Trent Alexander-Arnold has admitted he has "always dreamed" of captaining Liverpool and cannot see himself playing for another club.

The 21-year-old is in line to make his 100th appearance for the club in Saturday's Premier League trip to Aston Villa, a little over three years on from making his senior debut.

He has gone on to become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp's plans and was named on the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or following an impressive 12 months.

But ahead of a potential milestone outing for his boyhood club, Alexander-Arnold has another personal ambition to achieve.

"I am not shy in saying that [being captain] is a dream for me," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "Whether it comes true or not is not up to me - I don't pick who is captain.

"But that is something I would love to do one day. Captaining Liverpool is something I have always dreamed of and it is something that motivates me.

"I have always been a Liverpool player, Liverpool has always been my home. I have never thought about changing clubs.

"I always thought Liverpool was destined to be my club. When I grew up, the dream was always to play for Liverpool. Now I am living the dream and I can't see that changing."

Alexander-Arnold became the youngest player to start two consecutive Champions League finals when Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in June.

And the England international has thanked boss Klopp for making him the player he is.

"He is someone who really made me who I am today," he said. "He has pushed me to get better on a day-to-day basis. He has given me so many opportunities, I could never repay him."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain admitted he struggled to keep his emotions in check after scoring against former side Arsenal in Liverpool's incredible EFL Cup victory.

The 26-year-old fired a dipping long-range strike past Emiliano Martinez in Wednesday's 5-5 draw, which Liverpool went on to win on penalties to reach the quarter-finals.

It was Oxlade-Chamberlain's sixth start of the season and his first goal against the club he represented for six years before leaving in 2017, but one he felt unable to celebrate.

"It was a pretty good goal, so it was really hard to keep the celebrations in but that is always something that I knew I would do against my former club," he said.

"I always want to show a lot of respect for Arsenal and what they did for me and the times I had there. I didn't want to celebrate but it was a tough one to hold in. I wanted to take my shirt off and go mad!"

Oxlade-Chamberlain scored three goals in quick succession following his Champions League brace against Genk eight days ago.

Despite hitting form in front of goal, however, the England international has acknowledged he was far from his best against Arsenal.

"I have just tried to run a bit more and get in behind and tried to get my legs going a bit more," he said.

"Quality-wise, I am not too happy with my performance to be honest. I wasn't great on the ball and not near my own personal level of where I want to be. 

"I need to keep pushing myself and maybe I will get a chance. It is nice to get a goal as well which has ultimately helped us in the game."

Liverpool will face Aston Villa in the last eight of the EFL Cup and are top of the Premier League after 10 matches, six points better off than Manchester City.

The Reds have lost one of their 16 matches in all competitions this term, and right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has called on his team-mates to maintain their consistency.

"Relentlessness is probably the main word in and around the camp at the minute," he told Sky Sports News.

"We want to keep winning games, gathering as many points as possible and winning more trophies.

"You can't do that without being consistent in tournaments and over the league campaign - and that's what we want to be, consistent.

"We saw last season that getting a big haul of points wasn't enough so we still need to pick up as many points as possible."

Manchester United have been granted a golden chance to advance to the EFL Cup's semi-finals after being drawn against fourth-tier Colchester United in the last eight.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won 2-1 against Chelsea on Wednesday and will now host the lowest-ranked team left in the competition.

Manchester City, comfortable 3-1 winners against Southampton in the last round, have a similarly promising path into the final four as Pep Guardiola's men seek to secure the trophy for the third successive season.

The holders are set to visit Oxford United, who sit fifth in League One, at Kassam Stadium.

The other two ties are both all-Premier League clashes.

Liverpool were drawn away to Aston Villa following a see-sawing shoot-out triumph over Arsenal, while Everton and the under-pressure Marco Silva will welcome high-flying Leicester City to Goodison Park.

Each of the four quarter-final ties are scheduled to take place in the week beginning December 16.

