Match preview: U23s ready for 2017 PL 2 finale against Swansea

Liverpool U23s host Swansea City in their final Premier League 2 game of the year at the Academy on Friday.

Neil Critchley's side had their lead at the top of the division cut to six points after second-placed Leicester City beat Everton earlier this week.

The young Reds have enjoyed an outstanding campaign in PL2 so far and they will be looking to end 2017 on a high with another three points. Swansea are in seventh place in the 12-team division.

Critchley's side face PSV Eindhoven in the Premier League International Cup in their final outing of 2017 on Tuesday night, but ahead of that clash they hope to continue their impressive form in Premier League 2 against the Welsh outfit.

Ahead of Friday's encounter in Kirkby, here is our match preview...

Where is the game being played? The game is taking place at the Academy, with kick-off set for 12.30pm GMT.

How can I watch the game? We will have highlights avaiable on LFCTV and LFCTV GO. Click here to find out more.

Last meeting: In their opening PL2 fixture of 2017-18 Liverpool won 2-0 at Swansea. Danny Ings marked his comeback with a goal and Yan Dhanda was also on the mark.

View from the manager, Neil Critchley

"It doesn't seem two minutes ago when we played Swansea City in our very first game of the season away. We performed really well that night and we come into this game on the back of a really good performance last Sunday against Sunderland.

"Swansea City are on a decent run themselves so we are expecting a tough game as always. No two games are the same as we know, so we would be foolish to think we can just turn up on Friday and expect something similar to Sunderland.

"This is the first time this season we will playing a home game at the Academy. It's a great environment to play in and we are looking forward to playing on our home patch on Friday.

"On Wednesday it was announced that our U23s captain Corey Whelan had signed a new deal. It's fantastic news for Corey and we are all made up for him.

"He will realise he has been rewarded for all the hard work and effort that he has put in, but he also knows there is plenty of hard work to come. What's good about Corey is he is really level headed, he doesn't get carried away by things in football, so he will just knuckle down and continue to work hard."