New signings can sometimes feel like talking pullstring toys with their ability to stay strictly on message regarding key points about their new clubs. "Of course, the fans are legendary," they say. "I grew up playing as Liverpool on FIFA," they say. "There's a snake in my boot," they say.
Chief among these common utterances is knowing the importance of the new club's most important rivals. Most clubs will have a local intra-city rivalry, and if you're lucky enough to be at a big club, some will even have a second rivalry not based on shared geography but a long and embattled history in competition. Roberto Firmino clearly got the memo that another club dressed in red is the latter type of rival for Liverpool, and he's anticipating their arrival at Anfield on Sunday.
"Manchester United are a big team and I know how big this derby is here," Firmino said ahead of the match. "We have to be 100% focused. If we do as well as we did up front (against Arsenal) against them we have a good chance to win on Sunday. I hope I can play like that against all teams, not only the big teams.
"Obviously it's good to play well against the good teams but my aim here is to help the team by scoring goals and doing whatever I can on the pitch. I'm sad that we couldn't win the game but I'm happy that I could help the team by scoring two goals and at least we got a draw in the end."
Firmino has had a slower start to his Liverpool career than many would have preferred, but Wednesday's brace against Arsenal quickly reminded everyone what a bright talent Liverpool have on their hands. If he can repeat that same trick on the way to all three points, Liverpool fans will enjoy a much needed win over a much disliked foe.