The Reds face off against Napoli at Murrayfield this evening in a what will be the penultimate friendly of this year’s pre-season.
Having selected a 23-man squad for the trip up to Edinburgh, Jürgen Klopp has selected the same line-up from the 2-2 draw New York City against Sporting CP.
The US tour may have ended in a draw, but Klopp’s decision to play Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gini Wijnaldum in more offensive positions paid dividends when the former provided a sublime assist for the latter to find the back of the net.
That the boss is willing to try it again perhaps speaks volumes about how keen he is to have as many of his senior squad members on the pitch and getting minutes under their belts.
While earlier games against the likes of Tranmere, Bradford, and later, Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla, saw the inclusion of young attackers Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson, Klopp’s decision perhaps also provides a telling insight into their potential roles in the upcoming season.
Only Wilson makes the bench for the Napoli friendly, accompanied by Rhian Brewster and Bobby Duncan as Klopp’s attacking options.
In any case, Gini himself as been vocal about his predilection for attacking – a role he has been able to fulfil in the Netherlands national team. Let’s not forget that he even started up front for the Reds in the first leg against Barcelona.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, too, is no stranger to playing in a wider position having made over 50 appearances on the right wing in his career to date. With concerns over the calf trouble he is nursing, Klopp will likely treat him with caution at Murrayfield.
One other name sticks out from the line-up – the inclusion of newly-arrived 16-year-old Harvey Elliott in the matchday squad. It remains to be seen whether the teenage debutant record-breaker will make his first Liverpool bow this evening, but we expect a similar reaction Sepp van den Berg’s if he does.
In all, having faced Napoli in our glorious Champions League run, the Reds will hopefully be ready to face the Serie A (though we have our fingers crossed it won’t take a last-minute Mignolet save to ensure victory). This game is all about getting consistency in the legs of the lads and avoiding any more injuries!