In Brief

Today’s back pages: ‘No excuses’ for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Russia is banned after ‘biggest sports scandal ever’

A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 10 December

Klopp prepared for ‘final’ 

Champions League holders Liverpool head to Red Bull Salzburg tonight needing a point to ensure qualification to the last 16. 

The Reds are currently leading group E with ten points so a win in Austria will confirm them the top spot.

Leading the Premier League by eight points, Jurgen Klopp’s men are in the middle of a run of eight games in 26 days in December. 

Not only do they harbour Premier League and Champions League ambitions but will also go to Qatar this month to compete in the Fifa Club World Cup. 

Klopp says there are “no excuses” for his team, Metro reports, and he will not accept any drop-off during Liverpool’s crunch spell. The Guardian also quotes the German who adds that the Reds will “go for everything”.

Speaking ahead of the crunch clash in Austria, Klopp said: “Everybody knows it’s a final and we’re prepared for that - Salzburg has to win against us. 

“We are not a typical Champions League winner, we’re still ambitious like crazy, we will go for everything and run for our lives. It’s not that I expect us to go through, I expect us to play the best game we can play.”

On Liverpool’s busy run of fixtures, he added: “I don’t expect drops and if I expected they would happen then I would prepare the solution then. Yes, it is difficult of course, but it is the job to do so we don’t ask for excuses. 

“We know our schedule, we know where we have to go – we played three days ago a tough game, six days ago a very tough game, in four days a very tough game and then we fly to Qatar. That’s all true, but we don’t expect drops, we don’t accept drops.”

Chelsea also play tonight and need to beat Lille at Stamford Bridge to progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

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Russia banned for doping scandal

Russia has been accused of the “biggest sports scandal the world has ever seen”, the Daily Express reports, after the nation was banned for four years from all major sporting events.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) unanimously endorsed the recommendation made that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared “non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for a period of four years”.

The four-year sanction will see Russia banned from events including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

Despite the punishment, critics claim the doping ban “does not go far enough”, i Sport reports. 

Today’s newspaper back pages

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