4 things to look out for in Liverpool's pre-season opener against Karlsruher SC

Will Castle
11 months ago

Liverpool kick off their pre-season preparations on Wednesday afternoon, taking on German second division side Karlsruher SC.

Reds fans have been starved of live football for almost two months now. However, Liverpool's off-season has been far from quiet.

From exciting new arrivals to eyebrow-raising potential departures, Jurgen Klopp's dressing room is experiencing a major shake-up; something which was expected following months of talk of a significant squad overhaul.

Liverpool appear to be entering a new era under Klopp, and the clash against Karlsruhe will provide a glimpse of what may be to come in a crucial season for the Reds.

So, with that, let's take a look at four things to look out for during Liverpool's pre-season opener.

READ MORE: Karlsruher SC vs Liverpool match preview

Where will Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai fit in?

For weeks now, fans have been eagerly anticipating the respective debuts of Liverpool's two new boys: Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.

Both signings signify Jurgen Klopp's intent to bring goals to the midfield, something which was severely lacking in the previous campaign.

However, question marks surround how the pair will fit into the side, as well as what roles will they take on.

For example, considering Mac Allister's versatility, will his role be geared to something more box-to-box, while Szoboszlai takes on a more forward-thinking position?

With both expected to feature in the Karlsruhe fixture, we should get an idea of how the pair might be utilised going forward.

What system will be used?

During the tail end of last season, a campaign that could only be described as incredibly underwhelming, Liverpool experienced a new lease of life. This was in large part thanks to a change in system.

Ditching the famed 4-3-3 that had been so effective in recent years, a 3-box-3 setup was adopted by Jurgen Klopp; a change in tactics that notably saw Trent Alexander-Arnold moved into the midfield โ€“ a position he has since thrived in.

Given its success, many perceive that it would be a no brainer to stick with the refreshed system going into the upcoming season, especially given the fact the signings of Szoboszlai and Mac Allister look geared towards the new setup.

The clash against Karlsruhe could give an indication whether the 3-box-3 approach is the long-term plan for Jurgen Klopp, or whether it is just another option in the tactical bank.

Will Jordan Henderson be involved?

ยฉ Proshots - Jordan Henderson

Not many expected our skipper to be embroiled in a transfer saga this summer, but alas, that is the situation we find ourselves in.

With Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq prepared to quadruple his wages, Jordan Henderson at one point looked to be on the brink of an exit, having reportedly accepted a lucrative contract offer from the Saudi club.

However, with Liverpool standing firm over a fee, Henderson's future now hinges on whether Al Ettifaq can meet the Reds' asking price.

Unlike Fabinho, Henderson has travelled to Germany for the fixture and it will be interesting to see if โ€” and in what capacity โ€” Henderson will feature during Liverpool's pre-season opener, as it may give an indication of whether Jurgen Klopp is preparing for life without his captain.

Which youngsters will get their shot?

Pre-season is notoriously a proving ground for Academy starlets, granting an opportunity to make a name for yourself in a Liverpool shirt.

In past years, we've had the likes of Ben Woodburn, Curtis Jones, Rhian Brewster, and most recently Stefan Bajcetic - catching the eyes of fans and coaches alike with their pre-season displays.

And this year, there is no shortage of players looking to prove their worth.

Look out for the likes of Ben Doak, Bobby Clark, Jarell Quansah and Conor Bradley, who will look to utilise any minutes they get against Karlsruhe effectively, making their presence known to those in charge.

READ MORE: Liverpool academy stars who could break through in 2023/24

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