Full fixture list: (dates and times are GMT)
Tranmere Rovers – Prenton Park – 11/7/19 – 19:30
Bradford City – Northern Commercials Stadium (Valley Parade) – 14/7/19 – 15:00
Borussia Dortmund – Notre Dame Stadium – 20/7/19 – 01:00
Sevilla – Fenway Park – 21/7/19 – 23:00
Sporting CP – The Yankee Stadium – 25/7/19 – 01:00
Napoli – Murrayfield – 28/7/19 – 17:00
Lyon – Stade de Genève – 31/7/19 – 18:00
Manchester City (Community Shield) – Wembley – 4/8/19 – 15:00
It’s been just mere weeks since Jordan Henderson lifted European Cup number six in Madrid but the club football train is already set to roll back into town. On Thursday 11th July, Liverpool will head over the water to the Wirral, where they will take on recently promoted Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park. The fixture has become an annual occurrence giving us the first glimpse of how Liverpool might set up in the next season. These games are usually of large irrelevance to how the Reds end up looking on the first day of their competitive campaign, however, this early part of pre-season offers locals, who cannot get to Anfield for ticketing and financial reasons, a chance to see some of their heroes in action. Despite the lineup often being severely weakened, the chance for anyone to see the men with liver birds upon their chests playing isn’t one to give up.
Liverpool start their 2019 pre-season with a match against the aforementioned Tranmere Rovers before heading to Valley Parade for a fixture against Bradford City. The day will aim to raise funds for ex-Bradford and Liverpool player, Steven Darby’s new foundation which has the objective of funding continued research of motor neurone disease. Darby himself was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder last year, forcing him to retire at the age of just 29. This game will take place on Sunday 14th July.
By the time Liverpool jet out to the USA, most key players will be back with the squad. The only absentees should be Mané, Salah and Naby Keita, who will all have been on international duty at The African Cup of Nations. Liverpool’s two Brazilians taking part in the Copa América may have returned depending on their country’s success in the competition. The finals of AFCON and the Copa América are on 19th July and 7th July respectively.
Once in the US, Liverpool’s first stop is the Notre Dame Stadium at the border between Indiana and Michigan. The ground ‘s capacity is nearly 80,000 and will play host to Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund on Saturday 19th July (local time). The event will be a momentous occasion for the area as it marks the first time that a football match will be played at the venue.
Next up is a trip to FSG’s beloved Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox. Liverpool have already played at the famous old baseball ground twice in the last ten years. Firstly, in 2012, when Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool lost 2-1 to Roma, then again two years later when the Reds once again came up short in a 1-0 loss to the same opposition. Klopp will be hoping that their fortunes change this year against Sevilla, whom they are facing for the fourth time since the beginning of Klopp’s reign. It’s always a special occasion for FSG when they see their two sporting visions come together and you can watch it on Sunday 21st July.
The last leg of the tour will see Henderson and co. travel down to New York to play a game against Sporting Lisbon at another baseball heavyweight’s stadium. This time it’s at the home of The New York Yankees. The Yankees and The Red Sox are also traditionally one of baseball’s biggest rivalries meaning John Henry will surely be craving a win to cap off the 2019 pre-season US tour. This final match will also be named the Western Union Cup.
Once home, just four days later, Liverpool will their circuit of non-footballing stadia. Scotland’s national rugby ground, Murrayfield, will be the venue for Liverpool’s last game in the UK before the Community Shield and Napoli will be the opponents. Roberto Firmino and Alisson Becker are expected to have joined up with the squad by then and the AFCON boys won’t be far from a return. This match against Napoli will be held on Sunday 28th July just three days prior to an arranged friendly against Lyon in Geneva. This fixture with Olympique Lyonnais is of interest due to Liverpool’s previous and supposed interest in some of their star men. Just last summer, Nabil Fekir was practically a Liverpool player before the move fell through as a result of a reported knee problem in his medical. There’s also been rumours of interest in Memphis, Aouar and Fekir again this summer, which is sure to bring up some talking points around the game.
Pre-season will be rounded off nicely against silverware rivals, Manchester City, in the Community Shield. The game is seen as the traditional curtain-raiser for the English season and Klopp’s side find themselves a part of the day by default this year as a result of the opposition’s preceding domestic treble-winning campaign. Although not much credence is given to the result, this year it could have a more significant impact by giving the victors a psychological advantage ahead of the opening weekend. Hopefully, a win would start the beginning of Wembley becoming Anfield South once again.
The club had also originally scheduled a friendly against Schalke, at Anfield, on the Tuesday before the start of the Premier League season, however, it has had to be postponed until 2020 by virtue of Sky Sports making Liverpool play their first league fixture on the Friday night instead of the Saturday or Sunday.
Come that Friday night under the lights at Anfield, the whole club will be rested and ready to go again in search of trophies and magical experiences. Eight games in under a month will work the players hard and build their core fitness, needed to maintain Jurgen Klopp’s high-intensity style of play. Whether it be a lineup full of youngsters or unusual formation changes, pre-season constitutes the opportunity to watch the Champions League winners live and that can never be a bad thing!