Pre-season tours have become typical for Premier League teams in recent times, and Liverpool’s tour to America this year pits them against some of Europe’s best. Liverpool are competing in a mini tournament, hosted by Guiness, which includes Olympiacos, AC Milan and Manchester City.
This particular tour excites me, as for once Liverpool will be facing top European teams, instead of weak teams that have become custom during pre-season. As we all know, Liverpool will be competing in the Champions League this season, so this tournament will give the side valuable experience of playing away from England against other European sides.
Being in the wilderness for several years, a match against Olympiacos will bring back sweet memories of Steven Gerrard’s last gasp winner. But, it is the ties against Manchester City and AC Milan, which will truly test the young Liverpool side. As mentioned in the title, Liverpool will have to beat these teams not only for confidence, but to show that Liverpool mean business when they return to Champions League football. While playing AC Milan, who have declined of late, will also be a marker of how far Liverpool have come recently. Beating these teams, including the fixture against Roma, will be very important if Liverpool want to hit the ground running in the Premier League and in Europe. Of course, pre-season is predominantly about fitness, but Rodgers will surely want to get one over on City and Roma, who they could potentially face this year.
This tour will catch the imagination of Liverpool fans, who will be itching to see how the new recruits gel with the squad, and what is better than seeing them do this in a highly competitive tour to America? These games should be watched closely to see what level the team is at currently – especially with the outgoing of Luis Suarez.