Liverpool v Roma – Busch Stadium at 01:35 live on LFCTV
It is yet another friendly for Liverpool this week as Jurgen Klopp and his side take on AS Roma as the Busch Stadium, in what will be Luciano Spalletti’s last friendly before their opening game of the Serie A season.
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Liverpool will be taking a break from the International Champions Cup for a week after a 2-0 win against AC Milan on Sunday; Roberto Firmino scoring the second in a match that saw plenty of faces on display for Klopp.
This was a bounce back after their 1-0 defeat to Chelsea, and now they sit fourth in the ICC 2016 table with one game remaining against Barcelona.
Eight players are currently injured for the Reds including new signing Loris Karius who is sidelined with a broken wrist, while Georginio Wijnaldum made his debut against AC Milan and may be featuring again in Missouri.
In terms of friendlies, this is Liverpool’s sixth with two more still to play before they kick off the new season away to Arsenal. They have won four and lost one, yet have only conceded one goal in all of these matches.
There may be concerns that Liverpool are playing too many friendlies heading into the new season. In 2013 and ’14 they have featured in five games while last year four friendlies were arranged. This could be too much of a workout for Klopp’s side, but we will see how the season progresses.
AS Roma, on the other hand, have had a quiet pre-season having only played three matches, with the Liverpool game being their final chance to impress manager Luciano Spalletti.
The Wolves haven’t played a match since the 17th of July, where they beat Russian outfit Terek Grozney 3-2 in Pinzolo; Edin Dzeko being among the goalscorers on that day.
However, off the pitch, Roma have been very busy with the likes of Miralem Pjanic, Adam Ljajic and Dodo all leaving the club; Pjanic joining rivals Juventus for £27 million. While the Italian club have brought in the likes of Mohamed Salah, Stephan El Shaarawy as well as Brazilian midfielder Gerson for £14 million.
Spalletti took over from Rudi Garcia halfway through the Serie A campaign last year and helped the club finish third in the table. Fans have reasons to expect better considering their club have always been contenders for the league title, but have never lasted the distance against Napoli or Juventus.
One key figure for Roma will be Kevin Strootman in the midfield having missed a majority of the last season with an injury, he will want to return and prove his worth. While legend Francesco Totti is staying on another season with the club after signing a new deal.
The last time these two sides met was in 2014 where AS Roma defeated Liverpool 1-0 in a friendly; Marco Borriello scoring the winner there. In fact, from their last four meetings Roma have won on two occasions to Liverpool’s one victory.
Mainly because Liverpool have been more active in this pre-season on the pitch, I have to back Klopp do another Italian Job and get the better of this Serie A team who may still be rusty after only three matches.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Liverpool -0.25 @ 2.13 with Pinnacle
Prices correct at time of writing.