European champions Liverpool are simultaneously due to be in Qatar for the Club World Cup, further complicating an already congested fixture list.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp threatened to boycott the next stage of the EFL Cup if an appropriate solution to the logjam cannot be found.

"If they don't find an appropriate place for us, not 03:00am on Christmas Day, then we don't play it," Klopp said after the Arsenal encounter, which ended level at 5-5 after 90 minutes.

"They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things."

EFL Cup quarter-final draw in full: 

Oxford United v Manchester City
Manchester United v Colchester United
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Everton v Leicester City

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham may have been humiliated 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but he is a target for the German giants.

With Niko Kovac overseeing an inconsistent start to the season in Munich, Bayern are reportedly willing to move on from the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss.

That could open the door for Pochettino, whose Tottenham have struggled to reach the heights of last season following their memorable run to the Champions League final.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN CONSIDER POCH

Bayern Munich are considering Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino as a replacement for Niko Kovac, according to Sport1.

Kovac has found himself under increasing criticism following Bayern's inconsistent start to the season.

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag – who previously worked with Bayern's reserve team – has also been linked, but sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has reportedly identified Pochettino as the man to replace Kovac should he depart.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Mundo Deportivo, Atletico Madrid are eyeing Napoli's Faouzi Ghoulam. The left-back is out of favour and set to leave the Serie A outfit in January.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are keen to sign Borussia Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek and Juventus midfielder Emre Can, claims Soccerlink. Piszczek's contract expires at the end of the season, while Can is reportedly eager to leave after being left out of Juve's Champions League squad.

- Sport Bild says Liverpool have joined the race to sign Valencia sensation Ferran Torres. The 19-year-old winger has attracted interest from Dortmund and Barcelona.

Arkadiusz Milik has agreed a contract extension with Napoli, reports Calciomercato. The Poland international's current deal runs out in 2021.

- Former AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso is favourite to take charge of Udinese. It comes as Sky Sport Italia, Tuttomercatoweb and La Gazzetta dello Sport claim Igor Tudor's position is being considered after consecutive 7-1 and 4-0 routs in Serie A.

Dortmund have set their sights on Hertha Berlin's Javairo Dilrosun, according to Bild. As the German side reportedly prepare for life without Jadon Sancho amid ongoing links to Manchester United, former Manchester City youth-team player Dilrosun is on their radar.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp warned the Reds might have to pull out of the EFL Cup if their quarter-final tie is not suitably scheduled.

Klopp's Liverpool overcame a wild clash with Arsenal at Anfield, where the European champions prevailed 5-4 on penalties following a remarkable 5-5 draw on Wednesday.

Liverpool twice came from behind against Arsenal in a stunning comeback on Merseyside, but Klopp quickly threw his team's quarter-final participation in doubt afterwards.

Champions League holders Liverpool are due to feature at the Club World Cup, which will be held between December 17-21 in Qatar – the same week the EFL Cup quarters are scheduled to take place.

"We will not be the victim of this problem," Klopp told reporters post-game midweek. "We play tonight, we wanted to win it, we did that, and if they don't find a proper date for us, then we cannot play the next round and whoever is our opponent will go through. Or Arsenal play them.

"I'm not concerned, somebody else has to be concerned because we didn't make the fixture list, we didn't make the schedule.

"I've said it already, FIFA told us the Club World Cup will be there [Qatar] and we have to come there and we will do. The Premier League tells us we have to play in the Premier League, which we do obviously.

"The Carabao Cup, what we did tonight, if they don't find an appropriate place for us, not 3am on Christmas Day, then we don't play it. They have to make that decision. You have to think about these things.

"If you have a fixture list where one team cannot be part of all the games, then you have to think about the fixture list. Hopefully it starts now. I really think that's fair, and this problem is obvious now.

"We are going to ignore that problem completely for tonight. A lot of people from the Premier League were sitting in front of the television hoping that Arsenal can do it. But, I'm sorry."

