Liverpool will take on Barcelona on Saturday at the Wembley Stadium, in what is surely going to be their toughest preseason match yet. Jurgen Klopp and his team returned to England this week from America following a 2-1 defeat against AS Roma on 1st August. After the match on Saturday, The Reds will take on FC Mainz on 7th. It’s been a mixed preseason for Merseyside club, after a streak of four wins at the start, the Reds have managed just 1 win in the last three encounters. Liverpool kick off their Premier League campaign on 14 August against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium.
Given the close proximity to the Premier League season, Klopp is expected to name a strong starting XI, similar to the one that will take the field against the Gunners one week later. The match will also see Luis Suarez facing his former club for the first time after his controversial move to Barcelona in the summer of 2014. Klopp has done well this summer, bringing in a host of quality players including Sadio Mane, Wijnaldum, Matip etc. Here is the predicted Liverpool starting XI that Klopp might opt for on Saturday.
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet
With Loris Karius injured, Mignolet will be expected to start between the sticks against Barcelona. The Belgian international struggled last season, which is why it is very important that he does well in order to secure his place in the starting XI of next season.
Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno and Ragnar Klavan
Connor Randall has done well this summer in that right-back spot but with Clyne back in training and nearing full match fitness, the England international will be expected to start. Moreno went off injured in the last match in America, therefore as a precaution, Klopp might experiment with James Milner for that left-back position. Due to the number of injuries to central defenders, summer signing Klavan and Lovren should continue their partnership in the heart of defence.
Midfielders: Emre Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Sadio Mane and Coutinho.
It will be very difficult for Klopp to choose his midfield, given the number of options he has at his disposal. With Can playing in the centre, screening the back four, Henderson and Wijnaldum are likely to slot in on either side. There will be huge expectations from the Dutch international following his big money signing from Newcastle United. Another summer signing Sadio Mane will come in on the right wing, with Brazilian international Coutinho on the left. The likes of Firmino, Lallana and Milner are expected to provide further options from the bench.
Striker: Daniel Sturridge
Most of the English contingent that participated in the recently concluded European Championship have joined preseason training with their respective clubs. Sturridge will be under a lot of pressure this season to stay fit. He will start up front as the lone striker.