Two weeks ago, Jürgen Klopp had just been named Liverpool's manager. Tonight he makes his home debut, under the lights at Anfield against Rubin Kazan. Following a positive performance against Tottenham, and with fans once again fired up after a year of poor results, it should be a loud one.
The manager used the matchday programme to talk to those fans who will be at Anfield today about that, and about his hopes for what can be achieved in the coming months. In short, he's expecting it to be loud at the stadium tonight as Liverpool look to claim first in their group. And chances are those expectations will be met.
"This is my first time as manager of Liverpool for a game at Anfield, and it is something that will be very important for me and my staff," read the statement from Klopp. "You have a vital role to play in what we are looking to achieve. You are a very special group of supporters and the atmosphere you create is unique.
"I ask that you believe in this team and believe that together we can achieve great things. We must all stay together and look to enjoy the experience of following such a great club. Football should be about joy and fun and that must be reflected throughout the entire organisation."
Making football fun was the cornerstone of Klopp's approach at Mainz and Dortmund. It was the idea that underpinned the counter-press. Hard running, pressing and harrying the opposition, and breaking on the attack quickly and with purpose. Quite how he gets there with Liverpool isn't certain, but the goal seems set already.
It may take a few months to really see Klopp's Liverpool take shape, to see the specifics of what his approach means at Liverpool with these players, but already there are signs of that counter-pressing game being worked towards. Football should be fun. And Anfield should be loud. There's every chance tonight we'll get both.
"The team will go out and battle for you and look to represent you, the club and the city in how we approach our work," he added. "This is my commitment."
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- Firmino, Benteke, and Lovren in Contention to Face Rubin Kazan
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