Jurgen Klopp tried to give all of his players minutes in Liverpool’s two friendlies in Asia, but can we expect a lineup closer to full strength against RB Leipzig?
The Reds’ third friendly of pre-season will see them travel to Germany to take on Domenico Tedesco’s side at the Red Bull Arena on Thursday, before embarking on a week-long training camp in Austria.
At this stage of the summer schedule, Klopp’s focus will still be very much on improving the fitness of his players.
However, with Liverpool now more than two weeks into their preparations for the new season, there is a chance we’ll now start to see lineups closer to what we can expect against Fulham on August 6.
Liverpool XIs vs. RB Leipzig
A selection of Klopp’s senior players were given 45 minutes against Crystal Palace last week, and there’s a chance some could be in line for at least 60, here.
Many would argue that those three are likely to be the first-choice trio next season, so it would make sense if Klopp wants them to start developing an understanding up front:
- Adrian to start again, with Alisson and Kelleher still absent
- Seven players to get at least 45 minutes for first time this pre-season
- Konate and Keita to start against their former team
- Salah, Nunez and Diaz to play in the same attack for the first time
If that is the case, this is how Liverpool would line up:
Realistically, the majority of that team is unlikely to play longer than 60 minutes, and by the end of the game, Liverpool will probably have a completely different lineup on the pitch.
The second half could see Harvey Davies get more minutes in goal, after his first senior outing against Palace.
Injuries may mean Tyler Morton is given another opportunity to impress in midfield, with Klopp keen to develop him as a No. 8 rather than a holding midfielder:
- Davies to get more minutes in goal
- Gomez to return, after missing Palace with a knock
- Milner at right-back, with Ramsay still unavailable
- Elliott on the right side of the attack, alongside Carvalho and Firmino
This would see Liverpool finish the game like this:
Davies; Milner, Matip, Gomez, Tsimikas; Henderson, Morton, Jones; Elliott, Carvalho, Firmino
Even with a handful of injuries, Liverpool still have over 20 senior players in need of minutes before the new season.
That is likely to mean that the academy prospects are unlikely to get as much game time in the upcoming friendlies.
With just over two weeks until the 2022/23 campaign gets underway, now is the time we could start seeing Klopp and his coaching staff really imposing their plans for the season on the team.