Fikayo Tomori is not considering a Chelsea return as the Milan centre-back dreams of Champions League success with the Rossoneri.

Tomori has starred for Milan, who completed a permanent deal for the one-time England international in July following his initial loan move in 2020-21.

The 23-year-old emerged from Chelsea's academy in 2016 before eventually leaving his boyhood club, but he is not thinking about a Stamford Bridge comeback.

"I don't know, I love Milan, I love being here, Chelsea was a big part of my life, 15-16 years," Tomori told DAZN, with seven-time winners Milan back in the Champions League this season for the first time since 2014.

"I think I managed to have that dream. Play at Stamford Bridge, play in the Premier League and the Champions League. Right now I am really happy in Milan.

"We are back in the Champions League, everything is really positive, hopefully like Chelsea [who won the Champions League last season], we can win it."

In 2021-22, Tomori has tallied 15 recoveries, 11 duels won, 12 possessions won in the defensive third, eight clearances, six interceptions, three headed clearances and six aerials won, while boasting an 87.6 passing accuracy to help Milan win their opening three Serie A fixtures.

Tomori has formed a key partnership with Simon Kjaer at the heart of Milan's defence – the Italian giants have kept the most clean sheets in the top-five European leagues (seven in 8 matches) since May.

Milan have only conceded one goal in three games, keeping two clean sheets in the league this term.

Tomori and Milan travel to rivals Juventus on Sunday, aiming to make it four victories from four games to open the season.

In the era of three points per win, Milan have won each of their first four Serie A seasonal games only twice – in 1995-96 under Fabio Capello and in 2020-21 under Stefano Pioli.

Going into the 2021 season, few observers had the Philadelphia Eagles as NFC East favourites. After they dispatched the Atlanta Falcons 32-6 in Week 1, it is fair to wonder whether the last team to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl were underestimated. 

Yet Philadelphia's second game under new head coach Nick Sirianni is likely to be significantly tougher than their first, which came against a Falcons team caught in transition with Atlanta fighting the prospect of a rebuild staring them in the face. 

In Week 2, the Eagles face the San Francisco 49ers, seen by many as Super Bowl contenders, a status vindicated by the first 55 minutes of their performance in a victory on the road against the Detroit Lions. 

The Niners led 38-10 and 41-17 at Ford Field, but the final margin of victory was a much tighter 41-33 as the Lions staged a late rally after San Francisco had brought in its backups on defense with the game seemingly in hand. 

Philadelphia may see that as a reason to be confident they can move the ball on San Francisco. However, the Eagles' defense must be wary of a Niners offense that exploded for 8.04 yards per play in the opener, exploiting a weakness that was all too apparent in the Atlanta game. 

While the Eagles' defensive line dominated matters when it came to rushing the passer, it was consistently moved off the ball in the run game, the Falcons averaging 4.77 yards per carry, the eighth-best mark in the NFL in Week 1. 

San Francisco was slightly behind that average with 4.68 as the Kyle Shanahan offense, notoriously ultra-friendly to running backs, allowed sixth-round rookie Elijah Mitchell to rush for 104 yards and a touchdown after starter Raheem Mostert went down with a knee injury. 

The ground game is pivotal to the 49ers' success on offense as it sets up a play-action passing attack that arguably does a better job of opening the middle of the field than any other in the NFL. 

Atlanta found early success against Philadelphia in that area too, as the Eagles linebackers played aggressively in getting downhill to guard the threat of the run, and it is fair to assume Shanahan and the Niners will do a far superior job of taking advantage of such openings than the Falcons did during their dismal showing. 

Mostert is now out for the season having elected to undergo surgery on his knee but that does not lessen the need for the Eagles to slow down Mitchell, whose yards after contact per attempt average of 3.15 was second only to his team-mate's 7.5 on two carries in Week 1. Rookie third-round back Trey Sermon will be active for Week 2; his 2.77 yards after contact per attempt for Ohio State were sixth in the Power 5 last year. 

By the same token, San Francisco must have a keen focus on stopping Philadelphia's ground game, which was third in the league with 5.58 yards per carry last week, after the 49ers' run defense put on a disappointing display versus Detroit. 

Indeed, the Lions averaged 4.83 yards per attempt (seventh-most in the league) as the absence of Javon Kinlaw from the defensive line proved telling for the 49ers. 

Kinlaw has practiced in a limited capacity this week and his presence as a defender who can soak up double teams on the interior of the line should serve as a boost to DeMeco Ryans' group. 

