Nuno Espirito Santo's replacement at Tottenham will be no surprise.

Antonio Conte had been rumoured as the top choice.

The ex-Inter man looks set to make it official on Tuesday, barring any late hitches.

 

TOP STORY – CONTE SET FOR SPURS MOVE

With Nuno Espirito Santo officially out, Antonio Conte is set to step in at Tottenham.

According to widespread reports, Conte has agreed a contract through June 2023 and the move will be finalised on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old left Inter by mutual consent after last season.

The Sun claims Spurs will give Conte £150million to spend on new players.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Paul Pogba prefers Paris Saint-Germain over Real Madrid or Juventus once he makes his expected departure from Manchester United, Fichajes reports.

- PSG are eyeing Karim Adeyemi as a potential replacement should Kylian Mbappe leave, Sky Sport in Germany reports. The 19-year-old Red Bull Salzburg striker also has drawn interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

- Real Madrid's Marco Asensio will be in demand in January, with El Nacional reporting Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus, Milan and Dortmund all have offers ready.

- Arsenal are eyeing Torino striker Andrea Belotti, says Calciomercato.

- Villarreal's Unai Emery is the new favourite to take over as Newcastle United manager, says the Mirror.

Antoine Griezmann produced his best performance of the season to thrill Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone, yet the LaLiga champions must get by without his threat at Liverpool on Wednesday.

Back at Atletico for a second spell after a misfiring stint at Barcelona, there was a touch of vintage Griezmann about his display in Sunday's 3-0 home win over Real Betis.

Since making his LaLiga debut with Real Sociedad against Villarreal on August 29 in 2010, only four players have scored more LaLiga goals than Griezmann's haul of 157 in 403 games. Those players are a special group: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez.

Some 95 of those goals have come in 188 games for Atletico, at a rate of one every 156.29 minutes, and there are promising signs that Griezmann is rediscovering his old confidence with the Rojiblancos.

Simeone watched the Frenchman create four chances against Betis, the joint most on the team, alongside Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco. That total did not only beat his previous highest number in a game this season, but it doubled his entire season's LaLiga tally.

Two of the chances he created were defined by Opta as big chances, meaning that the person on the end of the chance would have reasonably been expected to score. That was not how it turned out, with neither resulting in a goal, but Simeone was suitably impressed. Luis Suarez and Jose Gimenez were among those who could not put away chances made for them by Griezmann.

"Looking at today's game, we found the usual Griezmann," Simeone said. "Working, insisting, looking for scoring chances, getting into positions, having chances to score. That's the way we were looking for him to be when we thought of him."

Three of Griezmann's four goals since rejoining Atletico in August have come in the Champions League, with his double against Liverpool last time out in the competition not enough for Simeone's side as they slipped to a 3-2 home defeat. Griezmann's red card in the second half of that game means he will not be involved at Anfield.

Griezmann had 65 touches against Betis, the most he has had for Atletico in a game during this second spell, with this being his 11th appearance for the club since leaving Camp Nou.

These are all promising signs for a player who appeared to have lost his way at Barcelona, and Liverpool will surely be relieved they will not encounter his threat in Wednesday's game.

Atletico sit a precarious second in Group B, five points adrift of Liverpool and level on points with Porto, who travel to face Milan.

Simeone, who watched from the stands against Betis after his dismissal in Atletico's previous game against Levante, can now begin to think about another clash with Jurgen Klopp's team.

"We were busy in LaLiga," the head coach said on Sunday evening. "We needed to win again to be up there with the contenders, and starting tomorrow another competition begins for which we will start to prepare tonight or tomorrow morning."

Jurgen Klopp does not expect Naby Keita to be involved in Liverpool's Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday after sustaining a hamstring injury.

The Guinea midfielder had to be withdrawn just 19 minutes into Saturday's 2-2 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion, for which he had been a doubt after being clattered by Paul Pogba in last weekend's 5-0 hammering of Manchester United.

