Roberto Firmino stands tall for Liverpool amid familiar defensive frailties | Sachin Nakrani

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Liverpool defended terribly at Watford but at the other end the Brazilian, who next faces former club Hoffenheim, showed why he is their main man up front

Liverpool arrive in Germany on Monday in less than ideal shape before their Champions League qualifying play-off first leg with Hoffenheim. Questions are once again being asked about their defensive capabilities following a somewhat shambolic showing at Watford on Saturday and with uncertainty continuing to surround the future of Philippe Coutinho.

Fresh season it may be but for Liverpool that fresh optimism is already being tested. It is too early, of course, for total doom and gloom, and especially so with Jürgen Klopp around. Liverpool’s fiery manager will no doubt have his team fired up for Tuesday’s encounter at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, instilling in them the belief that they can take a crucial step towards their ambition of returning to the group stages of Europe’s elite competition for the first time in three years.

Related: Liverpool left to rue Miguel Britos’s offside equaliser for Watford

Related: Jürgen Klopp says Philippe Coutinho’s Liverpool future is out of his hands

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Sportblog | The Guardian

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