Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that new signing Fabinho and Naby Keita are both in line to make their unofficial debut for the club on Saturday when the Reds face non-league Chester in their first pre-season friendly of the summer.
Fabinho completed a £44m move from Monaco at the end of May as Liverpool kicked off their transfer business early, while new number eight Keita finally arrived on Anfield for around £52m a year after the deal was pre-agreed with RB Leipzig.
Now, as Liverpool and Klopp begin preparations for 2018/19, fans will be able to watch the pair in the Chester clash this weekend, with each likely to play 45 minutes.
“We still have two or three sessions until we play; unfortunately in football a lot of things can happen. But if nothing happens then they will play of course,” Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com.
“We don’t want to waste time. They are in, it’s good. It’s our first pre-season game so let’s start. If they’ll start, I don’t know, to be honest. I haven’t made the line-up so far, I have to see who is available. But, yes, they will be involved for sure.”
It is Klopp’s intention to use two different XIs for the game to make use of his full available squad after starting pre-season training just a few days ago.
“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,” the boss explained.
“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.”
None of the Liverpool players who went to the World Cup with their countries will be involved just yet, while Adam Lallana (illness) and Joel Matip (thigh injury) are both set to miss out.
Virgil van Dijk and Georginio Wijnaldum will also not be present as they are not due to begin pre-season training until Sunday after playing international friendlies in June.