Martin Skrtel has outlined the importance of a victory in this weekend’s friendly against HJK Helsinki so close to the start of the season.
After three victories and a draw on their travels in Asia and Australia, Liverpool play their final two friendlies of the summer against Helsinki and Swindon Town on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
It will be the first opportunity new signings Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke have had to play with their new teammates, whilst the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can will also be involved in pre-season matches for the first time following their international commitments this summer.
Skrtel is relishing the opportunity to return to Finland on Saturday and meet more Reds fans.
“I have been there two or three times,” he told the club’s official website. The last time I was in Helsinki was, I think, three years ago when I went to see the Slovakian ice hockey team.
“We won the silver medal so I have good memories and we have a lot of fans over there so it should be an interesting game as well.
“We know we have a lot of fans there so it is similar to going to Asia. We want to go there so they can see us play.
“It’ll be a nice experience and it’s the last game before the season starts so it’ll be very good for us.”
With the new Premier League season kicking off on Saturday, August 8th and Liverpool’s first game away at Stoke the following day (kick-off 4pm), Skrtel is looking for the best final preparations against Helsinki. If you’re thinking of betting on this match, the end of Liverpool’s pre-season campaign may give some indications.
“That game will be very important because it’s one week before the season starts so it’s very important to get a result and get confidence up,” he added.
HJK Helsinki vs Liverpool gets underway at 5.30pm (UK) this Saturday, 1st August. This Is Anfield will be bringing you more build-up and coverage as the week goes on. Follow @thisisanfield on Twitter: Follow @thisisanfield