Brendan Rodgers answered a variety of questions on Wednesday night in his pre-Zenit press conference at the team hotel in St Petersburg. Here's what the manager had to say...
What score would you be happy with after the first match?
When you have a two-legged tie, you're always hoping you're in contention going into your return leg. We know it's going to be a difficult game but a positive scoreline is what we want going into the second leg. That's the most critical factor.
Have you ever played a team before where a significant number of fans have said don't want any black players on their team? What advice have you given to your players about what to do if they're subjected to any racial abuse?
In answer to your first question, no. The second one - I haven't spoken directly with the players at the moment. We still have another few meetings with the players to go. I will make reference to it because we have players that maybe it could affect, but we're here for football. We're very hopeful it'll be a terrific game of football and anything that goes on outside off the field can be taken care of.
Liverpool are among the strongest teams [in the competition], so what are your chances?
It's a competition we want to do well in - it's the last cup competition we're involved in. We'll have a strong squad and team playing tomorrow night. We know the opponents are the Russian champions and a very strong team, but we want to progress in the tournament.
On the issue of racism in football, how important is it?
It's a social issue, not just a football issue. In Britain in the last 20 years, there has been a lot of work that has gone on outside of football to prevent racism. It's a social aspect of life that no matter your race, colour or creed, everyone is equal.
Brendan, did you give any consideration to leaving Glen Johnson, Andre or Raheem back on Merseyside?
I didn't, no. These are young players that have experienced this in their lives before. We'll go into the sporting arena and hopefully everyone - from football, UEFA, referees, officials and us all - we can all support any player it may affect. I didn't think of it too much because I know they are players who want to play. Some of them are young players trying to progress in the game, and Glen is a very experienced top international who has experienced a lot of things. Obviously they understand and the likes of young Raheem has been through situations like this, but it's something that will very much unite and make [us] one group.
Looking forward to Sunday, you've got a grudge match [against Swansea], so despite the strong squad you've brought, will it mean some of the top players start tomorrow's game on the bench?
My only consideration is for tomorrow, at this moment. We've put a lot of work into this competition in the early part of the season and I had it in my mind if we qualified, we could really have a good go at trying to do well in this competition. It's the last cup competition we have to play for and one this football club has won before. We take great pride in being a winning club at Liverpool and it's something that we want to consider this season.
How do you compare your previous Russian opponents Anzhi to Zenit?
They are two teams that have invested heavily in their clubs. Zenit are the current champions and I think their coach has done very well since he came here. He's been here for a few years, they've won two consecutive titles, they play an offensive game, a 4-3-3, and have got attacking qualities. I would say they are slightly different in their approach [to Anzhi], but they are two teams that have good players and Zenit can be dangerous. We know it's going to be a difficult team and Zenit are definitely a team that want to play good, offensive football, press high up the field and have got some outstanding players.
Could you benefit from the fact Zenit haven't played a competitive game for two months?
It's certainly something that might not be to their advantage, but they've played about five games since the season finished in December. They've played in a training camp and we've been to watch those games and have them covered. Even though they were only friendly games, it was important for us to do our work, analyse the opponent and see where they're at in terms of their fitness. I don't think their fitness will be too affected, but there's no doubt if you're out of competitive football, sometimes those first couple of games back in can be difficult. We can benefit from that.
What was the reason for training in Liverpool and not St Petersburg? Was it the cold temperatures?
We were given an indication that the pitch, because of the weather conditions, may be difficult to train on - but when we left Liverpool this morning it was probably worse as it was more like Russia than Liverpool! It hasn't affected our preparation and we trained well this morning.
Is the Europa League currently a priority for you?
Yes, absolutely. This was always a competition we wanted to do well in. We went out of the domestic cups - one early on in the season when we had a young team playing and then obviously I made changes in the FA Cup game which we lost as well. This is certainly an important competition for us. Between now and the end of the season - both in this competition and the league - we want to give everything we can to making this a successful season.
You've spoken how close the players are. If there was anything unsavoury from the crowd, would that bring you even closer together?
I believe so. No-one in life wants to see anyone come under any sort of scrutiny like that. We hope it's a game where the officials and UEFA can take care of that and we have two good teams playing a good football game. There's no doubt if there is anything untoward happen, us as a group and a football club we will always do everything we can to support the player or players it may have happened to.