LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 15, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during the UEFA Champions League Group B Matchday 1 game between Liverpool FC and AC Milan at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-2. (Pic by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Liverpool to play AC Milan friendly during the World Cup

Liverpool look set to play a friendly against AC Milan in Dubai during the World Cup.

The Reds will base themselves in the United Arab Emirates for a training camp during the World Cup in nearby Qatar.

With six weeks between the final Premier League game against Southampton on November 12 and the returning league fixture against Aston Villa on December 26, friendlies will be required for those players not at the tournament.

Those players include Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Luis Diaz (if back from injury), Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho, Kostas Tsimikas, Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, Ibrahima Konate, Curtis Jones, Joel Matip, Caoimhin Kelleher and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plus potentially Thiago, Roberto Firmino and Trent Alexander-Arnold depending their national team selections.

News of the friendly against AC Milan was reported by the Mirror on Thursday evening (and later copied by the Echo).

The report says that AC Milan will face both Liverpool and Arsenal during the World Cup. It isn’t clear if that will be part of some sort of friendly tournament.

Dubai’s main football stadium is the 15,000-capacity Al Maktoum Stadium, where Arsenal played a friendly against local side Al Nasr in 2019.

“We decided to go to Dubai,” assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders explained earlier this year.

“It’s close [to Qatar] so players can come quickly back, so they can prepare quick with the team again, and it gives us real time to prepare for the second sprint of the season.”

A match against AC Milan will give Liverpool a reunion with Divock Origi, who joined the Serie A side on a free transfer in the summer.

Whether Liverpool will play further games in the Middle East isn’t yet clear, Jurgen Klopp will give players time off at the beginning of the six-week break, then convene in Dubai for the warm-weather training camp as a ‘second pre-season’.

The only time Liverpool have previously played in the Middle East is in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, which was held in Qatar.