It's time for the season's first round of internationals, and while for most Liverpool fans the main concern will be whether everybody stays fit, if you've got a few hours and nothing better to do at least it's football. Football with a slight Liverpool angle to it, even. So. Enjoy. Or at least try not to worry too much...
England v. Norway
Wednesday, September 3rd
8:00PM BST/3:00 PM EST
England will pretty much always end up amongst the games to watch for Liverpool fans on account of how many players the club tend to contribute to the international set-up. Steven Gerrard may have retired from international competition, and Adam Lallana and Jon Flanagan may just be working their ways back from injury, but there are still four Liverpool players likely to be involved today.
Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, and Daniel Sturridge will all start in a young, experimental—outside of Wayne Rooney, because you always have to have Wayne Rooney—England lineup. Rickie Lambert will be on the bench and, as it's a friendly, is likely to see at least 30 minutes of action this evening as we're given our first look into life for England after a disappointing World Cup.
France v. Spain
Thursday, September 4th
8:00PM BST/3:00 PM EST
Didier Deschamps has called up his World Cup squad, and after an unexpectedly strong showing in the summer it's hardly a surprise. That means that Mamadou Sakho will be expected to start in one of the glamour friendlies of the international break. Some of Spain's lustre may have worn off after their ignominious World Cup, but it's still Spain and a great many will be interested in seeing what happens next for them.
What happens next won't involve any Liverpool players, at least not yet, though both Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo aren't too far off being included in the squad and a strong month could see them in the picture come October's international break.
Brazil v. Colombia
Friday, September 5th
2:00AM BST (Sat.)/9:00 PM EST
If Europe isn't your thing, just wait a day for the international break's other big headlining match, and thanks to Philippe Coutinho's inclusion, Liverpool fans have an in here as well. And as is so often the case with prestige friendlies of this nature, the two South American powers will be heading to Miami to face off. For Colombia, the goal is more of what was seen at the World Cup. For Brazil, the question is if Dunga can rebuild a shattered side.
Meanwhile, stepping back from the bigger picture to focus on the individuals, Friday's match offers up Neymar and Falcao returning to action for their respective countries for the first time following serious injuries.
Those in search of other matches with potential Liverpool involvement can look for Slovakia taking on Malta at 5:20PM BST/12:20PM BST, Croatia hosting Cyprus at 7:15PM BST/2:15PM EST, and Belgium facing Australia at 7:45PM BST/2:45PM EST, all on Thursday. Italy, who play the Netherlands, have left Mario Balotelli out of the squad.