Liverpool’s final friendly of their official pre-season sees them return to Anfield to take on Ligue 1 outfit Strasbourg on Sunday evening.
Liverpool vs. Strasbourg
Pre-season friendly (5) | Anfield
July 31, 2022 | 7.30pm (BST)
The match will be the second of two games in two days for the Reds, following the Community Shield win against Man City on Saturday.
With just one week to go until Liverpool’s Premier League opener against Fulham, the friendly will be the final opportunity for many players to get valuable minutes in their legs ahead of another grueling season.
Here’s 10 things you need to know ahead of Liverpool’s friendly with Strasbourg.
1. Back to Anfield!
It really is good to be back, isn’t it?
This will be Liverpool’s first match at Anfield since their victory over Wolves on the final day of the Premier League season in May.
The stadium will have a slightly different look to it, with work on the expansion of the Anfield Road End accelerating during the summer break, and well on track to be completed this time next year.
Liverpool’s first home league match of the season will take place on Monday, August 15, against Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace.
2. The second game in two days
It’s a busy weekend for the Reds!
The match takes place just 26 hours after Liverpool’s Community Shield win over Man City at the King Power.
This isn’t the first time the club has deliberately scheduled two matches across the same weekend, with Klopp eager to spread the match action across his squad before the real stuff kicks off next week.
It was the same in the last pre-season, where Liverpool took on Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna the weekend before their league opener against Norwich.
3. Who could play?
Those who didn’t start against Man City can expect to feature at Anfield on Sunday.
That means the likes of Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and Darwin Nunez could all start.
Alisson, Caoimhin Kelleher, Calvin Ramsay, Kostas Tsimikas, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kaide Gordon and Diogo Jota remain absent.
Possible Reds XI: Davies; Mabaya, Konate, Gomez, Milner; Bajcetic, Keita, Jones; Elliott, Carvalho, Nunez
4. Youngsters back in the mix
The match should also give a number of Liverpool’s young players an opportunity to impress.
Isaac Mabaya and Stefan Bajcetic look likely to start, but some of the academy prospects who missed out on the trip to Austria could feature here.
Luke Chambers, James Norris, Leighton Clarkson, Tom Hill and Melkamu Frauendorf were all involved in the tour of Asia and we’d expect at least some of them to be named on the bench.
5. What has Klopp said?
Speaking in his post-match press conference following the Community Shield win, Klopp insisted that pre-season is far from over:
“I know we have to work. We said it before, we have to extend our pre-season at least for two more weeks. There’s no other chance.
“We cannot just now go in the normal rhythm, play games at the weekend that we are not prepared for.
“Then three games a week which we will have from, I don’t know exactly, from three or four weeks.”
6. What can we expect from Strasbourg?
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— Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace English (@RCSA_English) July 29, 2022
Like the Premier League, the Ligue 1 season also kicks off next weekend, with Strasbourg hosting Takumi Minamino’s Monaco in their opener next Saturday.
Julien Stephan’s side finished sixth, just outside the European qualification places, in the French top flight last season.
This will be their fifth match of pre-season, having drawn 2-2 against Brentford earlier this month, and losing their most recent friendly against Cagliari on Wednesday.
7. Did you know?
— Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace English (@RCSA_English) July 30, 2022
Liverpool’s last competitive meeting against Strasbourg came in the 1997/98 campaign, when the French outfit knocked the Reds out of what was formerly known as the UEFA Cup in the second round.
A 3-0 first leg defeat in France proved costly, and a 2-0 victory in the return fixture, with Robbie Fowler and Karl-Heinz Riedle on the scoresheet, was not enough to turn the tie around.
David James, Paul Ince, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen were among the other Liverpool players to feature in both matches.
8. The friends aren’t done yet!
Think this is the final friendly of Liverpool’s pre-season? Think again!
In a press conference on Thursday, Klopp revealed that his side will play another warm-up match after their trip to Craven Cottage next weekend.
The match will take place behind closed doors, with reports suggesting Aston Villa will be the opponents.
It’s not the first time Liverpool will have played Villa in such a match, having also done so in a similar friendly this time last year, one day after their opening day victory at Norwich.
The game will give those who don’t feature against Fulham another chance to build up their fitness.
9. The final countdown
We’re now less than a week away from the new Premier League season. That summer has flown by, hasn’t it?
The trips to Asia and Austria both went to plan, and Klopp seems happy with the work his side have got through in the last month. “The boys are ready,” he said after the win against City on Saturday.
After this game, Liverpool will spend the next five days stepping up their preparations at the AXA Training Center, before 2022/23 officially gets underway next Saturday.
10. We’ll be live from Anfield!
Liverpool vs. Strasbourg will be shown live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO, with kickoff at 7.30pm (BST).
However, if you’re not able to watch, Jack Sear will be bringing you live updates from the game This Is Anfield‘s live blog. See you then!