Liverpool ran themselves hard during pre-season. Or, more to the point, Jürgen Klopp did. Now, in the relative lull of the final week before the season kicks off, the manager is worried about making sure everyone’s fit and fresh, focusing on tactics at least as much as training.
“We have to get a little bit of fresh legs back, but that will happen,” Klopp noted during a break on Tuesday morning as he prepares his side for their first test of the Premier League season and a trip to Vicarage Road to take on Watford in Saturday’s first matchup of the day.
With a few injuries carrying over from pre-season, most significantly to Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana, keeping energy levels up will be important as Liverpool face a busy month of August with tough—potentially even season-defining—games in both the league and Europe.
Three days after Warford, they travel to Germany for the first leg of their Champions League qualifying playoff against Hoffenheim on Tuesday. It’s the toughest draw they could have been handed, with the return leg to come a little more than a week later on Wednesday the 23rd.
To either side are the club’s second league match against Crystal Palace on the 19th and a marquee meeting with Arsenal to end the month on the 27th, with both games at Anfield. It adds up to five games in 16 days, and some very tough opponents for Liverpool and Klopp to be ready for.
“Preparation and preparation,” he added when asked what’s in store for the final few days before the season kicks off. “We’ll have an exact look at what Watford will ask of us system-wise and things like this. We will be prepared and hopefully it’s good enough to win.
“I’m excited. I’ve been looking forward to the first game since we started pre-season. I’m not the best in pre-season–I’m not very patient. I’m happy that we can start.”