The ink hadn't dried on Sunday's starting XI when Liverpool faithful--pitchforks and torches at the ready--began asking some fairly reasonable questions: "Where's Sakho?" "Where's Lucas?" "Where's Firmino?"
The first two failed to even make the bench, while the latter had to wait until the 78th minute to make his Liverpool debut.
Well, those three notable absentees to the starting line up all made appearances in a closed-door friendly at Melwood to Welsh Premier League side The New Saints (TNS). They were joined by other unexpectedly well-rested Reds Alberto Moreno, Lazar Markovic, Emre Can, and Divock Origi.
The Reds ran out victorious 5-1, after a trio of goals from Roberto Firmino, a converted penalty from Danny Ings, and Markovic added a tally of his own. TNS may not be Stoke, but the scoreline seems to indicate that the match was a far more entertaining affair than Sunday's.
It's hard to say if any of these players factor into Brendan Rodgers' 2015-16 plans, especially with the annoyingly persistent rumors continuing to circulate around Lucas. If the concern is over match fitness, easing these key players into the fold could prove to be a very wise decision.
If, on the other hand, these players are being saved for substitution and cup squad appearances, Rodgers either needs to get results where he couldn't last year with Dejan Lovren anchoring our back line and sans a true defensive midfielder, or face the consequences of not learning from past mistakes.