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Roma vs. Liverpool: Previewing This Clash of European Titans

TORONTO, CANADA - JULY 21: The starting lineup of Liverpool pose before playing against Toronto FC during the World Football Challenge friendly match on July 21, 2012 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Chris HummerAnalyst IJuly 25, 2012

Fenway Park will play host to quite a different sport tonight, when European titans AS Roma and Liverpool square off in front of the Green Monster

This match is a part of both teams' preseason schedules, and each have already partaken in tuneups on American soil this past week.

On Sunday, Liverpool played Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw at the Rodgers Centre, home of Major League Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays.

The Reds played the exhibition without many of their top players, including captain Steven Gerrard and his fellow English teammates Andy Carroll and Glen Johnson. This, however, presented an opportunity for some of the squads' younger players to see some minutes.

U-18 starlet, Adam Morgan took full advantage. He scored Liverpool's only goal of the match and looked strong in attack all night.

Roma also played a tuneup match this past Sunday. They faced off with Zaglebie Lubin at another of America's most famous venues, Wrigley Field. The Italian power had no issues dispatching Lubin. They scored three quick goals in the first half and cruised in the second en route to a 4-0 victory.

Preseason matchups aren't usually the most passionate brands of soccer, but tonight's bout between these two legendary squads should prove fierce.

Both teams feature new managers, and each will be looking to make a strong first impression.

 

Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers will be steering the Reds in only his second match as head coach, and Roma's Zdenek Zeman will be looking to prove that he has the chops to take down a top-flight Premier League team.

Further stirring the pot, each squad is owned by a Boston area owner, so you know each team will have a little extra push from upper-management to go all out.

However, games like these still come down to the players on the pitch, and both sides feature world-class talent. AS Roma is the home of the electrifying Francesco Totti, and their leading goal scorer from last season is Pablo Daniel Osvaldo. Plus, American star Michael Bradley will be playing in his second game for the Italian power after signing a four-year transfer deal this offseason.

Liverpool certainly has the talent to keep up with Roma. They consistently place breathtakingly-skilled players on the pitch, and this year's squad includes the aforementioned Gerrard, Luis Suárez and José Enrique.

The teams are evenly matched, and the final tally will most likely come down to the squad that employs more of their starters.

Expect Rodgers to want to come out and make a statement in his first big-time matchup as headman. He will keep Liverpool active, and you can expect more of a concerted effort from the Reds than they showed in their lackluster performance against Toronto FC.

Roma will come out strong against Liverpool, but it will not be enough.

 

Prediction: 2-1 Liverpool

 

When: Tonight, July 25, 6:30 p.m. ET.

Live Stream: ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes

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