Preston vs Liverpool
Saturday, 13th July 2013; 3pm kick-off
Liverpool begin their pre-season preparations today with a visit to the historic club of Preston North End.
The links between the Reds and Preston further up the coast date back to the days of Bill Shankly.
Shankly spent most of his playing career at Preston, making 297 appearances as a right-half for the Lilywhites between 1933 and 1949, before going on to manage Carlisle United, Grimsby Town, Workington, Huddersfield Town, and finally Liverpool.
Such is Shankly’s legacy at both clubs, today will be an apt way to start the new season with both clubs on a mission to recover their respective glory days.
Preston, now under the leadership of former Leeds boss Simon Grayson, are looking to mount a challenge for promotion from League One back to the Championship after a dreary few years for the club.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be hoping for a higher league finish than last year’s seventh, and a serious challenge for the top four Champions League places.
Manager Brendan Rodgers this week revealed his influence from great manager of 1959-1974 Shankly.
“Before I came into Liverpool, I was well aware of his achievements and the historic nature he has within the game of football,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.
“But you really understand the impact that he made at the club when you come in and speak to the many thousands of supporters, and you speak to people like the groundsman who was here when he was here.
“He’s an iconic figure for the football club and really set the club on its way to being one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“I’ve listened to his tapes and all of the audio; he was an inspirational man who really set the ball rolling here at Liverpool.”
Today’s pre-season friendly meeting will be a gentle step into the summer fixture list for both clubs, but temperatures are expected to be hitting 30°C (although Liverpool follow this up with a trip to the sweltering Far East and Australia).
As far as the Reds are concerned, it’s a chance to watch the new boys in action.
Kolo Toure, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Simon Mignolet should all see some action this afternoon as Rodgers gives his new summer signings a run-out.
It’s a game not to be taken too seriously. A training session in front of a crowd. The first chance for the new boys to gel competitively with their new teammates.
As for Preston, well we can expect to see a couple of familiar faces in their team. Former Reds midfielder Jon Welsh lines up for them, and they have just completed the signing of veteran forward and England international, Kevin Davies.
The match is live on ESPN in the UK.
This Is Anfield editor Matt Ladson is at Deepdale to bring you the latest and fans’ photos on our Twitter feed throughout the afternoon @thisisanfield
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