Predicting how Liverpool could line up for pre-season friendly at Tranmere

9 July 2018

Liverpool take on Tranmere Rovers in their second pre-season friendly of the summer on Tuesday night, and Jurgen Klopp will name two XIs again.


After a comprehensive win over Chester FC on Saturday afternoon, the Reds continue their preparations for 2018/19 with a short trip to Birkenhead.

Home of Liverpool’s U23s, Prenton Park will play host to a competitive clash that will see Klopp look to build on an impressive second-half display at Deva Stadium.

The manager was not as enamoured with his side’s disjointed showing in the opening 45, but there remained kernels of positivity, most notably in Harry Wilson‘s well-taken brace.

Wilson will be among those aiming to force his way into contention with another bright showing in midweek, with Klopp likely to welcome back Joel Matip and Adam Lallana as he puts together two XIs once again.

Here’s how the Reds could line up in each half at Tranmere.

 

First Half

Karius; Clyne, Gomez, Phillips, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita; Wilson, Solanke, Jones; Origi


Pre-season, particularly in the early weeks, is largely designed to build fitness, but the chemistry of Klopp’s squad is also vital as the new campaign looms.

With Loris Karius retaining his place as No. 1 goalkeeper and receiving praise from his manager after a strong 45-minute showing at Chester, the 25-year-old should start again on Tuesday.

He can benefit from the protection of a strong defence in the shape of Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Phillips and Andy Robertson, making one change from his first-half XI at the weekend.

Klopp kept Fabinho and Naby Keita apart on their first appearances for the Reds, but his faith in the latter to slot in immediately could see him pull the trigger this time out.

Ahead of the new signings, Wilson should start again, accompanied again by Dominic Solanke and Curtis Jones in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Though he and Solanke failed to find the target on Saturday, Divock Origi‘s trial for a long-term place at Anfield should see him lead the line again.

 

Second Half

Ward; Camacho, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Milner, Woodburn, Lallana; Kent, Ings, Sturridge


Klopp made 1 changes at half-time in Chester. He is likely to do the same again on Tuesday, starting at the back as he provides Danny Ward another opportunity to prove his worth between the sticks.

Owing to his experience as a right wing-back in Steven Gerrard’s 3-4-3 last term, Rafa Camacho makes an interesting alternative at the back, and he should join Matip, Ragnar Klavan and Alberto Moreno.

Replacing Fabinho and Keita, James Milner and Ben Woodburn could ensure a useful blend of youth and experience in midfield, as Klopp mulls over the Welshman’s future.

Though illness kept him out of the 7-0 win, Lallana should be available again and could take over from Wilson to move into midfield, with Danny Ings and Ryan Kent on the flanks.

Both Ings and Kent got themselves on the scoresheet on Saturday, as did Daniel Sturridge, and they can look to increase their chances of a move this summer with bright showings at Prenton Park.

 

Substitutes

CHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 7, 2018: Liverpool's Pedro Chirivella and Ryan Kent sign autographs before a preseason friendly match between Chester FC and Liverpool FC at the Deva Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Grabara, Kelleher, Chirivella, Ojo


Klopp left Lazar Markovic out completely at the weekend, with the Serbian under no uncertain terms that he has no future on Merseyside.

This restricts the Reds’ substitute options, but having made 11 changes at the break this should not be too much of an issue, instead providing cover if required.

Both Kamil Grabara and Caoimhin Kelleher will gain vital experience training and travelling with the squad as reserve goalkeepers, and Klopp could consider introducing one late on.

Chirivella’s omission from the lineups for both halves could be seen as unfortunate, but with another loan move on the horizon and Matip available he should settle for a place on the bench.

Finally, though Ojo created some bright moments in Chester the return of Lallana could also relegated him to the role of reserve, with Wilson, Kent and Jones more impressive in the pre-season opener.

CHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, July 7, 2018: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp, with backroom staff first team coach Peter Krawietz, first-team development coach Pepijn Lijnders, goalkeeping coach John Achterberg on the bench before a preseason friendly match between Chester FC and Liverpool FC at the Deva Stadium. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum both returned to training on Sunday but are highly unlikely to feature, while Klopp still has a host of players absent.

Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will report back for the tour of the United States, while Simon Mignolet, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Dejan Lovren and Jordan Henderson are still at the World Cup.

Marko Grujic is expected to join Cardiff City on loan, Allan Rodrigues is training with Eintracht Frankfurt and both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster are injured.

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