Liverpool have arrived in Boston for the second stop of their pre-season tour of the United States, with Sevilla a familiar opponent at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Liverpool vs. Sevilla
Sunday, July 21, 2019 – 6pm (EDT), 11pm (BST)
Fenway Park, Boston
Pre-Season Friendly (4)
The Reds suffered their first defeat of the summer on Friday night as they lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund in South Bend, an outcome bizarrely described as a “setback” by some outlets.
Of course, the focus during this US tour is not results, but particular aspects of performances, individual battles and the buildup of match fitness ahead of 2019/20.
A victory over Sevilla on Sunday evening would be another step forward, however, as many of Jurgen Klopp‘s senior players return to the fold.
It could be that some make their first starts of pre-season at Fenway Park, providing Klopp with a better picture of his strongest side heading into the Community Shield clash with Man City on August 4.
This should also serve as another opportunity for the Reds’ young talents to shine, especially at the spiritual home of the club’s owners.
Virgil van Dijk, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum all made their first outings of the summer in Friday’s defeat to Dortmund.
Coming off the substitutes’ bench on the hour, the key quintet endured 30 minutes of intense heat as they get back up to speed after a short break following international duty.
That Klopp gave his starting lineup more than a half for the first time this summer suggests this could be the way forward for the rest of the tour.
This should see the likes of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Fabinho, James Milner, Harry Wilson, Ryan Kent, Divock Origi and Rhian Brewster feature heavily again in Boston.
Furthermore, youngsters such as Yasser Larouci, Curtis Jones and Adam Lewis will be given further opportunities to impress.
Adam Lallana (dead leg) and Bobby Duncan (foot) were both ruled out of the clash with Dortmund due to minor injuries, and missed training on Saturday along with Nathaniel Clyne and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
It is also unclear if Sepp van den Berg has received FIFA clearance in time for his debut.
Liverpool Squad vs. Sevilla
Goalkeepers: Mignolet, Lonergan, Atherton, Ojrzynski
Defenders: Van Dijk, Gomez, Matip, Lovren, Phillips, Van den Berg*, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Clyne*, Larouci, Lewis
Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain*, Milner, Lallana*, Jones, Woodburn
Forwards: Origi, Brewster, Wilson, Kent, Duncan*
* Could miss out.
Liverpool have met Sevilla three times in the past three years, but the Liga outfit have changed significantly since their first clash in Klopp’s reign.
They have gone through seven managers since Unai Emery’s departure, with the current incumbent being ex-Spain boss Julen Lopetegui, who started his new job this summer.
Their on-pitch personnel has gone through makeover, too, with the return of sporting director Monchi seeing 11 players arrive this summer so far, while eight have departed.
Among the new signings are Lucas Ocampos, Oliver Torres, Fernando and Luuk de Jong, and all are likely to feature against Liverpool.
Sevilla finished sixth in LaLiga last season, but will be aiming higher in Lopetegui’s first campaign in charge; so far in pre-season, they have clocked victories over Simba, Reading and FC Dallas.
Liverpool return to Fenway Park for the first time since 2014, with this their third visit to the baseball stadium in the past decade.
Home to the Boston Red Sox, the 37,949-capacity venue is frequented by the Reds’ owners, Fenway Sports Group, who bought the franchise from the Yawkey Trust in 2002.
Back in 2014, Brendan Rodgers oversaw a 1-0 loss to Roma at the Massachusetts stadium, while two years before it was a 2-1 defeat to the same side.
This time around, FSG will be hoping for a win.
Speaking after the Reds’ 3-2 loss to Dortmund in South Bend, Klopp discussed the development of football in America, but was not enamoured by the state of the converted pitches:
“We have a different history—our football, soccer, history is longer and yours in other sports is longer, so it’s no criticism from our side.
“I think each game we can play and use as a kind of commercial for this wonderful game, we should play.
“We just have to make sure in the future we can do it on a little bit better surface.
Liverpool vs. Sevilla will be live on LFCTV and LFCTV Go in the UK, with coverage from 10.15pm (BST) and kickoff at 11pm; it is on B/R Live in the US, with kickoff at 6pm (EDT).
This Is Anfield’s Jack Lusby will be providing coverage from Fenway Park in our matchday liveblog.
Stay tuned to This Is Anfield on Sunday for team news, updates and more ahead of kickoff.