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VIDEO: Adam Lallana sent off for attacking opponent during U-23 match

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England international Adam Lallana has made just six appearances for Liverpool this season due to hamstring and groin injuries, and the club is working him back slowly to ensure he makes a full recovery.

He is finally healthy and now focusing on returning to match fitness, which saw him assigned to Liverpool’s U-23 match against Tottenham on Monday. It did not go well.

Lallana, after losing out on a one-on-one aerial duel with 19-year-old defensive midfielder George Marsh, attacked Marsh by grabbing his neck from behind and shoving the top of his head down. The referee had no choice but to send Lallana to the showers in the 63rd minute after his act of petulance.

It seems that the former Southampton man was upset about the way Marsh came into the aerial challenge roughly from behind Lallana, and after a split-second to think about things while working his way up off the ground, he attacks Marsh who had moved on to follow the play.

Liverpool’s U-23 side found itself down to nine men later as 19-year-old defender George Johnston was also sent off for a second yellow card in the 87th minute. Spurs would win the match 1-0 on a goal just after halftime from Jack Roles, despite the presence of four Liverpool senior squad members, including Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke.

WATCH LIVE: Bournemouth vs. Liverpool

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Liverpool looks to pile misery on Bournemouth while increasing its Top Four stock with a visit to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The Reds can climb back into the Top Four with a win, and will do so with Sadio Mane, Danny Ings, and Dominic Solanke amongst their bench players.

Bournemouth starts Jermain Defoe, Joshua King, and Jordon Ibe amongst its attackers.

LINEUPS

Bournemouth: Begovic; Daniels, Ake, Francis, Smith, Pugh, Surman, King, L. Cook, Ibe, Defoe. Subs: Boruc, S. Cook, Gosling, Arter, Fraser, Stanislas, Afobe.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Gomez, Lovren, Klavan, Robertson, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coutinho, Salah, Firmino. Subs: Karius, Milner, Mane, Lallana, Ings, Solanke, Alexander-Arnold.

Newcastle linked with targets as Benitez begins transfer quest

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Newcastle United’s players have canceled their Christmas party, as manager Rafa Benitez admits he’s working on January gifts for the St. James’ Park set.

The Magpies have one point from their last eight matches, and face Arsenal, West Ham, and Manchester City in the run-up to the New Year, closing off a run of five matches in 16 days with Brighton and Stoke.

[ PL PREVIEW: Man City vs. Spurs ]

Benitez says he’s begun talks with managing director Lee Charnley about the January window. The team is expected to make moves whether Mike Ashley completes a reported sale of the team or not. From Sky Sports:

“At this time it is just to talk about ideas,” he said. “You might say ‘I would like to sign this player’ and someone will say ‘£40m’ – maybe it is not realistic.

“The main thing, we had this conversation, then we have to move forward quickly. I don’t know the details but at least we were talking about that. We have to progress and it is so obvious that we have to improve things.”

Newcastle has been linked with a number of notable names a few weeks from the start of the January market, including Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere, prolific Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun, as well as Liverpool’s Danny Ings and Manchester United’s Luke Shaw.

Who needs what in the final days of the window?

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What does each club need to do in the final days of the transfer window?

[ MORE: All the latest transfer news ]

We take a look below with plenty of business to be done with just three days to go.

Remember, there is a live transfer window show on NBCSN from 5 p.m. ET on Thursday as the window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET.

Let’s dig in.


Arsenal
Needs: Center back, winger – The same as each window, they need a commanding defender and/or defensive midfielder. They will likely get another winger and a striker.
Key targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton), Jean Seri (Nice)
Likely departures: Alexis Sanchez (Man City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Chelsea, Liverpool), Theo Walcott (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (West Brom)

Bournemouth
Needs: Winger – Eddie Howe‘s side have been lackluster in attack and that’s concerning. Adding an exciting winger could freshen things up.
Key targets: Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Likely departures: None

Brighton & Hove Albion
Needs: Striker, defender – Chris Hughton‘s side will be tough to break down but Hemed and Murray need help up top.
Key targets: Oumar Niasse (Everton) Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal)
Likely departures: None

Burnley
Needs: Center back, striker – James Tarkowski has slotted in well for Michael Keane but more cover at center back is necessary. A new striker would be handy too.
Key targets: Abdul Majid Waris (Lorient)
Likely departures: None

Chelsea
Needs: Central midfield, striker, winger – More depth is needed if Chelsea will challenge to win the PL and Champions League.
Key targets: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Cedric (Southampton), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Fernando Llorente (Swansea), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Ross Barkley (Everton)
Likely departures: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

Crystal Palace
Needs: Center back, striker – Frank De Boer needs new additions all over the pitch but defense is his most pressing concern.
Key targets: Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Jose Fonte (West Ham), Oumar Niasse (Everton)
Likely departures: Andros Townsend (Leicester City)

Everton
Needs: Striker, center back – Koeman has made it clear he wants a new striker but an audacious move for Diego Costa seems unlikely.
Key targets: Diego Costa (Chelsea), Nikola Vlasic (Hadjuk Split), Stefano Okaka (Watford)
Likely departures: Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos), Ross Barkley (Chelsea)

Huddersfield Town
Needs: None – A rare case of the Terriers doing all of their business early in the window.
Likely arrivals: N/A
Likely departures: N/A

Leicester City
Needs: Winger, center back – The Foxes have leaked goals early in the season, albeit against top teams, but they continue to chase Jonny Evans.
Key targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)
Likely departures: Riyad Mahrez (Chelsea, Roma), Demarai Gray (Bournemouth), Islam Slimani (Watford)

