Liverpool return to Champions League action on Wednesday night when they welcome Salzburg to Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will be looking to return to winning ways in Europe, having previously lost 2-0 away to Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli last month.
As reigning European champions, the Reds face a lot of expectation ahead of their first game back at Anfield – let’s not forget, the last time Klopp’s side played at home in Europe was the astonishing 4-0 win over Barcelona.
Given that fact, they will be eager to return to Anfield with a win against Salzburg, who start Matchday Two top of the group.
The Austrian side’s 6-2 demolition of Genk on the opening day will provide Liverpool with plenty of food for thought.
Their clear attacking intent will be a key focus for Klopp’s side, and in addition to an impressive opening day win in the Champions League, the Austrian side are unbeaten domestically with eight wins and one draw.
In that time, they have scored 40 goals, so we should be expecting plenty of action on Merseyside.
However, Liverpool have been unbeatable at home since a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in September 2018 – such a stat shows just how difficult this task could be for the Austrian side.
Ahead of the Champions League clash, we outline five key battles on the pitch.
Virgil van Dijk vs Erling Haaland
There’s no hiding the fact that Van Dijk has been in tremendous form since moving to Liverpool in January 2018.
However, the Dutchman will be facing an in-form striker in Haaland on Wednesday night.
The 19-year-old has scored 17 goals in 12 appearances this season, including a hat-trick against Genk, and will be looking to get the better of Van Dijk, too.
A tough challenge awaits for Haaland, but he will be looking to upset the world’s best defender.
Sadio Mane vs Rasmus Kristensen
The attacking intent of Salzburg could give the Reds the perfect opportunity to utilise their attacking threats.
Most notably, the pace and power of Mane against his former club could be useful in making the most of what is likely to be an open match.
Mohamed Salah vs Andreas Ulmer
It would be fair to say that the Egyptian King has been a little off the pace in the last couple of weeks.
In this game, expect to see Liverpool with much more room to attack that in previous weeks, which should aid Salah.
Ulmer, Salzburg’s 33-year-old left-back, doesn’t regularly face the world-class quality of Salah and could be in for a tough test.
Joe Gomez vs Hwang Hee-chan
Salzburg’s 4-4-2 formation could cause some problems for Liverpool’s defence.
Gomez is set to come into the side in place of Joel Matip and he will be an important figure up against Hee-chan.
Can the 22-year-old find the sort of form that caught the eye this time last year?
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Takumi Minamino
Alexander-Arnold’s attacking involvement against Sheffield United on Saturday was majorly thwarted by the Blades’ 3-5-2 formation.
Salzburg’s preferred 4-4-2 structure should give him room to manoeuvre, though.
The young right-back will need to be careful of Minamino’s attacking threat coming straight back at him, but the 20-year-old has previously proven that he can pass even the toughest of tests.