Jurgen Klopp hailed the performance of his young players as "wonderful" after he made 11 changes to his team and saw Liverpool beat Arsenal in a penalty shoot-out following a 5-5 EFL Cup draw at Anfield.

The Reds twice came from behind to take the match to penalties and teenage midfielder Curtis Jones scored the winning goal in the shoot-out.

Harvey Elliott became the youngest player to appear for Liverpool at Anfield and Klopp handed a senior debut to full-back Neco Williams on a night he felt his young charges would never forget.

"What I wished for the boys is that they have a game to remember and that's what happened," the Liverpool boss told Sky Sports.

"A lot of people see the line-up and assume that we don't take the competition seriously but we cannot do it differently - we have to make a lot of changes - but we only make these changes because we trust the boys.

"What they did tonight, how they played, I loved it really."

Klopp picked out Williams for praise after he provided the cross for Divock Origi to score Liverpool's fifth goal and also hailed the performance of 20-year-old goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher despite Arsenal beating him five times.

Kelleher saved Dani Ceballos' penalty to ensure Liverpool clinched their place in the quarter-finals, and Klopp waxed lyrical about the importance of "being a hero on a night like tonight".

"Caoimhin, who conceded five, yes, but he is an outstanding talent," he said.

"Neco, crossing for Div [Origi], when three weeks ago he would never have thought he would start.

"Curtis Jones, it was not my decision at the end that he takes the last one. Div and Curtis changed it because when I saw the list the last time Div was taking the last one!

"The boys will remember it forever and that's the best thing you can say about a football game."

Jones replaced Naby Keita who appeared to be clutching his ankle after 55 minutes.

Klopp provided an update on the Guinea international's condition, saying: "If Naby's injury is not so serious, which I hope, then it was a nearly perfect night.

"He felt [his ankle] a little bit. I saw it, he slipped when he lost the ball. He slipped away, I saw him limping afterwards and that's why we did it."

Arsenal twice squandered the lead as they were dumped out of the EFL Cup by Liverpool on penalties after a remarkable 5-5 draw at Anfield.

Under-pressure Gunners boss Unai Emery needed a positive result to lift the gloom around Arsenal after they let slip a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace, but Jurgen Klopp's irrepressible young Reds prevailed.

Shkodran Mustafi's own goal and James Milner's penalty bookended a Lucas Torreira strike and Gabriel Martinelli's double in a first half characterised by defensive errors and gung-ho attacking.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles extended Arsenal's 3-2 interval lead before strikes from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi levelled the contest, only for Joe Willock to put Arsenal back in front with a wonderful solo effort 20 minutes from time.

But Origi penetrated Arsenal's porous defence again to take the game to penalties, and Dani Ceballos had his spot-kick saved as Liverpool clinched a place in the quarter-finals at the expense of their beleaguered visitors.

Granit Xhaka is absent from Arsenal's squad to face Liverpool in the EFL Cup on Wednesday following his confrontation with supporters on Sunday, but Mesut Ozil returns to the team and Harvey Elliott is set to make history for the Reds.

Xhaka was withdrawn during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace and was widely jeered by the home support as he made his way off the pitch, sparking a reaction from the midfielder.

The Gunners captain sarcastically encouraged the boos, appeared to yell an expletive at the crowd and then angrily removed his jersey on his way down the tunnel.

Coach Unai Emery said the much-maligned Swiss midfielder was "wrong" but has not confirmed whether Xhaka will remain as captain or not. Hector Bellerin will wear the armband in his absence on Wednesday night.

Emery has taken the opportunity to rotate his squad, handing rare starts to Ozil and Lucas Torreira.

For the hosts, Elliott will become the youngest ever player to feature for Liverpool at Anfield after being named in the starting XI at 16 years and 209 days old.

The winger – who became the Premier League's youngest ever player last season with Fulham – featured prominently in pre-season and regularly trained with the Reds' first team.

He made his competitive Liverpool debut in a 2-0 win over MK Dons in the previous round of the competition, playing the full 90 minutes.

