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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: 'We played better than I expected'

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp: 'We played better than I expected'

Few positions in football are as demanding as being a central midfielder under Jurgen Klopp, asked to press and chase relentlessly, and finding a player with the engine to do that, as well as being technical and fast-thinking, is almost impossible. "After six weeks in I don't make the difference between a new player and another player because for me, it is exactly similar importance that Millie [James Milner] and Gini [Wijnaldum] are ready to make the next step in their development as well". And history says it would be a massive one given that the Hammers have won just one of their last 45 top-flight starts at Anfield. It is a start - not flawless but really good.

Mane, who scored two of the Reds' four goals on the opening day, was already familiar with Keita from their brief spell together at Red Bull Salzburg.

Keita feels a lot of good work was done over pre-season and now Liverpool must show it against West Ham. That's the only thing we expect from ourselves.

The Reds had a busy schedule over pre-season, with friendly matches against Chester, Tranmere, Bury, Blackburn, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City, Manchester United, Napoli and Torino all contested. So Naby is in because he's a really good footballer and I've said it from the beginning that he's obviously settled really quick and has a similar style of play in a similar position as he did at Leipzig.

"It has to be our ambition to compete with the best and to go on the field against whoever we play trying to win the game and dominate the game".

I think Liverpool take the points so the best bet is to back Mane to score in 90 minutes and the hosts to win at [2.95] on the Same Game Multi feature. You can not create that situation, that's what I mean when I said you can not test the test before you have the test. "Expectation - ours is the highest, but that changes nothing".

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On Liverpool's greater strength in depth this season...

Yes [I can see it] because I am not blind!

And the likes of Jack Wilshere and Felipe Anderson will be hoping they can get more of the ball in the coming fixtures. Sometimes you need luck in life. "But my goodness he's got an assist, he's got a goal, set players".

Trent Alexander-Arnold returned sooner than expected from his extended holiday after the 2018 FIFA World Cup and should start ahead of Nathaniel Clyne at right-back.

Captain Jordan Henderson used his programme notes to highlight that none of his team-mates were "satisfied" by reaching the Champions League final last season, which ended in a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid, and that "standing still" was not an option.