By Christopher Boulay
Liverpool heads to Boston’s Fenway Park for its second match of its summer tour to face-off against Roma. Unlike the 1-1 draw against Toronto F.C. over the weekend, the squad should receive a bit of help from some familiar faces, as well as a new one.
The Reds will likely have the England Euro contingent of Andy Carroll, Martin Kelly, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Glen Johnson for the match, which will give it a bit more of a competitive flavor if they see minutes. The group arrived in Boston Monday night accompanied by new teammate, and former Roma forward, Fabio Borini. The Italian international is expected to be a big part of manager Brendan Rodgers’ plans, and it could be very interesting to see him get some time against his old club.
In the match against Toronto, Liverpool’s youngsters shined, and there was certainly a buzz among fans that while early, this could be the start of something special for the club. The impressive youth display was led by Raheem Sterling and Suso, who both looked to be up for the challenge against the in-form Canadian squad.
Supporters may get a bit better of an idea of what Rodgers wants to do with the starting 11 this match, but a good picture may not be available until the friendly against Bayer Leverkusen in mid-August. Until then, this is another good run out for the youngsters, who will value their time playing against a quality side.
The match-up between the two clubs is not an unfamiliar one. Both Liverpool and Roma reached the 1984 European Cup final, where the Reds came out on top on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Phil Neal scored for Liverpool, while Roberto Pruzzo equalized during the second half. However, the Reds pulled through with four converted penalties.
The latest version of the pairing may not have the same on the line as that day, but it will likely have a similar passion, as both clubs are expected to be quite well-represented for the game.
Roma will have some big names coming to Fenway, and will prove to be difficult opposition for Liverpool. Francesco Totti will be leading the Giallorossi, and will be accompanied by Maarten Stekelenburg, Miralem Pjanic and American international Michael Bradley, among several others. Both Liverpool and Roma experienced mixed seasons last year, and this may prove to produce further motivation for players to fight for positions in the first team during the upcoming campaign.
The match will be the second soccer friendly at Fenway Park in three years. In 2010, Celtic and Sporting Clube de Portugal drew 1-1.
Liverpool will head to Baltimore later this week to complete the tour, as it will face Premier League rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
In the United States, the match will be televised on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and online at WatchESPN.com.
Liverpool v Roma
When: Wednesday, July 25th 1830 EST/2330 GMT
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
League Position 2011-12: Liverpool 8th in EPL 2011-12 (52 points), Roma 7th in Serie A (56 points)
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