Jurgen Klopp is planning to field two different lineups for Liverpool’s clash with Chester, but will be restricted by the absence of a senior duo.
The Reds will hope for a productive afternoon in the Cheshire sunshine on Saturday, as they kick off a nine-game pre-season schedule against Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson’s side.
Klopp is limited in his selection at Deva Stadium, with Simon Mignolet, Dejan Lovren, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino all unavailable due to the World Cup.
Regardless, the manager still presides over a big, healthy squad, and speaking to LiverpoolFC.com he outlined his intentions to make wholesale changes at half-time if possible:
“[Naming two different XIs] makes sense, from the intensity side.
“After the holidays, the boys have to adapt to the intensity and stuff like that—all the things we did in training. So it makes sense that they play 45 minutes.
“I’m not sure if we have two complete teams because not really all positions are covered. But that’s the plan. Go there and get used to proper football again, that’s why we do it.
“So I’m looking forward to it. It’s a first little test for us and hopefully we are ready. We always do it out of full training; we don’t think too much about the games during the week.
“So that will be quite intense for the boys, especially with these temperatures at the moment. But it’s all good, let’s go.”
“I think it’s a bit too early for Joel,” he explained, with the 26-year-old undergoing thigh surgery in April.
“He is in training, not doing all but in a few parts he’s doing more than the others.
“He’s not involved in football at the moment but from next week on he will be fully involved.
“Adam Lallana will not be involved possibly, not sure. He’s a little bit ill, we have to see. I think Saturday will not be possible for him.”
“We don’t want to waste time. They are in, it’s good. It’s our first pre-season game so let’s start,” he said.
“If they’ll start, I don’t know, to be honest. I haven’t made the lineup so far, I have to see who is available. But, yes, they will be involved for sure.”
The Reds’ clash with Chester kicks off at 3pm (BST), and This is Anfield will be providing full coverage throughout the afternoon.