Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool are better placed to win the Europa League than they were the last time they played Uefa's second-tier tournament in 2016.
The Reds play Austrian club LASK in Linz on Thursday in their first Europa League match since losing the final to Sevilla seven years ago.
Liverpool reached the championship game in Klopp's first season in charge and have since gone on to reestablish themselves as one of the best clubs in Europe, winning the Champions League, reaching two other finals and lifting the Premier League, Fifa Club World Cup, FA Cup and League Cup.
As it stands the Europa League is the only major trophy Klopp has not won in his near-eight years at Anfield and he wants to add that missing silverware to his honour role.
“We are here to compete, not to give opportunities,” Klopp said in his pre-match press conference.
“My first year I thought the Europa League was a bit too much for us until we got to the final. We had to fly to Russia, played on a frozen pitch in Sion.
“That was a different squad. We were not ready and we came through somehow. I don’t think we were exceptional until the quarter-final, semi-final.
“It is a different time, a different team. We are better prepared. We enjoy it more to be here because we had no clue at that time what to expect.
“We have to be motivated and we are excited to play in the Europa League. I didn’t watch the Champions League [this week], I didn’t miss the anthem.”
None of the 2016 final squad remain at Anfield with Joe Gomez – who was 18 at the time but out injured – the only current player to have played in the Europa League for Liverpool.
But while there have been significant alterations to the playing staff this summer the core of that trophy-winning band are still together and Klopp’s side are favourites to win the competition.
However, captain Virgil van Dijk brushed off the expectations.
“It’s a reflection of the world we live in at the moment, it’s from one extreme to the other,” he said.
“We have to just stay calm and level-headed, there are so many games to play and twists and turns to happen.
“We know we had a good start but there are so many things still we need to improve. We need to stay calm.
“Everyone else from the outside world will say things but we should not worry and think about it.”