Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview: Shaqiri to make Reds debut

Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview: Shaqiri to make Reds debut

The Reds conclude their US tour with a high-profile clash with Manchester United.

matt-addison
Matt Addison

Pre-season for all Premier League teams is well underway with the new season just a couple of weeks away, and Liverpool's latest challenge is a glamour tie with rivals Manchester United.

The game kicks off at 22:05 UK time, and takes place at the giant Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, with a capacity of 107,000. Around 100,000 tickets have already been sold.

This is Liverpool's final match of their American tour, which has so far seen them lose 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund and beat Manchester City by two goals to one.

They next head to Evian in eastern France for a week of more intense training as the season opener draws ever closer.

Team news

Gini Wijnaldum missed training earlier in the week and is highly unlikely to feature, while Naby Keita has been ruled out with a sore neck, which is not deemed to be serious.

Loris Karius has a knee problem and will therefore not play, meaning Academy graduates Caoimhin Kelleher and Kamil Grabara will get the chance to impress between the sticks.

Nathaniel Clyne was been allowed to return home from the US to witness the birth of his child, so will not be in the squad; Joe Gomez and Rafa Camacho could deputise at right-back.

Forwards Mo Salah and Sadio Mané will both play, having scored the goals that beat Manchester City on Thursday, while stars such as Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Adam Lallana, who have been in pre-season training a little longer, could play around 60 minutes as Jurgen Klopp ups their game time.

New signing Xherdan Shaqiri, who arrived from Stoke City for around £13 million, is expected to make his Liverpool debut having joined his new teammates earlier in the week.

Curtis Jones, who has impressed for Liverpool so far this summer, will get another opportunity to shine on his biggest stage yet, as will Ben Woodburn, Dominic Solanke and Nat Phillips.

Divock Origi will not be involved as he edges closer to the exit door. Valencia are interested with Liverpool reportedly wanting around £27 million for the Belgian, who they signed from Lille

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Chance to make a mark

Jose Mourinho has already begun his mind-games ahead of the new campaign, pointing out that Klopp has changed his stance over spending big on individual players, having criticised the Old Trafford side when they paid a then world-record fee for midfielder Paul Pogba.

Liverpool paid a world-record £66 million for goalkeeper Alisson this summer, as well as adding Keita for more than £50 million and Fabinho, a former Manchester United target, for around £40 million.

United, meanwhile, have only signed Brazilian international Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk and 19-year-old Portuguese full-back Diogo Dalot from FC Porto. They have been linked with a mega bid for Leicester’s Harry Maguire but that has not yet come to fruition.

Given Mourinho’s remarks, which Klopp laughed off in the build-up to this game, and the well-known rivalry between the sides, the friendly might have a bit more bite to it than most pre-season preparations.

Alexis Sanchez has been United’s stand-out performer thus far during pre-season, with other stars such as Pogba and Romelu Lukaku not back from the World Cup.

Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling are among those who should feature, but Anthony Martial, like Liverpool's Clyne, has returned home to welcome a new child.

United won on penalties against AC Milan in their previous pre-season game in the International Champions Cup, with former Liverpool player Suso on the scoresheet in normal time, and goalkeeper Pepe Reina converting from the penalty spot in the shootout.

This game will also go to penalties after 90 minutes should it end in a draw.

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