Jurgen Klopp says he will be making the most of the six substitutions that can be used in the Community Shield at Wembley when the Reds face Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Only Sadio Mane is missing from the players who would be in the first XI in an ideal world. He reports back for training on Monday, just four days before the Premier League campaign begins at Anfield against Norwich City.
Caoimhim Kelleher, Nathaniel Clyne and Ryan Kent will also be missing through a mixture of injury and illness, though none would have featured at Wembley anyway. Kent is reportedly set for a move to the Championship.
According to LiverpoolFC.com, Klopp explained: “The good thing is we can have six substitutions, that’s really good. We’ll make a squad for the game, not for the season. We will find the line-up, for sure.
“We will find a starting line-up where you can change six times in that early a game in the season against a very demanding opponent who asks for a lot of footwork and runs and all that stuff. We will probably use all six [subs].”
There is no extra-time in the Community Shield, so the maximum the game can be is 90 minutes and then a penalty shootout.
The likes of Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, who returned to training later than most, could start the game, but are unlikely to last the full match. Others, like Fabinho, who have had a full pre-season, could be ready to play the whole 90 minutes.
While it’s not the biggest trophy in the world, it is a chance to get more silverware on the board, and will set the tone for the new season.
Lose, and questions over a lack of signings will be prominent going into the new campaign. Win, and the Reds will go into the Norwich City game full of confidence and with no distractions.