Liverpool to play Spanish clubs in Anfield pre-season double-header

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Liverpool are set to take on Spanish sides Athletic Bilboa and Osasuna in a pre-season double-header next month, on the eve of their Premier League opener at Norwich.

The Reds are currently in Austria for a training camp under the Alps in Saalfelden, with friendlies against Wacker Innsbruck, Stuttgart, Mainz and Hertha Berlin lined up while away.

Those warmup clashes are staggered in length, with two 30-minute games followed by an hour-long tie and then a full 90 minutes, in an unorthodox preparation for Jurgen Klopp‘s side.

Liverpool’s unusual pre-season schedule is set to continue upon their return to Merseyside, with Athletic and Osasuna the opposition for back-to-back friendlies at Anfield.

In news that has now been confirmed by the club, the Reds will play the Spanish clubs over the space of two days, with the friendlies taking place on August 8 and 9.

Sunday August 8: vs. Athletic Bilbao 4pm KO
Monday August 9: vs. Osasuna 7pm KO

The friendly against Osasuna will be in tribute to the late Michael Robinson, who represented both clubs in the 1980s before forging a career as a well-respected broadcaster in Spain.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 23, 2021: Two Liverpool supporters walk towards Anfield from Stanley Park before the final FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With lockdown restrictions now lifted in the UK, the two friendlies will be played in front of fans at Anfield, with there a possibility that a near-full capacity is permitted.

It is not the first time Liverpool have played twice over the space of two days in pre-season, with their friendlies against Barcelona and Mainz in 2016 taking place over the space of a weekend.

Klopp made a host of changes between those two friendlies – which took place in London and Mainz – with only Alberto Moreno, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, Kevin Stewart, Marko Grujic, Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino featuring in both.

A similar approach is likely to be taken this time around, with the manager currently working with a 36-man squad in Austria, which will be boosted by eight further arrivals.

The two friendlies could provide a first warmup game for Henderson, Firmino, Fabinho, Alisson and Thiago following their extended breaks after the Euros and Copa America.

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