Simon Mignolet is poised and prepared to kick off Liverpool's new season with three points after explaining why the clash with Southampton has been the primary aim of the club's summer work.

The Reds criss-crossed Europe and America in pre-season, including five friendly encounters of the highest quality in the United States, and a comeback home fixture against Borussia Dortmund.

In between games, the warm weather and double training sessions initially at Melwood and later on the other side of the Atlantic helped Brendan Rodgers' players to reach optimal fitness.

Now all of that work is done and attention switches to the visit of the Saints today and the chance to start the campaign on a high - something that has preoccupied Mignolet and co for weeks.

"Before the season starts, everybody is raring to go after a pre-season tour that was really good," the Belgian goalkeeper told Liverpoolfc.com as the latest training session ended.

"But they were all friendlies and it's something different once you get started. Everybody is looking forward to starting the season this Sunday against Southampton.

"The whole pre-season is just about getting fit for the first game of the season. Everybody knew it was Southampton so at the back of your mind you're always preparing every single day to make sure you're ready when that game comes.

"The fans are also ready to go again after last season and looking forward to it. There'll also be the new experience of European nights at Anfield this season; as always, the supporters will be up for it and behind us throughout."

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Exactly a year ago, Mignolet was the hero as Liverpool opened 2013-14 with a victory - the No.22 sprawled to his right to claw away a late penalty as Stoke City were overturned at Anfield.

That crucial stop prompted a run of three consecutive wins for Rodgers' charges at the outset of last season, building the foundations of what evolved into a Barclays Premier League title challenge.

He reflected: "After the first run of three or four games, we were in first place, heading into the international break. That's always a good thing.

"Obviously we want to start well again but there's no point in looking too far ahead. The first game is against Southampton and we're focused on doing our job.

"Hopefully we can get the result and three points, which we should always do in any home game."

A trio of former stars at St Mary's have swapped Southampton for the Reds this summer, with Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren three of the manager's eight new recruits.

Though the former is injured, the latter two could feature at Anfield against their previous employers, and Mignolet expects the occasion to be particularly important for them.

"For them it will be a bit more special," said the 'keeper. "It was the same for me last year when I played Sunderland for the first time.

"It feels different when you play for a new team, but they had great times at Southampton so they will be happy to see their old fans and teammates again."

Not that a summer overhaul - namely the loss of a key group of players and a change in manager - makes the Saints any less of a challenging prospect in the mind of the 26-year-old.

Mignolet concluded: "I don't think that will be any different to the other teams in the Premier League. You see all of the players that have come in and gone out at any club.

"Every year it's something different and that's why the first couple of games of the season are always a bit bizarre because you don't really know what to expect.

"But we just have to look at ourselves rather than the opposition. We prepare in pre-season to make sure that we're ready for the first kick."