Liverpool play their first game in 62 days on Wednesday night when they take on Danish side Brondby in their first pre-season friendly.
Brondby v Liverpool
Pre-Season Friendly, Wednesday 16th July 2014
5pm Kick-Off, Live on BT Sports (UK)
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool make their return to action on Wednesday evening as they take on Danish side Brondby in Copenhagen.
It’s the first fixture of what is going to be a busy pre-season schedule for the Reds and a game that marks a special occasion for the Superliga club as they celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The Reds, who signed Daniel Agger from the opposition for a fee of around £6 million in 2006, have faced Brondby on three occasions previously, with the last competitive clash coming in October 1995 when the Danes eliminated the Reds from the UEFA Cup with a 1-0 win at Anfield.
I have waited 8 1/2 years for this game. Only 4 days to go!:) will be good to see the fans again! Y.N.W.A pic.twitter.com/TOgzWa2YgH
— Daniel Agger (@DanielAgger) July 12, 2014
Brondby’s current squad boasts a couple of familiar names to Premier League followers, including former West Brom defender Martin Albrechtsen and ex-Bolton and Norwich striker Johan Elmander.
As always with the early friendly fixtures, the primary aim is to get the squad back to full fitness and match sharpness, and with this in mind, it’s almost certain that Rodgers’ will field a different XI in each half.
Alongside regaining match fitness, the game also presents an opportunity for fringe players and exciting youngsters in the squad such as Andre Wisdom and Jordon Ibe, to impress and force themselves into the managers’ thoughts ahead of the new season, a topic we discussed last week on This Is Anfield.
The match will be an opportunity to see new signing Emre Can in action for the first time, but it’s unlikely that Lazar Markovic will feature despite his signing set to be completed before the match takes place.
Returning to the club where he started his career after eight-and-a-half years, Daniel Agger is set to captain the Reds in Steven Gerrard’s absence as Rodgers starts his pre-season campaign without any of the players who competed at the World Cup.
This means new signings Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert won’t be part of the squad, nor will England’s Raheem Sterling, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson. Fellow World Cup participants Mamadou Sakho, Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure, Sebastian Coates and Pepe Reina are also away.
Fabio Borini and Suso are two players who will be keen to impress after returning from season loans last campaign, while Ousamma Assaidi and Andre Wisdom are also back in action. Martin Kelly will look to put his name in Rodgers’ plans ahead of the new season.
Rodgers still has a young and talented squad at his disposal for this celebratory clash and with fitness the main aim and plenty of options available, Liverpool could line up a number of ways but may look something like this in each half.
First half XI:
Second half XI:
Liverpool Football Club, it’s nice to have you back.