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Martin Skrtel claims Helsinki victory is vital for confidence

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Martin Skrtel insists a win against HJK Helsinki on Saturday is vital for Liverpool to gain momentum heading into the Premier League season.

The Reds travel to Finland to meet the current Veikkausliga champions on Saturday for their penultimate pre-season friendly.

Brendan Rodgers' men went unbeaten during their pre-season tour of the far east and Australia, winning three games and drawing one.

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Liverpool's first Premier League game is away to Stoke City on August 9, the very same fixture the Merseyside club suffered a shock 6-1 loss on the final day of last season.

That embarrassing result severely knocked the confidence out of the Merseyside club and Skrtel knows a win in Scandinavia is pivotal and will inject self-belief into the team.

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“That game will be very important because it’s one week before the season starts so it’s very important to get a result and get confidence up,” the Slovakia international told Liverpoolfc.com

“We know we have a lot of fans there so it is similar to going to Asia. We want to go there so they can see us play.

“It’ll be a nice experience and it’s the last game before the season starts so it’ll be very good for us.”

Fast Start

Liverpool will be ambitious to finish in the top-four this season and a quick start is vital if they are to achieve this.

Last campaign, the Reds picked up just 14 points from their opening ten games and their back was always against the wall to make up the ground lost and ultimately finished sixth.

In contrast, when Rodgers' side went within a whisker of winning the Premier League in the 2013/14 season, they totted up 20 points from their opening nine fixtures. 

Liverpool will compete in this season's Europa League which has been a downfall for team's domestic form in the past; Everton's effort last term is a prime example.

Rodgers has invoked a vast squad to counter that problem and recruited seven new players this summer, including £32.5 million striker Christian Benteke from Aston Villa.

Whereas the Europa League has been seen somewhat of a 'Mickey Mouse' competition by many in the past, an automatic Champions League place for the next season means team's take the tournament more seriously. It is the dangling carrot for manager's and means they can afford for league form to slightly suffer.

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Topics:
Martin Skrtel
Liverpool
Premier League
Football

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