Liverpool flies 3 youngsters to Qatar after Aston Villa loss

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Liverpool has two games in two days that are 3,300 miles apart. To cope with the scheduling mess, Jurgen Klopp split his squad and sent a youth team to Villa Park for the the Carabao Cup game while the senior squad made its way to Qatar for the Club World Cup.

Three players will be there for both, however.

21-year-old goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher plus 17-year-old defenders Ki-Jana Hoever and Sepp van den Berg have been called in to the senior squad as cover, making the lengthy trip soon after the 5-0 defeat to Villa in Cup play to complete the 23-man Liverpool squad in Doha.

The Cup game against a Villa side starting a host of experienced senior players was always a tall task, but now the Liverpool trio has the opportunity to provide cover for the senior side that is struggling with injuries in certain areas. Most notably, center-back is thin for the Reds with both Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren injured. Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are starting for the club in both games they have on the docket in Qatar, but should either of them suffer an injury, Dutch pair Hoever and van den Berg would be next up.

Kelleher and van den Berg started and played the full 90 minutes in the Aston Villa loss, while Hoever was also in the starting lineup but withdrawn after 82 minutes for James Norris. The scoreline was harsh on the Liverpool kids who played well at times but saw the first two goals fall quickly – one coming via a brutal deflection, chalked up as an own-goal – and things compounded from there as Liverpool pushed forward hoping to produce a stunning comeback.