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Jurgen Klopp has done a great job rebuilding Liverpool’s Squad in his vision this summer and they will be able to see just how far they have come when they take on Barcelona at Wembley in the International Champions Cup on Saturday.
A game against teams the calibre of Barca has not been a regular fixture for Liverpool recently because of a lack of Champions League football, but it will give the Reds’ young team a chance to get a taste for the big occasion.
Barca’s La Liga campaign doesn’t kick off for a fortnight yet so they won’t be on top form, but with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in their ranks it is a game not to be missed.
Is the game on TV?
Coverage begins on Sky Sports 1 at 5pm ahead of a 5:15pm kick-off.
No more excuses
Jurgen Klopp has put his stamp on Liverpool’s squad with six signings and 11 players leaving so far and the former Borussia Dortmund manager is willing to back his squad to return the club to the top.
“This is my squad now,” Klopp said. “After all the transfers…this time it is my team. There are probably no players here anymore I don’t want. There are no signings I didn’t want. We have not sold anyone I didn’t want to.
The stand-out arrivals are Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane who add to an already attractive attacking line-up of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.
But the purchase of defenders Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan and goalkeeper Loris Karius could be equally vital in helping the Reds develop a better defensive structure.
Return of the king
Luis Suarez is still held in high regard by Liverpool fans who understood his decision to leave for Barcelona. In return the striker has always spoken emotionally about his love for the Reds
In February this year he said: “If I had to return to the Premier League, I would only go to Liverpool. I wouldn’t go to another team.”
Over the course of 110 games for Liverpool Suarez scored 69 times and almost led them to their first Premier League title, but you can bet if he is given an opportunity to score against his former side he will take it.
Suarez won’t be the only familiar face for Liverpool fans. Another Anfield old boy Javier Mascherano is expected to feature in a strong Barcelona squad that also includes Lionel Messi, Sergi Busquets. Neymar, who is on international duty with Brazil at the Olympic Games, will be absent.
When was the last time?
Surprisingly Liverpool have only played Barcelona competitively on eight occasions, winning three times and losing twice. The last meeting, in the Champions League round of 16 in 2007, saw Liverpool go through on away goals.
Rafa Benitez’s side won 2-1 at Camp Nou thanks to goals from Craig Bellamy and John Arne Riise, but lost 1-0 at Anfield to a late Eidur Gudjohnsen strike. Liverpool went on to beat PSV and Chelsea before losing to AC Milan in the final.
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