Liverpool are one of the first English teams to have started with their preseason fixtures, as Jurgen Klopp's Reds defeated Tranmere Rovers 1-0 on Friday. They are now set for their second match, against League One outfit Fleetwood Town, at the Highbury Stadium on Wednesday.
Such matches are going to be of utmost importance to the Liverpool players, who have recently joined, like Joel Matip, Sadio Mane and Loris Karius. It will give these stars the much-needed time in a Liverpool jersey to develop a chemistry with their new teammates, and also understand Klopp's philosophy. Other players like Lazar Markovic will try to use this preseason to prove to his manager that he is capable of playing for Liverpool in the English Premier League as well.
However, Markovic looked below par against Tranmere, missing some golden chances to add his name to the scoresheet. The Serbian will get a chance to shine again, and another poor show might inch him closer to the exit door.
But there were plenty of encouraging signs for Liverpool against Tranmere, with Roberto Firmino and Mane linking well, while Danny Ings looked in good shape after missing the majority of last season due to ligament injury. Mane was one of the best players on the pitch, making dangerous runs and creating space for others, which Klopp will hope to see against Fleetwood as well.
Liverpool are set to feature a number of players from the youth team against Fleetwood, and give them experience in the process. Philippe Coutinho, who joined training on Monday, will also feature in Liverpool's second friendly. Regular first-team players like Dejan Lovren and Lucas Leiva will use this opportunity to improve upon their fitness levels.
However, this is not the first time that Fleetwood will meet Liverpool, who emerged victorious with a 6-1 scoreline in 2003 during a friendly fixture. Since then, things have changed, and Fleetwood are a team on a high. They have been promoted six times in nine seasons, which just reflects their upward climb in English football. Fleetwood, who are playing their first friendly match of the season, will be keen to give a tough time to Liverpool.
Fleetwood are a much better team than Tranmere, who did have some chances to score a goal, but failed to take them. If the Cod Army can be strong in all departments of the game, they can spring a surprise and stun Liverpool, who will try to play different formations and combinations on Wednesday.
Where to watch live
Fleetwood Town vs Liverpool is scheduled for 7 p.m local time (11:30 pm IST). There is no live TV coverage of the game in India and US.
UK viewers can watch the game live on LFCTV, and live streaming on LFC Online.
Squads: Liverpool: Karius, Bogdan, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno, Ilori, Matip, Flanagan, Smith, Wisdom, Randall, Coutinho, Grujic, Lucas, Brannagan, Stewart, Kent, Markovic, Ojo, Chirivella, Allan, Mane, Firmino, Ings.
Fleetwood Town: Neal, Taylor, Cairns, McLaughlin, Jonsson, Pond, Bell, Ryan, Hornby-Forbes, Grant, Nirrenold, Wright, McManus, Sanogo, Deacon, Hunter, Ball, Haughton, Sowerby, Nilsson, Dunbar, Cole, Davis, Bolger, Eastham, Holloway, Nadesan.