Olympiacos v Liverpool: Team news, Opposition & Preview

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Liverpool play the second game of their USA tour on Sunday night, when they face Greek champions Olympiacos. Ben Twelves previews the pre-season clash.

HARVARD, USA - Friday, July 25, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during a preseason training session at the Harvard Stadium in Boston on day five of the club's USA Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Olympiacos v Liverpool
Sunday, 27th July 2014; 11pm kick-off (UK)
Pre-season Friendly
Soldier Field, Chicago, USA

Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool move on to Chicago for a second game in four days on their USA tour, where the Reds will be looking to bounce back from a late 1-0 defeat against Roma. A 90th minute Daniel Agger own goal saw Liverpool start the tour with a defeat in what was a largely uneventful game at a packed Fenway Park.

Sunday’s game will be the second time the clubs have met in two years — with the Greek side visiting Anfield last August to compete in Steven Gerrard’s testimonial match.

The Reds, who included legends Jamie Carragher and Robbie Fowler in the squad, ran out 2-0 winners that momentous day just over a year ago, with a goal scored either side of half time by midfield duo Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson, who scored with his first touch after coming on as a second half substitute.

HARVARD, USA - Friday, July 25, 2014: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard during a preseason training session at the Harvard Stadium in Boston on day five of the club's USA Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It will be a very different setting for this year’s encounter however, with the game being played at the Soldier Field stadium, home of American Football team Chicago Bears. The 63,500 capacity ground that opened 90 years ago is sure to create a spectacular setting for the match.

 

Team News

The biggest talking point to come out of the Roma fixture was that Fabio Borini suffered a shoulder injury ahead of a pending switch to Sunderland. The Italian striker was taken off just 11 minutes into the match after landing awkwardly on his shoulder, forcing him to sit out training and he will miss Sunday’s game as a result.

Road-runner Jordan Henderson was the only player of the returning internationals to feature in Thursday morning’s match, while Lazar Markovic and Adam Lallana, who’s only had two days of training with the squad, watched from the side lines as Rodgers displays patience with the new arrivals.


However, Rodgers confirmed they are set to feature on Sunday night and World Cup players Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Daniel Sturridge and Glen Johnson will also get their first minutes of pre-season in the friendly clash. The game is set to come too early for remaining absentees Mamadou Sakho and Simon Mignolet but the pair are expected to join up with the rest of the squad in Chicago.

A move for French striker Loic Remy nears completion after he reportedly passed a medical in Boston ahead of a transfer to Anfield, but the match is likely to come too soon for the French striker to take part.

Reports also suggest transfers for both Dejan Lovren and Javier Manquillo are close to finalisation but like Remy, the fixture is expected to come too early if deals are completed.

 

Opposition

Our historic opponents on Sunday night are currently managed by former Real Madrid star of the 1980s and 90s, Michel, and they sit proudly as the most successful club in Greek football history – having won 41 league titles and 26 Greek Cups including 16 double wins.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND- WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 8th 2004: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard scores the winning goal, and his side's third, against Olympiakos during the UEFA Champions League Group A match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Proparganda)

Olympiacos are the current Champions of the Greek Superleague which they won by a healthy 17 point margin last campaign, qualifying for the oncoming seasons Champions’ League group stage in the process.

Michel’s squad boasts one ex-Premier League name and a little known former Red – recently signed Pajtim Kasami, previously of Fulham. The Swiss midfielder will be remembered for last year scoring a goal of the season contender with an exceptional chest and volley while on the run against Crystal Palace.

Northern Irish international and ex-Man United goalkeeper Roy Carroll has recently left the Greek side after his contract expired at the end of the season.

Former Barcelona stars Eric Abidal and Argentine Javier Saviola, who was once linked with a potential £5m move to Anfield in 2009, play for Sunday’s opponents, who also have Greek internationals and World Cup players such as Giannis Maniatis, Jose Holebas and Kostas Manolas in their squad.

It will be the penultimate game of Olympiacos’ pre-season schedule, which has seen them beat AC Milan 3-0 already with Man City to come, and the match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1.

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