Rafa Benitez gives his verdict on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool

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Rafa Benitez says Liverpool have the "potential" to win trophies under Jurgen Klopp.

Newcastle United take on Benitez's former club at St James's Park on Sunday.

Liverpool are fifth in the Premier League table with six games played.

Asked if Klopp could replicate the success he had at Anfield, Benitez said: "He has the tools and the potential.

"I think they can win trophies. The problem to sustain the success with the top sides. They have everything in place to do well, but they are competing against some very good sides.

"People talk about them being weak in defence, but they have such a strong attack.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp

"We have to be solid and try to stop them creating so many chances. They are very offensive and creative in attack, so we know it will be a tough game.

"I don't want to put pressure on them. The difference between the teams at the top isn't massive.

"They have the potential to compete against top sides. The reality is that because they are so offensive, they sometimes have problems with their defence.

"Sometimes, when you attack too much, you're exposed in defence. It's about finding the right balance between attack and defence."

Rafa Benitez

Rafa Benitez

Benitez coached Liverpool winger Philippe Coutinho during his time at Inter Milan.

"He's a very good player, and he will be fine going forward," said Benitez. "He's in a top side. He was 18 when I worked with him.

"He was a very shy boy, but you could see that potential in training and you could see with his runs even then he gave the senior players problems trying to stop him."

* There will be a minute's applause before the Liverpool game in memory of former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd, who passed away this week aged 75.

The players will also wear black armbands and flags at St James's Park will be flown at half mast.

Shepherd was chairman of the club between 1997 and 2007.

Click on the video above to see NUFC writer Miles Starforth talk about Rafa Benitez's press conference