Georginio Wijnaldum is among those left at Liverpool‘s training camp in Palo Alto, missing out on Thursday morning’s clash with Chelsea.
The Reds take on Antonio’s Conte’s side at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, kicking off at 4.35am (BST), but despite the challenge of their International Champions Cup opener, will be without a host of key names.
Taking no chances with his squad as he looks to build a base of fitness ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, Jurgen Klopp has left Wijnaldum, Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge out.
The trio will remain in Palo Alto along with Christian Benteke and Divock Origi, as they continue their training in earnest.
Having all joined Klopp’s squad late following summer breaks and transfers, the German has decided they are not ready for action, with Clyne a particular concern.
According to the Liverpool Echo‘s James Pearce, the right-back is suffering from a minor hamstring issue, and will sit out for a brief period.
Clyne joins Joel Matip, Lucas Leiva and Joe Gomez on the treatment table, while Mamadou Sakho is also injured but has been sent back to the UK following concerns over his attitude on tour.
However, while Sturridge is left out following his exploits with England at this summer’s European Championship, his Three Lions team-mates, James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana, are expected to feature against the Blues.
Furthermore, as Goal’s Melissa Reddy reports, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are all set to start, ensuring Klopp can still call upon a strong side in California.
Loris Karius is expected to line up in goal, behind a possible back four of Connor Randall, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno—as Andre Wisdom serves as backup.
Milner and Henderson will vie with Kevin Stewart, Cameron Brannagan, Marko Grujic, Ovie Ejaria and Trent Alexander-Arnold for starting roles in midfield, though it remains to be seen whether late addition Emre Can will take part.
Providing cover for Klopp’s first-choice attacking trio, Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Sheyi Ojo and Danny Ings will able to hopeful of securing valuable minutes in order to impress Klopp.
Possible Liverpool XI vs. Chelsea: Karius; Randall, Lovren, Klavan, Moreno; Stewart, Grujic, Ejaria; Mane, Firmino, Coutinho
Substitutes: Mignolet, George, Manninger, Wisdom, Alexander-Arnold, Brannagan, Can, Henderson, Milner, Lallana, Markovic, Ojo, Ings