The Premier League leaders at the time of writing, Liverpool, head to TW8 this evening for another cracker under the lights at our new home. Jürgen Klopp's Reds have taken 13 points from a possible 15 so far to sit at the head of affairs in the top flight. After our fine 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers last time out, this promises to be another memorable night in our new home. Get all the build-up to the game below.
By their own standards of near perfection, last season's trophyless campaign, which included a third-place Premier League finish and a UEFA Champions League Quarter-Finals exit, represented somewhat of a disappointment on Merseyside.
It was a season that was played without fans at Anfield, with key players such as Virgil Van Dijk (pictured above) and Joe Gomez missing significant periods of time through injury, and came swiftly off the back of the emotion of lifting the Premier League for the first time in 30 years the previous campaign.
With all that now behind them, Liverpool's start to this season has sent out a clear statement to the rest of the league. The Reds have 13 points from a possible 15, scoring 12 and conceding just one. They opened up their Champions League campaign with a 3-2 win over AC Milan ten days ago and beat Norwich City 3-0 in the Carabao Cup this midweek.
Last weekend saw Saido Mane net his 100th Liverpool goal in their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace while Mohammed Salah (below) became the fourth fastest player to 100 Premier League goals when he netted against Leeds United a week earlier.
Writing for Hot Off The Press Sky Sports Richard Morgan, said: "Klopp virtually never changes formation, whoever Liverpool are playing, and that will be no different on Saturday with the visitors lining up in their usual 4-3-3 formation. Both full backs will push on into midfield, with Fabinho holding in front of the back four and the other two midfield players operating further forward as part of a diamond. And up front, the three-man forward line sees the No 9 - either Diogo Jota or Roberto Firmino - often dropping back to create an extra man in midfield.
Mads Bech (knee) and Josh Dasilva (hip) are out but Shandon Baptiste has served his one match ban following last weekend's red card at Wolves.
For Liverpool, Trent Alexander-Arnold is available again having missed last weekend’s win over Crystal Palace due to illness, while Roberto Firmino is in contention following a hamstring injury.
James Milner and Neco Williams are back in training but Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott, and Thiago Alcantara are sidelined.
Jürgen Klopp was a utility player in his professional days, the large majority of that time spent at Mainz 05 in Germany.
Retiring in 2001, he became the Manager at 05, winning them promotion to the Bundesliga just three years later. Relegation came in 2007, Klopp resigning a year later after failing to get them re-promoted to the top-flight. He was the longest-serving manager in club history.
He joined Borussia Dortmund, guiding them to the Bundesliga title in 2011, winning Dortmund's first-ever domestic double during a record-breaking season the following year. Klopp also took them to the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final, losing to Bayern Munich at Wembley, before leaving in 2015 also as their longest-serving manager.
Klopp was then appointed to his current role at Liverpool. He took them to back-to-back Champions League Finals, winning the second in 2019. The following season, Klopp's side captured the UEFA Super Cup and Liverpool's first FIFA Club World Cup. They also won the Premier League title. These achievements won him back-to-back FIFA Coach of the Year awards in 2019 and 2020
THE OPPOSITION VIEW
Jürgen Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com: “I really admire these kind of projects, if you want. They have a really special way of recruiting players, they are brave in pretty much all the things they do.
“They had tough things to overcome; being close and not getting promoted, obviously. Then being on the top, then had to go to the play-offs anyway, but made their way through. That already strengthens your character, let me say it like this.
“Now they are an incredibly brave team, to be honest. Their work against the ball, the press they play, is really good. So it will really be a tough one.
“High intensity, pressing like crazy, have a playing build-up but if the other team presses then they are not shy to go a bit more direct. In all positions, really exciting players. In the back three is probably the tallest in Europe – all three, massive players. All these kind of things.
“So, yeah, it’s a challenge. They are in a new stadium so they enjoy that as well. It’s an interesting thing and I really respect that a lot, but of course we go there for different reasons, not to tell them how much we like what they do.
“No, we want to get the points but we know it will be a tough one.”
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistant Referees: Dan Cook and Harry Lennard
Fourth Official: John Brooks
VAR: Paul Tierney
Assistant VAR: Sian Massey-Ellis
58 fouls - Second-most in Premier League
5 yellow cards - 16th in Premier League
0 red cards - Joint-Fewest in Premier League
Arrive before 4.30pm and save big on food and drinks at the stadium with pints, sausage rolls, and pies all available for just £3.50
HOW TO FOLLOW
This evening's game is live on Sky Sports Main Event from 5pm.
iFollow match passes are also available as Karleigh Osborne and Gemma Goodwin joins Mark Burridge for live commentary.