Liverpool played their first preseason matches, back-to-back 30 minute friendlies against Wacker Innsbruck and then Stuttgart. Both matches ended in a 1-1 draw, with Divock Origi and Sadio Mane scoring Liverpool’s two goals. While they weren’t the resounding victories we might have hoped for, these early matches are nothing more than a way for the players to stretch their legs and wipe off the summer cobwebs.
Manager Jürgen Klopp agreed, deeming Tuesday’s exercises a success.
“It was a workout and it was good,” Klopp told the official site. “Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for that.”
Of course, he had plenty to say about his team’s form.
“From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement; I saw a lot of wild pressing. We wanted a wild press, we had a little competition between the two teams to see who wins the ball back more and how many counter-presses we have. We’ll have to think about the prize that the team will win!” he revealed.
The much-anticipated return of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will have to wait. When asked if either might be available for the next match against Mainz, Klopp didn’t seem very confident.
“It would be a surprise, to me as well. They have looked really good in training and yesterday was the first day where they did very complex things, usually it is either offensive or defensive and stuff like this. We have to get there, step by step, but I don’t expect them for Friday.”
No one wants either player to make their return too early and find themselves re-injured, but it will still be exciting to see their handsome faces on the pitch.