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Klopp praises Elliott and Oxlade-Chamberlain after Liverpool’s friendly matches for performances in new positions

The Reds boss singled out the duo, while also offering an update on two star centers

Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are unlikely to feature in Friday’s pre-season friendly against Mainz, as Liverpool boss Harvey Elliott, Ibrahima Konate and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain singled out for their performances on Tuesday.

Liverpool played two separate friendly matches of 30 minutes against Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart, while the Reds drew 1-1 in each of the two matches.

Klopp looked at Oxlade-Chamberlain in a false nine role while starting Elliott in a more central midfield role, and the German manager said he saw positive signs from both performances.

What did Klopp say?

“I do not think Harvey ever played that position for us, but looked good,” Klopp told LFC TV after the game. Ox, you could immediately see in the first few minutes that this is definitely an option. We’ll see how it goes.

“Ibou [Konate] did really well and this is what we expected, he looks very good in training.

“First game with all the young boys, they really showed up in training, but it’s different when you play a first team with all the kids in the team. It’s hard, but no problem – life is hard and “We have to give them the opportunity to be tested in these kinds of games. We do it and now we move on.”

Update on middle defenders

While Joel Matip has secured his return from Liverpool for Liverpool, Klopp says it is unlikely he will return two of his other key defenders this week.

Liverpool will face Mainz in the next pre-season on Friday, and Klopp says Van Dijk and Gomez are unlikely to play, even though they are very close to readiness.

“It will also be a surprise to me,” Klopp said. ‘They looked very good in training and yesterday was the first day where they did a lot of complicated things, usually it’s offensive or defensive and things like that.

“We have to get there step by step, but I do not expect them for Friday.”

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