Yet there will still need to be improvements from the players behind the line for San Francisco to stiffen its run defense, the Niners' linebackers having had clear issues plugging the wrong gaps in the win over the Lions. 

Should they fail to make those strides, that will make life harder on a defense that has historically struggled to contain mobile quarterbacks on the zone-read plays that Jalen Hurts and the Eagles will look to attack them with on Sunday. 

It's a passing league and two fearsome sets of pass rushers and a collection of exciting receiving options will surely have plenty of bearing on how this intriguing NFC matchup plays out. But, in the end, it is a game that may come down to which defense can stem the tide on the ground

Thomas Tuchel expected Harry Kane to sign for Manchester City before the transfer window closed but finds it "nice" that the striker ended up staying at Tottenham.  

Blues boss Tuchel stated late last season that he would relish the chance to work with Kane as speculation over the England captain's future rumbled on.  

Kane opted to remain at Spurs after it had appeared the prolific striker would be on his way to Premier League champions City at one stage, while Chelsea smashed their transfer record to bring back Romelu Lukaku. 

Chelsea travel to Tottenham for a London derby on Sunday and, ahead of the fixture, Tuchel made clear how he never pushed for Kane's arrival at Stamford Bridge. 

Asked how far down the line the European champions got in making a move for the player, the Chelsea boss replied: "I never had a list with his name and I never went to Marina [Granovskaia, Chelsea director] to tell her to buy him.  

"But I think the club sorted out the situations. There are many people around players; there are agents and advisors and people in between, so we had some information from these people, but it was never that close that we had to experience the rivalry.  

"We know about the rivalry, but I have a feeling it was never that far."

Tuchel says he would not have been worried if Kane had ended up joining City, as Chelsea do not fear any of their rivals in the Premier League. 

"I thought that it was going to happen [Kane joining City] and I was not scared, but if it would have happened, I would have been very interested how it would have maybe changed City's style of play," said the German. 

"We are not afraid of anybody; we accept any other team. Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, they are the teams with strong, strong squads and these are the guys [such as Kane] you want to compete and it's normal they fight for the best players. 

"I thought this was going to happen. On one side, I was happy he stayed because it's nice it exists in football that players play for one club only. 

"I have absolutely nothing to do with Tottenham obviously, but if you think about Tottenham you think about Harry Kane, if you think about [Lionel] Messi you think straight away about Barcelona. 

"It's very hard that he plays for another club and that's the same with Harry Kane. From that side I like it and part of my personality is still a fan, so from that point I like it and I also think it's nice that Romelu is back at Chelsea. Some things are a good fit and should not be changed." 

Top seed Belinda Bencic crashed out of the Luxembourg Open with a straight-sets defeat to Liudmila Samsonova.

Bencic, the Olympic champion, had designs on winning her first WTA title of 2021 having lost in the final in Adelaide and Berlin during the calendar year.

However, there was more frustration for the Swiss, beaten in the quarter-finals of the US Open by champion Emma Raducanu, as she was swept aside 6-1 6-4 by Samsonova.

It is the second-best win of Samsonova's career by ranking, the Russian having defeated Kiki Bertens, then world number 11, back in March in Miami.

She will face Jelena Ostapenko for a place in the final after the former French Open champion saw off Alize Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Marketa Vondrousova twice trailed by a break in the first set against Elise Mertens but battled back to see off the second seed 7-5 6-2. She now faces a semi-final with Clara Tauson, the teenager having breezed past Maria Bouzkova 6-3 6-2 as she seeks her third title of the year.

At the Zavarovalnica Sava Portoroz, Kaja Juvan will face Alison Riske after the Slovenian won two matches on Friday. Jasmine Paolini will meet Yulia Putintseva in the other last-four clash.

 

The Green Bay Packers will be without edge rusher Za'Darius Smith for at least three weeks as he is set to be placed on injured reserve. 

Smith has been dealing with a lingering back injury and played only 18 of Green Bay's 60 defensive snaps in their 38-3 Week 1 loss to the New Orleans Saints. 

"Unfortunately, we're going to have to shut him down for a while," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said on Friday. 

"It's a matter of just, do you keep him in a limited role? Or do you shut him down for a while, try to get him healthy and then get him up to the snap count that we'd like him to be, just like he's been in the past, because he's such an impact player. So, that's just the route that we thought was best long term." 

