Jurgen Klopp dropped a selection hint this week when he started Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk together against Sporting Lisbon and didn’t substitute either of them until the 77th minute.

The pre-season stalemate was the first game of the summer where Klopp didn’t make major substitutions until the 60th minute.

It’s likely that at least most of the players that started in New York will start against Manchester City or Norwich City.

Bruno Fernandes and Virgil van Dijk.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

One of the major questions that Klopp will need to answer in the next two weeks is ‘who does he want to partner Virgil van Dijk with to start the new season?’

 

It seems as though he has potentially found his answer and hinted that with his selection choice for the Reds’ 2-2 pre-season draw with Sporting Lisbon which turned out to be a more relaxed occasion than the heated game against Sevilla a few days prior.

In every game so far this summer Klopp has made wholesale changes to his side at half time but against Sporting, there were very little alterations to his starting lineup until later in the game, with Matip staying on the pitch until the 89th minute.

Joel Matip.

Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

If Matip is going to start alongside van Dijk next month in the Community Shield, the Premier League and the Super Cup it would seem like the most fair decision given that the Cameroonian has not put a foot wrong since being made a regular starter in Joe Gomez’s absence.

While Gomez might be the better defender long term, Matip was world-class at times last season and totally deserves to continue starting next to van Dijk until he gets injured or gets suspended.

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