Liverpool set to headline European football clubs’ pre-season tour to Singapore
Six-time European champions Liverpool are set to return to Singapore for their pre-season tour in July, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and new addition Cody Gakpo looking to light up the National Stadium.
While the conventional pre-season plan for top European clubs is to alternate between Asia and the United States every summer, sources told The Straits Times that Jurgen Klopp’s side will feature in a friendly tournament here instead of a tour of the US that was likely to feature a stop in Las Vegas.
The Reds were last in Singapore on July 15, 2022, when they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 in front of 50,217 fans to lift the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy.
The other teams that could join them are English Premier League rivals Tottenham, German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Italy’s Europa Conference League winners Roma, which could throw up a tantalising clash as their manager Jose Mourinho faces his former club Spurs.
Tottenham, who played in South Korea in 2022, have announced a pre-season match against West Ham in Perth, Australia on July 18, and they are looking to add two Asian stops that month.
Bayern will return to Asia after touring the US in 2022, as reported by German newspaper Bild. The club have an office in Bangkok and could visit and play in Singapore or Japan.
ST understands that this friendly tournament will not be part of the International Champions Cup that was last held in Singapore in 2019.
Liverpool and fellow English giants Manchester United as well as Germany’s Borussia Dortmund were lined up to play in the 2020 edition which was cancelled owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several online media outlets, including Football Insider, have also corroborated the information on the pre-season tour.
Its Merseyside correspondent David Lynch reported that Klopp has suggested the timing of last season’s Asia tour – they also lost 4-0 to United in Bangkok – led to this term’s fitness problems, with muscle injuries plaguing key players like van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
The German manager said previously: “Would I do anything differently? I wouldn’t go, in the first week, to Asia. Not because Asia is not great, but I would go to Asia in the third week, or something like that, but it was not really in our hands.”
As such, he could have his wish this season as Liverpool are expected to work on their fitness in the first week of pre-season closer to home, before flying to Asia in the third week.