By James Miller – @JimmyMiller2608
Liverpool will begin preparations for the 2019/20 campaign with a customary trip across the Mersey to Prenton Park and Tranmere Rovers.
Last season the two clubs also had an encounter which influenced the preparation for the Premier League and Champions League. It was a rather close affair, with the Reds eventually edging it 3-2.
As with most pre-season fixtures, neither side were at full strength. The Reds especially fielded a side much different to their usual starting eleven. It was quite a youthful side which included the likes of recently departed Rafael Camacho, a scorer on the day.
Jurgen Klopp’s side began in the most impressive fashion, cruising into a three-goal lead before half time. Camacho’s opener was followed up by efforts from by Sheyi Ojo and the experienced Adam Lallana.
In an attempt to allow players to impress whilst also improving fitness, Klopp opted to make changes at half time. The side entering the fray for the second 45 had a much different look.
Tranmere must be given credit, for the fight and desire shown from their side, staging a late comeback in an attempt to give their fans a memorable day.
Just 18 minutes from time Oliver Norburn gave the youthful Liverpool side something to worry about scoring to make it 3-1. It was not long afterwards that there was major hope for the Whites – a League Two side at the time – as eight minutes Amadou Soukouna gave the host a second.
Despite the great show of desire and determination though, the quality of the Reds prevailed in the end with Klopp’s side able to manage the situation before eventually edging out their opponents, in a game which looked plain sailing for a large part.
This year’s meeting will next place on Thursday July 11th, and will open up proceedings for what promises to be another fine pre-season. The Whites will be hoping they can notch what would be a coup in defeating their Premier League counterparts, though it will be far from easy.
Liverpool fans will be hoping they can see a first glimpse of their latest signing Sepp van den Berg, with a lot of admiration already around the club for his potential.
There may also be chances for some of the players who featured for the under 23’s last time out, with the potential for Rhian Brewster’s development intriguing.
Due to their international commitments this summer, we know that a lot of Liverpool’s stars will be missing.
Alisson and Roberto Firmino have gone all the way with Brazil in the Copa America, while Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah have also been working hard with Senegal and Egypt respectively. Naby Keita picked up an injury with Guinea with no timeframe yet for his recovery.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson were with England for the UEFA Nations League finals in June, while Virgil van Dijk, Gini Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri also took part in the tournament.
After an extended break they will all return to pre-season training in due course, though the game at Prenton Park will come too soon for many of these. As for the Copa America participants, expect their return to come much later in the summer.