Liverpool v West Ham: Mane can get Reds up and running

Ex footballer Paul Merson enjoying day two of the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse

Keita feels a lot of good work was done over pre-season and now Liverpool must show it against West Ham.

But the German insists they are still underdogs in the battle for the league crown, saying: "We are still Rocky Balboa and not Ivan Drago".

Liverpool's reinforced squad must build on their ruthless form from last season if they are to challenge defending English Premier League champions Manchester City for the title, manager Juergen Klopp says. They didn't lose any player and they brought in (Riyad) Mahrez, so that doesn't make them weaker. We saw the game against Chelsea, they are top quality.

"I think, and I hope, we are going to kick-on on Sunday with the first win and try to give the fans what they deserve - titles".

"Of course, I would have liked to become a Champions League victor, and I would not have returned the title if shown various indiscretions".

But as we know opening day games are never simple, often provide shocks, always unpredictable and most definitely full of incident. We went to finals. Pellegrini has signed some decent players this summer and they have a competitive team but I don't think they'll be a match for Liverpool. We know that. We have to be more clinical in the right moments, we have to be more aggressive in the right moments. That's the plan - to really go for it.

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"We have to be in a championship mode".

"We have a talented team who can play to win titles".

Lovren and Henderson have only just returned from extended holidays after the World Cup, with Fabinho suffering from illness after undergoing a scan on Thursday.

Ragnar Klavan is a longer-term absentee in the central defensive area for Klopp, while Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are also doubts who need to be assessed. "We will see, we have no big issues but little things". "We have to consider whether it's a risk or not and if it's a risk, whether we take it or not".

"I also stated after Coutinho's sale that the extraordinary fee presented an opportunity - for one summer at least - to outspend the rest of the Premier League". You see what happens around and see how Wolverhampton act, how Fulham act, how Everton act, a lot of clubs are all ambitious. Ragnar, no real chance, he didn't train.

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