Two tough tests await fortress Anfield: Richard Buxton
Red Bull Salzburg and Leicester looking to end Reds' unbeaten home streaks in Europe and EPL respectively
Wrestling with history has often defined Liverpool's struggles rather than help overcome them.
Juergen Klopp considered the weight of such an illustrious heritage as a "backpack" that Anfield had been carrying around for far too long.
Four years ago, he removed its straps.
More than most, the German is well-versed on the struggles of working through a negative past - it has a literal translation in his mother tongue as "Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung".
|LIVERPOOL||RED BULL SALZBURG|
In the coming days, however, the European champions must confront those demons if they are to keep progressing.
Red Bull Salzburg, who visit tomorrow morning (Singapore time), will be the first to lay siege to Anfield with a five-year record on the line.
Not since Real Madrid's comfortable win at this same stage of the competition back in October 2014 has the red half of Merseyside suffered a continental upset at home.
Jesse Marsch's side represent the latest and most credible threat to that unbeaten run.
Even at this early stage of the season, Liverpool have developed a hallmark of champions.
In the English Premier League, they have managed to keep winning without genuine conviction.
But their Champions League defence is in danger of needing to again harness the power of Anfield to help them negotiate an already difficult Group E.
They reached the pinnacle last term, despite suffering four defeats.
Spearheaded by an in-form Erling Braut Haaland (if he is fit to play), Salzburg will be in no mood to stand on ceremony for a typical European night for their hosts.
For Sadio Mane, a reunion with his previous employers offers a potential shot at redemption.
In recent weeks, the Senegal international has appeared a shadow of his former self.
The high standards that both he and Klopp uphold have been lost to an alarming level of profligacy.
He is not alone - the rest of the Reds' forward line are also guilty of spurning golden chances.
Only a knack for finding different ways to grind out results has spared their blushes.
Sooner rather than later, though, the onus and spotlight of scrutiny will fall firmly back on them.
Liverpool often flourish with Mane and his attacking cohorts in perfect harmony.
Restoring that sense of normality can also go a long way in Klopp's main aim of ending Liverpool's EPL title drought, not least with Brendan Rodgers revisiting his former stomping ground on Saturday.
Rodgers departed Anfield exactly four years ago this week, having lost his way.
Attempting to end a wait for the title that dates back to 1990 had started out with honourable intentions and joined-up thinking, but sharply descended into listlessness towards the end.
He suffered the second-place curse which plagued a number of his predecessors.
Falling short in an EPL title race has proved the downfall of Liverpool managers for over two decades.
Klopp will be wary of falling into the same trap as his predecessors any time soon.
Leicester City are already reaping the benefits of Rodgers' reinvention and, like Salzburg, will not be swayed by sentiment as they aim to continue their current trajectory.
The prospect of breaking a 2½ year unbeaten home streak serves as an extra motivation for them.
Klopp may bristle at history, but it is history that will ultimately judge his Liverpool reign.
Exorcising demons from their not-too-distant past will allow him to buck the current trend.
- Genk v Napoli (12.55am)
- Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg (3am)
- Slavia Prague v B. Dortmund (12.55am)
- Barcelona v Inter Milan (3am)
- RB Leipzig v Lyon (3am)
- Zenit St Petersburg v Benfica (3am)
- Lille v Chelsea (3am)
- Valencia v Ajax Amsterdam (3am)