It means Smith is poised to miss not only Monday's home game with the Detroit Lions, but also difficult clashes with the San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Signed as a free agent in 2019, Smith racked up 13.5 sacks in his first season before registering 12.5 last year, with the Packers reaching the NFC Championship Game in each of those campaigns. 

However, his overall pressure rate tailed off from 27.4 per cent, fourth among edge rushers, in 2019 to 16.5 per cent in 2020. 

With Smith on the sideline, the onus will be on his namesake Preston Smith (10 per cent pressure rate in 2020) and Rashan Gary (19.1 per cent) to provide the pass rush and help the Packers prevent their opening-game disappointment stretching into the coming weeks as they aim to go one better than in the previous two seasons. 

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao have announced they will continue to challenge LaLiga's agreement with CVC Capital Partners. 

LaLiga last month struck a €2.7billion (£2.3bn) deal with CVC that will see the private equity firm acquire 10 per cent of the commercial business. The other 90 per cent of the investment was earmarked to boost cash-strapped clubs in the top two tiers of Spanish football as they deal with the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Madrid and Barca allege the agreement impacts all clubs' audiovisual rights for the next 50 years, with Los Blancos announcing legal action, including against LaLiga president Javier Tebas, last month. 

The deal was overwhelmingly passed by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, yet Barca, Madrid and Athletic still refuse to accept it, while the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) labelled the agreement as "totally illegal". 

In a statement released on Friday, the trio of top-flight clubs made clear their intentions to contest the resolution, following what they describe as a "highly irregular and disrespectful process". 

The statement read: "Barcelona, Athletic Club and Real Madrid announce that they have challenged the agreement adopted by the LaLiga assembly on August 12, 2021, relating to the operation between LaLiga and CVC, as it being an agreement that infringes the applicable rules set out (and in particular, amongst others, the Royal Decree Law 5/2015), and it was adopted as part of an highly irregular and disrespectful process toward with the minimum guarantees required to those purposes, especially faced with an operation of such importance and longevity." 

LaLiga boss Tebas claimed that Barca would have been able to keep Lionel Messi had they agreed to sign up. Due to the club's serious financial issues, the Argentina superstar was unable to sign a new contract and instead joined Paris Saint-Germain. 

Tebas also insisted CVC are investing to develop the league, rather than salvage the finances of Spanish clubs. 

"CVC were interested because of how we have developed, without help from Madrid or Barca. CVC have not come here to bail us out - they are not here because of the pandemic," he said. 

"Only 15 per cent of the money can be used to pay off debts, 70 per cent is for investment in infrastructure. So they are not here to bail out Spanish football, but to help build a stronger league."

The St. Lucia Boxing Association (SLBA) recently received boxing equipment worth just over US$45,000, thanks to the generosity of the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The equipment includes punching bags, headgear, gloves, hand wraps, mouth guards, uniforms, and skipping ropes.

SLBA President David “Shakes” Christopher said the new batch of equipment will enhance the SLBA’s boxing programmes as the association continues to build awareness and attract new boxers to the globally popular sport.

“It will also help us immensely as we continue to decentralize our progammes,” Christopher said. “Right now, we can focus on programmes for the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF), Boys Training Centre (BTC), our school programmes, and our chapters in Soufriere, Vieux Fort, Laborie, and Dennery.”

The equipment follows a commitment made by AIBA’s president, Umar Kremlev, a year ago to support the local boxing association by way of providing much-needed equipment. Christopher said this week’s receipt of the new equipment proves that building relationships among associations is essential.

“We’re very grateful to AIBA, especially president Umar Kremlev, for keeping to a promise he made last year in Panama,” said Christopher. “We intend to manage this equipment in the best way as we continue to create more champions and better citizens through boxing.”

Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Boxing Association, or AIBA (originally the Association Internationale de Boxe Amateur), is a sports organization that sanctions amateur (Olympic-style) boxing matches and awards world and subordinate championships. 

Christopher said one of the major challenges the Association now faces relates to the heavy workload being carried by its National Head Coach, Conrad Fredericks. He noted that it’s a daunting task for Fredericks, who desperately needs extra hands to undertake the Association’s many programmes.

“We appeal to past boxers to give back to the programme. We’ve noticed that in other fields of sport, athletes would pay it forward by becoming coaches and administrative representatives. However, for boxing, that seems to be lacking,” the SLBA president explained.

