Opening day hint? – 2 Liverpool lineups for Man City-Strasbourg double-header

Liverpool’s final two pre-season fixtures are to be played just over 26 hours apart, with Man City to precede the visit of Strasbourg at Anfield, and we already have a lineup hint or two.

After making the journey to Thailand, Singapore, Germany and Austria this month, the Reds are in the final stages of their pre-season schedule with just two games remaining.

The first sees Jurgen Klopp‘s side meet Man City in the Community Shield on Saturday (5pm BST), a curtain raiser that the manager has a clear perspective on.

“If you win it, it’s a very important competition and if you lose it, then it becomes less important,” Klopp told the press.

The teamsheet at the King Power looks all but settled, with those not in the XI to then add to their minutes the following day against the Ligue 1 side at Anfield (7.30pm).

So, how will Klopp manage his squad for two games in two days?


Team News

After a week in Austria, the Reds return to Liverpool with mixed injury news ahead of the double-header over the weekend:

  • Alisson is not fit “for the weekend”; will be back for opener at Fulham
  • Jota’s recovery will still “take a while”, Tsimikas picked up knock in Austria
  • Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kelleher remain sidelined with muscle injuries
  • “All of them will play the first time 90 minutes” vs. City, Klopp has said


Liverpool XI vs. Man City

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA - Wednesday, July 27, 2022: Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp’s starting XI to meet Salzburg earlier in the week came as a surprise, but his changes at the hour mark hinted at what to expect against Man City.

The contingent was one that largely featured for an hour against Leipzig and is one that you would not question seeing at Fulham on the opening day, with Alisson in place of Adrian, that is.

It includes Joel Matip getting the nod ahead of Ibrahima Konate and Jordan Henderson over Naby Keita:

  • Adrian continues in goal in the absence of Alisson
  • Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk and Robertson make up the back four
  • Henderson starts in midfield ahead of Keita, next to Fabinho and Thiago
  • Salah joined by Diaz and Firmino in attack

This would have the Reds lining up like this in the Community Shield:

Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, Diaz, Firmino

Liverpool XI vs. Strasbourg

LEIPZIG, GERMANY - Thursday, July 21, 2022: Liverpool's Fábio Carvalho (R) celebrates with Harvey Elliott (L) after a pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With minutes still needing to be injected into the wider squad after a condensed pre-season, Strasbourg’s visit offers the perfect opportunity for those left out against Man City.

Klopp will not be short on options to make up his XI at Anfield and it’s expected to heavily feature those who started in Salzburg in mid-week.

The likes of Joe Gomez, James Milner, Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic were not spotted in training on Thursday but all being well, they will take their place on Sunday:

  • Davies handed first Anfield appearance in goal
  • Mabaya, Konate, Gomez and Milner in defence, if Tsimikas is fit will take spot of vice-captain
  • Bajcetic’s impressive pre-season to continue alongside Keita and Jones
  • Carvalho joined in attack by Elliott and Nunez

Liverpool would then line up as follows against Strasbourg:

Davies; Mabaya, Konate, Gomez, Milner; Bajcetic, Keita, Jones; Elliott, Carvalho, Nunez

There are options aplenty for Klopp over the weekend but his XI against Man City looks a settled one and that helps with what we can then expect to see just 26 hours later.

It will be a weekend which will see the players pushed to the 90-minute mark with these two fixtures coming less than a week before Liverpool’s Premier League season starts at Craven Cottage.