Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have a luxury they usually lack after an international break. It’s one the Reds can use to their advantage.
Elite clubs hate international breaks more than anyone. Not only is it a break in their football, but their best players – usually the entire squad – disappear to play two games within a week. Those players then return exhausted and in need of a rest, to no benefit of the club.
That’s the situation Liverpool are usually in after an international break. This time around, however, things are a little different, and Jurgen Klopp boasts an advantage he almost always lacks.
A lot of Liverpool’s best players either stayed at home over this break or didn’t feature in two games for their countries. Some should return refreshed, with the Reds’ injuries and poor form working to their advantage here.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is an obvious example. He didn’t even make the England squad for the 3-3 draw with Germany this week, such is his reputation right now. Liverpool and Klopp will quietly celebrate that as their right-back is fresh to face the next six weeks.
Mohamed Salah left Egypt early to return to Liverpool. He didn’t feature in their second friendly and actually played less football in the international break than he does in a typical week with the Reds.
Liverpool after the international break
Some, like Thiago and Roberto Firmino, didn’t get called up by their countries. They’re both completely fresh – something that’s incredibly valuable for the former, who isn’t too long returned from injury.
Joel Matip, similarly, doesn’t play for Cameroon and has spent the last two weeks resting up.
All of that makes things much easier on Klopp and Liverpool. As we mentioned in our early predicted lineup ahead of Brighton, the squad looks fresh. That’s essentially never the case post-international break.
Darwin Nunez and Luis Diaz are the only significant problems. They played vital roles for their nations in South America and will likely return jaded. Klopp can afford to rest those two against Brighton, though. They’ll be raring to go before long.
Liverpool aren’t in good form, of course. They need to rebound quickly if they’re to mount a title challenge but this is a big advantage. While many clubs need to worry about their star players’ fitness levels, the Reds can instead go into a busy six weeks with a relatively fresh group of players.