LFC TV commentator John Bradley has been busy swotting up on Zenit St Petersburg ahead of our trip to Russia – here's his guide to our Europa League last 32 opponents.
In 1703, Peter the Great designed St Petersburg as Russia's window to the west and built a city to rival the most elegant in Europe. In fitting with his desire, the progressive Zenit St Petersburg are the Russian club with designs on conquering the continent.
Zenit are back-to-back champions of Russia under their Italian coach Luciano Spalletti, building on the work started under former incumbent Dick Advocaat.
The Dutchman brought the Russian Premier League title to the city known as 'the Venice of Russia' in 2007 for the first time, claiming only the second league championship in their history (they were champions of the old Soviet league in 1984 under legendary coach and former player Pavel Sadyrin).
Advocaat went on to win the UEFA Cup in 2008 in a tournament that saw them lose across Stanley Park at Everton in the group stage, but then they embarked on a magical and historic run that took them past Villarreal, Marseille, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the semi-final. Zenit then won a one-sided final against Rangers at the City of Manchester Stadium.
They added the European Super Cup to their trophy haul a matter of months later, beating Manchester United 2-1 in Monaco. Seven of that squad will be involved over the two legs against Liverpool.
Zenit have been comfortable winners of the last two Russian Premier League titles, and last season qualified through the group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the first time before an injury to former Russian international goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev cost them in the last 16 tie against Benfica.
This season has been a little more problematic. The big money signings of Brazilian international Hulk from Porto and Belgian international Axel Witsel from Benfica were supposed to further aid their progress in European competition, but brought nothing but poor results in the Champions League and problems within the squad.
Russia captain Igor Denisov and key striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov were sent to the reserves for a time after voicing their concerns at the signing of the pair and being propelled to 'galactico' status above other members of the squad who had brought the club success.
Both have now returned to the first team and along with mercurial Portuguese winger Danny, who is now fully fit after recovering a cruciate ligament injury, will be key to Zenit over the next two weeks.
For me, though, Zenit's key player is Roman Shirokov. A late bloomer, Shirokov has been transformed into a goalscoring midfielder who makes dangerous late runs into the penalty area by Spalletti. Earlier in his career he was regularly played as a central defender but the positional switch has seen him become one of the most coveted players for club and country.
Zenit still have hopes of winning the Russian Premier League title this season. They are five points adrift of leaders CSKA and will have only 11 games to overhaul them once the season resumes in early March. Title rivals CSKA and Anzhi have both strengthened in the transfer window, making the champions' task of retaining their crown that much tougher.
Russian clubs also take all European competition seriously - CSKA have also won the UEFA Cup in the last seven years - and there is no doubt that Spalletti and his side will want to take down one of Europe's legendary names, but it will be difficult for them.
Zenit haven't played a competitive game since early December, and although they've spent time in Dubai and Turkey in preparation for this game and the resumption of the league season, they are going into this tie as cold as the current temperature on the north-west coast of Russia.
But St Petersburg has been through a lot down the years, more than most. It has given the people of the city a steely determination to succeed. It's that steely determination that local lads like Malafeev, Denisov, Kerzhakov and Bystrov, who all hail from in and around the region, will look to use to claim a famous victory against the Reds.