By Will Butcher
Liverpool selected a strong team for their glamour friendly against Barcelona on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp dropped a huge hint ahead of his team’s Premier League opener against Arsenal.
Manager Klopp has experimented with different players and formations during the Merseysiders’ pre-season programme.
But he picked what appeared to be virtually a full-strength side to face Barcelona as he fine tunes the team for the curtainraiser against Liverpool on Sunday week.
Simon Mignolet is in goal, with Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Ragnar Klavan and makeshift left-back James Milner ahead of him.
Emre Can is partnered by £25million new signing Georginio Wijnaldum in central midfield, with the holy trinity of attacking midfielders Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho ahead of them.
Injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge has not been included by the German as a precaution as he looks to recover from a hip injury in-time for the start of Liverpool’s Premier League campaign.
Intriguingly, Sadio Mane is selected to spearhead the attack ahead of Divock Origi and Danny Ings, who are both on the bench.
New signings Alex Manninger, Marko Grujic and Joel Matip also fail to make the starting line-up as former Borussia Dortmund manager Klopp names what could be his starting eleven to take to the field against Arsenal.
The Reds have won five out of their seven pre-season matches, but four of those wins have come against lower league opposition such as Huddersfield and Tranmere.
In other Liverpool team news, Divock Origi, who is only on the bench today, has revealed how he wants to emulate former fan favourite Luis Suarez.