Jurgen Klopp eager to see Liverpool find their “feet as quick as possible” in Austria friendlies

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Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to his Liverpool side finding their “feet as quick as possible” after their small summer break.

The Reds are in the early stages of their preparations for the 2020/21 season having arrived in Austria over the weekend, with the duration of their stay amounting to 10 days.

Liverpool’s summer schedule is typically lined up with a plethora of friendly affairs both domestic and abroad, but with the pandemic still to contend with and a condensed break, plans have needed to be streamlined.

And to get the team ticking over after their short break following their title-winning season, friendlies have been arranged with German outfit Stuttgart (August 22) and RB Salzburg (August 25) ahead of the Community Shield clash against Arsenal on August 29.

The former are also using Saalfelden in Austria as a training base, while Salzburg is a little over an hour away by car – where both games will, of course, be played behind-closed-doors and streamed live on LFCTV.

The two games pose as important stepping stones ahead of the season opener on the weekend of September 12, with the manager eager to see his side simply deploy the tactics asked of them in the knowledge that they are not the finished article.

“Actually it’s like we planned, how we all know, this camp pretty late, so we are really pleased that we found this calibre of opponent,” Klopp told the club’s official website.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, December 10, 2019: Liverpool's Naby Keita (L) and FC Salzburg's Masaya Okugawa 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 agency who helped us with organisation came up immediately with Stuttgart and said they are in the area so maybe we can make a game there. Then they were happy, we are very happy, so that’s good, first and foremost.

“We are here in the wider Salzburg area, so on the way home pretty much, if you want, we play them.

“From a sports point of view, it’s important for us obviously after the mini-break to find our feet as quick as possible, if you want. Training looks really, really good in the moment – this is actually what we expected, the boys didn’t lose a lot from the physical abilities.

“So now [we] are in the middle of the preparation, all the tactical stuff already. So it looks really good in the moment and the two opponents are really good opponents, so that will be really tough.

“How it is always, you play these out of full training, so the boys have to fight, dig deep but I think they will do that.

Van Dijk, Gomez, on bike, Austria (Image: Peter Hartenfelser via www.imago-images.de/Imago/PA Images)

“These are not the most important games in the world but in this moment they are very, very important because we just want to see that the boys again use the things we think they should use in a game. First chance on the 22nd.”

Liverpool have struck up a good relationship with the two clubs, with Nat Phillips having enjoyed a loan spell during Stuttgart’s promotion last season, while Takumi Minamino made the switch from Salzburg in January.

The two friendlies will come as the ideal source of preparation for the season ahead, with fixtures for the new Premier League campaign to be released on Thursday at 9am (BST).

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