Liverpool have taken the decision to fly to Dubai for a mid-season training camp during the Qatar World Cup.
Jurgen Klopp and his players will fly out to the region in December to keep those who aren’t involved for their nations in Qatar fresh ahead of the return of the Premier League on Boxing Day.
The Reds’ last game before the international tournament is on November 12 at home to Southampton before domestic action resumes on December 26 away at Aston Villa and Klopp is keen to use part of that break at a training base that will mimic the work typically undertaken during pre-season.
Liverpool looked at a base in Cape Town, South Africa last October before deciding that Dubai would be easier from a logistical point of view for their players at the World Cup to reconvene with their club colleagues. A flight from Doha to Dubai is just over an hour, which is viewed as ideal to save the players for further long-haul journeys.
It means the likes of Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, James Milner, Joel Matip, Naby Keita and Kostas Tsimikas are expected to be part of the contingent that flies to Dubai, while Klopp is also likely to have Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez, Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott also with the group.
Liverpool may also be boosted by Thiago Alcantara and Roberto Firmino’s respective international situations. Spain midfielder Thiago hasn’t played for La Roja since the European Championship semi-final defeat to Italy 13 months ago while Firmino’s most recent appearance for Brazil was the Copa America final loss to Argentina in July last year.
Liverpool insiders have spoken about how last year’s month-long period in Austria and France helped hugely for the season ahead and the hope is that a similar jaunt mid-campaign can help the Reds hit the ground at speed for the second half of the upcoming term as they look to usurp Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
“The problem is a lot of our players will go to the World Cup so we will go to Dubai with the players who stay behind,” assistant manager Pep Lijnders said. “What we had in Austria last summer was just insane because we had all the players together and a lot of the players who had played year after year after year without any breaks had a six week break, so Sadio [Mane] and Mo.
“I think each session is important, so it’s not only in Dubai, it is also tomorrow. It’s just what you can control today and tomorrow. The only difference is, and this is something new that we all have to deal with, is that the season gets interrupted. The team that deals well with that and understands that will have a bigger chance for sure.”
Liverpool’s pre-season plans are always punctuated by a European training camp under Klopp, with the Reds using their summer schedule to visit regions like Saafelden and Evian in recent years. The idea behind the mid-season trip to Dubai is a similar one as they get set to play five Premier League games and an FA Cup tie in less than a month on the other side of the World Cup.
The Reds flew to Dubai at the start of 2018 for a training camp the day after eliminating Everton from the FA Cup while Virgil van Dijk has previously felt the benefits of the region’s facilities having worked at the Nad al Sheba Complex in 2021 as he worked his way back from an ACL injury.
Lijnders, whose book ‘Intensity’ was released on Thursday, added: “It’s like how I said before, last season felt like a marathon with 63 games. This season feels like it’s a sprint, a break and then a sprint again. So it is important to start fast and Dubai has to create that we start fast again after the World Cup. Now we have to start fast again. You cannot waste time in this season.”