Claudio Ranieri is facing a difficult challenge this weekend against Liverpool, having not yet met all of his Watford players.

While he was able to provide a brief update on new signing Nicolas Nkoulou, who he confirmed would be absent for "maybe three weeks", he is yet to come face-to-face with a number of his squad members, who have missed his first week of training due to the international break.

With the Reds arriving at Vicarage Road for the early kick off on Saturday, he has just two more days in which to plan for the game, with several players not scheduled to return until tomorrow.

Nevertheless, he insists he is ready to begin life as Watford head coach.

"There are some players I don’t know," said Ranieri.

"Tomorrow I have all my players and on Saturday they face one of the best teams in the world, but it’s okay. We are ready. Always I'm ready, and also my team is ready. It’s a battle and we will battle.

"I have to prepare everything well. I haven’t met all my players so far. Tomorrow there are some players who arrive after travelling and my first question to them is how are you, are you tired? Have you got any knocks or injuries? And after I think about the team."

With the Hornets yet to keep a clean sheet this season, the Italian was asked if he would be treating his players to pizza should they manage to prevent Jurgen Klopp's men from scoring this weekend, as he famously did for his Leicester City players.

"Pizza is too little," he joked.

"If we keep a clean sheet I will buy them dinner."

Realistically, with his difficult start stretching beyond Liverpool's visit on Saturday, Ranieri knows that his primary target for this campaign has to be Premier League safety. 

He has his eyes on reaching the 40 point mark and building on that achievement next season.

"Now we have to be safe," he said.

"Do you remember me at Leicester – my goal was always 40 points.

"40 points is what we have to achieve. Next season we will see if we can get 41, after 42, after 43 that’s my idea."