INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - Thursday, July 29, 2021: Liverpool's captain Virgil van Dijk makes his return from a long injury lay off as a substitute during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Hertha BSC at the Tivoli Stadion. (Pic by Jürgen Faichter/Propaganda)

Van Dijk starts for first time in 10 months – Confirmed Liverpool lineup vs. Bologna

Liverpool have confirmed that Virgil van Dijk will start as Jurgen Klopp names two different XIs for today’s 60-minute friendlies against Bologna.

The Reds will play Bologna twice this afternoon as they conclude their time in Evian, before a double-header at Anfield against Athletic Club and Osasuna.

Klopp has explained how “most of the players will now play 60 minutes” after involvement against Wacker Innsbruck, Stuttgart, Mainz and Hertha Berlin, with a handful of exceptions.

The manager will make wholesale changes between the two friendlies, which are set to kick off at 3pm and 5pm respectively, while further alterations will be made in-game.

Some key players will pick up more game time off the bench, though Thiago misses out today due to a minor injury that is being carefully managed in training.

Jordan Henderson and Ben Davies are also absent, while youngsters Harvey Davies, Billy Koumetio, Owen Beck, Jake Cain, Tyler Morton and Mateusz Musialowski left the first-team squad upon the move from Austria to France.

“Now the decisive part of the pre-season starts now and now we have to bring them all together,” Klopp told the club’s official website.

“For that, we have around about 10 days and four games to prepare it – what we will try with the two games against Bologna and the two games against Bilbao and Osasuna.

“Then Norwich is waiting, so it’s not too long anymore. We have to be ready.”

Liverpool First XI: Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Elliott, Keita; Salah, Mane, Jota

Substitutes: Karius, Pitaluga, R.Williams, Beck, Woodburn

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