Three Reds are through to the last 16 after both Netherlands and England picked up the wins they needed to finish the job in the group stage.
Today at the World Cup
Two starters, one on as sub – and even Sadio Mane‘s team-mates managed to make the knockouts without the former Liverpool star.
- Chelsea‘s Kalidou Koulibaly scored the decisive goal as Senegal beat Ecuador to the other top-two berth in Group A
- Our captain Jordan Henderson came into England’s team for a 3-0 win over a very poor Wales side, with Trent making his first appearance off the bench
- And in Group B’s other politically charged encounter, USA edged out Iran to book their own place in the knockouts as runners-up
Ultimately, this wasn’t really a day of shocks – even though two teams had to get a result to come from outside the top two and finish inside.
The biggest success is undoubtedly that of Senegal’s, although perhaps it’s more accurately described as a bit of a choke from Ecuador. They just had to avoid losing but first fell behind, got themselves back in the game – and immediately conceded again.
Good work from the African champions all the same, considering the absence of their key No10.
England’s win was fairly impressive in the end, though much was owed to Wales’ inability to do anything of note in attack whatsoever. Trent was pretty solid after coming on – nothing spectacular attempted – while Hendo had a few decent moments in the final third and was roundly praised by TV’s commentary team for plenty of shouting at his team-mates.
Christian Pulisic played the part of the All-American hero, scoring and injuring himself at the same time as the USMNT got the victory they required to leapfrog Iran, who only needed to avoid defeat.
There are over 800 players at the 2022 World Cup and by now it feels Liverpool have been linked with at least half of them.
It’s first worth noting that today, stories have continued surrounding Ghana’s Mohammed Kudus, who we’re apparently in the hunt for according to reliable reports.
But the newest rumour is one over a much more defensive-minded player: Fiorentina and Morocco key man Sofiane Amrabat.
The combative performer anchors the centre of the park for club and country and is a guaranteed starter this week as his nation try to seal a spot in the last 16 when they face Canada, so keep a close eye.
Decent on the ball, quick across the ground and non-stop competitive in protecting the defence, Amrabat is out of contract in 18 months and a player both the Reds and Spurs want, say reports in Italy.
Given Fabinho‘s form this term and the lack of a direct replacement in the squad, it’s perhaps not surprising if we are looking at No6 alternatives, even if it’s with a longer-term view for a signing.
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Jordan Henderson shows his true colours as moment spotted with concussed Neco Williams (Mirror) https://t.co/Nq77vX2A5R
— LFCNews (@LFCNews) November 29, 2022
Unconfirmed, but worth a second look and consideration of the importance of team play and safety outside the rivalry of a match itself – Jordan Henderson reportedly alerted the Wales bench to Neco Williams‘ inability to continue during the match.
A head injury for the Wales defender saw him initially play on but then be subbed off, with further calls for temporary concussion subs quickly ensuing once more.
The Mirror say it was after a challenge by the touchline between Hendo and Williams that our skipper noticed something not quite right and signalled to Robert Page’s staff.
With this not the first time players have continued at the World Cup with potentially significant head injuries, FIFA have been called out for “shocking” complacency for not doing anything to remove this danger.
Wednesday’s matches and LFC aspects
- 3am: Tunisia vs France
- 3pm: Australia vs Denmark
- 7pm: Poland vs Argentina
- 7pm: Saudi Arabia vs Mexico
For tomorrow, we’ll see if Ibou Konate gets another run-out, with France no doubt set for a long run in the tournament and trying to protect Raphael Varane.
That will be it for the current squad, but if recent rumours are to be believed, Enzo Fernandez is one worth watching and there’s every chance he starts for Argentina in a vital clash with Poland.