27 Jul 2016

Confirmed Team News (Liverpool/Chelsea): 'Fantastic' signing starts; £67m-trio out; Wijnaldum bad news - he's out. Injured?

After several mickey mouse training games, Liverpool face their first real pre-season test tonight against Chelsea, and several of the club's new signings are sure to start the game. Unfortunately, there are also a couple of high-profile absentees, including perpetual sicknote Daniel Sturridge.

According to ESPN:

"Daniel Sturridge will not be involved against Chelsea, a club source has told ESPN FC. Liverpool have withdrawn [him] as a precautionary measure. Also missing will be Wijnaldum, Benteke and Origi^".

Lucas Leiva and Joel Matip are also out injured, and according to the Liverpool Echo:

"Ragnar Klavan^ is set to make his Reds debut against Chelsea".

On the defensive front, ESPN further claims:

"Nathaniel Clyne has been ruled out with a tight hamstring. A club source said the decision to withdraw the full-back was a precaution".

Wijnaldum's absence is a disappointment as I'm sure most Reds fans were looking forward to seeing him in action. As for Sturridge - everyone will immediately think the worst, but the more realistic scenario is that he's not match-fit enough yet, and Klopp is - like last season - being overly cautious (or responsible, depending on your POV).

Possible Lineups:

---------------- Karius
Randall ---- Lovren - Klavan --- Moreno
------------- Can ---- Hendo/Grujic
Mane ---------- Firmino -- Coutinho
---------------- Ings


---------------- Karius
Milner ---- Lovren - Wisdom --- Moreno
---------- Grujic ---- Hendo
Lallana ------ Coutinho -- Mane
--------------- Firmino

To be honest, these lineups are less than inspiring.

* Jul 2016: Described by Estonia boss Magnus Pehrsson as 'fantastic'.

* Benteke, Sturridge, and Origi: combined cost/worth = £67m


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