Klopp could not offer much information about Keita's condition immediately after the match, simply confirming it was a hamstring injury and that he "can't say more".

But at the very least, it appears Klopp will be preparing to face Atletico at Anfield without Keita as the Reds look to seal top spot in Champions League Group B with two matches to spare.

Klopp told Liverpool's official website: "He told me, he showed me [the] hamstring. So, I don't know, we will see; obviously [Sunday] or the day after he will have a scan and then we will know [the extent of the injury].

"But if somebody feels the hamstring, it would be the first time that he is ready for the next game. So, I can't see that."

A lengthy spell on the sidelines would not only be a blow for the Reds, who are already struggling for numbers in midfield, but also for Keita himself amid arguably his best run of form in a Liverpool shirt.

Injuries have been a regular frustration for the central midfielder, whose 16 Premier League starts in his first season (2018-19) remains the most he has managed in a single campaign since joining from RB Leipzig.

In 2020-21, Keita played just 10 league games as five different injury problems restricted his impact severely, but he is already up to seven appearances this term.

His off-the-ball tenacity has been a real asset to Liverpool as well, with Keita's 4.0 tackle attempts per 90 minutes second only to Alexis Mac Allister (4.9) among those to have played at least 180 minutes in the Premier League this season.

He is also averaging 2.5 successful tackles each game, with only Mac Allister (3.7) and Todd Cantwell (3.2) winning the ball back with greater regularity.

Jurgen Klopp was left frustrated after a 2-2 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion, conceding that Liverpool were "not good enough" in the second half.

The Reds manager saw his team throw away a two-goal lead on Saturday, and they could even have lost it as the Seagulls pushed as hard as the hosts for a winner in the final quarter of the game.

Early goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane were cancelled out by a fantastic strike from Enock Mwepu before the break, and then a second-half equaliser from Leandro Trossard.

Liverpool also had two goals disallowed, with Mane denied from making it 3-0 in the first half by VAR after the ball ricocheted off his arm when closing down Robert Sanchez, while Mohamed Salah saw his strike ruled out for offside, which would have extended his scoring run to 11 games.

Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, Klopp said: "It feels like a defeat. It's not only because we were 2-0 up and didn't win, it's because the game I saw, we scored two of the most beautiful goals I've ever seen us score, which were disallowed.

"The pressing goal for Sadio was just unlucky, if you want to teach pressing, you would show this situation. But disallowed for handball, I guess.

"Top moments in the first half where we showed how we can hurt Brighton, played some top passes through the centre and played really good football but were only 2-0 up.

"In the second half, we were not good enough. The body language I didn't like it at all. It was like 'oh my God, it's really tough'. Yeah, it was clear before the game.

"The best way to defend Brighton is to have the ball yourself and play in the spaces where they are exposed, but we didn't do that and that's a problem."

 

 

Meanwhile, Brighton manager Graham Potter was delighted with the effort from his team, and hailed it a "fantastic game of football".

"It's a fantastic performance, the players deserve all the credit. They've played with such courage and intensity, it was a fantastic game of football. Both teams went at it, we were toe-to-toe. It's a point for us and a performance we can build on.

"It could have been 3-0 but instead it was 2-1. Those little things need to go your way, but I think our second goal was really well worked. You could tell the crowd was frustrated and that's a sign of how well we were playing.

"It's a fantastic game of football against a wonderful opponent. We're happy with a point, delighted with the performance.

"There's a nice belief in the team, a nice togetherness and resilience. They believe in each other. I'm really pleased because they put so much into that game today."

Liverpool made it 20 Premier League games unbeaten but were left frustrated after a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion at Anfield.

First-half goals from Jordan Henderson and Sadio Mane – his first ever strike against the Seagulls – were cancelled out by Enock Mwepu and Leandro Trossard.

With Chelsea claiming a dominant win over Newcastle United, Jurgen Klopp's men slipped three points off the pace at the summit.

The only negative in a bright start for the Reds was losing Naby Keita to injury after just 20 minutes. The Guinean appeared to be suffering from the same problem sustained in the incident that saw Paul Pogba sent off during last week's 5-0 win at Manchester United.

