Mignolet to start in game against Spurs

Resting Loris Karius (above) in favour of Simon Mignolet against Tottenham Hotspur today does not alter Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's decision that the German is the club's No. 1 custodian. The Reds' manager said Mignolet is "still not happy" abou
Resting Loris Karius (above) in favour of Simon Mignolet against Tottenham Hotspur today does not alter Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp's decision that the German is the club's No. 1 custodian. The Reds' manager said Mignolet is "still not happy" about the situation but "is working hard."PHOTO: REUTERS

Belgian gets the nod from Klopp, but is told he remains the Reds' second-choice keeper

LIVERPOOL • Simon Mignolet will start Liverpool's League Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur today with his status as the club's second-choice goalkeeper, manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed.

The Belgium international has been on the bench for the past five games, with Klopp favouring the summer signing Loris Karius in goal.

Mignolet will return for the fourth-round tie at Anfield today but in the knowledge that Karius is now officially the first-choice goalkeeper of the Liverpool manager.

Klopp's selections have made that abundantly clear since the League Cup third-round win at Derby County, although the £4.7 million (S$8 million) signing from Mainz came into the team with the manager insisting there was not a No. 1 keeper at Anfield.

However, Klopp has revealed he took both Mignolet and Karius aside following the recent international break to confirm he had settled on the pecking order.

"In this moment, we have a No. 1 and that is Loris Karius," the German confirmed.

"That's the situation. I cannot leave them in doubt. There was a short moment when we gave him (Karius) time to see a little more of him.

"After the last international break, I spoke to both of them and made that decision. There's nothing else to say. I've made that decision. Loris is No. 1 at this moment and Simon is No. 2."

Klopp added during his pre-match conference that "there is likely to be a few changes" to the team that defeated West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday when Spurs come to Anfield, with Mignolet one inclusion.

"The chance of him starting is 100 per cent if nothing happens in training," he said.

"It is a luxury problem for me. I made the decision and of course he was not happy about it but he is a really good professional.

"We have had a few talks and I don't have the perfect answer for him. He's still not happy but nobody can see this in training. He is working hard."

Danny Ings, Marko Grujic, Ovie Ejaria, Kevin Stewart and Trent Alexander-Arnold did not feature for Liverpool's Under-23s in their win over Everton on Sunday and could start against Tottenham.

"There is likely to be a few changes but I have yet to make a final decision," Klopp said.

"It's a really short turnaround since we played last time (against West Brom). Now we only think about the Tottenham game and what we have to do to beat them."

The Liverpool manager also confirmed that there were no major injury concerns, but captain Jordan Henderson is ruled out due to a one-match suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card over the weekend.

THE GUARDIAN

LIVERPOOL V TOTTENHAM

Singtel TV Ch109, tomorrow, 2.40am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2016, with the headline 'Mignolet to start in game against Spurs'. Print Edition | Subscribe