Indonesia XI v Liverpool
This Saturday sees Liverpool take on an Indonesia XI in the first leg of our Asian tour. The match will be held at Indonesia’s national stadium, Gelora Bung Karno which seats 80,000 people and I expect that to be close to capacity for the Reds’ first ever game in Indonesia. While we will take a good following of our own, I expect the locals to be out in full support of Brendan’s men.
And across this tour - our overseas supporters may get to see a few more of the bigger names than the Preston fans were treated to last Saturday at Deepdale, with the likes of Gerrard, Reina and Suarez all included in the squad for the tour. Reina and Suarez are not expected to have joined up before this weekend's game however - although the club captain should be making his first appearance since signing his new contract extension.
The speculation regarding Suarez’s future with the club will surely be a major talking point throughout the tour but the message from the club itself is that we do not need to sell Luis.
On the footballing front, which is obviously the main thing, we will be looking to build on the comfortable 4-0 win we picked up against Preston. There were plenty of positives to take from that game including the maiden goals of both Jordan Ibe and Iago Aspas as well as the return to first team action for Raheem Sterling. A clean sheet on debut for both Simon Mignolet and Danny Ward is also good to see. Debuts for summer signings Luis Alberto and Kolo Toure was another positive to take from the game at Deepdale.
Like most pre-season games the priority will be the players’ fitness above results but it’s still never good to see the Reds lose so another victory in the Far East would be greeted quite nicely. And if it’s as comfortable as the one against Preston, all the better.