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Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge a doubt for opening day clash with Arsenal; will he be needed?

Daniel Sturridge scores the first goal for Liverpool

Sturridge missed the weekend's friendlies with a hip problem, and jurgen Klopp said he had 'no idea' whether he will be fit.

Daniel Sturridge celebrates after scoring the first goal for Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he has no idea if Daniel Sturridge will be available for the opening Premier League game of the season when the Reds travel to the Emirates Stadium to take on Arsenal, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Sturridge sat out the two pre-season games at the weekend with a hip injury and is a doubt for the clash with the Gunners.

The forward's omission from the squad that beat Barcelona 4-0 at Wembley on Saturday was said to be precautionary, suggesting there may be a chance he will be available.

Liverpool will be facing an Arsenal side that has a mountain of defensive woes with Per Mertesacker a long-term absentee while Gabriel was stretchered off during their friendly with Manchester City. The options available to Arsene Wenger could be to rush Laurent Koscielny back into the side or go for an inexperienced, mix and match centre-back pairing. It is hardly ideal preparation.

Liverpool's Divock Origi celebrates scoring their third goal

Nevertheless, it could be the kind of game that Klopp will have used Divock Origi in - who he called upon ahead of Sturridge at times last season - notably in both legs of the Europa League tie against Borussia Dortmund and in the Merseyside derby. Origi found the net on all three occasions but was also impressive for leading the pressing from the front. 

Furthermore, Klopp has operated with a front three of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino for much of pre-season. Although Sturridge is a very talented footballer, and has the capability of coming up with that all important goal at a crucial moment, Liverpool may well be pretty relaxed with the options that are currently available to them. 

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates after scoring their first goal

Origi and Firmino have both found the net on a couple of occasions this pre-season while Mane starred in the win over Barcelona at the weekend, and much of the summer transfer strategy appears to have been to try to get goals from other areas of the side.

The opening day will be the first test of that. If it is a test Liverpool pass, even against a side down to the bare bones defensively, it can only be positive for Klopp's side.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

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