The Reds boss is hoping to get more minutes into the Dutch centre-half and Joe Gomez before facing the Canaries on August 14

Jurgen Klopp will be giving Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez every chance of playing their way into contention for the Premier League season opener against Norwich, with the Liverpool boss hoping to get more minutes into his two returning centre-halves on Thursday.

The Reds will be back in friendly action later this week when they take on Bologna, with the countdown well and truly on to the trip to Carrow Road on August 14.

Liverpool will hope to be at full strength for the meeting with newly-promoted domestic rivals, with Van Dijk and Gomez looking to force their way into Klopp’s plans after missing much of the 2020-21 campaign with serious knee injuries.

What has been said?

Asked by the Reds’ official website whether he is planning on giving Van Dijk and Gomez game time against Bologna, Klopp said: “Hopefully, yes. That’s how it looks in the moment. 

“I want to make it really clear, we push nothing. We just don’t. We wait a little bit, the players come, we have now with Dr Andreas Schlumberger a real specialist who is in constant talks and always observing everything. 

“We know exactly how they feel – how they really feel and not what they tell us because they obviously are desperate to play again. Sometimes in moments we swap Virgil and Joe a little bit so maybe the intensity doesn’t get too high, but in general it looks really good. 

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

Are Van Dijk and Gomez ready?

Two international defenders made their long-awaited returns for Liverpool in the 4-3 pre-season defeat to Hertha Berlin.

Van Dijk has not made a competitive appearance for the Reds since being forced out of the Merseyside derby with Everton on October 17, 2020.

Gomez lasted just one month longer than his Dutch colleague before seeing his season ended by an injury picked up while away on England duty.

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