Liverpool’s pre-season schedule resumes on Wednesday night, as Jurgen Klopp’s side head to Huddersfield Town to compete for the Shankly Trophy.
Huddersfield Town vs. Liverpool
Wednesday 20th July 2016, 7:45pm (BST)
John Smith’s Stadium
Live on LFCTV
The Reds arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium for their second game in four days as Klopp’s squad continue their preparations for the new season.
The game will see the two sides compete for the Shankly Trophy and Klopp locking horns with former Borussia Dortmund U23s coach and friend, David Wagner, with both preparing for their first full seasons in charge at the respective clubs.
Wednesday’s match is the final clash with an English club side on home soil for Liverpool, who fly out to America on Thursday for the showpiece International Champions Cup competition and a friendly with AS Roma.
The John Smith’s Stadium & Previous Visits
The Reds travel to a ground rarely visited on Wednesday to take on the Terriers, in what will be the first friendly between the clubs.
The trip to the John Smith’s Stadium will be Liverpool’s second since the 24,500 capacity ground—also home to Rugby League outfit Huddersfield Giants—opened in 1994.
That only previous visit came 17 years ago, when Gerard Houllier’s Reds arrived for a FA Cup third-round tie in December 1999.
Houllier’s men claimed a deserved 2-0 win after a strong performance against Steve Bruce’s Division One leaders, with goals from Titi Camara and Dominic Matteo sealing Liverpool’s progression to the fourth round in front of a near sell-out crowd.
Wednesday’s game is officially a sell-out for the visit of Klopp’s side, and a piece of history is set to be made with the match set a record friendly attendance for Huddersfield.
That will include 3,800 travelling Reds, who snapped up the full away-end allocation meaning no further tickets are available to purchase.
Klopp is once again set to field as strong a squad as possible, with the players currently available.
England internationals Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge won’t return from their summer breaks in time to feature, and Klopp could take a familiar looking squad to that which sealed victory away to Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
That could include Alberto Moreno, Brad Smith and Marko Grujic, who all missed Sunday’s game at Wigan.
Loris Karius, Dejan Lovren, Jon Flanagan, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Lazar Markovic and Danny Ings are all likely to feature.
But Klopp is likely to leave Joel Matip out, after the Cameroonian defender suffered bruising to his ankle injury late on at the DW Stadium, and centre-backs are already in short supply with Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez sidelined.
The likes of Lucas Leiva, Andre Wisdom, Tiago Ilori and Kevin Stewart are all set to be involved as they fight for their Anfield futures.
Youngsters Cameron Branngan, Ryan Kent, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ovie Ejaria and exciting 16-year-old Ben Woodburn will also hope for another runout as they battle for a place on Liverpool’s imminent US tour.
In keeping with the early friendly games, Klopp is likely to rotate his group heavily again, allowing players to get vital minutes under their belt as the season draws closer.
The start of a new era for the club, having consolidated their place in the Championship after promotion in 2012, it’s been a busy summer at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Like his good friend Klopp, Wagner is readying for his first full campaign in charge and his preparations have been extensive on and off the pitch.
The Terriers have already picked up four straight pre-season wins—scoring nine and conceding just once—and they have another three games to go ahead of the Championship kickoff in just over two weeks’ time.
Wagner has taken no time in building a squad he wants at his disposal, making no fewer than 12 new signings, including the loan of Reds goalkeeper Danny Ward.
Chelsea’s Kasey Palmer, Wolves’ Rajiv van La Parra and Ingolstadt’s Elias Kachunga have all also arrived on loan deals to bolster the attack, with seven new permanent signings being made.
That includes goalkeepers Joel Coleman and Luke Coddington, and defenders Chris Lowe, Michael Hefele, Christopher Schindler and Jon Gorenc Stankovic.
Meanwhile, Croatian Ivan Paurevic, Southend’s Jack Payne and season-long loan signing Aaron Mooy have boosted Wagner’s midfield options.
New striker Kachunga has been in promising form in pre-season, netting twice in his opening games for the club—as has Payne, who has also scored twice so far this summer.
Klopp’s side will also have to keep an eye on highly rated midfielder Philip Billing, as well as pacy wide man Sean Scannell, while youngsters Rekeil Pyke and 16-year-old Jordan Williams are also ones to watch should they feature.
Pre-season games often struggle to whet the appetite, but with a trophy up for grabs, this should be an enjoyable occasion on Wednesday night.
Huddersfield Town vs. Liverpool will be shown live on LFCTV, and as ever, This is Anfield will be providing live coverage of the clash, with kickoff at the John Smith’s Stadium set for 7:45pm (BST).