Liverpool continue their pre-season preparations with a clash against Hertha Berlin in Aachen on Thursday at 7:20pm (UK time).
The Reds are playing in their fourth game of the summer with another two to go while this is game six for Hertha and their penultimate clash before competitive football resumes
Hertha Berlin vs Liverpool build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Hertha have enjoyed something of a mixed bag this pre-season, beating lower league Schwarz-Rot Neustadt and MSV 1919 Neuruppin by a 23-0 aggregate scoreline before drawing with Hannover (4-4), St Pauli (2-2) and VfB Lubeck (1-1). There’s no doubting Liverpool represent their biggest challenge of the summer and one they’ll be eager to rise to with their DFB-Pokal first-round clash with SV Meppen just over a week away.
Equally, Jurgen Klopp will be looking for a more convincing performance and result this time after 1-1 draws with Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart and a 1-0 win over Mainz last time out that only came via an 86th-minute Luca Kilian own goal. But Liverpool are getting some of their big stars back and with testing games against Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna to come after this match, there is still plenty of time for Klopp to tune up his squad ahead of the Reds’ Premier League opener against Norwich City on August 14th.
- Hertha Berlin (vs VfB Lubeck): Korber; Zeefuik, Dardai, Stark, Plattenhardt; Ascacibar, Serdar; Lukebakio, Boateng, Dilrosun; Jastrzembsk.
- Liverpool (vs Mainz): Kelleher; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Konate, Tsimikas; Elliot, Milner, Keita; Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mane.
Lucas Tousart, Matheus Cunha and Jordan Torunarigha are absent for Hertha Berlin due to their participation in the Olympic Games, while Krzysztof Piatek is continuing his recovery from a fractured ankle.
Virgil van Dijk should be fit enough for a long-awaited return to action, though he’ll likely only appear from the bench. Diogo Jota and Andy Robertson should return after their breaks from Euro 2020, but Jordan Henderson, Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino will likely continue their rest periods.
“He looks really good in training and maybe we can bring [him in], but I need to have some final conversations. He looks ready and we will see. If you see the games now as part of their rehab training, that makes sense.”
Should the Dutch centre-back take to the field, it’ll be the first time he’s played a first-team game for Liverpool since their 2-2 Merseyside Derby draw at Goodison Park back in October 2020.
Liverpool’s season effectively unravelled without Van Dijk and a number of other senior players, though Klopp’s men did impressively rally to finish third and qualify for the Champions League. With the 30-year-old back — and providing he hits top form again — the Reds are undoubtedly serious contenders for the Premier League title once again.