Liverpool
Needs: Center back, winger – The Reds need to strengthen their defense but a deal for van Dijk still seems unlikely.
Key targets: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)
Likely departures: Divock Origi (Monaco), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)

Manchester City
Needs: Striker, center back – Having another forward player seems excessive but who would put it past them to land Sanchez?
Key targets: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Jonny Evans (West Brom)
Likely departures: Raheem Sterling (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (West Brom)

Manchester United
Needs: Winger – All summer long Mourinho has been trying to sign one more wide player. Deals for Perisic and Bale seem a little too ambitious though, especially the way United’s wide players have started the season.
Key targets: Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Serge Aurier (PSG)
Likely departures: None

Newcastle United
Needs: Striker, winger – Rafael Benitez has tried multiple times to get deals over the line during the summer but failed. Will he have late success?
Key targets: Divock Origi (Liverpool), Danny Ings (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) Vidar Orn Kjartansson (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Likely departures: Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace), Jack Colback (Hull City)

Southampton
Needs: Striker, attacking midfielder – The Saints need a bit of pace in attack. Could former forward Walcott return to St Mary’s? It is all about keeping hold of Virgil van Dijk, even though the Dutchman has handed in a transfer request
Key targets: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Likely departures: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal)

Stoke City
Needs: Striker, midfield – Still short on options up top, Mark Hughes may look to add a loan signing on deadline day.
Key targets: Vincent Janseen (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Man City)
Likely departures: Giannelli Imbula (Torino)

Swansea City
Needs: Striker, midfielder – Seems like there is plenty of work left to do at Swansea as they aim to splash the Gylfi Sigurdsson cash.
Key targets: Wilfried Bony (Manchester City), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven)
Likely departures: Fernando Llorente (Chelsea)

Tottenham Hotspur
Needs: Right back – More competition at right back seems to be the only area where Pochettino wants to strengthen.
Key targets: Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), Juan Foyth (Estudiantes)
Likely departures: Moussa Sissoko (Inter Milan)

Watford
Needs: Left back, striker – Marco Silva wants more firepower and a new left back in the final days of the window
Key targets: Alberto Moreno (Liverpool), Islam Slimani (Leicester City)
Likely departures: Stefano Okaka (Everton, West Brom), Jerome Sinclair

West Bromwich Albion
Needs: Left back, central midfield, striker – After a strong start Tony Pulis is trying to do some wheeling and dealing in the final days with three positions the focus.
Key targets: Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Stefano Okaka (Watford) Josef de Souza (Fenerbache)
Likely departures: Nacer Chadli (Swansea City)

West Ham United
Needs: Central midfield – Hammers will try to finish off their summer of spending with a new holding midfielder
Key targets: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)
Likely departures: None

Where could Mohamed Salah slot in at Liverpool?

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Mohamed Salah is said to be close to sealing a record $49.2 million move to Liverpool from AS Roma as Jurgen Klopp continues to rebuild the Reds.

But where will Salah fit in?

[ MORE: Real on “strange” Ronaldo situation ]

With many expecting Liverpool to buy new defenders this summer (ahem, we all know how the Virgil van Dijk situation played out) Klopp is instead close to adding yet another attacking player.

Salah’s arrival is said to be for a club-record fee of $49.2 million, with the Egyptian winger also set to become the most-expensive African player in history after excelling at Roma over the past two seasons, scoring 29 goals in 65 Serie A appearances while adding 17 assists.

It’s safe to say Salah will be eager to prove himself in the PL after a disappointing debut season at Chelsea (he joined for $15 million from FC Basel in January 2014) which then saw him shipped out on loan to Fiorentina and Roma before joining the latter permanently in the summer of 2016. At 25 years old he is entering his prime and with Liverpool having a UEFA Champions League qualifier to negotiate, they’ll have plenty of games to give everyone minutes this season.

With Liverpool having Sadio Mane on one wing, potentially Salah on the other and Philippe Coutinho underneath Roberto Firmino, the obvious odd-man out here is Adam Lallana. Will the England international, who shone for the first half of last season, suddenly move down the pecking order at Liverpool? If Klopp switches to a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2- formation it could slot everyone in, but then that would mean Salah or Lallana playing in wing-back roles, which won’t get the best out of their attacking talents.

Salah’s best talents include dribbling, finishing and crossing and those talents should link up well with the extreme pace of Mane and the trickery of Coutinho in-behind Firmino. Salah is quick too, but he’s not Mane quick.

It will be intriguing to see how this all slots together, but with Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum occupying the two central spots, Salah’s imminent arrival certainly congests the forward areas, especially when you consider that Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Danny Ings will all be fighting for a role next season.

Here’s a look at how Liverpool could line up after Salah’s arrival.


—– Mignolet —–

—- Clyne —- Lovren —- Matip —- Milner —-

—– Henderson —– Wijnaldum —–

—- Salah —- Coutinho —- Mane —-

—— Firmino —— 


The lineup above looks like the most balanced and obvious way Salah will slot into the team because, let’s face it, if you spend a club-record fee on a player who has been ripping it up in Serie A then you obviously want him to become an integral part of your team.

Below is another way Salah could slot in to the starting lineup at Liverpool with Lallana also handed a spot as Klopp could somehow shoehorn all of his top attacking talents into the same lineup. It would be risky, but the German coach has always been a huge proponent of attack being the best form of defense. Plus, everyone loves a 3-4-3 these days…


—– Mignolet —-

—- Klavan —- Matip —- Lovren —-

 Salah — H’son — Wijnaldum — Lallana

—- Coutinho —- Firmino —- Mane —-