Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp believes it would be "completely mad" to judge the Reds for their performance in their upcoming match against Manchester City in the Community Shield, but he's insisted the club still want to get their hands on the trophy.
With just one more pre-season friendly match against Lyon on the cards before the Premier League's curtain-raiser, Liverpool's attention is now starting to switch towards to the start of the 2019/20 season.
And while an ESPN video showed that Klopp was surprised to learn of the lack of importance that fans largely place on the Community Shield, he insisted that their match against Manchester City won't be a barometer of Liverpool's chances heading into the new campaign.
"I don’t want to find excuses before we play City," Klopp said, quoted by The Guardian. "But we had a completely different pre-season. We played without six players and to say this must be the statement for us would be completely mad.
"It’s a good test of the things that are there [in place]. We have to defend in a good way, because if you don’t defend well against City, we can get a proper knock."
Liverpool haven't won any of their pre-season matches against high-level European competition, suffering defeats to Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla and Napoli while only picking up a draw against Sporting CP.
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While their 'top six' rivals have certainly improved throughout the course of pre-season, Liverpool are still without a handful of regular first-team players.
Alisson Becker, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri will return in time for the Community Shield this weekend, but Sadio Mané will only regroup with the squad just days before the start of the new league season.