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Liverpool planning Anfield pre-season friendly during international break

Liverpool will have a dozen first-team players away on international duty, but the players who remain at Melwood could have a game of their own to look forward to.

A shortened pre-season saw the Reds play just two friendlies, plus the Community Shield at Wembley which was effectively another game to build fitness and rhythm.

It’s in stark contrast to the usual approach of playing seven or eight games over the summer, in a slower build-up to competitive action which often involves several young hopefuls.

Those same youngsters might get the chance to feature next weekend, though, with Liverpool considering their options over an Anfield friendly while part of the squad are away.

While the European members of the squad will mostly be away preparing for UEFA Nations League games, there are plenty of others who could do with another game of their own ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Tuesday, August 25, 2020: Liverpool's Roberto Firmino during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

And the Echo reports that another behind-closed-doors fixture could be arranged for Saturday, similar to when Liverpool played Blackburn before the Premier League restarted after lockdown in June.

The Brazilian trio of Fabinho, Alisson and Roberto Firmino will still be on Merseyside, as will the three African members of the squad Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.

With no Asian qualifiers during this international break either, Takumi Minamino is still around—as are Xherdan Shaqiri and Jordan Henderson, who missed out on call-ups due to injury, while Joel Matip and James Milner are retired from international duty.

Adrian is not part of the international scene, while neither Harvey Elliott nor Curtis Jones have been selected by England’s youth teams.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is still sidelined through injury, but the likes of Nat Phillips could boost Klopp’s squad options further if he’s still around, and the same could technically be said of Loris Karius and a couple of younger players, though it’s not expected they’d play much of a part.

Hopefully another run-out of an hour or longer could increase the sharpness in some of the players, ahead of the Reds’ first game as defending champions against Leeds.

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