Bury vs. Liverpool: Team News, Preview, Live Stream, TV Info

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2018

CHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Naby Keita of Liverpool during the Pre-season friendly between Chester City and Liverpool at Swansway Chester Stadium on July 7, 2018 in Chester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)
Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Liverpool will travel to Gigg Lane for a pre-season tune-up against League Two side Bury on Saturday. It will be the Reds' third friendly, following wins against Chester FC and Tranmere Rovers.

Facing the Shakers will be another chance for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to give playing time to summer signings Naby Keita and Fabinho. The pair played during the 7-0 win over Chester, before getting some valuable minutes at Tranmere.

Klopp will look for improvements in key areas of his team, particularly goalkeeper. The position remains in a state of flux after Loris Karius was guilty of another mistake at Prenton Park on Tuesday.

                 

Date: Saturday, July 14

Time: 3 p.m. BST/10 a.m. ET

TV Info: LFC TV (subscription required)

Live Stream: Liverpool official website

                   

The spotlight remains on Karius, who endured a night to forget when Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League final in May.

He was guilty of two high-profile blunders in Ukraine, giving the German an uphill battle to convince people he can still be the Reds' No. 1.

Karius' doubters may well grow in number after he made another gaffe during the 3-2 win over Tranmere. He spilled a free-kick struck by Ollie Norburn, allowing Jonny Smith to score.

The mistake confirmed the worst fears of many onlookers:

One more blunder between the posts has further intensified speculation Klopp's front-loaded squad is again set to be undermined by mistakes at the back. The manager is hopeful centre-backs Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk will be able to play, per Chris Shaw of the club's official website.

They may be tested by former Crewe Alexandra striker Chris Dagnall, who joined the Shakers on a free transfer in June. Fortunately for Van Dijk and Co., Jermaine Beckford is still recovering from knee surgery.

At least the Reds can count on talent further forward. There should be goals aplenty, even from a second-string attack featuring Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and the returning Divock Origi, who has been on loan with VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

Yet the excitement will come from monitoring the development of a new-look midfield led by Keita and Fabinho.

Klopp talked-up Keita following the win at Tranmere, per the club's official website: "He is young, he is full of football skills, very stable, very good in small spaces, endurance-wise fantastic, quick, good finishes, good runs in the box."

Fabinho is expected to add stability to Liverpool's midfield.
Fabinho is expected to add stability to Liverpool's midfield.Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

The Liverpool boss had previously reserved praise for Fabinho after the emphatic victory against Chester, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo: "He's a fantastic football player, a good passer, his challenges are good, a proper defensive midfielder with the option of being a No. 8 as well, his heading is good."

Fabinho and Keita will add more energy, pace and power to a midfield tasked with leading the charge in Klopp's press-heavy style of play.

Their performances, even in warm-up matches against lower-league opposition, will give fans an insight into the difference the club's biggest summer investments can make to Liverpool's chances of landing major trophies.

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