Premier League Champions Liverpool host Championship winners Leeds United in our opening game of the new campaign.
Liverpool's summer transfer activity has been limited. Title winning Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana have left the club, whilst backup left back Kostas Tsimikas has so signed.
With the title wait of 30 years now over, it will be down to Jurgen Klopp to try the demanding challenge of defending a title - although he looks upon it very much as attacking a new title campaign.
For Leeds this has been an extraordinary long wait to get back into the top flight and under Bielsa they will be determined to show from day one that they fully deserve their place back in England's premier division.
A big season ahead, renewed determination from Liverpool's competitors. Can the reds get off to a perfect start in imperfect circumstances of a continuing empty Anfield?
As it happened...
How long will this season take to finish?
Will it be as heavily interrupted as the last one?
And when will fans be back in the stadiums as they slowly return across other European leagues?
We're kicking it all off at Anfield and whilst it isn't quite the usual opening day atmosphere at the ground - there will certainly be those usual butterflies amongst supporters.
COME ON YOU RED MEN!
The Liverpool boss' first programme notes of the season are a bit of a rally to his troops:
“It is not hard to find new energy each season when you have the professional culture our players have. They were and remain the mentality monsters. It is a myth that we have needed setbacks to find our energy and motivation in the past.
“We are about forward momentum. Fresh energy, new energy. What can we achieve now? We take no energy by looking at previous league tables, no matter how recent! No energy from previous records set – pride and satisfaction maybe, but not new energy. Look at the league table before a ball is kicked in this year’s competition and that brings the motivation we need. It’s a blank canvas, a chance to paint something new and wonderful if we are minded to and, crucially, if we are prepared to work hard enough to do it.
“We will find energy in our work. Energy in our room for further improvement and further development. Of course it is going to be hard, really hard. Trust me when I tell you nobody understands this better than us as a coaching staff and as a team. But it’s always been hard.
“We are Liverpool and this is the Premier League. When was it easy – and who wants easy? We can have easy when our careers are over if we so wish.
“My players are fighters and warriors. They know they can achieve new memories only by giving all they have, individually and collectively, in each moment, by not looking back or too far ahead. Yes, we are about looking forward, but what’s right in front of you in the here and now is enough.
Here we go. Our first confirmed team of the new season.
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Keita, Mane, Salah, Firmino.
Subs: Adrian, Fabinho, Milner, Jones, Minamino, Origi, Matip.
They're back in the big time and here's their opening line up
Meslier, Ayling, Koch, Dallas, Struijk, Costa, Hernández, Harrison, Phillips, Klich, Bamford
Subs: Casilla, Casey, Alioski, Roberts, Shackleton, Poveda-Ocampo, Moreno
If Liverpool avoid defeat today it will be an astonishing 60 unbeaten league games at Anfield. Last defeat at home in the PL was in April 2017.
The teams are out....
Underway at Anfield
Liverpool's Salah shot and it smacks into a Leeds defenders arm.
4' Mo Salah smashes in the penalty.
1-0 to the reds.
9' Costa for Leeds puts the ball in the net, but LFC's defence had moved forward and he was rightly called offside by the linesman.
Good start to this game.
12' Excellent work as the ball is collected by Harrison who turns Alexander-Arnold, heads towards the middle of the area and fires past Alisson Becker.
16' This time it's a Liverpool effort. Salah was offside as the keeper rushed out to clear and then Mane put it in the net.
Correct decision to disallow that one too. Four goals in the opening 16 minutes (two ruled out!)
20' Andy Robertson corner and BOOM!! There's some power behind Virgil van Dijk's header there and the keeper carries it over the line!
2-1 to the reds.
25' Neat little flick on by Firmino, took out the Leeds defence but it's too quick for Mane to spin around and get hold of.
It's an open game.
Liverpool defence not fully up to speed yet.
Looks like the reds are missing the presence of Fabinho in front of them.
27' Liverpool pressure, Andy Robertson plays the ball into the area and Pascal Struijk forces his goalkeeper to tip it over the crossbar.
Some game this.
29' A looping ball comes over the top and van Dijk doesn't think he's under pressure and tries to play the ball away.
He wasn't on his own. Patrick Bamford was there and fires past Alisson.
Sort of cancelled out his earlier goal.
33' SALAH fires his shot high into the back of the net to make it 3-2 to Liverpool.
Free kick from Robertson, Virgil van Dijk attracts the attention of 3 Leeds defenders and it is header into Salah's path to score.
Liverpool scoring 3 against anyone is a very good sign.— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) September 12, 2020
Liverpool conceding 2 against anyone at home is a concern.
Leeds scoring 2 at the Champions is a very good sign.
Leeds conceding 3 in 30 minutes is a concern.
Some half of football that. 5 goals and 2 ruled out.
Liverpool 3-2 Leeds
Mo Salah with two goals and Virgil van Dijk with the other.
Two defensive errors helped Leeds there - Trent turned for their first and van Dijk with a weak clearance for their second.
Could do with an easier ride in the second half please reds.
Back underway. Less goals from Leeds, more from Liverpool.
49' Wijanldum with a glorious chance inside the area but fires it straight at the Leeds keeper.
Should have been a fourth there.
53' Alexander-Arnold corner whipped in and van Dijk rises highest to head that.
Just over the crossbar.
58' Another offside goal. This time Leeds.
Not sure why they aren't putting the flag up a little bit earlier.
A change for Liverpool - Fabinho is on for Keita.
62' Salah and Mane with the 1-2 up the pitch.
Mane with the shot that loops over the bar.
62' Bamford and Hernandez off for Leeds, Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo Moreno on
66' He replaces Jordan Henderson.
67' Klich collects the ball running into the box, flicks it up and then smashes it past Alisson.
Liverpool making very hard work of this.
72' Ball falls nicely at the feet of Salah there at the edge of the area but he fires that well high into the empty Kop.
Liverpool need a winner here.
76' Firmino goes into the book. An uncharacteristicly sloppy pass from him cedes possession and he then commits a foul, out of pure frustration.
79' Virgil van Dijk puts the ball in the net for a corner but it's ruled out for a foul by Curtis Jones.
6 legal goals. 4 disallowed goals now in this game.
Time running out for another goal.
81' Klich, the third goalscorer is replaced by Jamie Shackleton.
87' Daft foul on Fabinho and it's a blatant LFC penalty.
87' Mo Salah tucks away the penalty with minutes to go and that's 4-3 to the reds!
89' Matip replaces Alexander-Arnold.
All over at Anfield.
Liverpool 4-3 Leeds United
A Mo Salah hat-trick (two from the penalty spot) and another tricky start to the season for the reds.
But it's 3 points and the unbeaten home run continues.
Liverpool did score four against newly-promoted Norwich at Anfield at the start of last season...
A tricky evening for the reds, but all that matters is the three points won.
Next weekend away at Chelsea may be another tricky affair!