Liverpool play the first match of their USA tour in the early hours of Thursday morning (00.30 UK) when they take on Italian side AS Roma at Fenway Park.
Brendan Rodgers’ men visit Boston, home of club owners Fenway Sports Group, for the second time in three seasons where they’ll play Roma in the first of four games on their USA trip, which also includes matches against AC Milan, Manchester City and Olympiakos.
Liverpool faced Roma two years ago as the Reds embarked on a first pre-season trip to the United States under FSG, a game in which the Italians ran out 2-1 winners at Fenway Park, the same venue in which the fixture will be played on Thursday morning.
Charlie Adam scored for Liverpool ten minutes from time that day for Rodgers’ side, grabbing a consolation goal after Michael Bradley and Alessandro Florenzi handed Roma a 2-0 lead.
Brendan Rodgers has named a large but highly talented 33-man squad for the pre-season trip which features all of the returning World Cup participants except Mamadou Sakho and Simon Mignolet, who will join the tour at a slightly later date instead due to a prolonged World Cup campaign.
The Reds will depart for the United States on Sunday afternoon (July 20). They’ll later be joined by Sakho and Mignolet in Chicago. #lfc
— Total LFC (@TheTotalLFC) July 17, 2014
All of the current new signings are included and will feature for Liverpool on the tour which will see Adam Lallana commence his Liverpool duties along with fellow newcomer Lazar Markovic, who was present at the Reds last outing at Preston but didn’t feature in the match.
The opening tour fixture is set to come too early for transfer targets Loic Remy and Dejan Lovren, even though reports continue to indicate that deals for both players are close to being finalised, with French striker Remy flying out to join up with the Liverpool party to undergo a medical.
With the fixture being the first of the trip and senior players back in the fold, the match is once again likely to see Rodgers utilise the depth of the squad available and use a whole host of players throughout the 90 minutes, as he eases the international players and new signings into the set-up.
However, while the senior players settle back in to proceedings, the exciting Jordon Ibe and Kristoffer Peterson will be looking to carry on their impressive early pre-season form as they hope to force their way into the managers’ immediate thoughts for the season ahead.
All of the squad appear injury free and at Rodgers’ disposal for the friendly but new midfield enforcer Emre Can, who has missed training in Boston, is set to miss the game after being withdrawn just 20 minutes into his first Liverpool outing at Deepdale last Saturday.
Plus, I was of course talking absolute cobblers when I said earlier Emre Can wasn’t on the tour. He just didn’t train this morning. — James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) July 21, 2014
It’s unlikely that any of the World Cup players will be involved in the match, definitely not from the start, given that they only started training on Monday.
Manager Rudi Garcia, who joined the club in June 2013, guided Roma to their best league season in four years in his debut season in charge, setting a new record points total for the club and finishing runners-up in Serie A, therefore qualifying automatically for the oncoming Champions League group stage.
The Giallorossi squad features house-hold names throughout such as Francesco Totti and Danielle De Rossi and also boasts a number of familiar names to Premier League followers including ex-Arsenal man, Gervinho, former Man City right back, Maicon, ex-Fulham full back, Urby Emanuelson as well as two previously linked and reported Liverpool targets Kevin Strootman and recently signed ex-Chelsea left back, Ashley Cole.
Garcia’s team also consists of some top European talent alongside the senior squad figures, including Adam Ljajic, Miralem Pjanic and exciting new signing Juan Manuel Iturbe, who joined last week from Verona for a reported £17.4million and the Argentine could make his first appearance in a Roma shirt in the match.
The game, which will be shown live on BT Sport, also represents the first of four pre-season tour fixtures for Roma, who also take on Manchester United, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
Wednesday, 23rd July, 7.30pm (Eastern Time, USA) / Thursday, 24th July 00.30am (BST, UK)
TV: BT Sport (UK) / NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra (USA)