It has been a long old month without Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool. The World Cup has been a decent distraction but the Reds finally return to action tomorrow afternoon when they take on French side Olympique Lyonnais in the Dubai Super Cup.

Jürgen Klopp has been putting his contingent of players who haven’t been involved in the World Cup through an intense training camp in Dubai since Tuesday. Their participation in this tournament will serve to get minutes under the players’ belts as they prepare for the resumption of club football.

With only seven players being called up for their respective countries at the World Cup, it’s been a healthy squad available for the training camp. The likes of Matip, Gomez, Robertson, Milner, Thiago, Elliott, Firmino, Salah etc have all been put through their paces after a welcome three week break.

A handful of youngsters from the Academy have also been involved as they seek to catch the manager’s eye. Stefan Bajcetic, Kaide Gordon, Bobby Clark, Ben Doak to name a few, will all be aiming to take their chance on this trip.

A spot in the squad may just have opened up for someone like Ben Doak, with the terrible news of Luis Diaz suffering a setback in his recovery from injury. The Colombian had begun training over the past week but is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines after requiring surgery on his knee.

With Diogo Jota also not expected back untill late January at the earliest, the squad is looking light on out and out wide men. This may be an opening for a young talent like Doak. The 17 year old will likely get minutes tomorrow after catching the eye with the youth team and on his first team debut against Derby.

Darwin Nunez is in line to join up with the rest of the squad next week, after Uruguay’s group stage elimination. Alisson Becker, Fabinho and Virgil Van Dijk will follow suit a week later after their World Cup involvement came to an end in the quarter final.

Elsewhere, the likes of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be heading into the last few months of their respective contracts. With no sign of a renewal forthcoming, the duo will want to end their Liverpool careers with a bang, if only to attract suitors for a summer move.

Roberto Firmino and James Milner are similarly in the last few months of their contracts, but their Liverpool future doesn’t seem as bleak. Tomorrow is the first step in the preparation for the rest of the campaign.

After an uncharacteristically slow start, the Reds have a lot of catching up to do in the league table. Jürgen Klopp and Pep Ljinders are no doubt relishing this training camp as they whip the side into shape tactically and physically for the challenges that lay ahead.

The real business starts again in twelve days with a trip to the Etihad to take on Manchester City for a Carabao Cup fourth round tie. Before then though, Lyon, and a chance to see the Reds back in action. Can’t wait. It’s been too long.


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