Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring the opening goal during an English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield. Peter Powell/EPA

This is a big campaign for Jurgen Klopp and his squad — particularly with the possibility of a Champions League adventure now just two games away.

After finishing fourth last season, the demands on Klopp to maintain progress are unrelenting.

We analyse the good, the bad and the troubling for the Reds, who open their season at Watford on Saturday.

The Audi Cup is not a significant competition, but the two games Liverpool played in that tournament were good barometers. They pummelled Bayern Munich on the counter-attack then fought tenaciously against Atletico Madrid. And a 3-1 winning scoreline reflected their dominance over Athletic Bilbao in yesterday’s friendly. 

Mohamed Salah hasn’t been burdened by his £36million price tag and has hit the ground running. Dominic Solanke has caught the eye, Sadio Mane reminded everyone in Munich why he made the PFA team of the year last season and the promising Trent Alexander-Arnold will be written about frequently in the next 12 months.

Do not, meanwhile, underestimate Jordan Henderson.

All positivity must be tempered. The first reason revolves around Barcelona’s pursuit of Philippe Coutinho.

Liverpool have said repeatedly there is no figure they would consider to sanction the sale of Coutinho, having rejected a £72million bid already.

But, with 25 days of the window remaining, is this over? No.

Coutinho will have had his head turned by Barcelona but he is fundamental to all that Klopp’s team hope to achieve.

Liverpool endured a calamity in June when they were forced to apologise to Southampton for their interest in Virgil van Dijk. He wants to move to Anfield and Klopp wants him at the heart of his defence but if they don’t find a way to get the deal done, the one area that Liverpool simply had to strengthen will remain vulnerable.

There are other gaps in the squad that must be filled and Michael Edwards, the sporting director, has much work to do before the window closes on August 31.

Hoffenheim were one of the most difficult opponents Liverpool could have been paired with in the play-offs but they simply have to get through.

Klopp came to Liverpool to be involved in this competition and the fans demand to be back on the biggest stage. As always at Anfield, there is no margin for error.

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter