Familiar European foe provide final Austria test – Salzburg vs. Liverpool preview

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Liverpool will play their second friendly of pre-season against a familiar foe in Salzburg, where a small group of fans are set to be in attendance.

RB Salzburg vs. Liverpool

Tuesday 25 August, 2020 – 3pm (BST)
Red Bull Arena
Pre-season friendly (2)


The Reds started their pre-season schedule off on a winning note on Saturday, putting three unanswered goals beyond Stuttgart on a wet night in Austria.

And just three days after their first 90 minutes, Jurgen Klopp‘s men will be back on the field of play against a side who they know all too well.

The former club of Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino will host the Premier League champions, eight months on from the last meeting in the Champions League.

A lot has unfolded in the time since Liverpool put two beyond the Austrian side to secure their place in the knockout rounds, and a small step towards a return to ‘normal’ is set to see 1,250 fans allowed to be in attendance for the friendly fixture.

It will be the first time in 167 days that the Reds have played in front of any spectators, with Salzburg to hold a ballot for season ticket holders.

It will be a welcome sight for all in the midst of Liverpool’s preparations for the new season, one which is likely to see Klopp utilise the depth of his squad once more.

Salzburg are a different outfit to the one seen in Europe last season, but they will provide a stern test for the Reds as they look to ramp up the intensity in the second outing of the summer.

 

Salzburg Changes

Since Liverpool’s last trip to the Red Bull Arena in December of last year, Salzburg have seen the three forward players from that night move on.

Minamino, of course, landed at Anfield in January while Erling Haaland made the switch to Borussia Dortmund at the same time before Hwang Hee-Chan followed in the summer by being the latest to switch Salzburg for Leipzig.

On the incoming side, meanwhile, Salzburg have added two exciting young prospects to the fold this summer in the form of forward Federico Crescenti and defender Oumar Solet, who signed from Lyon for €4.5 million.

Jesse Marsch remains at the helm and is aiming to retain Salzburg’s league title for a sixth successive season.

 

Previous Meetings

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, December 10, 2019: Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk (L) and FC Salzburg's Hee-Chan Hwang during the final UEFA Champions League Group E match between FC Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The two teams were drawn in Group E of the Champions League last season, with Liverpool emerging as victors both home and away in the first-ever meetings between the two clubs.

The first clash, at Anfield in October, was a topsy turvy affair as goals for Sadio Mane, Andy Robertson and Mohamed Salah set up a 3-0 lead before half-time, only for Salzburg to get back to level terms.

Liverpool’s No. 11 would have the last say with a little over 20 minutes remaining before again proving instrumental in Austria with a stunning goal for a near-impossible angle in December, adding to Keita’s strike for a 2-0 win.

The Reds would qualify top of the group before subsequently being knocked out in the next round by Atletico Madrid, while dropped to the Europa League and fell to Eintracht Frankfurt in the round of 32.

 

Team News

The Reds are expected to name the same squad as the one who opened their pre-season account with a 3-0 win over Stuttgart, with Ki-Jana Hoever the only doubt after rolling his ankle on Saturday.

Klopp named two different XIs in the clash with the German side and could look to do similar again, but it would not be a surprise if he kept his first lineup on the field of play for 60 minutes.

It will all be balanced with the Community Shield meeting with Arsenal in mind, a game which comes only four days after the trip to the Red Bull Arena.

Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Loris Karius are likely to miss out once more, while Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip continue their rehabilitation in Austria.

An opportunity will no doubt come Minamino’s way to feature against his former side after impressing in the second half over the weekend.

 

Klopp’s View

With training still in the mix in addition to games, Klopp knows his side will continue to feel the effects of the intensity but remains eager to see how his players react, especially with the season looming large.

With Salzburg not a new entity for the Reds, the boss is aware of what to expect and is eagerly awaiting the matchup, but he could do without it bucketing down this time out:

“It will be a tough one, Salzburg – every year they find exciting players from all over the world.

“I am excited to see them all because the style they play is clear. It will be pretty intense.

“I hope it will not rain that much; I have no problem with rain, but you always have to adjust and judge the situation differently. I think it will be better and then it is all fine.”

 

How to Watch

23.04.2011, Red Bull Arena, Salzburg, AUT, 1. FBL, Red Bull Salzburg vs FC Wacker Innsbruck, im Bild Feature, Langzeitbelichtung der Red Bull Arena, Wals Siezenheim, nach dem Spiel, Lichtstimmung // Long-term exposure of the Red Bull Arena, Wals Siezenheim, after the game after the Austrian Bundesliga Match, Red Bull Salzburg vs FC Wacker Innsbruck, at the Red Bull Arena, Salzburg, 23/04/2011, EXPA Pictures © 2011, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ J. Feichter

Salzburg vs. Liverpool will be shown live on LFCTV, with coverage starting at 2.30pm (BST) ahead of the 3pm kickoff.

Henry Jackson will be keeping you entertained and up to date with all the action on This Is Anfield’s liveblog, starting from 2.30pm.

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