Anfield awaits Robertson's first start for Liverpool

LONDON • Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Andrew Robertson is pushing to make his debut in today's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace as the Philippe Coutinho transfer saga rumbles on.

Robertson arrived from Hull City for £10 million (S$17.6 million) last month but the Scotland left-back has yet to feature in a competitive game.

Spaniard Alberto Moreno has been Klopp's first choice at left-back, but the German is impressed with Robertson's attitude.

"Everything is okay with him. His development has been really good, he has adapted well," he said.

Klopp is looking forward to Liverpool's first match of the season at Anfield, even though it is against a Palace team who have often proved to be tricky opponents. "That's our place, that's where we want to play, that's where we want to be," he said. "We already showed we are ready again."

Liverpool have been boosted by the availability of striker Daniel Sturridge after he recovered from a thigh injury picked up in pre-season.

However, Klopp is still without Brazil forward Coutinho, ruled out with a back problem, at the end of a week that saw Liverpool reiterate their desire to hold on to their wantaway star amid continued interest from Barcelona.

"Phil is not available; he is not training. It is always how it is with injured players, there is no real time on when he is back," Klopp said.

Frank de Boer's career as Crystal Palace manager got off to a bad start when they were beaten 3-0 at home by newly promoted Huddersfield Town last weekend.

Worse was to come for the Dutchman when he learnt that winger Wilfried Zaha will be out for a month with a knee injury suffered in that opening-day clash.

Defender Joel Ward insists there is no lack of confidence among the Palace squad as they attempt to stage a repeat of April's victory at Liverpool.

"It's a transitional stage for us," he said. "Obviously the weekend was disappointing, but we've got 37 games to make up for it.

"I think we can go there with confidence and the belief that we can do what we've done before and take it to them again."

De Boer is hopeful "the negative impact of the 3-0 defeat is gone".

He said: "It will be a difficult game at Liverpool as they have fantastic players but we will do our best."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2017, with the headline 'Anfield awaits Robertson's first start for Liverpool'. Print Edition | Subscribe