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Liverpool vs Werder Bremen: Pre-season Friendly Preview

I won't try to attempt to guess what Rafa will do until later in the pre-season, there's just too many options. With the three new additions, Benitez has 27 players to choose from today and that's excluding Javier Mascherano, who isn't expected back for about ten more days due to Copa duty, and Harry Kewell, who, depending on how far the Socceroos go in the Asia Cup, might not be back until early August.

There's a good chance we won't see Fernando Torres at all, due to a slight ankle injury suffered in training. Rafa said it best when he said he was in no hurry to get El Nino involved. Fitness comes first. Let's get him 100% and then incorporate him in the team.

The game is being held in Grenchen, Switzerland, elevation 1480 ft. Though over a thousand feet more above sea level than Liverpool, I'm not sure how that'll effect the players. I find it interesting that Rafa chose Switzerland and Hong Kong as two of the pre-season friendly locations. One has elevation and the other is hot and humid, both have atmospheres quite different than Liverpool's and the rest of England's for that matter.

The starting XI will apparently be:
Carson
Finnan
Hyypia
Paletta
Riise
El Zhar
Hobbs
Pennant
Gerrard
Voronin
Crouch

While a full overhaul is expected in the second half and through out the match from the bench which consists of: Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Alvaro Arbeloa, Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger, Yossi Benayoun, Ryan Babel, Nikolay Mihaylov, Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina, Dirk Kuyt, and possibly some others. So it looks like El Nino will play after all. Be back at the half.