Klopp discusses starting line-up for Arsenal opener

Date published: Sunday 7th August 2016 9:33

Jurgen Klopp is unsure who will make Liverpool’s starting line-up for the Premier League season-opener against Arsenal.

The Reds cruised to a comfortable 4-0 victory over Barcelona in pre-season on Saturday, continuing their effective summer preparations for the upcoming campaign.

Sadio Mane and Marko Grujic were particularly impressive, but injuries to Daniel Sturridge and James Milner could change Klopp’s initial plans.

The German insists that he does not have a “clear idea” of the team who will line up at the Emirates Stadium on August 14.

“I don’t have a clear idea of the team against Arsenal,” said the Reds boss. “Why should I?

“I have an idea of the squad, that’s more important. A lot of players did well today and hopefully the players can do well tomorrow.

“I’ve never made a decision about a line-up in my life one week before the game.

“We will have 11 very good players on the pitch against Arsenal and a very strong bench but I have no idea who is where.”

Mane and Divock Origi staked their claims for a place in the side duringĀ a surprisingly easy victory over the Spanish giants.

Liverpool led through Mane’s first goal in a Reds shirt after a slick 15th-minute move involving Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino.

Klopp introduced Jordan Henderson, Origi and Kevin Stewart at the break, and their impact was instant.

Just a minute had gone when Origi darted down the right and crossed for Henderson, who bundled the ball home with the help of former Red Javier Mascherano, who got the final touch for an own-goal.

And 60 seconds later Stewart, who began last season on loan with Swindon, robbed Spain star Sergio Busquets before playing in Origi to roll home number three.

Another substitute, Serbian midfielder Marko Grujic, grabbed a superb fourth with a looping header in stoppage time to cap a commanding Liverpool display.

“It’s likely I could be sitting here and we had lost 4-0,” Klopp said after the game. “I would have said it wasn’t that nice, but would have been worthwhile because of things you can learn from the game.

“It’s a friendly, I know. But it was Barca. A lot of things can happen if they start playing, it’s pretty difficult to defend. It really could be dangerous.

“When you beat them 4-0, you have to use that. It was wonderful today with 90,000 here for a friendly and they could enjoy the game.

“We enjoyed it a lot when we made our last lap (to the fans). I would say 98% of what happened today was really great.

“I was happy with the result and parts of the game. On a tactical side, when we were at it we were really good.

“We had a little bit of luck, they hit the post and one hit Dejan and then Simon. Against Barca, that can happen.

“The game was good for us to learn a lot of things about us, what can happen if and what can happen if not.”

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