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Will Jürgen Klopp’s Newly-Returned Stars Be Involved Against Manchester City?

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The Liverpool boss is going to be tied up in fitness assessment this week.

Liverpool v Olympique Lyonnais - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Now that Alisson, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah have rejoined the squad and played a part in the match against Lyon, the question on everyone’s mind is: Will they be fit enough to start for Liverpool in Sunday’s Community Shield?

Jürgen Klopp hasn’t overseen the most glorious pre-season but there have been a few standout performers. Harry Wilson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Rhian Brewster come to mind. But now the whole crew is mostly back in contention—only Sadio Mané remains absent—and performances should start to look more impressive.

But neither Alisson, Firmino, nor Salah have been back in action for very long and their readiness for the silly old match against Manchester City is unknown. Klopp will have to assess the trio’s recovery after Wednesday’s victory in Switzerland.

“I don’t know yet in the moment, so that’s how it is,” said Klopp. “We have to see. I don’t say 100 per cent not, there’s a chance that they will play, yes.

“They will be involved whenever, from the start, maybe we cannot make these changes like today after half an hour or whatever, that’s maybe not possible in that game so we have to see.

“We have to see how they react tomorrow, now training is not the highest intensity anymore, now training is about the detail [and] we really need to prepare the game.

“Man City is different to all other games that you play – you have to play a pre-season game against Man City to prepare for Man City and we didn’t do that! We need to adapt to that but all good.

“Today was from a physical point of view very, very important for all the lads and from a psychological point of view of course as well. We are all human beings and losing football games we never get used to, so I’m really happy that we could change that today.”

Going into the match on Sunday buoyed by a long awaited pre-season win will do good things for the players. Mental stuff and whatnot. Unity and the like. And Klopp has the next few days of training to get at least 11 players prepared to hit the big stage.

I don’t see any reason not to play Alisson. His blunder that led to Lyon’s goal was great entertainment. He’s amazing. Firmino and Salah are just as amazing but I’d be a lot less inclined to include them from the start at Wembley. Their involvement is largely unnecessary and each getting a chunk of the second half for fitness reasons sounds just fine to me.

Besides everyone wants to see Harvey Elliott score the winner against City anyway.