A selection of Liverpool Football Club-related stories and titbits you may have missed over the past seven days…
Liverpool now know the five teams who they could be pitted against in Friday’s Champions League play-off draw. The Merseysiders will face either Nice, Hoffenheim, Young Boys, Steaua Bucharest or Istanbul BB in a two-legged tie to begin on either August 15 or 16. The draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon is scheduled to begin at 11am BST on Friday 4 August and will be streamed live on UEFA.com.
Former Reds striker Fernando Torres, who netted against his old team in the Audi Cup final shootout for winners Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, has welcomed the prospect of Liverpool returning to European football’s elite club competition. “It’s really exciting that Liverpool are back in the Champions League,” commented the 33-year-old to LFCTV following the final whistle in Munich. “Hopefully they can get through in these two games they have to play. It’s nice for football in general to have Liverpool back in the Champions League… Last season was a very good season with some ups and downs, but I think they showed they can be a great team. They are one more year together and if they can keep all of their players everybody is aware of what they can do.”
Full-back Connor Randall has joined Heart of Midlothian on a season-long loan. The 21-year-old, who has made eight appearances for the Reds first team to date, could make his debut for the Scottish Premiership club when they kick-off the new season at reigning champions Celtic on Saturday.
20-year-old midfielder Pedro Chirivella has also departed Anfield, temporarily at least, during this past week. The Spaniard will spend the 2017/18 campaign with Eredivisie club Willem II. Chirivella scored twice in 17 appearances during a previous spell in the Dutch top flight with Go Ahead Eagles at the end of last season.
Liverpool U23s completed their participation in the Nuneaton tournament on Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven B. Herbie Kane gave the Reds the lead but the Dutch outfit responded well and eventually ran-out deserved winners. Neil Critchley’s side drew 0-0 with Coventry City’s first team in the previous match at the competition. LFC U23s: George, Coyle (Whelan 60), Hart, Jones, Masterson (Phillips 60), Williams, Adekanye (Juanma 72), Virtue, Dhanda, Kane, Brannagan.
The U23s will begin the 2017/18 Premier League 2 season with a trip to face Swansea City on Friday, August 11. Critchley’s team are again set to play the majority of their home matches at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park this term – the first of which will see Sunderland provide the opposition on Sunday, August 20. Click here to see the full fixture list.
Liam Millar, Rafael Camacho and Yasser Larouci were the players on target as a Liverpool U19s side secured third place in a pre-season tournament in Switzerland, courtesy of a 3-1 win over Juventus. The match on Sunday was the last of five outings for the young Reds at the tournament, which they began with a goalless draw against SV Hamburg. Two Adam Lewis penalties in a 2-0 victory over Olympiacos and another strike from the versatile left-sided player in a 1-1 draw with FC Basel secured a semi-final birth for a side managed by Steven Gerrard. There Glen McAuley was on target but the young Reds lost 3-1 to English counterparts Fulham to setup the third/fourth play-off with The Old Lady.
Gerrard’s Liverpool U18s will begin their 2017/18 season with a trip to Derby County on Friday, August 11. Back-to-back home games at the Academy against Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United follow. Click here to see the full fixture list.
Teenage keeper Shamal George has signed a new long-term contract with the club and promptly joined Carlisle United on loan. The 19-year-old put pen to paper on an extension to his deal on Tuesday before departing for a stay with the League Two side, initially until January.
Another youngster on the move is forward Taiwo Awoniyi who will be spending the duration of the 2017/18 campaign at Belgium side Royal Excel Mouscron. The Nigerian spent last term with NEC Nijmegen, for whom he scored three goals, having previously embarked on a temporary spell at FSV Frankfurt in Germany.
Liverpool Ladies goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain is set to line-up for England in their UEFA Women’s European Championship semi-final against Netherlands on Thursday night following an injury to regular Three Lions shot-stopper Karen Bardsley. Fellow female Reds Alex Greenwood, Casey Stoney and Dutch star Shanice Van De Sanden could also feature.
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