How Liverpool's friendlies were chosen with Champions League in mind

Brendan Rodgers 2

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has explained how the club's pre-season friendlies were arranged with the Champions League in mind.

The Reds came within a whisker of ending their 24-year wait for a league title last year as they eventually finished runners-up to champions Manchester City.

The second-place finish meant that the Anfield side return to the Champions League for the first time since they were knocked out at the group stage of the 2009-2010 campaign.

Rodgers has set about beefing up his squad ahead of the new campaign with around £60 million so far spent of Lazar Markovic, Emre Can, Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana, while Loic Remy is expected to join imminently.

Liverpool kicked off their pre-season tour of America with a 1-0 defeat to Roma in the early hours of Thursday morning, and they follow it up with clashes against Olympiacos, Manchester City and AC Milan before a home game against Borussia Dortmund on August 10.

Speaking after the last-gasp defeat to Roma, Rodgers explained how the friendlies against their fellow European giants were designed with a view to their participation in the Champions League next term.

He told the club's official website: "You have a choice - you can play friendlies that probably make you win every game and you might not find anything out. We've got a really tough set of fixtures over the course of the pre-season.

"We've got a great tour out here and then we go back and within a few days we'll play Borussia Dortmund. We're really pitching ourselves in at a good level to get a good gauge.

"The most important objective is that we're in a really good physical condition for our first game of the season, against Southampton.

"And that technically and tactically, we'll have honed up all of the principles and ideas that have made us so successful in the last couple of years. That will be the most important result for us."

Rodgers is also still planning negotiate deals for Dejan Lovren and Belgium international striker Divock Origi, although Fabio Borini's immediate future is unclear.

The Italian had been the subject of a £14 million bid from Sunderland, but was included as part of the American tour and injured his shoulder early on against the Serie A side.

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