On Thursday evening the January transfer window will close, leaving clubs up and down the country to compete until the end of the season with the squads they hold as the clock strikes not-quite-midnight. In the aftermath of Liverpool’s FA Cup elimination at the hands of Oldham, it will be clear to Brendan Rodgers how many and exactly what amendments will need to be made to his own squad list.On Sunday, Rodgers’ men were outplayed, outfought and – most worryingly – outwitted by Oldham Athletic. The Liverpool manager, of course, should be held as accountable for this woeful display as his players.Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing. However, the imbalance and immaturity in Liverpool’s starting eleven was identifiable before a ball had even been kicked at Boundary Park. A defence including 19-year-old full-backs Jack Robinson and Andre Wisdom as well as 22-year-old Sebastian Coates were troubled time and again by The Latics’ combination of brooding striker Matt Smith and the diminutive – yet threatening – playmaker, Jose Baxter.
Jose Enrique will miss out due to an ongoing hamstring injury meaning that Glen Johnson will probbaly continue his shift at left-back with Andre Wisdom expected to fill in at right-back. Fabio Borini came on as a substitute against Manchester United last week - his first appearance since fracturing a bone in his foot back in October. Another Liverpool striker that made an appearance from the bench last week was recent £12m signing, Daniel Sturridge. The England international is expected to make his first league start for the club after scoring twice in his first two games.
Norwich will be boosted by the return of three key players in the form of Grant Holt, Jonny Howson and Andrew Surman. However, striker Steve Morison and defender Steven Whittaker are expected to miss out with knee and hip injuries respectively.
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Tottenham Hotspur have agreed a deal that will take Schalke midfielder Lewis Holtby to the club in July.
Tottenham released the following statement on their website earlier today: "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Germany Under-21 captain Lewis Holtby to join the club in July from Bundesliga side Schalke, subject to a medical."
Holtby, 22 , will continue to play for Schalke until his contract expires at the end of the season. The versatile midfielder has scored 11 goals in 75 appearances for Schalke and has also been recognized by the senior Germany side with 3 international caps to his name.
Tottenham's assistant manger, Steffan Freund, spoke yesterday on the possibility of Holtby joining a Premier League side: "For Lewis, it will not be a problem. He is half-English, he loves the Premier League.
"He is captain of the Under-21s for Germany, he will lead them at the European Championships in Isreal.
"I worked for under-16s and under-17s for the last three years, that is why I don't know him really well but what I can say is that he is a really good player."
AC Milan midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng lead his team off the pitch in protest after being the subject of racist abuse in a friendly with fourth division side Pro Patria earlier today. The match was abandoned after 26 minutes when Boateng reacted to the taunts by picking up the ball and smashing it towards the section of Pro Patria supporters who were making the offensive noises. The Ghanaian then proceeded to remove his jersey and leave the field despite attempts from Pro Patria's players to calm him down.
Prior to Boateng taking matters into his own hands, the Pro Patria players had twice asked their fans to stop and there had also be an appeal made by the public address announcer as Milan players Sulley Muntari, Urby Emanuelson and M'Baye Niang were also subjected to the abuse.
Boateng later tweeted: "Shame that these things still happen... #StopRacismforever"
Milan's coach, Massimiliano Allegri, commented: "We are disappointed and saddened by what has happened.
"Milan play for the right to respect all players. We need to stop these uncivilized gestures.