Liverpool open pre-season with draws against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart

Jurgen Klopp's side played two 30 minute games against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart; Ibrahima Konate made his debut for the club but both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were still not fit enough to feature after returning from long-term injuries.

preview image 0:55
Liverpool were held in two 30-minute pre-season friendlies against FC Wacker Innsbruck and Stuttgart. Pictures from LFCTV. All upcoming pre-season games will be shown live on LFCTV.

Liverpool began their pre-season fixture schedule with back-to-back 1-1 draws in two 30-minute mini-matches against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart.

Jurgen Klopp's side are currently in Austria for a training camp, with 22 different players getting a run-out during the Salzburg encounters.

Divock Origi's penalty gave Liverpool the lead in the first fixture of the night against Innsbruck before Ronivaldo's header secured a draw for the Austrians.

In the other game against Stuttgart, in which Ibrahima Konate made his debut, Liverpool came from behind with Sadio Mane's strike cancelling out Philipp Forster's neat finish.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp congratulates goalscorer Sadio Mane after the pre-season draw with VfB Stuttgart
Image: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp congratulates goalscorer Sadio Mane after the pre-season draw with VfB Stuttgart

Klopp said he was "satisfied" with the workout following the games, telling Liverpool's club website: "Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for that.

"First game was obviously a very young team, Innsbruck did well and were obviously in a better moment than we are because they start next week with the league and we started last week with pre-season, so it's different.

"The second game was a tough test, Stuttgart are a really good team. We started really well and then conceded a goal. Then we came more and more into the game again and scored a really nice goal.

Also See:

"I'm really happy about it, it's all good. I saw what I expected to see, actually - it would be strange if I was standing here and saying, 'My God, I didn't know we can play this kind of football' but I am fine with it and now we keep working."

Klopp: We wanted 'wild press'!

Jurgen Klopp said he was happy with Liverpool's 'wild press'
Image: Klopp said he was happy with Liverpool's 'wild press'

Klopp added that he was pleased with Liverpool's "wild press" in the game, revealing that he prompted a competition between the two 11s for who won the ball back more.

"From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement; I saw a lot of wild pressing.

"We wanted a wild press, we had a little competition between the two teams to see who wins the ball back more and how many counter-presses we have. We'll have to think about the prize that the team will win!"

However, Klopp also admitted it would be a 'surprise' if Virgil van Dijk or Joe Gomez were declared fit to face Bundesliga side Mainz on Friday.

The defensive duo spent large parts of last season on the sidelines with knee injuries and have spent much of the pre-season tour of Austria working to their own individual programmes.

"They have looked really good in training and yesterday was the first day where they did very complex things, usually it is either offensive or defensive and stuff like this. We have to get there, step by step, but I don't expect them for Friday," Klopp added.

All Liverpool's upcoming pre-season games will be shown live on LFCTV.

New series: Football's Cult Heroes

Football's Cult Heroes is a brand new podcast series exploring the stories of the players that carried their clubs on their backs - on and off the pitch.

Told by the players, fans and journalists that were there - we delve into why these players created such a strong bond with their fans and how they are still remembered years on.

Out now is Robbie Fowler - The boy from Toxteth who became 'God'.

It features interviews with Jason McAteer, John Barnes, Emile Heskey and others.

Follow on Spotify so you can listen to the weekly episodes as soon as they drop.

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back for the 2021/22 season. Create a team for free, and you could win £50,000.

Around Sky