Indeed, Liverpool have won only two of their six league games so far, although their upcoming fixture against Brighton will be their first domestic match for four weeks due to a combination of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and the recent international break.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were disappointing against Everton in a 0-0 draw at Goodison Park, although both teams had chances to win the Merseyside derby, with Jordan Pickford performing excellently to deny the likes of Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.
The Reds did manage to claim a victory in their last match, though, with Joel Matip’s 89th-minute header helping them to a 2-1 win against Ajax in the Champions League. Having been thrashed 4-1 by Napoli in their opening group game, those extra two points could prove crucial in terms of helping them through to the knockout stage.
Their attention must return to improving their league form and position, though, with Anfield likely to be full of vigor having gone so long since last seeing their team play. However, having drawn against Brighton at home last season, Klopp will be all too aware of the potential banana skin facing his team, especially with a new manager in the opposition dugout.
Like their forthcoming opponents, Brighton have not played in the Premier League for almost four weeks, with Graham Potter’s last game in charge of the club prior to his move to Chelsea turning out to be a thumping 5-2 win over Leicester City.
The Seagulls showed excellent resolve to come from behind after Kelechi Iheanacho opened the scoring within the first minute, with Patson Daka levelling the scoreline to make it 2-2 at half time.
Alexis Mac Allister was in excellent form on the day – as he has been for much of the season since dropping to a deeper midfield role – and capped his performance by scoring from the penalty spot before curling a delightful free kick beyond the reach of Danny Ward. The Argentina international could have had a hat-trick, but saw his vicious strike from the edge of the area disallowed for a tight offside call.
It remains to be seen how quickly and dramatically De Zerbi looks to change what had proven to be an increasingly winning formula under Potter, who helped his side to 13 points from the opening six games of the season.
The Italian became known for implementing a very attacking style at Sassuolo in Serie A, but he is unlikely to go gung ho from day one, especially with a trip to Anfield representing one of the toughest managerial debuts any manager could face.