Graham Potter's side were ultimately well worth their point and brushed off their 4-1 defeat at Manchester City last time out with a spirited showing on Merseyside.

After an early scare when Alisson Becker had to save well from Solly March, the hosts took the lead in the fourth minute when Mohamed Salah cut the ball back to Henderson on the edge of the penalty area and the Reds skipper swept expertly past Robert Sanchez.

Yves Bissouma forced Alisson to turn his fierce shot onto the post, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – who came on for the injured Keita – put in an inch-perfect cross for Mane to head in.

The visitors were fortunate not to go 3-0 down in the 34th minute when Sanchez hit his clearance against Mane, but the ball had rolled into the net courtesy of the Senegalese's arm.

That seemed to give the visitors belief as Mwepu pulled a goal back for Brighton late in the first half in spectacular fashion, whipping a shot from long range up and over the helpless Alisson.

Trossard then finished calmly in front of The Kop in the 65th minute after being set up by former Red Adam Lallana, with Klopp's charges unable to hit back.

What's next?

Liverpool host Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, while Brighton entertain Newcastle United next Saturday.

West Ham have been handed an EFL Cup quarter-final trip to Tottenham after dumping long-time holders Manchester City out of the competition.

David Moyes' men beat City on penalties on Wednesday to ensure the Premier League champions will not win the trophy for a fifth year in a row, and now a London derby awaits them for a place in the last four. Tottenham reached this stage by eliminating Burnley.

Three of the four ties will be played in the capital, with Arsenal drawn to face League One outfit Sunderland, the only EFL team left in the competition, and Brentford given a home game against Chelsea.

Sunderland knocked out QPR in a penalty shoot-out to reach the last eight, while Arsenal saw off Leeds United. Brentford were victorious at Stoke City, and Chelsea edged past Southampton on spot-kicks.

Liverpool's 2-0 win at Preston North End sets up Jurgen Klopp's team for a shot at Leicester City, with the Reds drawn at home for the tussle with Brendan Rodgers' team.

All ties are due to be played in the week commencing December 20.

Liverpool are looking to win the competition for a fourth time in the 21st century, and for a record ninth time in all. The Reds and Manchester City currently have the most titles in this competition, with eight apiece.

Leicester have won the EFL Cup on three previous occasions, most recently in 2000 when they beat another Merseyside club, Tranmere Rovers, in the last EFL Cup final to be played at the old Wembley Stadium, prior to its demolition.


EFL Cup quarter-final draw:

Tottenham v West Ham

Arsenal v Sunderland

Brentford v Chelsea

Liverpool v Leicester City

Paul Pogba's future at Manchester United remains unclear with his contract winding down.

The 28-year-old midfielder has so far opted against re-signing with the Red Devils.

Pogba had started the season brightly with United but was sent off in Sunday's 5-0 loss to Liverpool.

TOP STORY – UNITED WILLING TO LET POGBA GO FREE

Manchester United will not sell Paul Pogba in January despite the France international becoming a free agent at the end of the season, reports The Telegraph.

United face missing out on recouping some of the £89million they spent on Pogba in 2016 when he joined from Juventus, who are one of the teams who have shown an interest in signing him.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the World Cup winner.

 

ROUND-UP

Nicolo Barella will re-commit to Inter and sign a new five-year contract with the Italian champions next week, reports Fabrizio Romano. Barella had been linked with the likes of PSGAtletico Madrid and Liverpool.

Eden Hazard will be permitted to leave Real Madrid by boss Carlo Ancelotti if he wants to go, according to Marca. Former club Chelsea and Newcastle United have been linked with the winger.

Tottenham are making plans for Hugo Lloris' exit with Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, formerly of rivals Arsenal, top of their list, claims the Independent.

Liverpool are hoping for Mohamed Salah to agree to a bumper new deal before the January transfer window opens, reports Football Insider.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says it "would be a crime" to rest Mohamed Salah and key players for Saturday's Premier League clash with fifth-placed Brighton.