As was the case on that occasion, Elliott is part of a youthful starting XI, with the England youth international joined by Rhian Brewster, Neco Williams, Sepp van den Berg and Caoimhin Kelleher, while Yasser Larouci, Curtis Jones, Pedro Chirivella, Billy Koumetio and Leighton Clarkson are all on the bench.

Kylian Mbappe is the star attraction of the latest Team of the Week on FIFA Ultimate Team after he scored twice for Paris Saint-Germain in the 4-0 Classique win over Marseille on Sunday.

Although the Frenchman has had an injury-hit start to the season, he has still managed to net eight goals in nine appearances across all competitions, with PSG looking sharp.

He is not joined in the team by Jamie Vardy, however. The striker scored a hat-trick as Leicester City equalled the record for the biggest Premier League win when they demolished Southampton 9-0 on Friday.

Instead of the English forward, his Leicester team-mate Ayoze Perez – who also netted a treble – gets the nod, though he only takes a place among the substitutes, with Ben Chilwell the only Foxes star in the starting XI.

Below, we have the full squad of in-form cards that are now up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Matz Sels (Strasbourg) – 82

CB: Domagoj Vida (Besiktas) – 83

CB: Nicolas Nkoulou (Torino) – 84

LB: Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) – 82

RM: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen) – 84

CM: Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – 86

CDM: Fabinho (Liverpool) – 86

LW: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 90

CAM: Yusuf Yazici (Lille) – 82

ST: Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC) – 85

ST: Josip Ilicic (Atalanta) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Gabriel (Lecce) – 81

CB: Bernardo Espinosa (Espanyol) – 81

LM: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – 82

CAM: Calvin Stengs (AZ) – 81

RW: Ayoze Perez (Leicester City) – 82

ST: Karl Toko-Ekambi (Villarreal) – 82

ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) – 82

RESERVES

CAM: Zelimkhan Bakaev (Spartak Moscow) – 78

RM: Maicol Balanta (Independiente Santa Fe) – 75

LM: Amahl Pellegrino (Kristiansund) – 72

ST: Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba (Al Ain) – 79

ST: Eoin Doyle (Swindon Town) – 73

Lionel Messi will be hoping to dethrone Cristiano Ronaldo at the Globe Soccer Awards after both were named among the nominees for the Best Men's Player for 2019.

Virgil van Dijk and Liverpool team-mates Alisson, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are also up for the annual honour, which is to be presented in Dubai on December 29.

Bernardo Silva, part of the Manchester City side largely snubbed at the FIFA Best awards, rounds out the seven-man field.

Juventus forward and five-time winner Ronaldo claimed the main prize for the third consecutive year in 2018.

Barcelona superstar Messi has won it once, in 2015.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan headline the contenders for the Best Women's Player title.

Lyon trio Amandine Henry, Lucy Bronze and Ada Hegerberg are all shortlisted and the French outfit have been nominated for Best Club, alongside Liverpool and Ajax.

Jurgen Klopp, Erik ten Hag, Fernando Santos and Djamel Belmadi, who guided Algeria to victory at the Africa Cup of Nations, are in contention to succeed Didier Deschamps as Best Coach, as is former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri.

Other award categories include Best Agent, Best Sporting Director and Best Revelation, designed to recognise emerging players.

Inter's Antonio Conte, ex-England manager Fabio Capello and Portugal legend Luis Figo form part of the judging panel.

Jurgen Klopp has hailed Trent Alexander-Arnold as the perfect example of how Liverpool's "hungry" youngsters can become first-team regulars.

Alexander-Arnold made his 99th appearance for Liverpool in Sunday's 2-1 win against Tottenham, almost three years to the day since being handed his senior debut against the same opponents in an EFL Cup fourth-round tie.

The England international has gone on to become an integral part of Klopp's plans and was this month named on the 30-man shortlist for the 2019 Ballon d'Or.

"The reason he has achieved this in such a short space of time, one of the four youngest in LFC history I believe, isn't just because he has amazing ability," Klopp told Liverpool's matchday programme.

