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Jul 25, 2019 at 1.05am UK
Sporting Lisbon
Fernandes (4'), Wendel (53')
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Preview: Sporting Lisbon vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Wednesday night's pre-season friendly between Sporting Lisbon and Liverpool.

Liverpool head into the final fixture of their US tour against Sporting Lisbon looking to avoid a third successive defeat across the pond.

Sporting square off against the European champions on Wednesday night having failed to win any of their three games during pre-season.

Sporting Lisbon

Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring for Sporting Lisbon in their Europa League clash with Villarreal in February 2019© Reuters

The future of Bruno Fernandes continues to dominate the headlines at Sporting at a time when the club are struggling to produce any notable form ahead of the new campaign.

During a period when Manchester United are said to have remained interested in the playmaker, the Portuguese outfit have failed to register a win against either Rapperswil-Jona, St Gallen or Club Brugge.

Boss Marcel Keizer will insist that the results of games before the start of their competitive encounters do not count for much, but there must be a certain level of concern behind the scenes.

Nevertheless, there is an argument that the game in New York is coming at the right time, with Keizer able to take his players away from the spotlight in Europe.

Keizer will also be content with the transfer business which he has conducted so far, which has seen defender Luis Neto and forward Luciano Vietto leave Zenit St Petersburg and Atletico Madrid respectively.

A sub-plot to the game on Wednesday evening involves Rafael Camacho, who shunned a number of contract offers to remain at Liverpool in order to return to his former club.

It remains unclear whether the 19-year-old will play any part of the game on the east coast, but the right-sided player will no doubt have a point to prove if given the opportunity to make his mark.

Recent form: LDD


Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp watches on on March 17, 2019© Reuters

Having produced a clinical touch in front of goal in friendlies against Tranmere Rovers and Bradford City, Jurgen Klopp would have expected his squad to build on those performances during their time in the United States.

However, while their general performances have been acceptable enough, Klopp has acknowledged that he has been left disappointed with back-to-back defeats to Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla respectively.

Some of the five goals which have been conceded have been their own doing, especially against Dortmund when the Premier League giants were indebted to the performance of Simon Mignolet.

Nevertheless, with just three games to go until the Community Shield, the backline looks far from the solid unit which earned the club so many admirers last season.

That remained the case even with Virgil van Dijk in the team against Sevilla, and Klopp will be concerned with the number of mistakes which have been made so far.

Klopp will have fewer worries with his team's play in the attacking third of the pitch as many of the club's squad players continue to make a positive impression in the absence of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Divock Origi did enough against Sevilla to suggest that Liverpool were right to hand him a new contract, while Ryan Kent and Harry Wilson will both feel like they are doing enough to earn a place in Klopp's plans going forward.

Whether Klopp can be fully convinced remains to be seen, but a third strong showing from the pair against another established European side on Wednesday night may tip the scales in their favour.

Recent form: WWLL

Team News

Rhian Brewster celebrates his opening goal in Liverpool's pre-season friendly with Tranmere Rovers on July 11, 2019© Reuters

As a result of the searing heat in Boston, Klopp named two different lineups for each half against Sevilla, something which may be replicated against Sporting given the weather forecast.

That may lead to Klopp rotating some of the partnerships and combinations in various areas of the pitch, with Rhian Brewster pushing for his first start of the US tour.

However, Yasser Larouci will play no part due to the injury which he sustained against Sevilla, while Nathaniel Clyne is still a doubt due to the knock picked up against Dortmund last week.

As well as Camacho, Tiago Ilori and Sebastian Coates could make appearances for Sporting against their former club.

Sporting Lisbon possible starting lineup:
Renan; Ilori, Mathieu, Neto, Conte; Doumbia, Wendel, Fernandes; Raphinha, Vietto, Dost

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Lovren, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Kent, Wilson, Brewster

Head To Head

Somewhat surprisingly, these two clubs are yet to meet in a competitive fixture.

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We say: Sporting Lisbon 1-3 Liverpool

Despite the recent setbacks, we are backing Liverpool to come through this game with flying colours. Klopp will likely make changes once again but his players - who are now fitter as a result of the last two outings - should be able to create plenty of chances against their Portuguese opponents.


Who will win Thursday's pre-season friendly between Sporting Lisbon and Liverpool?

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Rafael Camacho in action for Liverpool during pre-season in July 2018
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