Olympiakos started the International Champions Cup with an impressive 3-0 victory over AC Milan. The Τhrylos will look to build off that performance as they take on Premier League side Liverpool, who are playing their first match of the event.
The managers on both sides are trying to strike the right balance. They want to get as many players involved as possible since it's still the preseason. Yet, with less preparation time due to the World Cup, starting to build chemistry among the first team is also important.
By the time the tournament ends, the new campaign will be right around the corner, so the intensity level will likely pick up as the matches go on. With that in mind, let's check out all of the key information for the clash followed by preview and prediction.
What's your prediction for the preseason clash?
Where: Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois
When: Sunday, July 27 at 6 p.m. ET (11 p.m. BST)
Watch: Fox Sports 1
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Olympiakos deserve a lot of credit for their performance against Milan. Even though it only amounts to a friendly, they were the far more dangerous side throughout. The highlight came with just over 10 minutes left when Andreas Bouchalakis delivered a perfect strike from long range to finish the scoring.
It represents exactly the type of building block coaches like Michel are looking for at this stage of the summer. Seeing players like Dimitrios Diamantakos, who are trying to showcase the type of impact they can make with the first team, is a positive.
Of course, they weren't playing a full strength Rossoneri squad. They were not featuring most of their big names and Kelechi Nkoro of Optima Live notes club executive Adriano Galliani said the performance was still better than what other sides are doing:
Galliani: "The defeat to Olympiacos? We were missing many players. The other teams are losing to amateur sides."— Kelechi Nkoro (@K1Says) July 26, 2014
Olympiakos will try to continue their good form against a Liverpool side likely to play a mismatched lineup, as well.
For the Reds, perhaps the most important thing during the International Champions Cup is trying to find a combination in attack that works following the departure of Luis Suarez. They have scored just three goals in three friendlies so far.
A much larger burden will fall on the shoulders of Daniel Sturridge to lead the offense. Alas, no single player will be able to replace Suarez. It's going to take a complete team effort and these matches are where Rodgers hopes his side can work out the kinks.
The other thing to watch is the development of young players. Suso told the club's official website that he believes these matches serve as a great chance for the squad.
"All of the games we're playing here are against Champions League teams and they are really good for us because they are really competitive, playing against really good players and experienced players," he said.
All told, Olympiakos' outing against Milan tells Liverpool that they should be ready for a good test right away. Neither side is in midseason form yet, but the Greek club are clearly trending in the right direction in the preseason.
The Reds started a marquee stretch of fixtures against Roma earlier in the week with a 1-0 loss. The results aren't the most important thing, but Rodgers will definitely want to see some progress. A competitive draw seems like the most probable result.
Prediction: Liverpool 1, Olympiakos 1