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‘Liverpool not feeling favourites' pressure’ – Reds ready for Champions League defence, says Fabinho

09:45 WAT 17/09/2019
Fabinho Champions League 2019
The Reds claimed a sixth European crown last season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side preparing to start another quest for continental glory in 2019-20

Fabinho acknowledges that Liverpool are “one of the favourites” to claim more Champions League glory, but claims that big billing will not weigh heavy on the current holders of the crown.

The Reds are preparing to open their European campaign in 2019-20 with a trip to Napoli and Jurgen Klopp’s side are hoping that game will represent the first step down a path which leads to a third successive final appearance.

Liverpool came unstuck against Real Madrid in 2018, but made amends last season as they swept aside domestic rivals Tottenham.

With a sixth continental success secured, the challenge facing the Reds now is to build on that triumph.

They have made a faultless start to their Premier League campaign and are expected go well in Europe, but Fabinho insists nobody at Anfield is feeling the pressure.

He told the official Liverpool FC magazine: “[We are] one of the favourites, I think.

“The reigning champion is always the favourite and given Liverpool’s run of form over the last two competitions we must be considered one of the main contenders.

“But it doesn’t put any additional pressure on us, we know how to deal with it, we know how to handle the pressure. It won’t be a problem.

“The Champions League is the toughest competition in Europe with all the best teams involved. We’ll do everything to qualify for the Round of 16. It’s a case of taking things step by step.”

While looking to chase down more major silverware this season, Fabinho acknowledges that competing on multiple fronts again – with the Club World Cup yet to be taken in this term – will not be easy for Liverpool.

The versatile Brazil international added: “Last year we showed it was possible – normally a team with 97 points are champions.

“We were able to maintain the intensity and high standard in both competitions (Premier League and Champions League).

“It’s exhausting, it’s difficult, it demands a lot from the entire squad of players. It demands a lot of the coaching staff as well, working on recovery and preparation every two days for a high-level game.

“It is possible, but it’s very, very difficult, all the players have to be prepared and focused. The team has shown that it is focused, has ambition and is prepared for this challenge.”