Salah has started every Premier League game this season, netting 10 goals and only failing to score once in the league this term, against Burnley in August.

The second-placed Reds, who are the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, host Brighton who have been a surprise this season, prompting Klopp to insist he would not be taking any risks on team selection.

"He wants that, that's true," Klopp told reporters when asked if Salah wants to play every minute. "To rest players against Brighton, that would be a crime actually. Brighton is much too good.

"They had a brilliant start. Yes, now the last few results were maybe not exactly like they wished for, but it's a real special game in the league. It's a real special game.

"If you didn't watch it yet, watch the City game back and you understand immediately what I'm talking about. None of them [want to be rested]."

Klopp's side have netted a league-high 27 goals in nine games this term, including back-to-back 5-0 wins over Manchester United and Watford.

The consecutive five-goal wins was only the second time Liverpool that achieved that in its top-flight history, dating back to April 1935 when they won 5-0 over Stoke City and 6-0 against Chelsea on consecutive days.

Liverpool's attack has won plenty of plaudits but defensively they have also kept six clean sheets this term too, with new signing Ibrahima Konate coming into the side for his second start against United.

"Ibou is an incredible talent, obviously," Klopp said. "He's built for the Premier League. Physical-wise, he's a machine, has the speed we need, likes challenges, has a really good football knowledge, anticipating situations early, all these of kind of things.

"It's a real good package. But how I said, we have now a bunch of really good centre-halves, to be honest, so we just have to make sure we use them in the right moments.

"He's a really good boy, completely in the group here and that helped obviously."

Liverpool are also on a 23-game unbeaten run in all competitions, dating back to April 7 when they went down 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

"In general we know when we are on top of our game, when we are difficult to play that means we have a chance to win the game – and that's what we try," the German added.

"Obviously we didn't win all of them – we drew a lot – but most of the draws were probably closer to a win than we could have lost the game, so that just shows."

Jurgen Klopp says former Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is one of the best players he has ever worked with ahead of the Reds' showdown with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.

Lallana returns to Anfield for the second time since departing for the Seagulls on a free transfer in July 2020.

Though not always a guaranteed starter with injuries hampering his progress, the former England international's work rate was widely recognised during his six-year spell with Liverpool.

Indeed, he would often lead the way with the high press implemented by Klopp since taking over the reins at Anfield in October 2015.

And the Reds head coach was full of praise for the 33-year-old, who scored 22 goals in 178 appearances for the club in all competitions.

"I still miss Adam, to be honest," said Klopp. "It's not easy to miss Adam because pretty much everybody here in the club still has contact with him.

"Adam set the standard from the first to the last day pretty much, and it was really impressive. 

"A player with technical skills and that working mentality is rare. 

"If he hadn't been injured as often, he would have been on another level and it was still already great. 

"He's one of the best players I've ever worked with. He's an incredible person as well, so I'm really looking forward to seeing him again."

Klopp also hailed the job done by Graham Potter at the Amex Stadium.

The Seagulls, who were 1-0 winners at Anfield last season, are fifth in the Premier League having collected 15 points from their opening nine games of this term.

Despite last weekend's 4-1 defeat by Manchester City, Potter's side impressed with their long spells of possession – particularly during the second half of the contest – and the Reds boss is fully aware of the task at hand.

"It's one of the trickiest games [in the Premier League] with the job Graham has done at Brighton," Klopp continued.

"To keep the ball and pass the ball the way they did against [Manchester] City is a really difficult thing to do, and they did it. 

"We lost the game here against Brighton [last season], so that’s another warning sign. 

"They're a real threat; they try to create, they defend well. We have to be at our best.

"I couldn't respect more what Graham is doing at Brighton. I am a big admirer of his work. He's a top-class manager."

Klopp revealed Naby Keita is available for selection after he was substituted following a heavy challenge by Paul Pogba in last weekend's 5-0 thrashing of Manchester United.

