Jürgen Klopp expects to welcome Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk into his available squad for Saturday's pre-season friendly with Bury.
Georginio Wijnaldum, who returned to training on Sunday, must be assessed before the game after missing Thursday morning’s session.
“It’s pre-season so I don’t know exactly who will be ready for Saturday, to be honest,” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com once the workout, the first of two on the day, was complete.
“I hope Joel [can play], it looks like that. Virgil can play. Gini was not in training this morning; that’s pre-season, sometimes they feel a little bit here or a little bit there and the medical department tell me: ‘not today’. I don’t know if he will be in tomorrow, we will know that a little bit later.”
The trip to Bury marks the Reds’ third outing of the summer after 7-0 and 3-2 victories at Chester FC and Tranmere Rovers respectively since they came back to Melwood on July 2.
Klopp confirmed he is likely to name different teams for each half of the clash with the League Two side, as he did in the previous two matches.
The boss anticipates a good test for Liverpool as they continue to lay the groundwork needed to improve on the level they showed last term.
“It’s still early stages. A lot of teams started only yesterday and we are already eight or nine days in,” he continued.
“We want to use that time, we don’t want to make early tests in the games and say: ‘that’s not enough’. We only want to play as often as possible and work with the results and the performances. As long as it’s fair and they cause us problems, it’s good for us.
“I don’t think Tranmere caused us too many problems, we caused our problems ourselves but that’s part of football as well. It was a nice atmosphere, the pitch was really good. I liked the game.
“Now let’s do the next step. It’s much more important in the pre-season what we do in the sessions. In the games sometimes you see a little bit of it, sometimes not. You need to play football with instinct and we create this kind of instinct again.
“A lot of players will come back now in the next eight or nine days and then we have the next group and we are in America, they’ll then start training and all that stuff. It’s kind of a challenge but it’s the same for all the other teams as well.
“The plan is to be stronger after pre-season than before pre-season, reach the level from last year again and use that as a basis for the next step.”
Joel Matip is ready to make his return to action in Liverpool’s friendly against Bury.
After his 2017-18 campaign was cut short by a thigh injury sustained in March, the centre-back re-joined his teammates in full training earlier this week.
The Reds will make the short trip to Gigg Lane for the third of their nine pre-season matches on Saturday, with Jürgen Klopp expecting Matip to be available.
And the No.32 himself is keen to get back on the pitch this weekend.
“If the manager decides [I can play] I would be happy. I think I am ready,” Matip told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Of course I am in full training but I think to get the real full fitness everybody needs a bit longer, me especially after a long injury, but we are all on a good way and me as well.
“It’s always different [playing compared to training] and you need this time on the pitch to be ready… I’m looking forward to these pre-season games, to get fit and get back to a good level.”
Matip did plenty of work during the off-season, completing his recovery programme under the guidance of the club’s medical and fitness staff.
“I spent a lot of time over the summer here in Liverpool, at Melwood, to be ready and to get fit,” the 26-year-old said.
“They [the staff] did everything with me. I felt, over the summer, quite good and they did a lot of good things, sometimes not easy, things with me but they helped me a lot, of course.”
The defender was restricted to 35 appearances last term due to his aforementioned thigh problem and a muscular issue suffered in November, but he is aiming to ensure he is available throughout 2018-19 - starting on the opening weekend, when West Ham United visit Anfield.
“Every football player wants to be fit, but especially after a season with a few injuries you want this more,” Matip explained.
“It’s a long way to go [until the West Ham match], but I try to work on my own fitness and to be ready. You need sometimes the ball to get this feeling back, to know how you move again, to get self-confidence in your own movements.
“This needs some time, but I’m still looking forward to the new steps like playing friendly games. I am quite positive.”
Dejan Lovren has earned the plaudits coming his way with his outstanding form for club and country, according to Jürgen Klopp.
The Liverpool centre-back is one game away from becoming a World Cup winner, having helped Croatia overcome England on Wednesday night to set up a decider against France in Moscow this weekend.
Lovren was an integral contributor for the Reds as they reached the Champions League final in May, meaning the 29-year-old will have played in two of the biggest fixtures in world football within two months.
Klopp feels the positive arc of the defender’s past season is just reward for a player he believes can still improve further, too.
“People very often judge other people pretty early. I don’t know exactly what happened before I came in,” the manager told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Since I came in, maybe Dejan made three or four mistakes, two of them in the Tottenham game, maybe one in a Champions League game last year. But it’s for sure not 15 or 20.
“90 per cent of the time he played outstanding, 95 per cent absolutely OK, and five per cent probably he was not at his best. But you will find these problems for pretty much all the players in the world.
“I’m completely happy. I’m happy that he used the little advice we gave him in the last few years in a very good way. He can still improve, 100 per cent.
“But he is on a really good way. I didn’t see all of the World Cup games but a lot – he played a fantastic tournament so far. It’s well deserved, I’m really happy for him.”
The semi-final clash between England and Croatia was a tough watch for Klopp given his affiliation with current and former players on both sides.
His disappointment for Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and fans of the country he calls home at the moment sat alongside satisfaction in seeing Lovren reach the pinnacle of the international game.
“It was a really strange feeling. I live in England and have two players in the England team, so I was a little bit more for England,” he said.
“It was a very intense game, how a semi-final should be. Both teams played better football in the tournament but it was the second-to-last game of a very long season for all the players.
“It was a sign again how a game can change in one second. England controlled the game more or less, Croatia looked exhausted in that part of the game – and then they scored a goal and got a real push.
“I can imagine everybody is disappointed but it was still a fantastic tournament with one game to come. Third or fourth at the World Cup, with all the teams that were not there like Italy and Holland, that were out early like Germany, Brazil and Argentina – it’s a big tournament with a lot of really good teams. With a very young team they did a brilliant job.
“Of course I’m delighted for Dejan. The country is small but all the players are pretty big. It’s impressive what they are doing. They are a strong team, their players play all over the world. It’s good to see.
“If you want, I had two players in the team because Ivan Perisic was my player when we won the double years ago at Dortmund. I’m happy for them of course.”