Jurgen Klopp has said that Liverpool’s Champions League group is ‘not an easy group’ after being placed in Group E alongside Napoli, RB Salzburg and Genk.
Having lifted the European Cup aloft for a sixth time back in June, Liverpool fans will already be looking forward to yet another trip to Istanbul for next May’s final, the scene of their 2005 triumph as well as their more recent UEFA Super Cup win over Chelsea earlier this month.
First though, the Reds of course have to navigate their way through the various group games and knockout stages, where today, they have found out that they will once again face Italian side Napoli, having faced them at the same stage of the competition last season, as well in pre-season games in both 2018 and 2019.
Speaking about the draw, Jurgen Klopp insisted that their group will not be an easy one, despite the initial look of the opponents.
“Napoli again!” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com. “I don’t know how often I’ve now played against Napoli, but they’re obviously a very experienced side.
“I will need now to have another, closer look at Genk and Salzburg, but I already know they are very young, very exciting and very fresh, so it will be interesting, 100 per cent. I don’t think I’ve ever played against Salzburg or Genk, so that’s interesting.
“It’s how it always is, it’s not an easy group and not a group where we can hide behind anybody. We have to try everything to go through, but we are really looking forward to it like always.
“Now we know the opponents, when we were walking off the pitch from training I immediately spoke with Divock about playing Genk! We will do our analysis and research on all three teams, but we know they all played exceptional seasons last year.
“Of course, Salzburg are famous for bringing through new players, like they did with Sadio and Naby – they’ve found a lot of others, too. It will be really interesting.”
The German went into more detail about Carlo Ancelotti’s side, having lost 3-0 to them this summer in pre-season.
“Napoli are just a really good side. The home game we played against Napoli was one of the best games we played because it was so rock solid. It was not allowed to concede against Napoli with the strength they have in counter-attacks. The way they play is clear and it’s really good.
“In the pre-season games, when we won 5-0 in Dublin I was not interested in the result. Now this year we lost 3-0 and that’s not too interesting, but you see just how good they are. They were not complete, we were not complete, but they are a really good side. Carlo [Ancelotti] has such experience and has won the competition so often.
“When they went out last year, it was pretty close – Ali made a big save in the last seconds, so they will remember that and it will be emotional, I am pretty sure.”