The talk of the summer may be the ongoing European Championships, but with the Summer Olympics set to take place in Brazil from August 3rd until August 20th, footballers from around the world could miss the start of their domestic seasons with Liverpool obviously no exception.
While the Reds don’t seem to be effected too much, the main talk has centered around whether or not new goalkeeper Loris Karius will be selected for the Germany squad. Although he made a splash in the Bundesliga last year with FSV Mainz 05 by backstopping them to surprising 6th place finish and a spot in the Europa League, his new club is expecting that he won’t be selected to compete at the games. Although first choice Manuel Neuer won’t be making the trip to South America, Die Mannschaft aren’t lacking in options between the sticks with the likes of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Bernd Leno and Timo Horn all in the frame to stand in for the Bayern Munich shot-stopper.
That, of course, sounds like it’ll bode well for the Reds pre-season preparations with a friendly with Karius and boss Jurgen Klopp’s former club added to their already busy fixture list. A number of domestic matches against the likes of Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic will get the club in to gear before a trip to America where AC Milan, Chelsea and Roma await. Now, only days before they open the Premier League season with a trip to Arsenal and only one day after a prestige encounter with Spanish giants Barcelona at Wembley, Klopp will get to take his side to the Opel Arena on August 7th for a reunion with Mainz.
With incumbent ‘keeper Simon Mignolet representing Belgium at the Euros and expected to be given some vacation following the tournament, Reds supporters should be well acquainted with our new shot-stopped by the time the season rolls around. Considering that some are expecting him to replace the Belgian outright as our number one choice between the sticks, it’s probably a good thing that he’s going to get a whole lot of practise before the new campaign starts…