Liverpool are set to play in a brand-new 2022 World Cup venue when they compete in the Club World Cup in Qatar in December.
Football’s world governing body FIFA has announced that the Reds will begin their campaign at the 40,000-capacity Education City Stadium in Doha in a semi-final on December 18.
Win or lose, they will play in the same venue which will host the third-place play-off and the final on December 21.
Jurgen Klopp’s Champions League winners could face local side Al Sadd, coached by former Barcelona playmaker Xavi, Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia or most likely Mexican side Monterrey in the semi-final.
Qatar is using the 2019 and 2020 Club World Cup tournaments as a testing ground for its hosting of the 2022 World Cup finals.
The Gulf state’s hosting of the ongoing World Athletics Championships has been criticised over the poor attendances at the Khalifa Stadium in Doha, with the venue largely empty on Sunday night as Great Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith won silver in the women’s 100 metres final.
Liverpool will not be thinking about the Club World Cup right now, though, and will instead focus on their Premier League title bid after battling to a narrow 1-0 victory at Sheffield United over the weekend.
And Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk has dismissed the five-point lead they hold over title rivals Manchester City as irrelevant at this stage of the season.
Klopp’s side briefly saw their advantage extended to eight points after beating Sheffield United in the early kick-off but City came through a slightly-less exacting test against Everton in the evening to reduce the gap.
But even though Liverpool have a 100 per cent record from their opening seven matches Van Dijk stressed no one inside the dressing room was giving it a second thought.
The Reds know from recent experience that the situation can change quickly. They had a seven-point lead over City before the two met at the Etihad Stadium on January 3, only to lose as Pep Guardiola’s side began their fightback.
“It’s far too early. We’re almost in October and the busy period will come,” said the Holland captain after Liverpool registered their 16th successive Premier League victory.
“There are still so many games left and the only thing we focus on is the game ahead of us. We don’t want to look at the others because there’s no point doing that.
“Everyone realises that as well because last season we saw how it turned quickly. We just want to focus on the game ahead of us.”