Guinea's Naby Keita impresses on Liverpool debut

Salah and Mane's pain at worldwide level was Liverpool's gain as early exits at the World Cup with Egypt and Senegal meant they could join the club's pre-season tour of the United States, unlike a host of Premier League stars who returned to training just last week after their exertions in Russian Federation.

Van Dijk added: "We had a good pre-season with good results and games where we've played very well". I think he can regain the ball, his counterpressing is good.

Danny Ings, brought in on loan from Liverpool, came off the bench to make his Southampton debut against his former club.

Sound familiar? If it doesn't then you were not paying attention last season.

And Liverpool didn't do their title credentials any harm on the opening weekend of the season, thrashing West Ham 4-0.

Wijnaldum believes that will be key to challenging Manchester City for the title.

Throwing on the bright Xherdan Shaqiri and then Sturridge only further evidenced the threat that Liverpool will pose this season, with the latter finding the net mere seconds after entering the fray.

Mark Hughes's side looked the more likely to score after the break but England global Hart, who joined Burnley last week from Manchester City, produced some fine saves. "We have to be ready week in week out for the challenges", he said.

However, fellow new arrival Fabinho is a major doubt to feature on Sunday, having picked up an injury in his last appearance for Liverpool, following which he was taken ill.

"He has a lot of help from the players around him: Sadio works really hard, same with Gini and Milly and Robbo (Andrew Robertson)".

However, Salah must drag himself to the well once again if Liverpool are to keep track of a City team that will score goals from every area of the field.

But the season got off to a bad start for the Hammers, who were on the end of a hiding at Anfield, in a game in which they were overrun. However, you'd expect them to be keeping hush behind the sofa after this one.

"Liverpool will always buy good players, even if they already have good players". But they coped easily enough with Newcastle in their 2-1 win at St James' Park.

It was his goal since October, making it an impressive victory for Liverpool, who looks to dethrone Man City this season.

So City must come back to the field and the best chance of that happening lies in what will be a concerted effort to win the Champions League by the Manchester club. This time around pose a different response based on the current state of play.

  • Stacy Allen