After yet another summer has raced by, the Reds will wrap up their pre-season preparations with a match against Red Bull Salzburg tomorrow night, their final shot at attaining match fitness and setting a starting XI before they face off with Manchester City in the Community Shield on Saturday.
They don’t look like they will be doing so with a full deck of cards however, and Jürgen Klopp today provided an update on the players that have missed game time over the past few weeks, including the best goalkeeper in the world.
“Obviously Diogo is not here, that’s clear,” klopp told the club’s official site. “But from the boys who are injured but are here, Ali is the closest – definitely not for Salzburg but then we will see. He is close to get back I think.
“We have three days later our big starting game of the season,” the gaffer continued. “So, of course we will have to make changes. I’d love to say we can use all of them but now I had only a short talk with Doc Sarah and she told me, ‘He feels a little bit, he feels a little bit, he has a back (issue)’ and stuff like this.
“This afternoon is an important session as well; in this moment I don’t know who can take part in it. We need to have a look and we will play the game. It’s pre-season so we have to get through it and then we have to deal with it.”
Now, exactly which players “feel a little bit” is — smartly, given the hysterical proclivities of sections of the Liverpool fan base — left up in the air, but it is also entirely commonplace that athletes get banged up during the course of the high-volume, high-intensity pre-season phase currently ongoing, without that necessarily being an issue the rest of the year.
All that said, it would be immensely useful to have access to Alisson Becker for as many games as possible if the Reds are to attain their lofty, trophy-laden goals this season, starting with Saturday’s Charity Shield clash at the King Power Stadium.