Sandwiched between a 2-2 draw against Sporting CP in New York City and the forthcoming fixture against Lyon lies the Reds pre-season meeting with Napoli at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield.
Defeats to Dortmund to Sevilla on the US tour followed solid pre-season wins against Tranmere and Bradford, but this game against Napoli will bring raise the recent ghosts of our victorious Champions League campaign.
A late Lorenzo Insigne goal at the Stadio San Paolo gave I Partenopei the win and dealt an early blow to the Reds in the Group stage.
However, a return fixture – underscored by some complex permutations – saw a Mo Salah goal (and a last-gasp Alisson save) ended in a mirrored 1-0 scoreline to send the Reds through to the last-16.
16-year-old, brand new arrival, Harvey Elliott, has been named in Jürgen Klopp’s 23-man squad for the Napoli game and could make his debut for the Reds in Edinburgh.
Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Alisson, however, are not expected back until Monday where they will reunite with the rest of the Reds at the training camp in Evian.
Naby Keïta and Xherdan Shaqiri will not be involved as both continue recoveries from injury. Likewise, Nathaniel Clyne is an obvious absentee after sustaining a cruel ACL injury – Yasser Larouci, too, is ruled out with the injury suffered in the senselessly severe Sevilla clash.
The assist from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drew worthy praise in the Sporting game; however, Klopp’s admission that he is struggling with a calf complaint was met less with the clapping of hands and more with the clasping of them. He may yet feature, though it will of course be at the manager’s discretion.
Adam Lallana was revived for the final moments in New York after a dead leg kept him out of the first two matches on the USA tour. Therefore, he could yet be in contention for further minutes in Scotland.
Despite an unfortunate goalkeeping erorr, Simon Mignolet offered moments of redemption in his full 90 minutes on the pitch. Joining him in seeing out the entire game, Fabinho and James Milner could be part of a plan to play a settled team for the full course of the game at Murrayfield.
If that is the plan for the Napoli friendly, Klopp may elect to play Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in the heart of defence in preparation for the Lyon game and the Community Shield clash against Manchester City.
That fact may see late Sporting debutant, Sepp van den Berg, denied an extended cameo in the defensive berth.
The conclusive prognosis looks to be an opportunity for Klopp to get a more or less a full game out of his senior squad members ahead of Salah, Firmino, and Alisson’s arrival tomorrow. The result of that could be limited chances for the squad’s younger inclusions.
Expect a similar line-up to the Sporting game, perhaps even with the experimental formation with Gini Wijnaldum and Ox out wide.
Liverpool 23-man squad:
Robertson, Van Dijk, Lovren, Gomez, Matip, Hoever, Alexander-Arnold, Van den Berg, Lewis.
Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Kent, Wilson, Elliott.
Brewster, Origi, Duncan.