Fulham vs Liverpool LIVE: Klopp must hit back from horror week to remain in title race – kick-off time, team news and how to follow

Liverpool must win against Fulham this Sunday afternoon if they want to remain in the Premier League title race.  The Reds were beaten at home to Crystal Palace last weekend and another defeat could end up seeing them fall further behind top spot.  Liverpool were left devastated by the shock defeat to PalaceGetty Jurgen Klopp’s side play before Manchester City, meaning if they lose and City win their game in hand the gap will widen to five points.  A win though, would keep their hopes alive and give a major morale boost to the squad ahead of the final few games of the season. Klopp and co also exited the Europa League on Thursday night, meaning the German’s exit celebrations have taken a huge hit. The Cottagers stand in their way this weekend and they come into this game off the back of an impressive 2-0 win away at West Ham.  Fulham vs Liverpool: Klopp’s ‘strange’ decision  Klopp’s decision to announce his upcoming departure from Liverpool during the season has damaged his team’s hopes of silverware. That is the view of former Premier League manager Alan Pardew, who feels that Klopp’s public announcement in January has been ‘unsettling’ for the players. Speaking after the Reds’ loss to Palace, Pardew said: “In terms of Klopp’s decision, I just want to touch on that because, as a manager I felt that was a strange move that he did, to announce it at that time. “I think in hindsight, whether he thinks that was the right thing when he gets to the end of the season, only he will be able to tell. “Personally, I think he should have waited until the end of the year and maybe told the upstairs and left it at that.” Klopp has been criticised for his decision to announce his exitGetty Fulham vs Liverpool: Team news  Fulham are lucky enough to have a clean bill of health heading into this game.  Rodrigo Muniz is expected to keep his place up front, meaning Chelsea loanee Armando Broja and Raul Jimenez will remain on the bench. As for Liverpool, Conor Bradley is a doubt after not travelling with the Reds squad for their Europa League clash with Atalanta on Thursday night.  It means Trent Alexander-Arnold will start if he is fully fit, while Diogo Jota and Alisson are back in action and should feature.  Thiago, Joel Matip and Ben Doak all remain sidelined with long-term issues.  Liverpool have fallen off the pace in the title race Fulham vs Liverpool: What has been said?  Andy Robertson has spoken of his frustration at the fact Liverpool now have to rely on the results of their title rivals. He said: “It’s just frustrating, and now we’re relying on other people. You could say it was in our hands but there was still a long way to go.  “[It’s a] hugely frustrating position to be in. But this club, we don’t stop fighting – we have to fight in the stands, fight on the pitch for the last six games of the Premier League.  “Let’s see where it takes us. We have to stay positive. We have to pick everyone up in the changing room because there’s a lot of people who are down, whether they missed a chance, gave the ball away or whatever it is.  “We pick up, we go again and we give everything we’ve got.” Robertson believes in his side to bounce backAFP Fulham vs Liverpool: How to follow  This Premier League clash will take place on Sunday, April 21.  Kick-off at Craven Cottage is scheduled for 4:30pm.  The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League. talkSPORT will also keep you up to date with all the latest. 

‘Greatly missed’ – Former Arsenal chairman Sir Chips Keswick dies aged 84 as club pay tribute

Arsenal have announced the death of former club chairman Sir Chips Keswick at the age of 84. Keswick took over as the chairman from Peter Hill-Wood in 2013, where he expertly guided the club for seven seasons. Keswick spent seven years as Arsenal’s club chairman During that time, the Gunners won four FA Cup titles. Fittingly, his final year with the north London giants saw Mikel Arteta’s side win the FA Cup – beating Chelsea 2-1 in the final in 2020. An Arsenal statement read: “It is with great sadness that the club reports the death of former Chairman, Sir Chips Keswick.” The club added: “Sir Chips will be greatly missed by everyone at Arsenal who knew him. “And we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife Lady Sarah and their children David, Tobias and Adam.” Keswick, a life-long Arsenal fan, attended Highbury regularly in his youth, before making his name in the banking industry. In 1993, he earned himself a knighthood as a resuly of his work in the banking sector. A former Director of the Bank of England, Keswick was close friends with ex-Arsenal chairman Hill-Wood. Keswick has passed away at the age of 84 He eventually joined the club’s board in 2005, alongside Lord Harris, with Keswick the natural choice to replace Hill-Wood eight years later. Following his retirement, Keswick was able to enjoy his second sport – horse racing. As stated in Arsenal’s tribute, the club said: “Retirement allowed him to spend more time with his beloved family as well as indulge in his other great sporting passion, horse racing. “He was a respected owner of numerous racehorses over the years.” Keswick declared it was an ‘honour’ to serve Arsenal after he announced he would be standing down as chairman four years ago. He remarked: “It has been an honour to be the chairman of this great football club. Arsenal has always held a special place in my life and that will remain the case in the future. “I made my plan to retire at the end of this season clear to the board, before the global health crisis we are now experiencing. Everyone at the Club is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Sir Chips Keswick.Sir Chips' time at Arsenal spanned 15 years in which he served as both a board member and Chairman.May he rest in peace — Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 19, 2024 “The club is in safe hands with Stan and Josh [Kroenke], the board and the executive team. “I know Arsenal will emerge strongly from this situation and I look forward, like all our supporters around the world, to seeing the team in action as soon as possible.”

