Football

Juergen Klopp to find 'creative' solutions to pre-season absentees

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has admitted that he will have "to be creative system-wise" due to the fact he will be missing several key players for much of pre-season.

The Reds kick off their pre-season friendlies away to third-tier Tranmere Rovers tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

They will be missing striker Roberto Firmino and goalkeeper Alisson, who are on holiday after helping Brazil win the Copa America earlier this week.

Meanwhile, forwards Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have been involved in the ongoing African Nations Cup, along with midfielder Naby Keita - who during the tournament aggravated the adductor muscle injury which ruled him out of the Champions League final.

In addition, Xherdan Shaqiri's calf injury means he is sidelined for at least a few more weeks.

With Mane, Salah and Firmino unavailable, Liverpool will be without their first-choice front three, prompting Klopp to add youth team forwards Bobby Duncan and Paul Glatzel, both 18, to his pre-season squad - which features just 16 first-team players.

Said the German manager: "Our offensive line that played last year is coming pretty late in joining us in pre-season, so we have to be creative, system-wise and all that stuff, but there will be moments when they (Glatzel and Duncan) have to play.

"Not only at Tranmere or whatever, but in America as well, when we play Borussia Dortmund and all the other guys."

Ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler said the absentees will be a "huge problem" for the Reds.

In his column for the Sunday Mirror before Egypt's elimination from the African Nations Cup, the Brisbane Roar coach wrote: "It's bad enough the Copa America doesn't finish until July 7 because that means Roberto Firmino and Alisson possibly won't be back in training until August.

"But it's insane that the African Nations Cup won't finish until after the third week of July."

Football