Olympiacos vs. Liverpool: How the Reds Will Line Up

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Olympiacos vs. Liverpool: How the Reds Will Line Up
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Liverpool go into Sunday's pre-season friendly against Olympiacos at Chicago's Soldier Field still in experimental mode.

The Reds have enjoyed mixed fortunes in terms of results so far this summer—losing against Brondby and Roma, and beating Preston—but there's plenty of opportunity for the younger members of the squad.

This weekend's game signals the return of Liverpool's World Cup stars, who returned to training last week, but bar workhorse Jordan Henderson, none have been in action yet.

 

Goalkeeper

Expect Simon Mignolet to take his gloves back and guard Liverpool's goal from the start. His place in Liverpool's starting line-up seems to remain secure, but The Times football editor Tony Evans has an interesting theory about Pepe Reina's return from his loan spell at Napoli:

 

Defence

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Dejan Lovren's proposed £20 million move from Southampton, as per Ben Smith of BBC Sport, won't have gone through in time for him to play against Olympiacos, so one of Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel will start in central defence alongside Mamadou Sakho following his World Cup campaign with France.

Glen Johnson could play his first game of the summer at right-back, while Liverpool are still working out who will be the first-choice left-back with Jon Flanagan, Jack Robinson and Jose Enrique all vying for a place in Brendan Rodgers' first team.

 

Midfield

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Steven Gerrard is on the verge of signing a new contract with Liverpool, as per Dominic King of the Daily Mail, and after a disappointing couple of months for the former England skipper, he will be determined to move on quickly with a return in Chicago.

The Reds will be without midfielder Adam Lallana, whose knee injury in training this week will force him to miss the start of the season, as per BBC Sport.

Henderson may well start his first game of the summer after playing the final 13 minutes against Roma in midweek, while Joe Allen, Raheem Sterling, Jordon Ibe, Lucas Leiva, Emre Can and Philippe Coutinho will all be hoping for some game time as Rodgers tries different midfield systems and shapes.

 

Attack

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Having enjoyed his World Cup experience with England in Brazil, Daniel Sturridge returns to a Luis Suarez-less Liverpool, and suddenly he has the chance to become the Reds' leading man.

New signings Rickie Lambert and Lazar Markovic will be looking to continue their pre-season preparations, but Italian forward Fabio Borini is sidelined for the rest of the USA tour with a shoulder injury, as per The Guardian.

How Rodgers lines up for this game is rather irrelevant, but it will give all available members of his squad the chance to prove their credentials for the new season, which is now just three weeks away.

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