Liverpool get their Premier League campaign underway at Vicarage Road against Watford on Saturday, with three points the order of the day for Jurgen Klopp.
With Champions League qualifiers also in mind, the German tactician will have no time for his players to settle in, as they look to get off to a winning start and boost morale.
Philippe Coutinho is out with a back problem amid ongoing speculation over his future, while Adam Lallana is out for two months with a thigh injury. Captain Jordan Henderson is expected to feature though after recovering from a virus. Daniel Sturridge is also ruled out with a muscle problem.
As for the hosts, Watford are expected to hand debuts to new signings Andre Gray and Richarlison, but Troy Deeney is a doubt after groin surgery while Christian Kabasele and Craig Cathcart are sidelined.
Liverpool have good form against the Hornets, winning their last three meetings, scoring nine goals and conceding just one. The Reds have a habit of making a good start to a new season too, winning four in a row ahead of Saturday’s outing and so will be hoping to extend that impressive run.
However, we’re going with a draw in this one. New Watford boss Marco Silva will be looking for a positive performance from his players in their opener, and they’ll be a handful at home and difficult to break down. It’s been a difficult week for Liverpool with the ongoing talk over Coutinho, and this is a tricky away game first up although we see Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane causing plenty of problems. Prediction: 1-1.
Where to watch: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League (UK)
Watford: Gomes; Janmaat, Kaboul, Britos, Holebas; Doucoure, Chalobah, Amrabat, Cleverly, Pereyra; Gray.
Liverpool: Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Lovren, Milner; Can, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.