Premier League News: Liverpool defenders Van Dijk and Gomez will face Bologna, says Klopp

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Jurgen Klopp says Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez will be involved for Liverpool when they play against Bologna on Thursday.

The Reds step up their preparations for the next Premier League season with two 60-minute games against the Serie A team.

The central defensive duo made the long-awaited return from injury against Hertha Berlin last time, playing the final 21 minutes of the 4-3 defeat.

Van Dijk hasn’t played since sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Everton in October 2020, while Gomez has played his first few minutes since injuring a left hamstring while serving with England on next month.

Klopp is satisfied with the progress the pair are making and is confident he can gain more minutes against Bologna.

“Hopefully so. That’s what it looks like right now,” he told the club’s official website. “I want it to be really clear, we don’t push anything.

“We know exactly how they feel – how they really feel and not what they tell us because obviously they are desperate to play again.

“Looks good this morning [it was a] normal training session. Sometimes, sometimes, we swap Virgil and Joe a bit, so maybe the intensity doesn’t get too high, but overall it looks really good.

“How many minutes on Thursday, I don’t know, but there will be a few minutes for sure”.

Klopp could also have Alisson, Fabinho and Roberto Firmino available.

All three returned from their long hiatus after helping Brazil reach the Copa America final, which they lost 1-0 to Argentina.

With Liverpool launching their Premier League campaign away to Norwich City on August 14, Klopp admits the return trio’s prep time is far from ideal.

However, the German said he could play against Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side, who finished 12th in Serie A last season.

“Players who play international football never have enough time; it has always been like that, “he added.

“You never have enough time to train and stuff – one week, two weeks before the season.

“[The Brazilian players] will start tomorrow with the correct training with us.

“Maybe Thursday in our two 60-minute matches against Bologna we can already involve them. I don’t know yet, maybe 15, 20, 30 minutes. We have to see how they are exactly. “

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