Liverpool U18s start 2019 with a trip to Germany as they take part in the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup this weekend.

Barry Lewtas has taken a squad of 12 players for the two-day indoor tournament on January 5 and 6.

In games lasting nine minutes each half, the young Reds will face Atalanta United, VFB Stuttgart and FC Schalke 04 in the group stage on Saturday. The finals then take place on Sunday.

Lewtas told "In the German calendar this tournament is quite a big thing and it is a big honour for us to be invited.

"They play a lot of indoor football in Germany during the winter months so we think this will add a bit of value to our U18s programme. It’s an U19 tournament but we are taking 12 boys from the U18s squad - five second years and the rest are first years - and it’s a good mix. We are really looking forward to it.

"Playing indoor football on a 4G pitch will be something different for us and we feel we can get a little bit out of it from a technical point of view.

"The players will be stretched technically as well as physically. We had a little practice at the Academy on Thursday and I think the boys realise they are in for a tough few days in terms of the physicality of it.

"We are playing against some good teams and the boys are really looking forward to it."