Liverpool prepare for their first home game of the new season against defending champions Leicester City. Ahead of the match, manager Jurgen Klopp has urged his team to make the most of the home advantage, while Leicester manager Cladio Ranieri stated that he thinks the Reds are one of the title favourites.

Liverpool recently redeveloped their main stand at Anfield, increasing the crowd capacity to 54,000. Klopp stated that the visit of the champions was a fitting debut for the new main stand, and said that his team would harness the extra support at Anfield to achieve victory in their first home game of the Premier League 2016-17.

“It’s really impressive what they have done there – an outstanding job. I have no idea how someone could do something like this!” said Klopp in the pre-match press conference, according to the Liverpool Echo.

“When you stand in front of it, it’s really amazing. This is a good place and a good opponent with the champions coming.

“This is our first home game and with 8,000 more in the stadium – that’s more power and we should use this.”

The Reds will be boosted by the return of German keeper Loris Karrius, but Simon Mignolet is expected to retain the No. 1 spot for the time being. Winger Sadio Mane is also expected to start after suffering an injury scare on international duty.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri claims Liverpool are strong title contenders

Jurgen Klopp (L) and Claudio Ranieri (R) before the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain, 26 December 2015. (Photo by Peter Powell/EPA)

Jurgen Klopp (L) and Claudio Ranieri (R) before the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Leicester City at Anfield, Liverpool, Britain, 26 December 2015. (Photo by Peter Powell/EPA)

The Reds have had some highs and lows this season already. They started their campaign with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Arsenal, but the very next week lost 2-0 to newly promoted Burnley. Their third and final game before the international break was a high profile game against Spurs, which ended 1-1.

His opponents record so far is less than reassuring, but Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri thinks that they are still strong title contenders this season.

“I think Liverpool is one of my favourites to win the league – they’re a very good team,” he said ahead of the game, according to Leicester Mercury.

 “They are ready. Of course to win also you need a little luck, but they are ready to fight for the title.

“We go there to try to win, we are the champions. It will be a difficult match for us but also a difficult match for them.”

Liverpool and Leicester City both have the same number of points this season, but the Foxes campaign is picking up steam after the opening defeat to Hull City. They drew against Arsenal the next week, before defeating Swansea City in their third game.

The game could prove crucial for two teams who are more than capable of taking the season by storm, as they face off in the tempestuous atmosphere of Anfield.

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