Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has named a hefty 32-man preliminary squad for the upcoming Champions League playoff against Hoffenheim.
Against a backdrop of uncertainty surrounding the future of Philippe Coutinho, Klopp has named the Brazilian international in the squad despite a recent back injury, while Nathaniel Clyne and Daniel Sturridge are also named despite the probability of both missing the Premier League opener against Watford this weekend.
With UEFA rules stating that a certain amount of ‘locally trained’ players on the panel, 18=year-old Dubliner Conor Masterson has been called up by Klopp to be a part of the first-team setup just as he was during the side’s training break in La Manga in the middle of last season.
The Irish youth international defender is regularly talked about in glowing terms at Liverpool’s Kirkby training academy and was named captain of the under-18 team last season upon Trent Alexander-Arnold’s promotion to the senior squad.
Mamadou Sakho and Lazar Markovic have been left out as it has been made clear to them that they no longer have a future at Anfield, while Danny Ings is still not fit enough for a first-team return and Adam Lallana is a medium-term injury absentee.
Klopp’s side travel to Germany next week for the first leg of their Champions League playoff against the Bundesliga side, before welcoming them to Anfield for the second leg the following week.
Liverpool 32-Man Squad To Face Hoffenheim
Goalkeepers: Loris Karius, Simon Mignolet, Danny Ward,
Defenders: Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, James Milner, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jon Flanagan, Conor Masterson
Midfielders: Gini Wijnaldum, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Emre Can, Cameron Brannagan, Ovie Ejaria, Ben Woodburn
Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane, Divock Origi, Dominic Solanke, Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo, Rhian Brewster
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we chat to former Bray Wanderers media officer Jillian Godsil, give our take on the ‘barstooler’ debate as well as review and preview the latest League of Ireland action.