LONDON - How appropriate that, on the night when Liverpool’s Fab Four take centre stage, the battle for No 1 will intensify.
Jurgen Klopp arrived in Moscow feeling ‘cool’ that he finally has the chance to unleash Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah with Philippe Coutinho pulling the strings behind. He has been waiting since August 1 for this moment.
Liverpool’s second Champions League group game against Spartak Moscow on Tuesday night also provides Loris Karius with a chance he does not intend to miss.
The goalkeeper, who endured such difficulties during his first 12 months at Anfield, has been handed the responsibility of being Liverpool’s European goalkeeper this season and is aware his performances will be the subject of intense scrutiny.
This, though, is not something to trouble the confident young German. This, as he sees it, is a moment to ramp up the pressure on Simon Mignolet.
"I see it as a chance," said Karius, as he shed light on Klopp’s decision to start the season with three different goalkeepers for three different competitions, with Danny Ward playing in the EFL Cup.
"We found out before the game (in the Champions League against Sevilla). It is not something he had planned in advance. I know Simon played his part at the end of last season when the team did well. I understand him starting the league.
"But for me it is a case of performing well now. I’d lie if I said I don’t want to be back in the Premier League team as well. That is why this is a big chance to prove myself, a chance to show the manager I’m ready."
There is no question the events that followed Karius’s £5million move from Mainz rattled him. First there was a broken thumb, then shaky performances and, finally, a torrent of criticism. But Karius has no wish to settle scores with those who spoke loudest about his travails.
"I don’t want to put it on certain people," said Karius. "I wasn’t 100 per cent ready when I came back from my injury and maybe it was a bit too early. I was new to the club and was ready to go. But as a team we didn’t play well for a couple of games and on top of that I had two bad performances. Then all that comes together. I didn’t expect it to echo that much but it happens.
"You can’t change it. I’m not mad at anyone. There were a couple of experts that said a couple of things but that is their job. You can’t worry about that too much. I took it, learned from it, took it with me. You learn if you use it in the right way."
If Karius is looking to the future, the same is true for Klopp. The start to the campaign has been complex but he felt more confident than ever as he boarded Liverpool’s plane, appropriately, at John Lennon Airport. Coutinho, Salah, Mane and Firmino have only spent seven minutes on the pitch together — against Sevilla — since cutting Bayern Munich to shreds in the friendly Audi Cup on the first day of August.
"Now I’m excited, we have all of the boys here," said Klopp. "It is good to have them all, it is cool, but that doesn’t mean anything. I don’t believe in names. I believe in performances. They all have to fit together.
"It is not about being spectacular. It is about being good, and being clinical, and having perfect timing. We cannot just bring all the artists. But if it fits together? We will do it."