Liverpool fans will have just about erased the memories of events in Kyiv last season. Events that saw their beloved club fall short at the final hurdle in their pursuit of Champions League glory, as they were beaten a Real Madrid side that captured its third successive win of the competition.
However, they were handed the perfect opportunity to banish those memories when they were paired with French giants Paris Saint-Germain in this season’s Group Stage and it was without question the biggest clash of Matchday 1.
A clash that posed many questions, ones such as whether Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp could dust themselves and embark on another European adventure or whether PSG led by fellow German Thomas Tuchel could finally reach the Champions League summit.
The answers we got from that encounter told us that Liverpool certainly meant business, while their French counterparts were shown up by the increased level in competition. It’s all very well getting better of Dijon and Nantes back home but, for them, the Champions League is where it really matters.
However, for all the buoyancy that Liverpool had after that win at Anfield they would have no doubt been deflated after their efforts in Matchday 2. A trip to Napoli saw them outfought and outclassed by Carlo Ancelotti’s men as the hosts snatched a last-minute winner.
It was a result that has many asking whether Liverpool can go one step further this time around, the betting odds for the Champions League final seem to suggest that perhaps they cannot. The Merseyside outfit are currently fifth favourites at 9/1.
That is not to say that they are rank outsiders but they will have to up their game if they are to deliver a sixth success in this competition. Although at the same time and whisper it quietly, it may well be that the Premier League is their real focus this season.
Liverpool fans have conquered Europe on five different occasions, with their last success being that night in Istanbul back in 2005 when they staged a dramatic comeback against Italian outfit A.C. Milan before eventually winning on penalties.
But on a domestic front they have not won an English league title since 1990, a trophy drought that is almost to much to bare for a club that was so dominant at home during the 1970’s and 80’s under the likes of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.
And with the way that Liverpool have started proceedings in the Premier League this season, both manager and players alike will be confident that this is the year that an English championship trophy is finally returned to Anfield.
Going into the international break they are one of three teams that are joint top with 20 points, while it is only goal difference which puts both Manchester City and Chelsea above them as the Premier League takes its annual October hiatus.
So perhaps Jurgen Klopp will feel that although the Premier League is the longer route to success, it could well be the one that is more likely to pay dividends at the end of the season. Although at the same time, there won’t be many complaints should Liverpool manage to lift the Champions League instead.