One or two matches left stateside for Liverpool, with today's result determining whether or not they'll move on to play the Group B winner in Miami on Monday night. Right now it looks like Manchester United will top the other group, leaving Liverpool with a quasi-meaningful preseason fixture on the immediate horizon. Fun to have something to play for, but not particularly bothered if today doesn't end with Liverpool rearranging their travel plans in order to play at Sun Life Stadium.
You'd expect Liverpool to get a positive result tonight given how poor AC Milan have looked in their first two matches of the competition; first time out against Olympiacos in Toronto they lost 3-0, which they followed up with a 5-1 loss against Manchester City--conceding four in the first half-hour--in Pittsburgh. It's clear that Milan are a team in transition under new manager Pippo Inzaghi, and by the looks of it they're set for a bumpy season. There's still plenty of talent, especially going forward, with Mario Balotelli, Stephen El Shaarawy, and Keisuke Honda all in the squad.
It sounds as though Brendan Rodgers expects to have his own talent on display tonight as well, though it's hard to say if he's trying to spread the love or he actually plans to play something resembling a first-choice starting eleven. He played around with formations against Manchester City but didn't shake up the personnel too much, using only a handful of outfield substitutes in the 2-2 draw that they eventually won in a penalty shootout.
James Pearce from the Echo is reporting that Daniel Sturridge, Lazar Markovic, and Jon Flanagan all missed training last night, which could mean that won't feature tonight. If they're absent, and Rodgers does decide to go full-strength, right now it's likely an attacking contingent from Rickie Lambert, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, and Jordan Henderson, with Emre Can, Lucas, Joe Allen, and Steven Gerrard rounding out the options in the front six. The defense will again be the area of the biggest turnover, with Mamadou Sakho and Simon Mignolet expected to get more minutes after featuring as substitutes for the first time in preseason on Wednesday night.
Kickoff: 11:30PM BST/6:30PM EST
Ways to Watch: Sky Sports 1/SkyGo (UK), NBCSN/NBC Sports Live Extra (US), LFCTV Go (Online)
Kelly Toure Coates Robinson
Henderson Lucas Allen
Sterling Lambert Ibe
Bench: Jones, Johnson, Enrique, Gerrard, Coutinho, Sakho, Can, Suso, Coady, Skrtel, Peterson
Abate Bonera Rami DeSciglio
Essien Muntari Saponara
Niang Pazzini ElShaarawy