Meanwhile, Coach Conrad Fredericks noted that the new batch of equipment came at the right time as the Association plans to open other boxing gyms across the island. He also added his voice to the president’s appeal for more coaches to come on board.

Since the pandemic began, the boxing gym at Vigie has had to be closed at various times as the COVID-19 protocols were adjusted. However, Coach Fredericks emphasized that during the periods the gym does open, the necessary safety precautions are enforced.

“We’re pleased to share that since the pandemic began, no case of COVID-19 has ever been recorded at the gym,” he said. “We try our utmost to follow all the relevant COVID-19 protocols. However, we find that as the number of cases increases nationally, many boxers are staying away from the gym. After all, boxing is a contact sport, so we do understand their concern.”

Juventus revealed annual losses of €209.9million as the Italian giants defended their involvement at the forefront of the failed European Super League project.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic saw income plummet for the Serie A club during the 2020-21 financial year, Juventus said on Friday.

Juventus said it had covered the losses with its share premium reserve, meaning the club's overall net debt stood at €389.2million, just €4million higher than at the end of the previous year.

The Turin club had reported annual losses of €89.7million for 2019-20, and the club said it estimated "direct and indirect adverse effects" of the pandemic from March 2020 to June 2022 to amount to €320milion, based on an assumption that economic normality would steadily resume.

Juventus, who expect to post " a significant loss" for 2021-22, said the club's board had "decided to start the process for a capital increase of up to €400million, including any share premium, to be offered to the company’s shareholders".

Since the end of the last financial year, Juventus have allowed star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to leave the club for Manchester United, collecting a transfer fee and saving significant sums on his salary.

Together with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Juventus have continued to back proposals for a Super League, despite widespread opposition to the scheme when it was revealed in April.

Where most clubs backed away from the project within days amid a wave of criticism, including the six English Premier League clubs involved, Juventus remain apparently keen for it to get off the ground.

Club chairman Andrea Agnelli was a prime figure behind bringing the concept together and Juventus included a section in their financial statement, in which they stood by their belief in the "legitmacy" of such a league.

The club described the Super League as an "alternative to the UEFA competitions but not to national leagues and cups".

The Juventus statement said: "As at today, it is not possible to predict with certainty the outcome and future development of the Super League project, of the legitimacy of which Juventus remains confident."

Nine men were arrested following clashes between Leicester City and Napoli fans ahead of Thursday's Europa League game at the King Power Stadium. 

Trouble flared both in and outside the ground, with eight of those arrested by Leicestershire Police identified as fans of Serie A club Napoli.  

It was also confirmed on Friday that a man from Leicester was detained on suspicion of violent disorder.

"Nine men were arrested yesterday evening (Thursday, September 16) following a report of football-related violence in Leicester," a Leicestershire Police statement said. 

"Shortly before 6pm, police received a report of a fight taking place in Millstone Lane involving fans of Napoli and Leicester City. 

"Eight men, identified as Napoli fans, were arrested at the scene in connection with the incident. Following further enquiries, a 27-year-old man from Leicester was later arrested on suspicion of violent disorder. 

"All men remain in custody at this time. 

"Prior to the match taking place, a report was received that a taxi driver had been racially abused. A 39-year-old man from Italy was subsequently arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. He has been dealt with by way of a community resolution." 

Leicester and Napoli fans also threw objects at each other towards the end of a game that finished 2-2. 

Ed Woodward is "more confident than ever" Manchester United are "on the right track" after one of the most challenging financial periods in the club's history.

United reported a revenue decrease to £494.1million, with an operating loss of £36.9m last season when they revealed their last financial results on Friday.

In the previous annual results, revenue had dropped from £627.1m to £509m.

The coronavirus pandemic and a lack of supporters at Old Trafford took a big toll on the club.

However, with they have invested significantly to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane and are now playing in front of a full capacity crowd.

Executive vice-chairman believes these are exciting times for United despite the losses.

"We said during the depths of the pandemic that the club would emerge in a stronger relative position, and I believe we are now seeing that borne out as we build towards recovery from a very solid foundation," Woodward said in a statement.

"We significantly strengthened the squad over the summer, with the addition of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton.

"These signings have demonstrated our continued ability to attract some of the world’s best footballers to Old Trafford, and our firm commitment to helping Ole [boss Gunnar Solskjaer]deliver success on the pitch.

"We have been clear in our strategy to build a squad with a blend of top-class recruits and homegrown talent, comprising a balance of youth and experience, with the aim of winning trophies and playing attacking football the Manchester United way.

