Jurgen Klopp has set the tone for the level of concentration and focus expected from his players when the Reds get their Champions League campaign underway.
Thursday’s draw in Monaco saw Liverpool go into Group E with Russian champions Spartak Moscow, Slovenian champions NK Maribor and familiar foes Sevilla- who beat Klopp’s side in the 2015/2016 Europa League final.
Compared to that of the other English clubs involved in the competition, Liverpool’s group has been deemed a kind one and made up of opponents they will be expected to overcome.
While admitting that other teams will fear his side, Klopp insists the Reds will not be taking anything for granted.
“With Sevilla, there is an open bill, I would say. But we all know how good they are in European competition,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Moscow is a long trip. And Maribor, in this moment you don’t know a lot about them; a lot of people would underestimate them, we will not. So we don’t think about the opponent, we just think about the competition.”
“But it’s the Champions League, so that means they all earn our 100 per cent respect, how we earn 100 per cent respect from them. That’s what we will show and hopefully we have a few really good games, which we 100 per cent need.”
“We are not the favourite in the tournament, we are not the favourite in the group – we are just a challenger. The challenger should be 100 per cent concentrated and give everything, and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
If Liverpool can replicate the kind of performance that tore Hoffenheim apart at Anfield on Wednesday night, then teams have good reason to approach Klopp’s men with caution.
A trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah looks in no mood to waste an opportunity on the big stage.
The Reds boss has very rightly stressed the importance of respecting the challenges that await, with every team in Europe’s elite club competition capable of being a threat.
At first glance, though, it’s a group Liverpool will feel they are equipped to get out of.