Jurgen Klopp seemed mostly impressed with his side’s pre-season efforts following a 3-1 victory over German outfit Darmstadt at Deepdale Stadium.
Still, it can’t be ignored that problems have persisted beyond the 2022/23 season and that an impressive streak of results carrying over from the prior campaign can’t hide the obvious need for continued investment this summer.
“The situation is clear, the diagonal protection is not there. We cannot avoid each pass in behind our line, we just have to make sure Liverpothat we are then in better positions,” the 55-year-old told the club’s official website.
“Besides that, we scored two goals after set-pieces, which is important.
“We could have scored one from a high-press situation, which is good as well and besides that we played a lot of good stuff without finishing the situations off.
“With the physical state I am really happy, we looked really fresh, looked really good – now, in the next five or six days, we have to find a formation for the Chelsea game, not for the whole season, and then we go from there.
“All OK, nobody got injured, so that’s the most important thing. We came through so far OK and that’s good.”
Alexis Mac Allister appears a perfect transfer for Liverpool, slotting into the midfield department as if he’d been here all along.
The same can’t necessarily be said of Dominik Szoboszlai, who looks set to prove Micah Richards correct in his analysis of the former RB Leipzig star.
Still, this is a signing most expect will work out in the long run for Liverpool – not least of all the fans themselves and the considerable contingent of Hungarian national team supporters who are rightly utterly enamoured with the Merseysiders’ £60m summer signing.
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In our minds, however, the Argentine World Cup winner is a bolt-on for the midfield to face Chelsea at the weekend in whatever form it may take.
Assuming that the first-XI fielded in the first-half of action in Preston will bear the biggest resemblance to the sie put against Mauricio Pochettino’s side, we’d be far from surprised to see either Harvey Elliott or Curtis Jones also taking up a place.
Given that the latter has been seriously discussed as a potential stop-gap solution for the number six role – prior to any potential signing we may or may not make – there should be no one surprised to see the Englishman potentially feature in Fabinho’s now vacant spot should Mac Allister be pushed higher up the pitch.
With Szoboszlai proving somewhat easy to press and knock off the ball, our No.19 could be favoured to complete the midfield trio.
Elsewhere, Klopp finds himself blessed with a forward line enjoying a great vein of form in pre-season.
Mo Salah has to be considered a bolt-on, though there are questions that must be asked about the possibility of sacrificing a midfielder to field Cody Gakpo behind the attacking three, with Diogo Jota, Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz competing for the remaining places.
It’s perhaps a risk too far at Stamford Bridge, so we’ll be backing the Dutchman to feature alongside our Egyptian King and Colombian speedster up top.
The backline chooses itself, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibou Konate, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson all set to start at Stamford Bridge barring any unfortunate late complications.