was made by the medical staff of the club, he might be sitting in the sidelines for up to 6 weeks until his recovery can be completed.
Daniel Sturridge is another player that Brendan Rodgers will not be able to choose for his upcoming important matches as the player is out until January after picking up an ankle injury while on the defensive side of the squad, Jose Enrique is still making a recovery from a knee surgery and is expected to be back to the team in February.
The next weeks will be of crucial importance for Liverpool if they want to continue their charge at the top spots of the Premier League and more importantly is to maintain the pressure on other clubs in hopes of securing the title.
Liverpool’s goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is positive that they can deal with the absence of Gerrard.
“Steven is obviously very important for us .He delivers the ball into the box with such quality. It wasn’t nice to see him going off the pitch like that’’.
“But we have a decent enough squad to deal with injuries and cope with these kind of things. I am sure someone else in the dressing room will be ready to step up. We have other leaders in the team as well and we must continue playing in the same way’’. Mignolet told the ECHO