Barkley returns for England, ready to live up to hopes

The midfielder's claims for an England recall were pushed by the Italian manager, who said after Sunday's game he expected the Liverpool-born player to become "very important for the England national team".

The German marked the anniversary of his appointment on Merseyside in October 2015 on Monday, during which time he's taken the reins of the Reds 166 times and firmly established them as a powerful force at home and overseas once again. "We know that. To underline our progress and development, we have to", he continued.

You can see over the past couple of years that England have produced some unbelievable players in the youth system and have won trophies, and I was a part of that with the U17s way back in 2010.

"As I said in my first press conference here, if anybody thinks that I can perform wonders, then it could become really hard in the future, because I can't".

With Southgate still desperate to find a player capable of unlocking defences at the highest level, Barkley's return to form could not have come at a better time, particularly with regulars Dele Alli and Jesse Lingard missing through injury.

But after losing on his three previous visits to Anfield as City boss, Guardiola took the positives from taking a point from one of the few venues the champions were defeated last season. Running in these transitions there is no one better.

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"I feel I'm better equipped now".

"We're trying to compete with City, and I look and they've got (Kevin) De Bruyne and (David) Silva in there. Pretty much all of my players work like machines too, so I have actually what I wanted".

Klopp does not rate leading Liverpool to three finals as big achievements because the Reds lost them. "I like their football but I've got a slight doubt about them". I don't know. I think that if you behave decently then nothing will happen to you. I really do believe that.

"If somebody would have told me after eight match days you have 20 points, I would say with that fixture list 'I'll buy it, let's start with the ninth match day!'".

"We need a bit more quality in midfield, I think".

  • Lawrence Cooper