Former Liverpool midfielder Ray Houghton believes his old club look stronger in every department after watching the Reds kick off their 2013-14 campaign with a 1-0 victory over Stoke City last weekend.

The 51-year-old was in attendance at Anfield on Saturday to see Brendan Rodgers' team produce a performance packed with attacking verve and dynamism on the way to collecting three points.

Naturally, Houghton's eye was quickly drawn to the Brazilian flair of Philippe Coutinho but goalscorer Daniel Sturridge was also the recipient of praise from a man who lifted two league titles and two FA Cups with Liverpool.

"I was at Liverpool last weekend and they played really well in their win against Stoke, as good as I've seen Liverpool play at the start of the season," Houghton told talkSPORT.

"They looked really fit, sharp and bright in possession with Sturridge up front, Aspas up there as well and Coutinho pulling the strings in midfield.

"Coutinho is a game-changer - and there are not many of them around.

"When you've got someone who, in a game can be the difference between maybe drawing or winning or when you're losing a game can do something out of the ordinary to get you a goal, they are worth their weight in gold. They are fabulous players to have.

"Sturridge has not played many games in pre-season; he played 45 minutes against Celtic and had some match time behind closed doors. But he looked really sharp. In every position Liverpool looked stronger."

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