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Lallana and Matip set to miss Liverpool’s first pre-season friendly

By July 5, 2018No Comments

Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana and defender Joel Matip are unlikely to feature in the club’s first pre-season friendly at Chester this weekend.

Lallana, who struggled last season with thigh and hamstring injuries, is ill, while Matip is not due to return to full training until next week following a thigh operation in March.

Holland pair Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum will also be absent as they do not come back to Melwood until Sunday, having been given extended time off because of international commitments at the end of the season.

“Adam Lallana will not be involved possibly, not sure. He’s a little bit ill, we have to see. I think Saturday will not be possible for him,” Klopp told liverpoolfc.com.

“I think it’s a bit too early for Joel. He is in training, not doing all, but in a few parts he’s doing more than the others.

“He’s not involved in football at the moment, but from next week on he will be fully involved.

“That’s it, pretty much. On Sunday, Gini and Virgil are coming back and then they’ll start their pre-season.”

Klopp will field two separate teams at the Swansway Chester Stadium as players work their way back to match fitness after their summer breaks.

It means new signings Naby Keita and Fabinho are set for their first outings in a red shirt, while goalkeeper Loris Karius will likely make his first appearance since his error-strewn Champions League final performance, after which it was disclosed he had suffered a concussion.

“After the holidays, the boys have to adapt to the intensity and stuff like that – all the things we did in training. So it makes sense that they play 45 minutes,” added Klopp.

“I’m not sure if we have two complete teams because not really all positions are covered, but that’s the plan.

“Go there and get used to proper football again, that’s why we do it.

“So I’m looking forward to it. It’s a first little test for us and hopefully we are ready.

“We always do it out of full training; we don’t think too much about the games during the week.

“So that will be quite intense for the boys, especially with these temperatures at the moment. But it’s all good, let’s go.”

Liverpool have given up their share of the gate receipts on Saturday, meaning the National League North club are set for a £30,000 windfall.