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Six Liverpool first-team stars feature during behind-closed-doors friendly

Takumi Minamino was on the scoresheet for Liverpool as a host of Jurgen Klopp’s first-team stars were in action during an arranged friendly with Huddersfield B at Anfield on Sunday.

Liverpool’s Japanese midfielder Takumi Minamino warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by PHIL NOBLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The Premier League champions kicked off their title defence with a 4-3 win over Leeds on Saturday evening, and the majority of those involved in the victory were given the next day off to recover.

However, the bulk of Klopp’s fringe players were called to feature at Anfield in a behind-closed-doors friendly the following day which saw the likes of Adrian, James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Joel Matip all feature with the latter also coming off the bench in the final five minutes against Leeds.

Curtis Jones was not involved in the Sunday encounter after the Liverpool midfielder was spotted visiting Kirkby to watch his former under-23’s teammates get the better of Everton in the mini-derby during the club’s inaugural fixture of the 2020/21 Premier League 2 season.

Minamino – who joined the club in January following a £7.25 million move from RB Salzburg [BBC] –  was the only scorer for the Reds after the Japan international converted in the first-half before a whole host of changes from Klopp in the second half saw Loris Karius return to Liverpool action for the first time in two years. Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster also featured.

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The game eventually finished 1-1 after Huddersfield equalised through an own-goal with specific details of the match still unknown with journalists not in attendance at Anfield.

SALZBURG, AUSTRIA – AUGUST 15: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Xherdan Shaqiri of Liverpool during a training session on August 15, 2020 in Salzburg, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

The major positive for Klopp and Liverpool was the involvement of Shaqiri, who missed a large chunk of the club’s pre-season through injury.

Wilson and Brewster’s involvement suggests that Klopp is still yet to make a decision regarding the future of the Liverpool forward duo.

Brewster has attracted attention from Sheffield United in recent weeks with Chris Wilder reportedly in talks with Klopp over the weekend regarding a development plan for the England under-21 international to help convince Liverpool that Bramall Lane is the best option for the striker this season.

Karius was also called upon by Klopp due to Caoimhin Kelleher’s involvement with the U23s, with Vitezslav Jaros also on the bench for Barry Lewtas’ team.

With Klopp unlikely to make wholesale changes for Liverpool’s next Premier League match with Chelsea on Sunday, those included in Sunday’s friendly can be expected to start in the League Cup third-round clash with either Bradford or Lincoln on September 23, just three days after the trip to Stamford Bridge.

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