BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 10, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) embraces Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool’s behind-closed-doors friendly vs. Aston Villa is OFF

Liverpool’s behind-closed-door friendly against Steven Gerrard‘s Aston Villa has been cancelled. The game had been planned to follow only a day after the Reds’ trip to Fulham.

Jurgen Klopp has been vocal about extending Liverpool’s pre-season into the first few weeks of the campaign thanks to the condensed summer schedule, thus planning the meeting with Gerrard’s side.

Players needed minutes and an additional friendly after the trip to Fulham was seen as the ideal opportunity to achieve just that, as it was last season.

But with injuries mounting for Liverpool, the friendly became questionable at best and it has now been confirmed that it is no longer taking place.

Gerrard provided the update in his press conference on Saturday after Villa’s 2-0 defeat to the newly-promoted Bournemouth.

Ashley Preece, Aston Villa correspondent for Birmingham Live, reported Gerrard now feels his “squad don’t need minutes but more quality.”

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Tuesday, July 12, 2022: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the Bangkok Century Cup pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Manchester United FC at the Rajamangala National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With Caoimhin Kelleher, Ibrahima Konate, Kostas Tsimikas, Calvin Ramsay, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Thiago, Naby Keita, Diogo Jota and Kaide Gordon all injured, Liverpool would have struggled to name anything but a youth side.

It means Klopp now has nine uninterrupted days to identify those who are fit and prepare his side for the visit of Crystal Palace next Monday.

The Reds need to regroup and as the manager noted in pre-season, need to “try to create a basis for the rest of the season” in the next couple of weeks with two back-to-back Monday night games.