"While squad-building is a constant process, we are more confident than ever that we are on the right track."

Thomas Tuchel is "relaxed" over Antonio Rudiger's future amid reports the defender could leave Chelsea as a free agent at the end of the season.

Rudiger's contract expires next June and the centre-back has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

The Germany international has thrived under compatriot Tuchel, with standout performances including a commanding display in the Champions League final victory over Manchester City in May.

Blues head coach Tuchel is hopeful Rudiger will remain at Stamford Bridge, but knows there are no guarantees he will stay with the European champions.

He said in a press conference ahead of Sunday's London derby at Tottenham: "I hope they find solutions but it's not only between coaches and players. It's between the club, the players and the agent. We hope they find a solution.

"He plays excellent, he's been very consistent for a long time at a very high level. He's very calm, very focused and obviously it's not a distraction [his future] for him. Everything is in place, give the time needed, sometimes it takes a bit longer and sometimes fast.

"No news from my side, I think Antonio feels very, very good at Chelsea. He feels the respect he has from his team-mates and the importance in the team, in the squad.

"That's well deserved, because he delivers. He feels the love from the supporters, he plays in the strongest league in Europe, so not many reasons to change that.

"In the end it's between him and the club and that's in good hands. I'm calm and relaxed and whatever has to happen will happen."

Tuchel revealed that N'Golo Kante is available to return at Spurs, but Christian Pulisic remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Chelsea are second in the top flight and beat Zenit 1-0 in the Champions League on Tuesday, but Tuchel says there is plenty more to come.

Asked if he feels his side had not been at their best, the German said: "Yeah but I didn't expect us to be at our top level early in September, especially after this pre-season and COVID.

"For me at the moment, it is more important that we are competitive, we play relentlessly and have belief to overcome difficult minutes and periods within games.

"Aston Villa played at their top level, this is what we have to accept and respect. Competition is high. It is a good thing that we are able to win."

Chelsea have won their past two Premier League away games against Tottenham, as many as in their previous 13 visits.

Pep Guardiola stood by the comments he made about Manchester City's support after the win over RB Leipzig, despite facing criticism from a fan group.

City beat Leipzig 6-3 in their Champions League opener on Wednesday, yet the Etihad Stadium was far from full.

Guardiola said afterwards that he hoped fans would come and back the team in their next outing, against Southampton on Saturday.

This led to anger from City's official supporters' club, whose general secretary Kevin Parker told Sky Sports: "[What he said] did surprise me. I'm not sure what that's got to do with him.

"He's absolutely the best coach in the world but, in the nicest possible way, I think maybe he should stick to that."

The subject was broached again in Friday's pre-match news conference, and a spiky Guardiola said: "Did I say after the game against Leipzig that I was disappointed because the stadium was not full?

"An interpretation is an interpretation, I am not going to apologise for what I said. I am surprised. It is not the first time I have said it in my career. When you play a game like in the Champions League, so tough like it was, with three days with a lack of preparation, and Southampton have had a full week, we know how difficult it will be.

"So to make an approach to do something together again the next Saturday. What I said is we would love, we need the support, of 10,000 people, 40,000 people, 50,000 people, it doesn't matter how many people come. But I invite them to enjoy another game because we need their support.

"After five seasons, if people can't understand my behaviour about the fans, it's because they want to misunderstand what I said. I'm not going to apologise for a second.

"We would be incredibly happy for you to come against Southampton because I know how difficult it will be and I prefer it to be with the people than without the people. But if they don't come for whatever reason, it is perfect, I never say why you didn't come. If you don't come, don't come. So I will not apologise, absolutely not."

It was a subject Guardiola seemed unwilling to drop, even when asked how satisfied he was with so many different players getting on the scoresheet so far this term.

"When we lose a game, it will be said that we need a striker. What we have to do is to try to play better, to do it in another way," he said.

"We know we don't have a player who scores 25 goals, we don't have this player with this quality so we have to do it as a team. It is important that everyone is involved. We are going to try and do it again against a really tough opponent.

"[Southampton] played against [Manchester] United at home really well, United was lucky. And some of the toughest games we had last season. At home we won 5-2 in the end, but in the first 30 minutes they were the team that created more problems. They were so brilliant, incredible and I know Ralph [Hasenhuttl] from when he was in Germany and it will be a similar game as against Leipzig.

"They are clear with what they have to do. With a lack of rest, playing Champions League is so demanding. They have had a long week to prepare the game and that's why we need everyone to help us to do our best, and I know our fans will be there tomorrow to support us and hopefully Mr Parker will be there to watch us."

Southampton drew 1-1 with United last month but have yet to win a Premier League game this season, picking up three points in four games so far.

Guardiola went on to insist he is happy with the support his City team have received during his time at the club.

"We are who we are, we are proud about who we are," he said. "I know the history, I learned the history about how in the lower divisions and what it means to travel and support the team. I respect it a lot.

"I don't want to be like United, like Liverpool, Barcelona, Bayern, Madrid, all the big clubs. We are who we are, I like it. Don't put words in my mouth, I don't like that. I never have a problem with the fans, I am one of them since day one. I like to play in the stadium with my fans.

"I was incredibly happy after Leipzig, I saw how exhausted my team were and I was thinking in that moment of Southampton, in three days, and I said, 'Come to join us guys, come to do it together', because I know how difficult it will be. This is my message.

"If guys want to misunderstand the situation or my comments, this is the problem, but I'm here to defend what I said. If I make mistakes, I will say, 'Sorry guys, I apologise'. In this case, I will not apologise for exactly what I said and my intentions. I know who we are, and the team and I like the fans that we have."

Kingsley Coman has undergone a minor heart operation, Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann announced.

The France winger had the procedure on Thursday to correct the rhythm of his heart but is expected to make a swift return to training.

Nagelsmann said there was "a manageable risk" involved in the procedure and explained it was not an uncommon condition.

"His heartbeat rhythm had a slight disturbance with a minor added beat. At times he had a slight shortage of breath," Nagelsmann said in a pre-match news conference ahead of his team's clash with Bochum.

"That's why we opted for long-term ECG monitoring and went ahead with this procedure.

"He is doing very well, he has minimal wound pain. When the wound has healed, he will start training again and will not be absent for more than one and a half to two weeks before he starts team training."

Coman should be able to take part in cardio training by Tuesday, Nagelsmann said.

The Bayern boss further explained the impact on Coman before he had surgery.

“It's not that unusual. Several people have it," Nagelsmann said. "He said every now and then that he wasn't always breathing so perfectly. Then there were several tests, including a long-term ECG.

"The procedure involved a manageable risk. He is doing very well, he has minimal wound pain. When the wound has healed, he starts again with the build-up training."

Coman, 25, joined Bayern initially on a two-year loan from Juventus in 2015 and subsequently made the move permanent.

He first emerged through Paris Saint-Germain's academy and scored the winning goal against the Parisians in the 2019-20 Champions League final, as Bayern won 1-0 in Lisbon.

Jurgen Klopp warned Liverpool that they cannot waste any opportunity to pick up points if they are to compete for the Premier League title this season.

The Reds are on the longest current unbeaten league run in England's top four tiers (14), last losing in March at home to Fulham.

Liverpool have also won their last eight games against Saturday's opponents Crystal Palace, scoring 24 and conceding just five times.

However, Klopp insisted his side must not pass up any chance to collect three points if they are to set the pace with their title rivals.

"I am not too much in the other teams' situations, but it's a good start for us," Klopp told reporters at Friday's news conference.

"We have played some good football but if you want to be around the top spots you have to and you cannot waste points. That's how it is. We just have to keep going."

Klopp also provided injury updates on Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk, after the latter was rested for their 3-2 Champions League win over Milan on Wednesday.

"If you like we're still in extended pre-season for him [Virgil van Dijk]," he continued. "I don't want to talk about injuries, but Ibou [Konate], Joe [Gomez], Joel [Matip] all have had injuries. Now we just make sure we have a proper pair on the pitch

"I cannot help people who don't see the quality of Joel. He was unlucky with injuries. He's tall and it can look a bit edgy but he's always been incredible for us. We need his quality, we have four or five top-class centre-backs and that is good and necessary."

While having the defensive trio fit again to call upon, speculation persists over Mohamed Salah's future, with talks ongoing over a new contract for the Reds' talisman.

But Klopp is just focused on Salah's output on the pitch after he became the fifth-fastest player to reach 100 Premier League goals with his opener against Leeds United last time out.

"There's nothing to say, especially from me, I am not involved," he said.

"Obviously I am interested in how sharp he [Mohamed Salah] looks. He's spot on, really good. Nothing else to say."

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