Preview: Adelaide United v Liverpool


Liverpool will aim to make it three wins from three matches played on their tour of Asia and Australia when they face Adelaide United on Monday night.

Brendan Rodgers’ side cruised to a 4-0 victory over a Thai Premier League All Star XI in Bangkok last week, before coming from behind to beat Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.

Dimitri Petratos put John Aloisi’s men ahead in the Queensland capital, but goals from Adam Lallana and new arrival James Milner, signed on a free transfer after his departure from Manchester City, sealed a narrow victory for the Premier League visitors.

Gombau: Liverpool clash can create A-League converts

Liverpool players celebrate James Milner's second half goal against Brisbane Roar.

Adelaide meanwhile prepared for the eagerly anticipated fixture with a 2-0 loss to Manchester City behind closed doors on the Gold Coast.

Josep Gombau fielded a strong team against Manuel Pellegrini’s men at Cbus Super Stadium and was rewarded with what he considered to be a competitive showing against one of world’s richest clubs.

Speaking to Goal Australia last week, the Reds’ Spanish boss acknowledged the need for his players to produce a strong showing at a packed Adelaide Oval on Monday, despite only being in the preliminary stages of the lengthy A-League pre-season.

Adelaide fans in attendance are likely get a first glimpse of newcomer Iacopo La Rocca, who has moved to the FFA Cup holders after leaving Western Sydney following the expiry of his contract.

Reds and Roar sparkle at Suncorp

The uncompromising Italian was used primarily as a holding midfield by Tony Popovic, helping the Wanderers to lift the 2012-13 Premiers’ Plate, reach two successive grand finals and win the 2014 AFC Champions League.

He could well feature more regularly at centre-back for Gombau though, Adelaide having lost Nigel Boogaard, a first-choice central defender last season, to his hometown club the Newcastle Jets.

Adelaide United's starting XI during their recent friendly with Spanish outfit Villarreal.

Another Reds newcomer hoping to go up against Liverpool is teenage attacking midfield George Mells.

The 18-year-old Australian has spent time in the youth academies of Chelsea and Southampton, where – as an apprentice – he cleaned the boots of former Saints skipper Lallana.

Should he get on the field against Liverpool, Mells is sure to want to renew acquaintances with his ex-St Mary’s Stadium colleague and show supporters of both teams he’s capable of more than just polishing footwear.  

The visitors meanwhile, having sold prized asset Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for a reported fee of 45 million pounds, are unlikely to be joined by striker Christian Benteke, who is in the process of finalising his move to Anfield from Aston Villa.