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Reds prepare for closed-doors game against Premier League newcomers

6 July 2018

Reds will take a squad of 22 to Fulham on Saturday for the opening test of pre-season.

The Premier League newcomers will be hosting Harry Kewell’s men at 12.30pm in a closed-doors fixture at Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground.

Head Coach Harry Kewell will be without Jimmy Smith, who is recovering from a knee injury, and Lewis Young, who has been given permission to fly to Russia to watch brother Ashley play in England's World Cup quarter-final.

There will be run-outs for six trialists who have been training with the squad since pre-season started on Monday.

Our five summer signings – Dominic Poleon, George Francomb, Ollie Palmer, Brian Galach and Ashley Nathaniel George – will all have a run out with Harry planning to field two different XIs in either half.

Harry said: “Our pre-season fixtures have been deliberately planned so all our opponents are from a higher standard than us. I want the squad to be tested to their limits over the next few weeks.

"I guess winning games in pre-season is good for confidence but that is not the priority for me. It’s about fitness, getting the new players integrated into our style of play and forming understandings all over the pitch. Results in pre-season will become totally irrelevant once the season proper starts on August 4.

“We’re expecting to play a very strong Fulham squad so it will be just the sort of test I’d like at this stage of pre-season.”

The squad head to the south-west on Monday for a three-day training camp before returning on Wednesday to prepare for another closed-doors game at Championship side Norwich City next Thursday.

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