Liverpool's players will begin to return for pre-season from Saturday onwards, with there now just 37 days to go until the new campaign kicks off for Jürgen Klopp's side against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Before then, Liverpool will play five friendlies — Darmstadt, at Preston's Deepdale, was the latest one to be confirmed — as well as traveling to Germany and Singapore.

In that time, $45m (£35m/€41m) Alexis Mac Allister and $77m (£61m/€70m) Dominik Szoboszlai — and, hopefully, one or two more new signings — will need to be integrated into the Liverpool squad. In the case of those two, it is likely that they will be made into big parts of the starting XI.

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What else will be required? In an ideal world, Liverpool would get another midfielder in. There is still a chance that could happen, with Southampton's Belgian starlet Roméo Lavia among those on the agenda.

That would offer Liverpool another option at the base of Klopp's midfield alongside Fabinho, though Stefan Bajčetić and Jordan Henderson can also play that role.

A new center-back, to play on the left side, is also being considered. Liverpool needs a little more depth in that area of the pitch with Joël Matip out of contract next summer and Virgil van Dijk not getting any younger.

It is questionable, though, whether that player would be starting on the opening day of the season.

Much more likely would be that whoever that was would be a longer-term project who could be slowly bedded in. Levi Colwill linked this week (Football.London reported that the Reds have made 'multiple' inquires) would fit that bill.

Alexis Mac Allister will hope to come straight into the Liverpool starting XI.
Alexis Mac Allister will hope to come straight into the Liverpool starting XI.

That player could, perhaps, be used more in the Europa League matches, similar to how Ibrahima Konaté was integrated into the backline when he first arrived from the Bundesliga.

As with a third midfield addition, if Liverpool was to sign another central defender, that player would be more of a rotation option rather than someone designed to come in from day one.

Konaté is the kind of template that Liverpool should be looking for: a player who has a very high ceiling but would be good enough to get plenty of minutes in the upcoming campaign too.

Van Dijk and Konaté would be the starting pair as things stand, with Alisson Becker, of course, behind them. There is no reason to swap out either of the full-backs with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold still an elite pairing.

In midfield, Fabinho is the first-choice number six, with Mac Allister and Szoboszlai on either side of him. Up top, Mohamed Salah is a certainty and then there is going to be a battle between Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota, Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez for the final slots.

Díaz would be the likeliest to start on the left, but through the middle, there is an argument for each of the others, with all set to become clear across the next month or so.

Potential Liverpool starting XI to take on Chelsea: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Szoboszlai, Fabinho, Mac Allister; Salah, Gakpo/Jota/Núñez, Díaz