This Tuesday, Liverpool travelled across the Atlantic ready for a trio of pre-season games in the US. The first of which takes place in Notre Dame Stadium, Indiana. The Reds will go toe-to-toe with Jurgen Klopp’s former team, Borussia Dortmund.
British fans will get a taste of what life as a fan living abroad is like as the game kicks off at 01:05 BST on Saturday morning.
The game will be a step up in preparations for next season. Liverpool will begin to face tougher competition after routine wins over Tranmere and Bradford.
Stiffer competition in the likes of Dortmund, Sevilla and Sporting will provide bigger challenges for the Reds. After the US tour, Liverpool will face Napoli at Murrayfield and Lyon in Geneva.
Liverpool will continue to be without several of their big hitters. Alisson, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah still haven’t returned to the squad following the conclusion of their international commitments.
Sadio Mane is still in action at AFCON. His Senegal side narrowly beat out Tunisia to make the final. They play Algeria in the final this Friday.
Andy Robertson started his pre-season training in the last week. He required surgery on an infection in his hand.
Xherdan Shaqiri and Naby Keita are both still expected to miss out through injury.
Sepp van den Berg could make his first Liverpool appearance in Indiana if he is cleared to play by FIFA.
Experienced goalkeeper Andy Lonergan will also join up with the Liverpool squad for pre-season. The former Leeds shot-stopper will work with John Achterberg and the goalkeepers in the squad; Simon Mignolet, Dan Atherton and Jakub Ojrzynski.
He may feature due to the lack of first-team goalkeepers in the squad.
The full Liverpool squad travelling to the US: Nathaniel Clyne, Fabinho, Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum, Dejan Lovren, James Milner, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Simon Mignolet, Rhain Brewster, Andy Robertson, Divock Origi, Joel Matip, Ryan Kent, Adam Lewis, Nat Phillips, Curtis Jones, Ki-Jana Hoever, Jakub Ojrzynski, Bobby Duncan, Ben Woodburn, Harry Wilson, Yasser Larouci, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sepp Van den Berg, Dan Atherton.
As ever in pre-season, predicted a line-up will be extremely difficult. There will probably still be two different teams. One for the first half and one for the second.
Chances are, every player in the squad will get a run-out. George Johnston was the only player to not feature in the 3-1 win over Bradford.
Pre-season is about building fitness at this point, we’ll see a more definitive line-up towards the start of the season.
What to expect…
Dortmund are obviously another level compared to what Liverpool have faced so far in pre-season.
Dortmund have made some very impressive moves in the transfer market this summer. They’ve brought back former captain Mats Hummels. They’ve also brought in Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, Paco Alcacer and Nico Schulz.
It will be interesting to see how these new signings function as part of the Dortmund squad in Indiana.
Last season, Dortmund handed the Reds their first loss of pre-season.
Lots of hugs
It’s usually a super friendly atmosphere when Jurgen’s old team face the Reds.
Liverpool have played Dortmund a few times in recent pre-seasons. Each time has been a friendly and kind atmosphere between the two clubs that share an unspoken bond.
A raucous YNWA
With both sides laying claim to the famous Gerry and the Pacemakers song, you can certainly expect a vibrant rendition of the club’s anthem when the two sides come out of the tunnel in Indiana this Friday.
The shared song is a symbol of the shared kind of identity that Liverpool and Dortmund share.
Both clubs have a history of success and both sides are on their way back to the big-time. We’ve just got there a bit quicker.
This is the point in pre-season when it becomes harder to predict a straightforward Liverpool victory.
The European Champions are exactly that for a reason though. They have enough quality to beat any competition put in front of them, even with depleted resources. As shown by the insane 4-0 win over Barcelona in the CL semi-final.
So, naturally, I’m going for a 3-0 Liverpool win.