The International Champions Cup tournament has injected a small amount of life into what otherwise amounts to a bunch of popular teams jet-setting around the US and a very small section of Canada, and it continues today with Liverpool facing Manchester City at Yankee Stadium. There's standings and points--albeit strange ones, with Manchester United earning two last night in their penalty shootout win over Roma--and everything, but as has been repeated over and again, it's all about the fitness.
City looked plenty fit against an admittedly awful AC Milan side in their first match of the competition, easing to a 5-1 victory in Pittsburgh. A handful of regulars saw time along with a few new signings; new back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero played the entire match in goal, and long-term Liverpool target Fernando started and played an hour in midfield. Jack Rodwell, Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair resurfaced, and Jesus Navas, Gael Clichy, Aleksander Kolarov, and Stevan Jovetic--who scored twice--got minutes as well.
Liverpool should be about the same as they were against Olympiacos, though it's likely that Brendan Rodgers mixes up the starting eleven a bit. That lineup wouldn't be a complete surprise, but I'd guess we at least get a start for Philippe Coutinho to change things slightly. Early days, but with the absence of Adam Lallana for the first few weeks of the season, it looks like Rodgers is setting the side up for that same front six with one of Markovic or Coutinho starting. Right now I'd choose the latter, though the glimpses we got of the young Serbian were plenty encouraging. Might be too early still, but minutes might be on tap for Simon Mignolet and Mamadou Sakho, both of whom made their return earlier this week.
Kickoff: 12:00AM BST/7:00PM EST
Ways to Watch: Sky Sports 1 (UK), Fox Sports One/FoxSoccer2Go (US), LFCTV Go (Online)
Kolarov Boyata Nastasic Clichy
Navas Fernando Zuculini Milner
Bench: Hart, Richards, Nasri, Negredo, Sinclair, Garcia, Rodwell, Rekik, Silva, Wright, Toure, Lawlor, Huws, Guidetti, Bossaerts, Denayer, Iheanacho
Kelly Toure Coates Enrique
Bench: Mignolet, Ward, Johnson, Sakho, Robinson, Lucas, Can, Suso, Ibe, Coady, Sterling, Peterson