Gianfranco Zola was the best footballer I played with – but one England legend was technically superior

Gianfranco Zola may be regarded as one of the Premier League’s most technical players – but Glenn Hoddle is in a league of his own. That’s the opinion of ex-Chelsea left back Scott Minto, who has labelled the England legend as ‘absolutely sensational’. Minto (back, fourth from left) won the FA Cup alongside Zola (left of trophy) in 1997Getty Minto spent one season alongside Zola at Stamford Bridge, with the pair helping the Blues end the club’s 26-year wait for a trophy by lifting the FA Cup. The former Chelsea left-back was brought to the club by Glenn Hoddle in 1994, who was the player/manager at the time, and finished his spell in west London under the tutelage of Ballon d’Or winner Ruud Gullit in the same role. After becoming the first Englishman to play for Benfica following his Chelsea exit in 1997, Minto then returned to Blighty to link up with West Ham in 1999, with Paolo Di Canio leaving a lasting impression on him. Commenting on the best footballers he played with, the 52-year-old told “I always say in reverse order, Di Canio, Gullit, Zola, so Zola number one. “Gullit’s knees were apparently shot when he came to Chelsea in 1995 and he was half the player he used to be. “Well if he was half the player he used to be, how good was he back in the day? Obviously he was World Player of the Year [Ballon d’Or, 1987]. “Di Canio was brilliant, again not the quickest, but I really admire people who aren’t necessarily blessed with that natural physique, but can still dominate games because they are so good. And Di Canio was that. “Zola was just, ‘Give the ball to Zola as much as possible,’ because he was brilliant – especially in that first season.” Blues icon Zola is regarded by many to be one of the most technical footballers to ever play in EnglandGetty But Minto believes England legend Hoddle stands out above the rest of his teammates However, Zola, who was recently named in Eden Hazard’s dream five-a-side team, didn’t claim top spot in Minto’s technical teammate list. That honour went to Tottenham icon Hoddle – a two-time FA Cup winner with Spurs who also won the Ligue 1 title with Monaco under Arsene Wenger and whom Dennis Bergkamp admired when he was growing up. Minto said of the former Three Lions manager: “But technically the best player I ever played with was Glenn Hoddle. “He brought me to Chelsea, and he was player/manager in my first season and his last season as a player/manager. “Peter Shreeves [ex-Chelsea assistant] would take the training, and we’d do this drill where you keep the ball up with three touches. “So it would be like using your foot, thigh and head, we’d all try it, there’d be some balls bouncing around, but most of us could do it. “Then it would be outside of the boot, shoulder and catch on the back of the neck, balls then were bouncing absolutely everywhere. “Glenn was the only one, where using the left foot or right foot, the ball would never drop. He was just absolutely sensational. Glenn was blessed, simple as that.” Minto enjoyed three seasons at Chelsea, where he played alongside – and was managed – by Hoddle and GullitGetty Minto then suggested he was a firm believer in Hoddle taking back the England reigns from Gareth Southgate having enjoyed three years in charge of the national team between 1996-1999. The Charlton cult hero remarked: “He was the best tactical coach I played under as well. “And up until his heart attack [in 2018], I still thought he should have been the next England manager. Obviously Gareth has done really well. “It’s probably passed him now, but it’s a real shame he wasn’t able to get back and be England manager again, because he still has a brilliant football mind.”

Why Aston Villa vs Bournemouth and Crystal Palace vs West Ham kick off at 3pm this SUNDAY

As fans look ahead to some Premier League football this weekend, they will quickly notice that the fixture schedule is very unusual. Normally, games will be planned for either 12:30pm, 3pm or 5:30pm on a Saturday or for 2pm or 4:30pm on a Sunday. Villa are one of four teams set to play at a strange timeGetty However, this weekend, the action has strayed away from the usual plan in a strange change to the schedule. Aston Villa vs Bournemouth and Crystal Palace vs West Ham are both set to go ahead at 3pm on Sunday afternoon. And that has been forced to happen due to midweek European games. The Premier League has explained on their website that the fixture was moved from Saturday ‘due to Aston Villa and West Ham being in UEFA competitions.’ Villa played the second leg of their Europe Conference League quarter-final tie against Lille on Thursday and progressed through on penalties. Meanwhile, the Hammers hosted newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen but were beaten on aggregate after a 1-1 draw at the London Stadium. So to allow enough recovery and travel time for both teams, the games were moved to Sunday afternoon. There is no official reason from the Premier League or any of the clubs on why the game is at 3pm instead of the usual 2pm start though. West Ham’s second leg against Leverkusen has forced them to play on SundayGetty Aston Villa announced the change last month with their only reasoning being ‘due to the club’s participation in the UEFA Europa Conference League’. Crystal Palace revealed the same for their game, announcing ‘the move is necessary due to West Ham’s participation in the Europa League quarter-finals the preceding Thursday.’ As well as the weird Sunday change, Saturday looks different too. There are only two games in the traditional 3pm slot and Wolves then host Arsenal at 7:30pm in the evening.

Arsenal handed unusual kick-off time against Wolves amid awkward fixture pile-up along with Liverpool and Man City

Arsenal are in the middle of a chaotic fixture schedule and have been handed a strange kick-off time this weekend. The Gunners travel to Wolves on Saturday, live on talkSPORT, and the game will get started at the unusual time of 7.30pm. Arteta’s side have a very busy scheduleAFP That slot has been chosen for the game as Mikel Arteta‘s side have midweek fixtures on either side of it. It comes just three days after Arsenal were knocked out of the Champions League after losing to Bayern Munich on Wednesday. Then, next Tuesday night, they will host Chelsea at 8pm in a match that was rescheduled due to the Blues’ involvement in the FA Cup quarter-finals. So, therefore, the only slot available to allow the appropriate recovery time for the players was an extra late kick-off on Saturday. Following a damaging defeat to Aston Villa last time out, Arsenal will be keen to bounce back and regain momentum in the title race. And they’ll have to recover from that loss quickly with so many games scheduled for the rest of this month. Things will get hectic for the Premier League title chasers, as after having three games in less than a week, they are cheduled to then face Tottenham away on Sunday, April 28. It means Arsenal will have been forced to play nine matches across a four-week span. Arsenal's fixture nightmare March 31: Man City 0-0 Arsenal April 3: Arsenal 2-0 Luton April 6: Brighton 0-3 Arsenal April 9: Arsenal 2-2 Bayern Munich April 14: Arsenal 0-2 Aston Villa April 17: Bayern Munich 1-0 (3-2) Arsenal April 20: Wolves (A) – 7.30pm April 23: Chelsea (H) – 8pm April 28: Tottenham (A) – 2pm Title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City have not had it easy either, with nine games scheduled in the same period. Speaking following his side’s elimination from the Champions League, Arteta discussed how his side can bounce back with another fixture coming around so quickly. He said: “What I’m going to do for sure, all the staff, all the coaching staff, is be close to the players. “I feel so grateful to be their coach and to work with them every single day. “And what they need is that we stand right next to them, give them our support, our love, and I will have to pick it up because on Saturday we have a big, big, big game. “We’re still playing for a Premier League and I would really want it. We have to show now that we are capable of turning this around.”

Why is there no 12:30pm kick-off in the Premier League this Saturday? Lunchtime football absent during packed weekend

This weekend’s Premier League action will contain just three Saturday games, with no early fixture scheduled for lunchtime. English top-flight football has seen numerous schedule changes and alterations recently as we enter the business end of the 2023/24 season. Newcastle’s thrilling 4-0 win over Tottenham kicked off last weekend’s footballGetty Elite clubs will be more stretched than ever, with the second legs of the Champions, Europa and Europa Conference League quarter-finals all held this midweek. To make matters more difficult, the FA Cup semi-finals will then take place this weekend as well. It has led to just two Premier League games scheduled for the 3pm blackout slot, with relegation-threatened Luton hosting Brentford, while Sheffield United entertain fellow strugglers Burnley. Why is there no 12:30pm kick-off this Saturday?  Put simply, there is no Saturday lunchtime kick-off in the Premier League this weekend due to no games being selected for broadcast. A key reason behind that is European and FA Cup commitments limiting TNT Sports from picking a noteworthy fixture to screen. Under the Premier League’s current broadcast deal, TNT Sports occupies the 12:30pm Saturday slot with Package A. TNT screens the rights to 52 Premier League games a season, with only three remaining to be aired this campaign as it stands. Both Manchester United, Man City, and Chelsea are involved in FA Cup semi-final action on Sunday and therefore unavailable. Liverpool will be involved in another 12:30pm KO when the schedule reverts to normalGetty Liverpool, Aston Villa, and West Ham also all played on Thursday night in Europe meaning they have to play on Sunday. Tottenham and Brighton are not involved at all, with the clubs’ respective fixtures against Man City and Chelsea postponed due to the latter’s involvement at Wembley. TNT has occasionally moved their early Saturday slot to 8pm if clubs involved have played an away Champions League game earlier that week. However, Arsenal‘s trip to Wolves, live on talkSPORT, is being shown by rival broadcasters Sky Sports from 7:30pm instead. This has resulted in only the fourth Premier League weekend of the season that TNT will not show a live match at any time. The regular Premier League schedule of lunchtime kick-offs will return for the next three Saturday lunchtimes – before the final weekend of the season sees all fixtures take place on Sunday, May 19.