Jürgen Klopp is confident Liverpool are well prepared for the challenge they’ll face in their Premier League opener with Watford on Saturday having observed their opponent’s pre-season fixtures.
The Reds have paid close attention to the Hornets’ performances during the summer, knowing they will begin 2017-18 with a trip to Vicarage Road.
Klopp told reporters at his pre-match press conference: “We saw a few pre-season games, so we could watch what they did. So we should be prepared as good as possible – you’re never perfectly prepared, probably. But yes, we know what we could see.”
Watford have a new manager at the helm for the campaign, with Marco Silva having joined the club from Hull City during the summer.
Klopp continued: “He’s obviously a very dominant coach, because you could see a lot of things he brought in at Hull when he went there in a difficult moment. Now he’s had a full pre-season you can see a lot of his philosophy.”
After a successful pre-season of their own, which included victory in the Premier League Asia Trophy and further encouraging performances against the likes of Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club, Klopp feels his squad have undertaken the adequate preparations in order to be primed for the task that lies ahead against Watford.
“Their style of play is kind of clear, they’re a football-playing side – that’s Silva is as a manager. So we know where we have to defend and where we have to use maybe one of the other spaces in our offensive play. So that’s how it is. We have all that we need to know for the moment.”
Last season, the Reds began the season in style with a thrilling 4-3 win against Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day, and while Klopp is hoping for another victory to start the season, he knows nothing should be taken for granted.
He said: “What we expect from ourselves, and what we expect from our opponent, is this plus 20 or 30 per cent because now it is real, now it is the Premier League. That makes it a little bit more difficult and maybe is the biggest advantage of a home game.
“But last year we played the first game away and OK, it was my first first game of the season [at Liverpool], so I should not day because of this we will be ready again, but of course, we are in the business long enough to know how to do it.”