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TAA hopes Liverpool ’embrace’ being a ‘big target’ in their bid to retain Champions League

Trent Alexander-Arnold says Liverpool’s status as European champions makes them a ‘big target’ for opposition sides this season, but is hopeful the club can ’embrace’ the challenge as they bid to retain the Champions League.

Liverpool begin the defence of their Champions League crown with a trip to Italy to face Napoli on Tuesday night, with the Reds also set to meet Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg and Belgian’s Genk in this season’s group stage.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were crowned champions of Europe after defeating Premier League rivals Tottenham in last season’s final, and Alexander-Arnold admits the club are excited at being ‘the team to beat’ in the coming campaign.

“We’ve probably got a big target on our backs now because we are European champions. Everyone wants to beat us – we’re the team to beat right now so it’s exciting for us,” the England international said at Monday’s pre-match press conference.

“We need to try and defend the honour as much as possible and try and retain it if we can,” he added.

“A lot of the players that we have are world class players. They know what it takes to win things, what it takes to be successful, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to embrace that as a team. I think we have so far this season in the league.

“We obviously know that last season we did so well so this season we’re up there again.

“A lot of teams will want to come to Anfield, beat us, play different ways and we know that’s going to be the test for us. But we need to be ready for all types of tests.”

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