Last time around the fixtures sneaked up on us a little bit, but with so much space between the first and second rounds, we're able to get out in front of Liverpool's trip to Dortmund tomorrow for their matchup with Borussia. Group 5 is well off the pace of the rest of the competition--Groups 3 and 4 have sides that have played four and five matches already, so while tomorrow might seem to have a "must-win" tone for Liverpool's youngsters, there's still plenty of time left between now and the knockout stages. Both squads are on zero points, with Dortmund losing to both Inter and Rosenborg.
They kept it close in the first round against Inter, first equalizing through Krisztian Adorjan and then scraping one late to come within a goal of last season's champions. Rodolfo Borrell opted for a lineup full of names many will be familiar with--Adorjan, Jerome Sinclair, Stephen Sama, Marc Pelosi, Jordon Ibe, Ryan McLaughlin, and Brad Smith all played significant minutes, and while the senior squad's need for depth on a League Cup night might pluck away some of the talent from Borrell's squad, but there's likely to be at least a few of the names we saw from the preseason involved.
It's hard to say what exactly we can expect from the youngsters tomorrow given a lack of familiarity and opportunities to watch them in action; if the limited amount I have seen is any indication, though, we can plan to see the type of football that Brendan Rodgers is trying to get the senior squad to produce on a consistent basis. The talent and experience isn't there, obviously, but the fluidity and urgency most definitely is, and it's no wonder that those who've ascended the ranks so quickly have adjusted as well as they have.
Liverpool's youth system is reaping the benefits of the hard work done by those who've come before the current manager, and Borrell seems to be a perfect fit for bringing players along in a philosophy that's now the rule rather than the exception.
Viewing options are fairly limited--Eurosport partnered with the competition this season to bring live coverage, but their listing tomorrow is for Juventus and Manchester City. Typically there's useful information on the NextGen Series homepage, and there's occasionally a legal stream here or there popping up. We'll pass that along if we find it, as well as the start time, which is set for 7:00PM GMT/3:00PM EST.
Highlights from the last time out against Inter: