Welp, another international break is nearly upon us. It seems only a couple of weeks have passed since we last... Actually, it’s only been 20 days since the Reds restarted their campaign following the previous round of international fixtures, so the impression that these untimely breaks in proper football are tightly spaced is quite an accurate one.
Liverpool’s busy run of seven games in 22 days comes to an end against Newcastle on Sunday, and Jürgen Klopp’s men have a chance to end what has been a disappointing run of results on a high note, when they travel to Newcastle to face former manager Rafa Benítez, and former midfield maestro Jonjo Shelvey.
After that, though, it will be another 13 days before the Reds take the pitch again — in a humdinger against Jose Mourinho’s rampant Manchester United side, no less — and in that ominously numbered time span, a number of Liverpool players will be representing their country in the final round of qualifiers ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Many Reds fans consider an English core an important part of the club’s identity, supported by possibly genuine, but intangible ideas about local players understanding the demands of the league and maintaining a link to the local community. The claims to first team football made by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke will no doubt be good news to fans who subscribe to this theory. That they’re part of a squad that already contains well-established English internationals Adam Lallana, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain furthers the English foundation narrative.
Bar Lallana, all of the above have been called up for this round of internationals, with the former group joining the Under 21s for their Euro Qualifiers against Scotland and Andorra, and the latter three looking to be involved in the senior squad’s superfluous clashes with Slovenia and Lithuania.
More senior players will undoubtedly join their countries over the weekend, and as always, Reds fans will mostly be concerned that they return unscathed and ready to roll in what may be the most prestigious fixture on the calendar.