Joel Matip pleased with pre-season preparations


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Liverpool defender Joel Matip says the club’s pre-season tour of America has been the ideal preparation for the new season.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have spent the last week Stateside in a bid to be ready for the new season, when they will attempt to win their first-ever Premier League title. They were beaten 3-2 by Borussia Dortmund before going down to Sevilla 2-1 and, in the early hours of Thursday, the Reds drew their last match on tour 2-2 with Sporting Lisbon.

They will now head back to the UK before travelling once more to Edinburgh to take on Napoli on Sunday before jetting off to Evian for a pre-season training camp. Matip, who became the first-choice central defensive partner to Virgil van Dijk in the second half of last season, says the results of the tour do not matter and confidence remains high in the camp after an “intense” week.

“It was an intense period with good opponents and we worked hard to get a better fitness level and to get back in the mood,” Matip told the club’s website. “We still have a lot of work to do and we are working hard. I’m looking forward and we are confident. “We know it’s a long way to go and we still have a lot to improve, but we’re on a good way.”

Liverpool were successful in the Champions League last season, winning their sixth European crown after defeating Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the Madrid final, but the league title still evades them.

They are 3.40 to be crowned champions in 2019-20 but Manchester City are still the overwhelming favourites to win a hat-trick of titles at 1.57.

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