Jürgen Klopp: Liverpool can not be anything but the challenger

Liverpool news Jurgen Klopp

"Of course we're all very motivated for the first match of the season, we've all worked very hard this week and it's important now to go out there on Sunday and show the results of that pre-match preparation", the Liverpool midfielder told his club's official site.

"I think when Jürgen arrived here the club was totally different to what it is now", he says.

So we have to invest more, we have to fight more, we have to create more. It's a nice moment, and we can enjoy it for two, three hours, and then prepare for Crystal Palace.

West Ham will play for sure a good season, but they are not then the Uniteds, Citys and all that stuff. "We know that and we have to be ready week-in, week-out for all the challenges". However, their victory was helped ever so slightly by the linesman on the day, as Sadio Mane's second goal and Liverpool's third was allowed to stand even though the forward was clearly in an offside position. Naby is in because he's a really good footballer.

We didn't have that in the pre-season really, because after 60 minutes you change. I know the quality of this team and you can see it on the pitch that I have started working well with them and passing well with them.

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But this season, having spent around £170m on some deluxe fine-tuning to a squad who fell short in the Premier League but came agonisingly close in Europe, Klopp can perhaps no longer rely on this team being a work-in-progress upstart. You can not test before you have the test. For that... the start was good. I have a very good relationship already established with the three forwards particularly - Sadio, Roberto Firmino and Salah. He admitted: "It was a tough before the game, during the game and after the game!"

It's not an unusual thing for a Premier League manager to do at all but Guardiola's response is fantastic in my view as he absorbs the pressure and makes it clear that he is capable of handling the weight of expectation as he has proven at City, Bayern and Barcelona.

Replicating the 44-goal haul which heralded Salah's debut season at Anfield has not fazed the Egyptian despite an early Champions League final exit and similarly fruitless travails with his national side as they mutedly exited the World Cup group stages.

"I think, and I hope, we are going to kick on on Sunday with the first win and try to give the fans what they deserve - titles". Few positions in football are as demanding as being a central midfielder under Jurgen Klopp, asked to press and chase relentlessly, and finding a player with the engine to do that, as well as being technical and fast-thinking, is almost impossible. They deserved to win.

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