Liverpool planning handful of local pre-season friendlies ahead of Far East tour

Liverpool are set to face Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic once again this coming pre-season ahead of their trip to the Far East to compete in the Premier League Asia Trophy, while a third friendly could potentially be added to the Reds' list.

Liverpool planning handful of local pre-season friendlies ahead of Far East tour
(Picture: Getty Images - Paul Ellis)

Liverpool have added two more friendlies to their pre-season schedule ahead of the 2017-18 season with local clashes with Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic planned.

As they did in last season's preparations for the new campaign, Liverpool will travel to both local rivals Tranmere and fellow North West outfit Wigan before embarking on their international travels.

Micky Mellon's Tranmere played host to their Merseyside neighbours last July, when Danny Ings' late goal was enough for a 1-0 victory at Prenton Park and the non-league club will do so again this summer.

After that, Liverpool travel to recently-relegated Wigan - once again a League One outfit - for another clash at the DW Stadium, where they won 2-0 last year after goals from Ings and Ben Woodburn.

A third fixture could yet follow, similarly to last year when Liverpool faced four friendlies against English Football League clubs before travelling to America.

Preston North End - who they have faced on a number of occasions in previous pre-seasons - are one opponent under consideration before the trip to the Far East.

Liverpool reconvene for training in the first week of July, with a flight to Hong Kong pencilled for the week beginning July 17. 

Reds face local sides in second successive pre-season 

Eight fixtures now make up Liverpool's programme, though their opposition in three of those games are yet to be confirmed due to their involvement in the Premier League Asia Trophy and Audi Cup.

The Reds will face Crystal Palace in Hong Kong in the first game of the former, before facing another Premier League rival in the form of West Bromwich Albion or Leicester City dependent on the result against Palace. 

Winning would see Jürgen Klopp's side advance to the final to contest for the trophy of the two-day competition, the only Premier League-affiliated tournament outside of England, while defeat would consign them to a third-placed play-off.

Both games will be hosted at the 40,000-seater Hong Kong Stadium.

This year's competition - the eighth edition after its maiden year in 2003 - will be the first time all four teams come from the Premier League after Chinese side Shanghai SIPG withdrew.

Liverpool finished as runners up in 2007, losing out to Portsmouth on penalties in the final, after beating South China. Arsenal were the last team to win it in 2015, beating Everton in the final.

The Audi Cup, another biennial pre-season knockout competition, follows the same format - staged exclusively at the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich.

Bayern have won the tournament in three of its four editions, losing out only to Barcelona, and will once again take part while Atlético Madrid and Liverpool are the two other confirmed teams in 2017.

They are expected to be joined by AC Milan, though their place has not been announced - with Napoli another side speculated to be involved.

The semi-finals have not yet been confirmed, meaning Liverpool do not know which of their esteemed opponents they will face for a chance to contest for the Audi Cup the following day.

Between those two tournaments is a special friendly against German side BSC Hertha Berlin to celebrate both clubs' 125th birthdays this summer.

Liverpool's final friendly as it stands will see them travel to Ireland to face La Liga side Athletic Club - otherwise known was Athletic Bilbao - at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

Their 2017-18 Premier League campaign then begins the week after, with a trip to Watford awaiting on the first weekend.

Liverpool's pre-season schedule in full (subject to change)

Date TBC: Tranmere Rovers (KO TBC) - Liverpool

Date TBC: Wigan Athletic (KO TBC) - Wigan

Wednesday 19th July: Crystal Palace (13:30 KO BST) - Hong Kong - Premier League Asia Trophy

Saturday 22nd July: TBC, West Bromwich Albion or Leicester City (KO TBC) - Hong Kong - Premier League Asia Trophy

Saturday 29th July: Hertha Berlin (17:00pm KO BST) - Berlin

Tuesday 1st August: TBC (KO TBC) - Munich - Audi Cup

Wednesday 2nd August: TBC (KO TBC) - Munich - Audi Cup

Saturday 5th August: Athletic Club (17:15 KO) - Dublin

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