It’s not all transfer news and bullshit these days, even if between Liverpool’s frustrating pursuit of Naby Keïta and Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s ridiculous low-ball offers for Philippe Coutinho it can feel a little that way at times. No, there’s also pre-season football to keep track of.
And today there’s good news for Liverpool fans on that front, as Sadio Mané and Danny Ings had their first day in full training with the rest of the team as players returned to action at Melwood following the Hong Kong leg of 2017’s pre-season tour.
Both players had remained behind in solo training while their teammates and the coaching staff flew out to take part in the Premier League Asia Trophy and recorded victories over Crystal Palace and Leicester City, working to be ready to join the team in training when they returned.
Today, they both got their first chance at it, and the expectation now is that both Mané and Ings will be fit to travel to Germany with the rest of the team on Wednesday for phase two of Liverpool’s pre-season touring, though they may not be ready to face Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
If they aren’t ready by Saturday, an appearance in one of the mid-week Audi Cup games is expected, with Liverpool facing Bayern Munich on Tuesday in leg one. The winner and loser of that match and of Atletico Madrid vs. Napoi will then face off on Wednesday.
Those back-to-back games will require heavy squad rotation and likely mean dividing the squad into two teams with each getting a full game of action, one against Bayern and the other against either Atletico Madrid or Napoli.
After that, Liverpool have one more pre-season match scheduled, against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin on the 5th of August, before they kick off their Premier League season a week later against Watford.