MX23RW : Monday, August 3 12:45:58| >> :60:8:8:
Jul 11, 2019 at 7.30pm UK at Prenton Park
TranmereTranmere Rovers
FT(HT: 0-3)
Clyne (6'), Brewster (37', 44'), Jones (54'), Origi (60'), Duncan (68')

Preview: Tranmere Rovers vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Thursday's pre-season friendly between Tranmere Rovers and Liverpool.

Liverpool begin their preparations for the new campaign on Thursday evening when they make the short trip to face Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park.

The home side are taking part in their second pre-season friendly as they attempt to prepare for life back in League One.

Tranmere Rovers

Connor Jennings celebrates after scoring the only goal in the League Two playoff final between Tranmere Rovers and Newport County on April 25, 2019© Reuters

There would have been a time when Tranmere supporters would have been contemplating a prolonged period in non-league after back-to-back relegations, but the North-West outfit are now looking to put together a squad who can achieve three promotions in a row.

When also taking into consideration two narrow misses in the National League, the turnaround at Prenton Park has been remarkable, and there are few people who would be surprised if they continue their resurgence over the next 11 months.

Tranmere will have to find a way to contend with the departures of Steve McNulty and James Norwood, two players who were as influential off the pitch as they were on it, but Micky Mellon has been busy in adding seven players to his squad.

Whether they turn out to be a success or not remains to be seen, although bringing in the likes of former Liverpool man Darren Potter and ex-Aston Villa youngster Corey Blackett-Taylor, who impressed at Walsall last season, can only be regarded as positives.

More players will likely come and go before the League One opener against Rochdale on August 3 but for now, followers of Rovers will be intent on enjoying the ride which comes with being involved with a club who are on an upward curve.

Tranmere have already been in action since their players returned from their summer break, with a week-long camp based in Scotland ending with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Livingston.

Mellon would have been satisfied with the standard of the workout at a time when fitness levels are key, although there will be a desire to put on a show when Liverpool are on the opposite side of the pitch on Thursday night.

Recent form: L


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp watches on ahead of their match against Barcelona on May 1, 2019© Reuters

Less than six weeks since their Champions League triumph in Madrid, Liverpool are back in action as they bid to successfully defend their European trophy, as well as trying to find a solution to getting the better of Premier League champions Manchester City.

The latter will be prioritised during the opening weeks of the season, but Jurgen Klopp's side face a gruelling schedule ahead of taking on Norwich City on August 9.

As many as seven pre-season fixtures will be staged between July 11 and July 31, while the clash with Norwich is sandwiched in between the Community Shield and European Super Cup.

Questions may be asked regarding Liverpool's workload, especially when considering that many of their squad have been involved in international matches since the end of last season.

Nevertheless, it is a show of intent from the Merseyside giants, while opportunities will naturally be given to players whom Klopp wishes to include in his first-team setup.

Curtis Jones will be among those players having initially made a name for himself during last year's pre-season, while eyes will be on Rhian Brewster as he attempts to impress in the absence of some of the club's star names.

There will also be a focus on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at a time when the England international looks to avoid any fitness issues after missing the majority of last season with a serious knee injury.

Recent form:

Team News

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as he prepares to come on against Huddersfield on April 26, 2019© Reuters

Oxlade-Chamberlain could be one of several big names to feature in the starting lineup at Prenton Park, but an onus will be put on not pushing players too hard at this stage of the summer.

After only beginning pre-season on July 6, Klopp will likely limit each of his players to no more than an hour, meaning that there will be frequent changes during the course of the match.

Xherdan Shaqiri will not be involved as he continues to recover from a calf injury, while Dejan Lovren is a doubt, having only returned to training on Tuesday.

Sepp van den Berg may be provided with his debut after signing from PEC Zwolle last month.

Mellon may stick with the first XI which began against Livingston, having chosen to make numerous alterations at half time and in the second 45 minutes.

That would mean Ishmael Miller, who endured an injury-hit second half to the last campaign, being given another opportunity to impress in attack.

Tranmere Rovers possible starting lineup:
Pilling; Caprice, Monthe, Ray, Ridehalgh; Blackett-Taylor, Perkins, Potter, Morris; Jennings, Miller

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Gomez, Matip, Van den Berg, Milner; Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Jones, Lallana, Wilson; Brewster

Head To Head

The two clubs have previously met in 22 competitive encounters, with Liverpool registering 18 wins in comparison to three victories for Tranmere.

However, just one contest has taken place since 1979 as Liverpool prevailed by a 4-2 scoreline in an FA Cup tie at Prenton Park in 2001.

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We say: Tranmere Rovers 1-4 Liverpool

Regardless of the team which Liverpool field on Thursday evening, we expect a strong display. Tranmere will be further along with their pre-season fitness programme, but we are backing the European champions to impress against one of their neighbours.


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

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Liverpool midfielder Fabinho in action during a pre-season friendly with Bury in July 2018
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