Although, the Reds will be without Fabinho, Thiago and James Milner.

Dusan Vlahovic has already made it clear he will not re-sign with Fiorentina.

The in-demand Serbia international is wanted by a host of European clubs.

Juventus are reportedly ready to make their move.

 

TOP STORY – VLAHOVIC TO TURIN IN JANUARY?

Juventus are eyeing a January swoop for Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic, according to Tuttosport.

Vlahovic has no plans to re-sign with Fiorentina and the Serbia forward has been linked to Juve, Inter, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham.

But Juve are believed to be desperate to prise Vlahovic from Florence amid their struggles, while Gazzetta dello Sport claims contact has already been made.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Star reports Manchester United have cooled their interest in Antonio Conte as a possible replacement for under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer due to his expensive demands. Zinedine Zidane, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked.

Real Madrid and Liverpool are considering moves for United midfielder Paul Pogba, says Ekrem Konur. Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season and he has been linked with Barcelona, PSG and Juventus also.

- ESPN claims Chelsea and Newcastle United have been sounded out over their possible interest in struggling Madrid star Eden Hazard.

- Serie A rivals Inter and Juve are set to battle it out to sign Borussia Monchengladbach star Matthias Ginter, per Sport Bild.

Nicolo Barella will sign his new Inter deal next week, according to Fabrizio Romano. Barella had been linked with the likes of PSG, Atletico and Liverpool.

This weekend could perhaps spell the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United tenure, and opponents Tottenham have a player capable of causing real damage.

Elsewhere, the form of Manchester City's sort-of-striker Gabriel Jesus and Newcastle United's possibly-only-striker Callum Wilson make them worthy considerations for your fantasy teams for this weekend.

There is also a more surprising pick from Southampton who could offer some real value.

Below are Stats Perform's weekly suggestions for fantasy football players, powered by Opta data...

 

AARON RAMSDALE (Leicester City v Arsenal)

It was a signing that did more to raise supporter eyebrows than excitement levels, but Aaron Ramsdale is beginning to prove his worth for Arsenal.

Having grasped the number-one spot with two gloved hands, the former Sheffield United man boasts a save percentage of 80, having kept out 16 of 20 shots on target faced.

Given only Edouard Mendy can do better among goalkeepers to play more than 90 minutes this season, Ramsdale has surely earned a shot in your side.

TINO LIVRAMENTO (Watford v Southampton)

Trent Alexander-Arnold is the only defender to create more chances in the Premier League this season (12) than Southampton's Tino Livramento (10).

Something of a revelation on the south coast, he could become just the third 18-year-old this century to start the first 10 games of a Premier League season after Micah Richards (2006-07) and Phil Jones (2010-11).

Since Watford have won just one of their past 13 league games with Southampton, Livramento seems worth a punt.

 

TRENT ALEXANDER-ARNOLD (Liverpool v Brighton and Hove Albion)

If you don't know by now that Trent Alexander-Arnold tends to get quite a lot of points for a defender, you've probably not been paying attention.

This season, the Liverpool star is ranked eighth in the Premier League for expected goal involvements (excluding penalties), while only Bruno Fernandes (34) has created more chances (25). And he's a right-back.

Alexander-Arnold might just be prime captain material for this weekend, particularly if you think the Reds can keep a clean sheet at home to Brighton and Hove Albion.

DEMARAI GRAY (Wolves v Everton)

It's not all going swimmingly for Rafael Benitez at Everton, but Demarai Gray is looking like a real bargain, having joined for around £1.7million from Bayer Leverkusen.

With three goals and two assists in nine games this season, he has already matched his best tally for direct goal involvements in a single Premier League campaign.

He also happened to score the last time he played against Wolves, for Leicester City in January 2019.

 

SON HEUNG-MIN (Tottenham v Manchester United)

Of Son Heung-min's 17 Premier League goal involvements in 2021, 13 of them have come at home, a tally bettered only by Bruno Fernandes (15).

