After a disappointing result against Brondby of the Danish Superliga, Liverpool travels to the United States to continue their pre-season tour. Liverpool will play a friendly against AS Roma on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at Fenway Park, the famous home of the Boston Red Sox.
Both European clubs are in the United States for the Guinness International Champions Cup, which features six other European giants, and thirteen lucky American cities that get to host these games.
Both of these clubs also qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the upcoming year after a hiatus of club championship football. Roma returns to Champions League for the first time since 2011 and Liverpool has been absent since 2010. The two sides will not be playing Champions League-quality soccer on Wednesday, but this game will be entertaining, nonetheless.
AS Roma comes to the states, with a few new names (Juan Manuel Iturbe, Salih Uçan, and Ashley Cole) on its roster, and recent wins over Orlando FC (a 1-nil win) and Indonesia’s U-23 team (3-1).
Liverpool arrives in Boston, licking its wounds after a 2-1 defeat to Brondby and a come-from-behind win to beat Preston 2-1. The Brondby game should not raise many questions because it is the first game of the preseason and there is still lots of training left for the team. However, for a side with many subs, the team looked stagnant, confused by its teammates and a bit out of shape, physically and tactically.
What Liverpool Fans Should Watch For
Liverpool needs to be better with the fluidity of the team. Granted that is hard to do with the amount of players on hand and more subs than usual with the friendly rules; Brendan Rodgers made six changes at halftime against Brondby that seemed to change the flow of the game. However, since the whole squad is now back, look for some better passing and movement that comes from the chemistry that the first teamers have built.
Philippe Coutinho was the man of the match for Liverpool against Brondby, and he brought a punch against Preston. He brought energy and electricity to the team that seemed to be lacking elsewhere on the pitch. He was not afraid to take defenders on one on one, and he made several nice passes over the defense to spur on his teammates. Look for this to continue against Roma, and hopefully he will be paired up with Daniel Sturridge or Rickie Lambert.
The defense needs to be better. Liverpool have allowed early first half goals in both preseason fixtures so far, and Brondby’s game-winner came in extra time. So far, it appears the team starts to focus after allowing an early goal, but they need to come focused to start the game. And then keep the concentration all the way to the end. With a bigger name, such as AS Roma, I would think the intensity would come right from the start.
Lastly, keep an eye on the substitutions. With the larger amounts of subs allowed, watch for the paired subs that come on together, and watch to see who Brendan Rodgers pairs with who. With so much youth and new faces on this squad, this will be the interesting part of the preseason. Who can leave a mark in their shortened playing time and who can mix and match with the rest of the squad better?
Liverpool vs AS Roma Prediction
These two teams met in Fenway two years ago, with Roma winning 2-1. This will be a fun game, with two historical sides meeting, and maybe it is a prelude to a Champions League fixture later on. However, Liverpool should be able to flip the script this time and take home the win by a 2-1 margin.
Liverpool vs AS Roma TV Schedule
The Liverpool vs Roma match will be televised on NBCSN and Mun2 at 4:30 PM Pacific. For all other time zones check LiveSoccerTV.