Dublin Decider: Liverpool v Celtic preview 8 years ago

Dublin Decider: Liverpool v Celtic preview

Aviva Stadium plays host to a hell of a game tomorrow afternoon. Here’s what to expect if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket...

Arguably the two best supported overseas clubs in the country meet at Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening in the ‘Dublin Decider’. Many of the 50,000 who will be on hand to watch the game will probably be fans of both Liverpool and Celtic, meaning the inevitable pre-match rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ should be fairly special.

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But once the terraces clear their throats there is a game to be played, so what can we expect to see on the pitch? We spoke to Brendan Rodgers earlier this week and he was clearly looking forward to the game.

It is the final warm-up game for the Reds before they kick off their Premier League campaign so we can expect a strong team to be fielded by the Antrim man. Luis Suarez, unsurprisingly, will not be there but we expect new signings such as Iago Aspas, Luis Alberto and Simon Mignolet to get a run out.

In the absence of Suarez, Aspas will be the man that Liverpool fans may look to for goals, and with four in six pre-season games so far the Spaniard has hit the ground running. Daniel Sturridge was also looking very sharp in training, while at the back, Liverpool have only conceded one goal all pre-season, so defensively they look very solid.

This has to be a bit of a worry for Celtic boss Neil Lennon. Last week he watched his side labour to a 2-1 win over Ross County. It took an 87th minute Anthony Stokes goal, his second of the game, to nab all three points for the Bhoys and they haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders in the Champions League either, despite making it into the last qualifying round.

Stokes has made the trip, and will hope to continue his goal scoring form in front of his home crowd, and maybe turn Giovanni Trapattoni’s head in the process. As for the rest of the team, the suggestion is that Lennon will send out a few fringe players as his team recover from a hectic start to the year and a flight back from Sweden in midweek.

Charlie Mulgrew - who injured his knee against Elfsborg – won’t play and neither will two of Celtic’s newest signings, as Dirk Boerrigter and Virgil van Dijk are both injured too. But no Celtic team is ever that weak and with a huge support behind them at Aviva, we expect them to put it up to the Reds.

Based on the likely line-ups, Liverpool are probably deserved favourites with the bookies at 4/6 (Celtic are 15/4) however the combination of a very large crowd, a great playing surface and more than a bit of quality on show on both teams, the game should be a belter.

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See you there…

Liverpool Squad: Jones, Johnson, Enrique, Toure, Alberto, Gerrard, Aspas, Coutinho, Assaidi, Henderson, Sturridge, Coates, Downing, Lucas, Mignolet, Allen, Borini, Sterling, Kelly, Flanagan, Ibe, Wisdom

Celtic Squad: Izaguirre, Balde, Fisher, Irvine, Findlay, Stokes, Kayal, Lustig, Matthews, McGeouch, Mouyokolo, Henderson, Herron, George, Atajic, Watt, Forster, Zaluska