Liverpool veteran Sami Hyypia has welcomed back young rival Daniel Agger from his 10-month injury nightmare and vowed to fight for his first team place.
Hyypia, 35 in October, has a new one-year contract and the chance to complete a remarkable 10 years at Anfield in style before considering his future options.
And the big Finnish defender figured in over 44 matches for the club last season when 23-year-old Agger was out with a metatarsal injury.
But although Agger made his comeback in Saturday's 1-0 friendly win at Tranmere, and would expect to become first-choice as the season progresses, Hyypia has promised the young Dane that he will be battling to keep his place in the team.
He said: 'It's nice to have him fit because players always want to play and it will have been hard for Daniel to deal with not being fit for so long.
'It must have been devastating for him to be out for almost a whole season.
'It is not something I would really know about because I have never suffered that kind of thing but I'm sure it was very difficult for him.
'But I am really glad that he is back and he can help the team to win trophies.
'I am sure the manager is happy because it means he has five centre-backs to choose from now.
'That means we all have to fight for our place but that is the way it has always been at Liverpool and this season will be no different.
'It is good to have that kind of challenge, though. I will be fighting for my place and I am sure the other defenders will be doing exactly the same.'
And Brazilian full-back Fabio Aurelio underlines the strong competition there will be in Liverpool's defence now that boss Rafael Benitez has brought in two new full-backs, Philipp Degen and Andrea Dossena.
Both made their debuts at Tranmere, and Aurelio told liverpoolfc.tv: 'At a club like Liverpool there is always massive competition to get into the starting XI because of the players we have for each position, but that is good and it can only improve the team.
'We are trying to fight for every title and we have more possibilities this season.'