Xherdan Shaqiri will not play for Liverpool at Red Star Belgrade in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday.
Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have decided against Shaqiri traveling with the squad due to the reception he may get in Serbia’s capital city due to his Kosvan-Albanian heritage. Serbia doesn’t recognize its former province Kosovo, where Shaqiri was born, as an independent state.
With reports that Shaqiri would be the subject of protests in Belgrade, it has been decided he will not travel.
“We have heard and read the speculation and talk about what kind of reception Shaq would receive and although we have no idea what would happen, we want to go there and be focused 100 per cent on football and not have to think about anything else, that’s all,” Klopp said. “We are Liverpool FC, a big club, a football team but we don’t have any message further than that. We have no political message, absolutely not. We want the focus to be on a great game of football, free from anything else.
“We are keen to be respectful and keen to avoid any distractions that would take focus away from a 90-minute-plus contest that is important for football and only football. So for that reason, Shaq is not involved and he accepts and understands this. Shaq is our player, we love him, and he will play for us a lot of times, but not on Tuesday.”
20. Huddersfield Town — The Terriers have two goals in their last six matches, with Fulham up next; If Huddersfield doesn’t score this weekend, it should be relegated now. Last week: 20 Season high: 18 Season low: 20
19. Fulham *New season low* —Have taken zero points since beating Millwall in the League Cup, and will find themselves in serious trouble if they cannot manage a result at Huddersfield Town. Last week: 18 Season high: 11 Season low: 19
18. Newcastle United — Back-to-back visits from Watford and Bournemouth before a trip to Burnley. Yes, the first two are doing well this season, but the Magpies really need to find at least four points from those three fixtures. Last week: 19 Season high: 13 Season low: 19
17. Burnley — A bit of relief following a combined 9-0 scoreline in losses to Man City and Chelsea, with a visit to West Ham. The claret vs. claret match-up will tell us whether Burnley fans should be nervous. Last week: 17 Season high: 13 Season low: 20
16. Cardiff City — Probably somewhere in between their 4-2 defeat of Fulham and 4-1 loss to Liverpool, and could use a point from grieving Leicester City’s visit. Last week: 16 Season high: 16 Season low: 20
15. Southampton — Looked stout against Newcastle, but still struggling to find the recipe for danger up front despite plenty of opportunities to open up the Magpies. Last week: 14 Season high: 13 Season low: 17
14. Crystal Palace — A fortunate draw at Arsenal moves the Eagles up ahead of a murderous run: at Chelsea, home Spurs, at Manchester United. Last week: 15 Season high: 6 Season low: 15
13. West Ham United — Probably deserved all three points against Leicester after a gutsy performance with 10 men. Six points from their next two — home to Burnley, away to Huddersfield — would put them in a position befitting their team. Last week: 13
Season high: 9
Season low: 20
12. Wolves — Losses to Watford and Brighton have us scratching our heads. Will Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men refind their rhythm as giant killers with Spurs and Arsenal next? Last week: 10 Season high: 5 Season low: 13
10. Brighton and Hove Albion — Three-straight gutsy, 1-0 wins have the Seagulls well-positioned for a mid-table run. It wouldn’t be crazy to see Chris Hughton‘s men get 12-14 points from its next 18. Last week: 11 Season high: 9 Season low: 19
9. Everton — Rebounding from the loss to Manchester United against in-form Brighton is necessary. Last week: 8 Season high: 5 Season low: 13
8. Watford — Steady again with back-to-back wins, will the Hornets show consistency with a visit to punchless Newcastle United? Last week: 9 Season high: 4 Season low: 14
7. Bournemouth — There’s a chance for the Cherries to possibly join the Top Five if they can pass their first big litmus test in some time: a visit from Manchester United. Last week: 7 Season high: 6 Season low: 12
6. Manchester United — Have scored multiple goals in three successive matches, and can feel better about life with a win at in-form Bournemouth. Last week: 6 Season high: 4 Season low: 14
5. Spurs — The 1-0 loss to Man City at Wembley was ugly in a few ways, but can easily be written off if Spurs can get right back to winning ways against Wolves. Last week: 4 Season high: 3 Season low: 8
4. Arsenal — Deserved a win at Palace if not for Granit Xhaka‘s silly conceded penalty. How it fares against Liverpool will tell us a lot about Unai Emery‘s new era. Last week: 2 Season high: 2 Season low: 9
3. Chelsea — Still unbeaten and well-rested ahead of a visit from Crystal Palace (who also kept their best players rested at midweek). Last week: 5 Season high: 1 Season low: 5
2. Liverpool — Well, here you go, Reds: A match against Arsenal and the chance to make a real statement against a club which hasn’t lost in 14 outings. Last week: 3 Season high: 1 Season low: 4
1. Man City — Could’ve netted three, four, five, maybe six against Spurs on the dodgy pitch at Wembley, but picked up the 1-0 win on a day it was far from its best. Last week: 1 Season high: 1 Season low: 2
Arsenal’s run of wins ended at 11 games in all competitions, as the Gunners drew 2-2 at Crystal Palace, on Sunday.
Unai Emery‘s men launched yet another second half comeback after Luka Milivojevic’s penalty kick gave Palace the lead right on half time.
Granit Xhaka‘s fine free kick and a controversial effort from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the space of five second half minutes looked to have given Arsenal yet another win. But Xhaka’s foul on Wilfried Zaha late on gave Palace another spot kick and Milivojevic grabbed the Eagles a point.
With the draw the Gunners have 22 points for the season, while Roy Hodgson‘s Palace remain without a win at home (but at least scored their first home goals of the season) and have moved onto eight points.
At the other end Arsenal had two chances in quick succession as Lacazette shot wide and then Hector Bellerin had a shot blocked. Before the break Jordan Ayew went down in the box after a tackle from Shkodran Mustafi but no penalty kick was given.
Moments later Palace were awarded a penalty as Mustafi lunged in on Cheikhou Kouyate and Milivojevic stepped up to score and put the Eagles 1-0 up in first half stoppage time.
At the start of the second half Arsenal drew level as Xhaka thundered home a fabulous free kick from a tight angle to make it 1-1.
Five minutes later the Gunners were 2-1 up in controversial fashion. A corner was flicked on by Lacazette at the near post, but he appeared to flick the ball with his hand as he was shoved by a Palace defender. The ball then found Aubameyang at the back post and he prodded home to make it 2-1.