With 125 days to go until the beloved World Cup returns, and with several nations announcing their latest kits for the tournament, the excitement really is at an all-time high. The countdown brings with it a final chance for countless players to convince their national team coaches that they should be on the plane to Russia, which should inevitably produce a high-quality of club football as players look for as much game time as possible. Nowhere is this truer than at Liverpool, where numerous individuals are on the fringes of the club, never mind the national team, and so everyone will be aiming for a role in the starting eleven as the competition draws nearer.
Look no further than the goalkeeping dilemma at Melwood, where both Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet undoubtedly have a lot of work to do for both club and country. Both shot-stoppers will want to fight for a place in that coveted World Cup squad for Germany and Belgium respectively, and both seemingly sit in similar circumstances for their nations, and so will want a respectable end to the season in England if they have any hope of representing their country come summer.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is another who has a huge couple of months ahead as he looks to get his name on that plane, while full-backs Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez will also have their names in the hat for Gareth Southgate’s squad, yet the former will undoubtedly not be fully fit after a lengthy injury while the latter lacks in any major international experience. Emre Can is another with a busy summer ahead, seemingly on his way out of Liverpool, but with an important task in helping Germany to yet another world title. Alberto Moreno will also have his work cut out for him in aiming for a spot at left back in the Spanish national team, yet this can only have a positive effect for Liverpool as the Spaniard aims to get his spot regular back from the impressive Andy Robertson.
Loanees Daniel Sturridge, Marko Grujic and Divock Origi have all left the club temporarily in search of first team action as Russia approaches, and their national team fates simply lie in their own hands after disappointing spells in the red of Liverpool.
Several Liverpool stars such as Virgil van Dijk and Gini Wijnaldum of the Netherlands and Robertson of Scotland will however be missing out on the action as their respective nations failed to qualify, yet they undoubtedly have a huge part to play as the Reds maintain their top four ambitions in the hugely competitive Premier League.
The World Cup also brings with it competition between friendly faces, and with the groups already drawn for the illustrious tournament, the players at the club will no doubt be relishing a challenge with their club team-mates on the international stage.
Liverpool’s England regulars have avoided a meet up with any of their Anfield friends in the early stages, yet should they qualify from their seemingly straightforward group, Jordan Henderson and Co. could find themselves up against familiar faces in any of their formidable forwards in Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino.