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Liverpool V Leicester City Liverpool have a chance to pick up some silverware this weekend as they take on Leicester in the Asia Trophy final. Now, we are fully aware it’s not the most prestigious award to collect and that nobody really counts it as a trophy in the long run but it does have its benefits. For the players it’s a perfect opportunity to boost confidence and give them that little taste of silverware that could spur them on for the rest of the season. For the manager it is yet another chance for him to test his ideas and tactics against Premier League opposition. All fans love a trophy regardless of level, I know we would all prefer a major trophy or three at the end of the season but let’s take what we can. On a personal note, I am still very much upset about the whole Ranieri episode and would love us to get one over on Craig ???Snakespeare’. How the likes of Vardy and Mahrez take instructions from a bloke that may lose both his feet to diabetes before Christmas is beyond me. Anyway, I fully expect Jurgen Klopp to replicate his plan used in the previous game against Crystal Palace by using essentially ???two teams’. And the manager has already highlighted how seriously they are taking the competition “We know now it’s a really nice tournament – fantastic atmosphere. We want to be focused 100 per cent.” Although it is very much early days in pre-season, having watched all of the games there have been some very encouraging signs. For the first times in a few seasons from what I can remember it is nice to have several options in both personnel and formation. This is something which I believe has developed from ???The Klopp effect’. He and his backroom staff will have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months in preparation and something in which players should be ready for. Speaking earlier this week Klopp said “I always want highest intensity. It’s a very important session, that’s why we played [players for] 45 minutes.” The game versus Leicester could be the last opportunity for some of those fringe players to prove a point to the German before they head home from Hong Kong on Sunday. We have already seen Kevin Stewart leave this week and rumors of Ryan Kent, who has looked really impressive, being sent on loan to Hull. Add to that Sheyi Ojo is also apparently on his way out the door and the huge loss of Lucas Leiva proves that there are places to fight for going into the season. Liverpool will be without the likes of Mane, Can and Clyne again for this match which for me makes the rest of pre-season more exciting. And hopefully we should have a few more signings in the bag by then. Leicester on the other-hand are only playing their second preseason friendly so far may be slightly behind on fitness and of course game time compared to Liverpool. They did play what is more than likely their first team versus West Brom so players such as Vardy, Mahrez, Okozaki etc all got a run out. Again on a personal note it will be interesting to see how we approach this game given that we have struggled a few times against Leicester. It would also be nice to see Daniel Sturridge get a goal, I know it doesn’t really matter in a friendly but it would do his confidence the world of good and he has looked really sharp in previous games. And he didn’t look over the moon when Dom Solanke banged in a goal this week! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, does a trophy really matter? Has anyone else caught your eye during pre-season? Do you look at Craig Shakespeare in disgust?
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