Liverpool begin life after Luis Suarez with their first pre-season match of 2014-15 on Wednesday night…
Liverpool face their first match of the post-Luis Suarez era on Wednesday night as they kick-off their pre-season campaign against Danish side Brondby.
Daniel Agger seems set to captain the Reds against his former club, with Brendan Rodgers likely to name a team excluding World Cup stars such as Steven Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling.
However, Talk Sport believe that Emre Can could make his Liverpool debut, while the likes of Suso, Jordan Ibe and Fabio Borini – who spent last season out on loan – will get their chance to impress.
Here is the predicted XI in full:
GK – Brad Jones
The Australian stopper will keen to be impress as he looks to secure a spot in Liverpool’s squad for the coming season. Already behind Simon Mignolet in the goalkeeping pecking order, the 32-year-old Australian will be well aware of the rumours suggesting that the Reds are interested in recruiting a back-up keeper ready for the new season, and will want to prove that there is no such need.
RB – Andre Wisdom
The young defender may have been heavily linked with a move to West Brom in the last few days, but following a successful season on loan with Championship play-off finalists Derby County, he will be desperate to prove that his long-term future lies at Anfield, and not elsewhere.
LB – Jose Enrique
After almost an entire season out with injury, Jose Enrique will be keen to impress on his return to the Liverpool first team, and prove that the Reds do not need to be so concerned with their attempts to recruit a new left back this summer. Both Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno and Swansea City’s Ben Davies have been linked with a move to Anfield.
CB – Martin Kelly
Another player with a point to prove after a long period out of the team with injury, Kelly impressed when he played in Liverpool’s post-season friendly with Shamrock Rovers at the end of the last season. Having been in the England squad that travelled to Euro 2012 two summer’s ago, he will be eager to reestablish himself as one of the finest young defenders in the country.
CB – Daniel Agger
The Danish international will relish this return to his home country and his former club, who he left for Liverpool in 2006. Questions continue to circle regarding where Agger will be playing his football next season, but this fan-favourite will be delighted to have the chance to play in this game regardless of what the future holds.
CM – Emre Can
Liverpool’s £10m signing from Bayer Leverkusen will have his first chance to impress when he makes his club debut in the Reds opening pre-season friendly. With England midfield duo Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson unlikely to feature, this will be an early opportunity for Can to establish himself as a viable option in Liverpool’s midfield for next season.
CM – Lucas Leiva
Another player linked with a move away from Liverpool this summer, Lucas will put transfer speculation suggesting that he is close to a move to Napoli to one side, in order to partner his potential replacement – Emre Can – in midfield. Brendan Rodgers will know exactly what the player can do, but will appreciate his experience among a young midfield line-up.
CAM – Philippe Coutinho
This could be a defining season for the Brazilian who could be one of the players to capitalize from the departure of Suarez. Coutinho, who was been used in both a central midfield position, and a wide midfield role last season, will now have the chance to make the ‘number ten’ role his own as he starts behind Fabio Borini.
RW – Suso
After a relatively successful loan spell at Spanish side Almeria, Suso returns to Liverpool anxious to stake his claim for a spot in the first-team squad. The player has been open about his desire to stay at Anfield for ‘many years’, but is unlikely to remain content with a bit-part role, and will move in order to secure first-team football.
LW – Jordan Ibe
After helping Birmingham City maintain Championship status at the end of last season, this bright young talent returns to a hopeful, perhaps even expectant welcome at Anfield, with Liverpool fans drawing comparisons between Ibe and fellow Reds youngster Raheem Sterling. After netting a hat-trick for the England Under-19 side in May, he will hope to continue his progress this term.
ST – Fabio Borini
Despite coming off the back of a positive loan spell with Sunderland last season, Fabio Borini is unlikely to have long to prove that he belongs at Liverpool alongside the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Rickie Lambert and any potential replacement(s) for Luis Suarez. However, he will get his chance here, and will undoubtedly be eager to grab it.