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Jurgen Klopp confirms Loris Karius will face Sevilla

Jurgen Klopp confirms Loris Karius will face Sevilla

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Loris Karius will start in goal in tonight’s Champions League group stage fixture at home to Sevilla.

Karius has been unconvincing since joining the Reds from Mainz in 2016 but he retains the backing of Klopp, who also started him in the Premier League against Arsenal recently.

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As reported by the Liverpool Echo, Klopp said: “I decided already who is the goalkeeper. I spoke to the boys. If nothing happens overnight then Loris will start, yes.”

Klopp was asked whether his decision to start Karius means he has overtaken Simon Mignolet to become the club’s first-choice goalkeeper but denied such claims.

He said: “Look, I can’t believe… I’m not sure if this is your job to ask this question, but no it doesn’t mean that – and please don’t do that.

“Of course not. The situation I can say with absolute truth. If we have Simon as No 1 and play the other goalkeepers not once throughout the year…

“If they train bad they don’t deserve a game, but they both train really well, they keep the level really high.

“If we don’t give them a game then every year we have to find a new No 2 who is 33, still able to catch a few balls and doesn’t want to play any more – that’s really difficult to find someone like that.”

Klopp was full of praise for Karius despite the criticism that the 24-year-old has received and also stated that the hierarchy of his goalkeepers isn’t always fixed.

He said: “I prefer having a group of good goalkeepers, and that means you have to change things. The game against Arsenal when Loris played was exactly how I said. It was very intense, yes we could have said afterwards it was not a goalkeeper game, but we didn’t know that before.

“Could he prove something? I think he did. He was very cool with the ball, I know for some people too cool with the ball but that can happen with no rhythm, so that now he has had the game and it helped him a lot, us also and now he will start.

“That’s the plan – not to keep them happy. No, to use the quality of the goalkeepers and that’s how it is, to keep them altogether and then they will decide with the performance who will play.

“Why do we always think No 1, No 2, No 3 is fixed until the end of all days? I don’t want to bring that in doubt, but how can you ask if he’s No 1?

“By the way, it’s not that he shouldn’t be No 1. Are all players happy with the decisions? I don’t know – it’s nothing I can think about too much.”

After a two-season absence, Liverpool find themselves back in the Champions League and Klopp will be determined for his side to enjoy a lengthy run in the competition.

Sevilla are expected to be Liverpool’s toughest opponents in their Champions League group, with Spartak Moscow and Maribor the other sides they will face.

Loris Karius made an average of 1.40 saves per game in the Premier League last season

Loris Karius