Hyypia: Liverpool difficult to beat

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia believes Brendan Rodgers will make Liverpool a tough team to beat in the new season.

Football News: Martin Kelly Liverpool Sidney Sam B

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The former Liverpool centre-back saw his side lose 3-1 to the Reds in a pre-season friendly at Anfield on Sunday night. The match included goals from Andy Carroll, Lucas and youngster Raheem Sterling with Sidney Sam replying for the Lions.

Hyypia enjoyed watching the Merseyside club in action in what was his first return to the stadium in an official capacity. He believes that the formation and the style of play employed by ex-Swansea boss Rodgers would make Liverpool a difficult team to play against in the new Barclays Premier League season, due to kick off in the weekend. 

"Liverpool played very well today [Sunday]. He (Rodgers) has changed the face a little bit and created a new system which is difficult to play against," he told Liverpoolfc.tv.

"Time will tell (if Liverpool will be successful), but I hope so. Since I left, I've always hoped Liverpool will do well - and hopefully this season they will."

Hyypia, 38, played for ten years at Liverpool and even had a spell as the captain of the side. The former Finland international was given a warm welcome to Anfield where he is fondly remembered for his decade-long service. During that period, he helped the Reds win the 2001 UEFA Cup, the 2005 Champions League as well as two League Cups and FA Cups. 

The former Reds defender stated his happiness to have made the return to his beloved former club although he would have rather preferred a victory for his side ahead of the new Bundesliga season. 

"I have always had a good relationship with the fans and they were great today, as always. I am grateful I had the chance to come back here.

"It is good to be back, but I came here to win the game. It was a friendly so the most important thing was to prepare the team for the season, which starts in a week's time.

"Of course, from defeat you can't take that much self confidence for the season, but there were a lot of good things in the game today."

Liverpool start their Premier League campaign with a game against West Brom at The Hawthorns Stadium on Saturday. 

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