The Liverpool U21s will take on Scottish giants Celtic as part of their pre-season preparations ahead of 2016/17.
Michael Beale and his young ranks took to Kirkby last week for the start of pre-season training, with the likes of Adam Phillips and Toni Gomes making the step up from the U18s.
As with Jurgen Klopp‘s first team, the U21s are poised for an extensive warmup schedule, as announced on Monday afternoon.
The Reds will begin their preparations with a tour of Germany, taking in clashes with third-division side SG Sonnenhof Grossaspach in Aspach (July 16) and second-division outfit FC Erzgebirge Aue in Saxony (July 20).
After spending 12 days in Germany, Beale’s side will return to take on Welsh Premier League side Rhyl FC, at the Belle Vue (July 24), ahead of a showpiece clash with Celtic U21s.
Taking place at Celtic’s academy on July 27, Beale is looking forward to testing his youthful squad against a testing opposition, describing it as “a great challenge for the boys.”
“We fly to Munich for 12 days and play against a 3.Liga first team followed by a match against a 2.Liga first team,” he explained.
“We will have a very young U21 group but it will be a fantastic experience for these young players.
“The Celtic game will be a great challenge for the boys as we had a very good game against them last season in the Premier League U21 International Cup.”
The U21s will round off their pre-season schedule with a clash away to Morecambe (July 30), who will be preparing for another campaign in League Two, with this experience of taking on first-team level opposition vital as Beale looks to nurture his new-look squad.
Along with Phillips and Gomes, Conor Masterson and Herbie Kane also move up from the U18s, while Joe Maguire, Matty Virtue and Harry Wilson will be among those looking to continue their progress.
Jerome Sinclair, Jordan Rossiter, Alex O’Hanlon, Daniel Trickett-Smith, Joao Carlos Teixeira, Ryan McLaughlin and Daniel Cleary have all left the club on the expiry of their contracts.
Sinclair moved to Watford in a deal worth up to £4 million, while Rossiter and Trickett-Smith left to join Rangers and Sacramento Republic respectively.
The U21s are also believed to have arranged a clash with Odense Boldklub on August 17, while fixtures for the new U21 Premier League season are likely to be announced in the coming days.
Liverpool U21s pre-season 2016/17 dates:
- July 16 – Sonnerhoff (A) 7pm
- July 20 – Erzgebirge (A) 7pm
- July 24 – Rhyl (A) 2pm
- July 27 – Celtic U21s (A) 5pm
- July 30 – Morecambe (A) 3pm