"It is because of how he has handled himself, taken his chances and dealt with setbacks and difficulties. 

"There won't be a player in our current first-team squad who hasn't faced these challenges at a young age. It is the job of all us to help them and nurture them and give them an environment to grow, develop and flourish. I am confident we are doing this."

Klopp gave competitive debuts to three players in Liverpool's EFL Cup win at MK Dons last month and has hinted he could turn to the youngsters again for Wednesday's last-16 tie with Arsenal.

Caoimhin Kelleher, Ki-Jana Hoever, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Rhian Brewster all started the 2-0 win in Milton Keynes, while Herbie Kane, Pedro Chirivella and Sepp van den Berg came off the bench.

"Although not certain, the strong likelihood is that a number of our younger players will feature in some capacity," Klopp said.

"The attitude the players showed in the last round is exactly what will be required, if again given the opportunity. 

"They show the right attitude and the perfect amount of hunger each and every day they train with us at Melwood.

"They show us, in their actions, that they understand what an immense privilege it is to represent a club like Liverpool – it's an honour all of us blessed to work here feel.

"Clearly the ability of these players is not in question. It is their talent that has brought them here and kept them here. At this stage of their careers it is about a variety of other factors – and being ready to grasp an opportunity is a big part of it."

Juventus are not resting on their laurels.

Despite their domestic dominance, Juve are craving European glory as they eye a first Champions League crown since 1995.

So much so that they have three Premier League stars on their mind.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE WATCH SALAH, SON & ERIKSEN

Juventus scouts watched Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Tottenham, according to Tuttosport.

Seeking a ninth successive Scudetto, Serie A champions Juve are prepared to spend heavily in pursuit of Champions League glory.

With money no obstacle as they reap the benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's presence, Liverpool star Salah and Tottenham duo Son and Eriksen are reportedly on Juve's list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Jose Mourinho wants to become the first manager to win major trophies with three English clubs as the former Manchester United boss is linked to Arsenal. Gunners head coach Unai Emery is under pressure at the Emirates Stadium amid growing fan frustration.

Manchester United are hopeful of completing a deal for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in January, reports Soccerlink. With Dembele's future uncertain, Lyon are lining up Chelsea's Olivier Giroud.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United's name has again been thrown into the mix for Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old Italy international is fast becoming one of the most sought-after players in Europe, attracting interest from Juventus, Manchester City and Inter. Now, The Suns says United are weigning up a £40million move for Tonali after sending scouts to watch him once more.

- Calciomercato claims Napoli are considering a January move for Benfica full-back Alejandro Grimaldo. The 24-year-old Spaniard has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona.

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a deal to sign Strasbourg's Ibrahima Sissoko. The 21-year-old French midfielder is poised to make the switch when the transfer window opens in January.

Mesut Ozil could go from being an Arsenal first-team outcast to captain of the side that takes on Premier League leaders Liverpool on Wednesday.

Manager Unai Emery revealed German midfielder Ozil is in contention to lead out the Gunners for the EFL Cup match at Anfield after crunch talks to determine his commitment.

The 31-year-old has made just two appearances this season, starting the Premier League draw at Watford and the EFL Cup win against Nottingham Forest in September.

Ozil has been linked with a move away from Emirates Stadium; however, he is reportedly the highest-earning player at the club, and cannot join another club until January.

Talks between manager and player on Tuesday appear to have been fruitful, according to Emery.

"He's in the group so he has a chance to play," said Emery. "We have had this morning a very good conversation, Mesut and me, and I said to him I haven't changed my idea about him.

"He knows what I want from him because it's the same as last season in the first day of pre-season training when we had a conversation. It's the same as one month ago and in that way, some circumstances weren't helping us in every moment to be consistent or available to play.

"But I will say I think the last weeks he has progressively been training well and adding his spirit to help us.

"For example, our conversation this morning was because I wanted to listen to him about how he's thinking now to help us and be with us tomorrow. Then if we are in the same spirit and the same idea, to play. It was a very good conversation and tomorrow he’s in the group."

