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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Klopp backs Ox' to shine

(l-r) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain. Photo: Getty Images
(l-r) Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain. Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has backed Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to shine on his return to Arsenal's Emirates Stadium tomorrow night.

The England midfielder, who scored nine times in 132 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, switched to Liverpool in August on transfer deadline day.

He is set to go up against his old club in Premier League action tomorrow night. And Klopp said of the 24-year-old ahead of the game: "I think the biggest improvement, or the biggest potential he still has, is really being involved in goalscoring situations, because he has it in himself. It is unbelievable. But he was not asked for this too much I think in the past."

Klopp has also described Arsene Wenger's men as a "complete football team" capable of changing styles, who, against his side, have "quite often...played a lot of long balls". Klopp said: "Against us most of the time Giroud played from the beginning, so that says a little bit about the style of Arsenal they have chosen against us very often.

"They are a complete football team, able to do everything. They can switch and change styles.

"Against us it happened quite often that they played a lot of long balls, with Giroud. But he cannot play (due to a hamstring injury) and that will change a few things maybe.

"But they are able to create, they are able to play football. They will have a strong side, whoever will play."

Daniel Sturridge (illness and hamstring) and Joel Matip (adductor) remain doubts for Liverpool, while Alberto Moreno (ankle) is still out.

Meanwhile, Jack Wilshere - who is set to face Liverpool tomorrow- believes he can earn a spot in Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad after proving he can still cut it in the Premier League.

The 25-year-old Arsenal midfielder has suffered a torrid time with injury over the past three years and spent last season out on loan at Bournemouth.

He returned to the Emirates Stadium in the summer and, having shone in his Europa League outings, Wilshere has now earned a place in Arsene Wenger's Premier League side.

Wilshere's contract expires at the end of the season and he can talk to foreign clubs from his birthday on January 1.

He has been insistent for some time that he wants to remain at Arsenal, with Wenger revealing recently that contract talks would begin at the end of December.

Wilshere has not been capped by England since the shock 2-1 defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016, with Southgate wanting his squad to consist of players who are regulars in the Premier League.

Now Wilshere has broken into Arsenal's Premier League line-up, he feels he can push for a place on England's plane to Russia. "I think so," he said when asked if his recent performances can be a platform to a World Cup spot.

"I think I have proved to myself that I can play in the Premier League, I trust my body again and I am confident going into games that I can affect them.

"That is all I can do, I can have a positive affect on this team and then we will see if the England manager picks me."

Wilshere again stressed his hopes of penning a new deal at Arsenal in the coming weeks, having come up through the ranks with the club. "This is where I want to be, this is where I see myself in the future," he said.

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