Liverpool kick off their second pre-season friendly against Wigan on Friday night but chances are, Dejan Lovren will not be on the pitch for it. The Croatian international was forced to sit out Wednesday’s 4-0 victory against Tranmere Rovers after he felt a tightness in his leg muscle. And while Liverpool don’t seem too concerned about this being anything other than a minor issue, Klopp isn’t likely to take any chances with Lovren’s fitness.
Lovren will be one of many players whose fitness Klopp evaluates on Friday morning before he determines the evening’s line-up against the Latics. Both Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana will need to be deemed fit, although Lallana is confident that Coutinho will pass with flying colours after having run through initial training tests with him.
“He's in great shape. I can't wait to see the Little Magician back on the pitch again,” Lallana told LFCTV.
And while it would be wonderful to see Sadio Mané back on the pitch with them as well, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen in time for the Wigan game, or even next week’s Premier League Asia Trophy.
And then there’s a larger question mark next to Mamadou Sakho, of course, regardless of the knee injury he sustained last season. Klopp was asked if fans would see Sakho on the pitch anytime soon, but the boss remained non-committal.
“First of all he needs to get 100% fit and then we will see," Klopp said.
Not the most promising of statements for the folk that want Sakho back in defense, but not the worst either.
All in all, it looks like team is in relatively good shape and Klopp will continue to keep it that way as we get closer to the season kick-off. Which, for those of you not keeping count, is now less than a month away.