Asked whether Ozil could be the captain of the team to take on Jurgen Klopp's Reds, given Granit Xhaka will be rested, Emery said: "It depends. He could be, yes."

Emery explained: "We need his quality, his skill and his consistency. We need his positive mentality and then he will help us on the pitch. That's the next step. I think he's done the steps before, and now I want the steps like in pre-season and one month ago to help us on the pitch."

A lack of discipline at Arsenal could be to blame for Granit Xhaka's outburst towards Gunners fans on Sunday, a situation that is unlikely to unfold at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, according to assistant Pep Lijnders.

Arsenal captain Xhaka was substituted in the second half of their 2-2 draw at home to Crystal Palace and, after hearing ironic cheers from the stands, the midfielder reacted.

Xhaka seemed to sarcastically encourage the crowd and those cheers swiftly turned to boos, with the Switzerland international subsequently cupping his ear and appearing to aim expletives in the direction of supporters before taking his shirt off and heading down the tunnel.

Fans and former Arsenal players have widely condemned Xhaka's actions despite him being a regular target of supporters, though Unai Emery refused to make clear if he will retain the captaincy at a press conference on Tuesday.

But Lijnders – addressing the media in Klopp's place ahead of Wednesday's EFL Cup clash with Arsenal – finds it difficult to imagine such a scenario unfolding at Anfield due to the characters in the squad.

"In life in general, in the football club, good relationships are best to evolve a club or to evolve a team," Lijnders told reporters.

"As we say at Liverpool, it's about the three things, the 'holy trinity' we call it. It's the fans, the manager and the squad.

"These three have to be really connected, they have to have one idea, they have to understand each other.

"Arsenal Football Club knows much better than me how to deal with this, but if you have Jordan [Henderson] and James Milner as your captains, you don't have to discipline others.

"If you're disciplined yourself, you don't have to discipline others. That's a good saying.

"If you have Millie [Milner], Henderson, [Adam] Lallana, Gini [Georginio Wijnaldum], Virg [Virgil van Dijk], Bobby [Roberto Firmino], [they are] all examples in different ways. Players who never whine, never complain, never make excuses.

"In the hardest moments they never give up, and they never give up our ways, and they always put the team above themselves.

"For a young player, it's hard to have a better environment to grow and develop. For me that makes us, or any other team, from a good team to a top team, a good team to a successful team."

Fernando Torres has admitted to harbouring regrets over his acrimonious split from Liverpool as the former Spain striker prepares to return to Anfield.

Torres, 35, will represent the Reds in a legends charity game against Barcelona in March.

It will be the first time he has pulled on the shirt since leaving for Chelsea for a then-British record fee of £50million in January 2011.

Torres forced through the move after submitting a transfer request but failed to rekindle the form he displayed in three and a half seasons on Merseyside.

"One of the regrets I have is the way I left the club," Torres told Liverpool's official website.

"With time, I think I could explain the reasons. I'm really happy that every time I go anywhere in the world, I see Liverpool fans and they come to me and thank me for my time here. It should be the opposite way.

"I always thank them for the way they made me feel when I was here, and even now.

"I'm really proud to say I will support Liverpool forever, it doesn't matter what happened. Even when things between us were not at their best, I felt that I needed to support Liverpool.

"The city, fans and club will always be in my heart because it's the way I feel and I cannot change that."

Torres cut short his flagging Premier League career with a loan stint at AC Milan in 2014 and subsequent switch back to boyhood club Atletico Madrid.

Now retired, the 2010 World Cup winner has closely monitored the "amazing" progress Liverpool have made in recent seasons.

"Since Jurgen Klopp came, things have got better and better," he said.

"Liverpool added some amazing players to the squad, some of them are the best in the world.

"They are in the right way to become better. It's difficult to say after getting 97 points and winning the Champions League, but the potential of the team can still be better and that's huge. Hopefully that happens."

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