This year has been extraordinary for all the wrong reasons. The global health crisis has forced a new reality upon us, altering our way of life from the way we shop to the way we watch football. Nobody has been left untouched by these impacts, sport has felt it particularly harshly. Liverpool have had a number of pre-season difficulties, not all due to COVID, but these difficulties should prove to be a blessing in disguise for the side.
Training camp cancellation
Liverpool had planned on heading to Evian in France for their pre-season training camp having enjoyed two successful camps there.
However, the UK government announced, shortly before the squad were set to travel, that any parties returning from France would have to self isolate for a fortnight – with the Reds taking on Arsenal in the community shield this Saturday the club were forced to rethink their plans.
Instead the club headed to Saalfelden in Austria, training with the picturesque countryside as a backdrop.
This weekend we saw Liverpool’s first friendly of the summer as the Reds took on German Bundesliga side Stuttgart.
The match was hampered by persistent rain and thunderstorms with the pitch appearing waterlogged in some places.
The ball moved slowly across the grass, occasionally stopping still altogether – on Stuttgart player was forced off with an injury which occurred off the ball.
Whilst these adverse conditions aren’t terrific for playing in they do provide the Reds with a thorough warmup ahead of the new season.
It’s like training with weights on, you are forced to work that bit harder – when they get back to playing on the well kept surfaces of the Premier League they’ll feel the benefit of the adverse conditions.
The switch in plans has provided the Reds with ideal opponents for their friendlies.
Stuttgart are no slouches, they like to dominate possession in the opposition half and create a lot of chances – this was no trouble for the Reds, though. Jürgen Klopp’s side sailed to a 3-0 victory.
On Tuesday Liverpool will be taking on RB Salzburg, a side they have already faced twice in the last year.
Salzburg are an ideal opponent ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal. The Austrian side, like Liverpool, play a high press – hounding the opposition.
They play direct and fast – the Reds learned this the hard way when they shipped three goals at Anfield. Taking on Salzburg will ask a lot of the players and it will force them to sharpen up quickly, they’ll be hounded back into form.
The last minute switch in plans has proven a blessing in disguise as Liverpool have the ideal pre-season opponents.