Jurgen Klopp will field a strong first-team when his side take on Hertha in the Olympiastadion in the next chapter of their pre-season campaign
Liverpool and Hertha Berlin step up their preparations for next season in a clash at the Olympiastadion that marks a special occasion for the German side.
Hertha celebrated their 125th anniversary in midweek and are continuing the festivities onto the clash with Jurgen Klopp’s team, who reached the milestone last month.
But the two sides will be focusing more on the future, as they prepare to juggle domestic and European football in 2017-18.
Both Hertha and Liverpool are in good shape ahead of the game, having each won all but one of their pre-season games so far.
As the sixth and fourth placed teams in the Bundesliga and Premier League respectively last term, it could prove to be a close encounter as both sides will line up with first-team stars.
|Game||Hertha Berlin vs Liverpool|
|Date||Saturday, July 29|
|Time||18:00 (local) / 17:00 BST (July 27)|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
The game is only being shown on television in the UK through Liverpool’s own subscription channel and no stations in the USA will be broadcasting it. However, it is available internationally via their online streaming service.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|LFC TV||LFC TV GO|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Position||Hertha Berlin players|
|Goalkeepers||Jarstein, Klinsmann, Kraft|
|Defenders||Rekik, Baak, Plattenhardt. Mittelstadt, Weiser, Pekarik|
|Midfielders||Lustenberger, Maier, Darida, Skjelkbred, Duda, Stocker, Kade|
|Forwards||Leckie, Kurt, Dardai, Esswein, Haraguchi, Ibisevic|
The encounter is an important one for Hertha beyond marking their 125th anniversary. Coach Pal Dardai is seeing his team take shape for the 2017-18 campaign and will have a squad of 22 players and will field his regular starters for most of the game.
The Bundesliga side have had a bit of a goalkeeping crisis lately, though. Rune Jarstein and Jonathan Klinsmann just returned to working with the team on Thursday, while Thomas Kraft continues to train alone and Sebastian Langkamp is out injured. The capital club have resorted to bringing 32-year-old Michael Langer in to train with the squad, as he remains unattached since leaving Swedish side Norrkoping.
Meanwhile, Julian Schieber, Niklas Stark and Davie Selke are unavailable through injury.
|Goalkeepers||Mignolet, Karius, Ward, Grabara|
|Defenders||Clyne, Moreno, Matip, Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Gomez, Klavan, Flanagan|
|Midfielders||Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson, Kent, Ejaria, Coutinho, Grujic, Lallana, Can|
|Forwards||Sturridge Solanke, Origi, Ings, Firmino, Salah, Mane, Woodburn|
A group of 30 players travelled from England to Germany for the encounter, but just like Dardai, Jurgen Klopp plans to cut that down to 22.
The coach does have some injury worries which will affect his line up for Hertha as a game against Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup awaits before they take on Athletic Club.
Nathaniel Clyne, Loris Karius, James Milner and Danny Ward all have minor injuries while Emre Can, Sadio Mane, Danny Ings and Ben Woodburn only recently returned to training
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Liverpool are 9/10 favourites to win, according to Oddschecker, with Hertha priced at 37/13 the draw available at 13/5.
You can bet on the game seeing over 2.5 goals for odds of 4/6 and under 2.5 goals for 5/4.
For Hertha, it is a day to look back as well as forward. The club will open the stadium five and a half hours before the jubilee game kicks off, promising live entertainment and activities for kids.
However, Dardai is hoping to see a strong display from his players after a recent 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa.
The capital club have no further friendlies scheduled before their first Bundesliga game against Stuttgart on August 19, but Dardai believes his team is starting to come together and will get a better view of their progress.
“For us, it is the first pre-season game that we will tackle a bit more to our system and play with a large number of candidates for the first-team,” he said this week.
“In Aston Villa and Malaga (2-1 win), we had good international opponents. These games are good for the learning process. It will be the same against Liverpool – it will be a great game for the spectators too.”
Liverpool have had a solid pre-season campaign so far, having beaten Tranmere Rovers, Crystal Palace and Leicester City and drawn with Wigan.
With two weeks to go before they kick off the Premier League season Klopp has time to further tweak his team and tactics and plans on making changes for Saturday.
Andy Robertson could make his debut for the Anfield outfit, while the coach is unsure if Emre Can is fit enough to play.
“If we will make 10 changes, I don’t know actually. We will make a match squad of 20 or 22 players, I’m not sure,” he told the club’s website. “[Friday] will be really intense and then we will see who we should take then.
“Emre has been not too long in training, so what can we do with him after three sessions or whatever? So then we will have to see.
“We have real time, but we will sit together [on Thursday night] and then think about how we can line up, what kind of different things can we do and then we will wait.”