Following the Champions League group stage draw, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has warned supporters that the Reds are facing “a proper, proper challenge.”
Ajax, Rangers, and Napoli, the top teams in Serie A, were all placed in Group A with Klopp’s team, and all of the games were scheduled to take place between September and November to allow for the World Cup.
“This is a proper, proper challenge,” Klopp reflected to Liverpoolfc.com on the draw. “All of the clubs have quality, they all have pedigree and I would say they all have a chance. The good thing is that we do also, so it makes sense for us to look forward to the challenge and give it a try.
“We did not ask for any favours and we have not been given any but this is not a competition where you can look for easy ways through, because the standard is always unbelievably high.
“The difference this year is that the group stage will be shorter than usual, so we will have to be ready not just for the quality of the opposition but also for the different demands and rhythms.”
On the specific challenge of Rangers, Klopp added: “Rangers are a new opponent for us but we know them too. Their story over the last few years has been really interesting and they did really, really well to qualify for the group stage, given the teams they were up against in the qualifying matches.
“We also know a couple of their players well. Ryan Kent has had a great development since moving to Scotland and Ben Davies is just starting out on his journey with Rangers, so it will be good to come up against them.
“The only certainty right now is that all of the six games will be incredibly competitive and really intense. I’m excited about it. It is a proper football group and, like I said, a proper challenge.”