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10 key things to know ahead of Liverpool’s pre-season clash vs. Man United

Liverpool’s pre-season gets underway with a clash against Man United in Thailand, with Jurgen Klopp acknowledging that his side “don’t play friendlies” when it comes to their north-west rivals!

Liverpool vs. Man United

Pre-Season Friendly (1) | Rajamangala Stadium, Bangkok
Tuesday, July 12, 2022 | 2pm (BST)


The Reds are in Bangkok for their first pre-season outing of the summer as they come up against Erik ten Hag’s side.

Here are 10 things to know ahead of the match.

 

1. Reds return to action

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Sunday, July 10, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and his squad arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand ahead of their pre-season friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A healthy contingent of Liverpool players returned to training for the start of pre-season last Monday, with certain individuals given longer breaks than others while youth were given a chance.

As many as 11 players returned to the fold later in the week for the trip to Thailand, with Alisson, Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez among them.

In terms of pre-season fixtures, United are up first on Tuesday, before a meeting with Crystal Palace in Singapore on Friday.

Then come clashes with Leipzig and Salzburg, followed by the Community Shield (July 30), and a friendly with Strasbourg at Anfield (July 31) completes the action.

 

2. Heroes’ welcome in Thailand

Liverpool are one of the world’s biggest teams, with Klopp ensuring they have become an even greater force in recent years.

That was perfectly highlighted by the hysteria that greeted the Reds when they landed in Thailand over the weekend, as they received an incredible welcome.

The Beatles would have been proud to match that level of adoration back in the 1960s!

 

3. New face awaits first minutes

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Monday, July 11, 2022: Liverpool's new signing Fábio Carvalho during a training session at the Rajamangala National Stadium on day two of the club's Asia Tour ahead of a friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It has been a productive summer at Anfield, with Nunez, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay joining the Klopp revolution.

The former is the most high-profile signing, following a 32-goal season with Benfica, but we are likely to have to wait to see him in action having only linked up with the side on Saturday.

While Ramsay misses out through injury, Carvalho should get his Reds bow after over a week with the team; the 19-year-old is a highly-rated prospect for the present and the future.

How Klopp uses him will be interesting, considering he is capable of thriving in midfield, out wide, and as a No. 10.

 

4. New era at United

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Ajax's head coach Erik Ten Hag during the opening UEFA Champions League Group D match between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. (Pic by Gerrit van Keulen/Orange Pictures via Propaganda)

Last summer saw United considered by some as Premier League title challengers, but the sane among us knew that that was never on the cards.

Instead, they had to scrape for a woeful fifth-place finish, leading to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick moving on as manager.

The Erik ten Hag era is now about to get underway at Old Trafford, with the Dutchman known for playing a high-octane style of football not dissimilar to Klopp’s.

This will be the first chance to see if he has made an early impression and he’ll no doubt be keen to get a marker against Klopp’s Reds early on. The two sides meet in the league in the third matchday of the new season.

 

5. Who will feature for Liverpool?

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Monday, July 11, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during a training session at the Rajamangala National Stadium on day two of the club's Asia Tour ahead of a friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As is the norm for any pre-season friendly, this will be a game in which two very different lineups are fielded in either half.

While beating United is important in any match, fitness and rhythm are the most important things for Klopp to get from his players.

Those who returned late look more likely to be handed a few minutes in the second half, if any, allowing those who returned last week to get the most minutes.

Klopp has hinted at switching formation to a possible 4-2-3-1 this season, so it will be interesting to see if that is used against United.

It could allow Roberto Firmino a new lease of life as a No. 10, or give Carvalho an opportunity to thrive there.

As mentioned, Ramsay is unavailable, as too Diogo Jota after his hamstring injury with Portugal. Thiago trained away from his teammates on Monday but he was not expected to feature this early anyway.

This Is Anfield have selected two possible lineup options for Klopp, which you can see here!

 

6. This is no ‘friendly’!

Speaking to the press in Bangkok on Sunday, Klopp made it perfectly clear that Liverpool and United don’t do friendlies:

Man United – a new manager, trained a little bit longer than us so might be in a better situation. But we see it as an important test because it’s against United and we don’t play friendlies [against United].

“Obviously both teams don’t play friendlies against each other, so we will see what we can do.”

Get some early bragging rights in, lads!

 

7. Klopp’s cheeky joke

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Sunday, July 10, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp at press conference as the team arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand ahead of their pre-season friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have finally got back on their perch ahead of United and Klopp is clearly revelling in the Reds being a greater force currently after the Reds landed in Bangkok to an incredible reception.

Again speaking in his press conference, the 55-year-old couldn’t help but make a joke, asking reporters, “first question I have… did it look like this yesterday when Manchester was here as well?”

In all honesty, United’s fanbase in Thailand is huge too, so it will be interesting to see how split the stadium is for the match.

 

8. Did You Know?

ANN ARBOR, USA - Saturday, July 28, 2018: Liverpool's new signing Xherdan Shaqiri scores the fourth goal with a bicycle kick during the preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Liverpool FC at the Michigan Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This is the first time Liverpool and United have met in pre-season since 2018, when the pair faced off in front of 100,000 fans in Michigan.

The Reds ran out 4-1 winners across the Atlantic, with new signing Xherdan Shaqiri‘s outrageous overhead kick the standout moment on a great occasion.

Sadio Mane (penalty), Daniel Sturridge and Sheyi Ojo (also a penalty) scored the other goals for Klopp’s men.

Shaqiri would be at it again against United later in the same year, scoring twice at Anfield in a 3-1 win in the Premier League.

 

9. Rajamangala Stadium

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Sunday, July 28, 2013: Liverpool supporters during a preseason friendly match against Thailand at the Rajamangala National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Rajamangala Stadium is the scene of Tuesday’s game, in what is a huge occasion for those inside Thailand’s national arena.

A capacity crowd of up to 51,000 is expected to take in the action, as locals are given the rare opportunity to see their heroes in the flesh – although, ticket prices have rightly been criticised.

The stadium, which was opened in 1998, has been used for music concerts and political rallies in the past, not to mention hosting the 2007 Asian Cup.

 

10. Follow TIA’s live blog

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Monday, July 11, 2022: Liverpool players during a training session at the Rajamangala National Stadium on day two of the club's Asia Tour ahead of a friendly match against Manchester United FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Man United is available to watch on LFCTV GO from 1pm (BST), with kickoff taking place at 2pm.

If you don’t subscribe, or are unable to sneak off from work to watch the game, This Is Anfield‘s matchday live blog will be in full swing from 1.30pm.

Henry Jackson will be keeping you company throughout the afternoon, returning after a summer holiday of his own but not yet attempting to match Milner’s pre-season testing performance!

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