Liverpool have two friendlies lined up for the coming week in preparation for 2020/21—and the second will be in front of a lucky group of supporters.
While the year of 2020 might be remembered for an awful lot of different things, good and bad, the coronavirus pandemic is right at the top of the list.
From a sporting sense, it has completely changed the norm, with spectators no longer in attendance in many countries around the world.
For Liverpool, the last time we played in front of fans was against Atletico Madrid at Anfield, in the Champions League last 16 second leg on 11 March.
Between that game and the next with fans in attendance will be a total of 167 days, as 1,250 will be allowed in to watch RB Salzburg against the Reds.
The Austrian club have confirmed that they will hold a ballot for season ticket holders, allowing a fortunate few to head to the match to watch the champions of two different countries prepare for the campaign ahead.
Salzburg confirmed on their website:
On 25 August in front of 1250 spectators at the Red Bull Arena!
We will stick to our ‘loyalty pays’ motto and give our season-ticket holders the opportunity to win tickets for the match.
All holders of a season ticket will receive a newsletter by email with a link they can click on to register for the ticket draw. Registrations must be made by Tuesday 18 August by midnight Austrian time. Every winner will receive two tickets in order to invite another season-ticket holder with them.
Of course, it won’t be quite like last time we faced off in the group stage of the Champions League in December, when 29,520 were in attendance, but it’s a step forward and reminder of what we can look forward to at Anfield.
As it stands, October is the date in mind for fans to be allowed to begin a partial return on home soil, though that’s obviously subject to change.
Since that last fixture, all of Salzburg’s starting front three have departed: Erling Haaland to Dortmund, Hwang Hee-Chan to Leipzig and, of course, Takumi Minamino to Liverpool.
Dejan Lovren has similarly departed from Anfield from that night’s lineup, while Sadio Mane and Naby Keita played for the Reds, both former Salzburg players.