The Tottenham star has developed a knack for playing against Manchester United, too. After going eight games without a goal against the Red Devils, he scored three and set up another in their two meetings in 2020-21.

Could he be the man to spell the end for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer?

 

GABRIEL JESUS (Manchester City v Crystal Palace)

Gabriel Jesus has scored three and assisted six goals in his most recent nine league starts for Manchester City. His five assists in 2021-22 means he is already just two shy of the most he has ever managed in a single season.

Saturday's game with Crystal Palace will be a special occasion for City, as it will be Pep Guardiola's 200th Premier League game in charge (naturally, his 146 wins in his first 199 matches is a record).

It's hard to look beyond a comfortable City win: they have lost only once to Palace in 12 league meetings, while that 3-2 defeat in December 2018 was the only one of their past 50 matches to kick off at 15:00 local time on a Saturday that has ended in defeat.

CALLUM WILSON (Newcastle United v Chelsea)

Plenty of star names could be on the horizon for Newcastle United, but Callum Wilson has looked determined to prove he has a place in the new era at the club.

The striker has six goals in his past six league games, as many as he managed in his previous 21, and is hoping to score for the fourth match in a row for only the second time in the Premier League.

Newcastle might be up against it to beat Chelsea, but the Blues have so far conceded just three times which is almost eight fewer than their expected goals-against total of 10.7. At some stage, that will have to give...

The list of candidates to replace Ronald Koeman at Barcelona is already forming.

Koeman was dismissed after Wednesday's 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano which left them ninth in LaLiga.

Barcelona are battling financial challenges and have struggled since Lionel Messi's exit in August.

TOP STORY – XAVI OFFERED BARCELONA JOB

Barcelona have offered their vacant head coaching role to club legend Xavi, reports Goal.

The Catalans have acted fast with Koeman sacked late on Wednesday.

Xavi is currently coaching Qatari outfit Al Sadd but has an exit clause in his contract, although Barca are prepared to pay any fee required.

The 41-year-old long-time Barcelona midfielder retired from playing in 2019, with his final on-field stint at Al Sadd before moving into coaching.

 

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are in the box seat to sign Leeds United's England international midfielder Kalvin Phillips, according to the Daily Star. Phillips, who is contracted with Leeds until 2024, has been linked with Manchester United too, but the report claims Liverpool are his first choice and the deal would be worth around £60million.

- Manchester United have conceded that agreeing a new deal with Paul Pogba is impossible and are prepared to lose the France international on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of the season, reports ESPN. Pogba has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain , Juventus and Real Madrid .

- Manchester United's Amad Diallo is interested in going out on loan to Dutch club Feyenoord, according to Feyenoord TM. The 19-year-old Ivorian winger has not played this season.

- TEAMtalk claims that PSG have joined the pursuit of Leeds United's Brazil international Raphinha. PSG is the current home of Raphinha's Brazilian team-mates Neymar and Marquinhos.

- Chelsea are preparing for Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen's exit by lining up moves for Sevilla's Jules Kounde and Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt, reports Eurosport.

Marcus Rashford revealed his "embarrassment" as he vowed Manchester United will redeem themselves after their 5-0 thrashing against Liverpool.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side suffered their heaviest ever defeat at home to the Reds, while losing to-nil by five-plus goals at home for the first time since February 1955.

Indeed, United found themselves four goals behind at half-time for the first time ever in the Premier League in an abject first-half showing against Jurgen Klopp's in-form team on Sunday.

Rashford lasted until the 62nd minute at Old Trafford before being removed for Diogo Dalot and the England international has subsequently expressed regret over his side's performance.

"I can’t lie you haven't heard from me on here because as a United fan I didn't really know what to say after Sunday," Rashford wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

"I was embarrassed. I am embarrassed. Our fans are everything and you didn't deserve that. We're working hard to try and fix this. We have to redeem ourselves."

United have won just three of their last nine games, despite bringing in the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo in the close season.

The under-fire Solskjaer remains at the helm ahead of a decisive period as United next face Tottenham and Manchester City, along with a Champions League clash against Atalanta.

Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi continued their EFL Cup love affairs as Liverpool edged past Preston North End 2-0 at Deepdale on Wednesday. 

Japan international Minamino made it five goals in four EFL Cup appearances before Origi scored for the 11th time in his 10th start in the competition with an impressively improvised backheel volley. 

Having been fortunate not to go behind in the first half when Sean Maguire, Ryan Ledson and Brad Potts failed to take their chances, Minamino made the breakthrough for Liverpool in the 62nd minute. 

The Premier League giants dominated possession throughout and were sure of a place in the quarter-finals for just the second time in five seasons after Origi somehow flicked the ball home with six minutes remaining. 

Preston initially looked more dangerous despite seeing less of the ball and ought to have taken the lead in the 28th minute when they had three chances in rapid succession. 

Adrian did brilliantly to deny Maguire from six yards after Joe Gomez was dispossessed, and Neco Williams' goal-line clearance kept Ledson out on the follow-up. The rebound fell to Potts, but he sliced his attempt high and wide.  

After wasting a chance at the start of the second half, there was no mistake from Minamino with his next opportunity as he stabbed in a cutback from Williams after a brilliant pass from Tyler Morton released the right-back.  

Kostas Tsimikas then rattled the crossbar with a deep cross and the ball fell to Williams, whose blocked shot sat up nicely for Origi to steer in a spectacular late second. 
 

What does it mean? Differing displays for full debutants  

Klopp handed a first senior appearance to Harvey Blair and a full debut to Morton as he made 11 changes from the 5-0 mauling of Manchester United in the Premier League at the weekend.  

Blair was extremely quiet in the front three, getting just nine touches of the ball before making way for Conor Bradley in the 55th minute.  

Morton, meanwhile, looked at home in the centre of midfield, spraying some lovely passes around – one of which was key to Minamino's goal. 

Wonderful Williams 

Making his first start since March having struggled with an ankle injury, Williams proved a difference-maker for the Reds. He made a crucial goal-line block in the first half and played a pivotal role in both Liverpool goals, though he was unable to take a late chance to get on the scoresheet himself. 

Mixed bag for Van den Berg 

Sepp van den Berg may be on loan at Preston from Liverpool, but he started in defence for the hosts and had a mixed outing. He gained possession 10 times, made four interceptions and two blocks – all of which were the most by a Preston player – but no other outfield team-mate gave the ball away more than him (13). 

What's next?  

Liverpool host Brighton and Hove Albion in the Premier League on Saturday, with Preston entertaining Luton Town in the Championship on the same day. 

Any hopes of Paul Pogba remaining at Old Trafford appear to be fading. 

The Manchester United stalwart has halted contract talks with the club. 

Multiple European clubs are said to be interested in the 28-year-old. 

 

TOP STORY – POGBA ENDS MAN UTD TALKS

Paul Pogba has ended talks over a potential new contract at Manchester United amid an apparent row with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, The Sun reports. 

The France international will be out of contract in June and appears likely to move on. 

The Sun reports he apologised to his team-mates but did not speak to Solskjaer after being sent off 15 minutes after coming on as a substitute in Sunday's 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool. 

His former club Juventus could be an option, while Paris Saint-GermainReal Madrid and Barcelona are also said to have shown interest. 

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona would prefer to have Jurgen Klopp take over whenever they sack Ronald Koeman, says Sport. Klopp is under contract with Liverpool through 2024. 

- Newcastle United are prepared to offer Alex Ten Hag £6million a year after taxes if he leaves Ajax for St. James' Park, reports the Mail. 

- Arsenal and Manchester City are interested in Barcelona's Spain international Sergi Roberto, says Fichajes. 

- Inter have had talks with Sampdoria midfielder Morten Thorsby's agent over a potential move, claims Calciomercato. 

- River Plate forward Julian Alvarez is drawing interest from Milan, Bayer Leverkusen and Aston Villa, says Calciomercato. 

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