ISTANBUL • He may have been signed on a free transfer as understudy to the £66.8 million (S$112 million) Alisson Becker but Jurgen Klopp has no doubts about the value of his second-choice goalkeeper Adrian.
Alisson, Liverpool's undisputed No. 1, was injured in last Friday's Premier League opener against Norwich and Klopp confirmed the Brazilian will be unavailable for the next few weeks with a calf issue.
It means Adrian, who joined the club only last week, will deputise in goal, starting tonight against Chelsea in the Uefa Super Cup, the curtain-raiser to the European season that pits the Champions League winners against the Europa League champions.
Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com yesterday he has complete confidence in Adrian's abilities but admitted a lack of match practice was a concern. The Spaniard featured in just five games last season for West Ham after losing his place to Lukasz Fabianski.
Klopp said: "I'm not worried at all about how he will do it in the long term, but in the short term the problem is just that he came here with no club when we signed him. We don't have to talk too much about it, that's what the experience is for.
"He looked very good and very sharp from the first session he had with us but of course now we need to be careful, pack him in cotton wool pretty much.
"We cannot now do the hardest training with him every day and stuff like this, we have to make him match-fit every day."
The German also wants Liverpool to make winning trophies a habit as they head back to Istanbul - the scene of one of the club's greatest triumphs. The Anfield club memorably defeated AC Milan on penalties to win the Champions League back in 2005.
HUNGRY FOR MORE
Stay greedy. That's very important - I have no doubt about that, but it's clear that we have to do that.
JURGEN KLOPP, Liverpool manager, on the ravenous disposition he wants his team to adopt.
You can lose finals; they're very tough. But what you cannot do is lose it on the premise that we weren't prepared, or we didn't have that hunger or desire or everything you need to try and win a game of this magnitude.
FRANK LAMPARD, Chelsea manager, on the Uefa Super Cup clash with Liverpool.
"Stay greedy. That's very important - I have no doubt about that, but it's clear that we have to do that," Klopp told Uefa.com when asked how his side could build on their Champions League triumph in June.
It was a message well received by his players. "We don't want to just stop at the Champions League, that's all we've won as a group of players," full-back Andy Robertson told the club website. "We want more but we know how hard that's going to be. This is our next opportunity to do so and it'd be great if we can take it."
Liverpool are unbeaten against English teams in Europe over six games stretching back to 2009, when they lost a Champions League quarter-final to Chelsea.
They are also the last English winner of the Super Cup 14 years ago against CSKA Moscow and this will be the first all-English affair.
Another milestone is the presence of Stephanie Frappart. The French official will be the first woman to referee a major men's match in European competition.
Vice-captain James Milner believes victory at the Besiktas Park would represent another step forward for his team.
"You want to get in that habit of winning trophies," the midfielder told Uefa.com. "The Super Cup's a special trophy to win because you've got to win a big trophy to get there as well."
With both teams able to name 12 substitutes for the Super Cup, all 23 members of the travelling party will be on the bench.
In Liverpool's case, that will mean Andy Lonergan, the 35-year-old former Middlesbrough goalkeeper who signed a short-term contract yesterday, and 20-year-old Irish reserve Caoimhin Kelleher will be the standby stoppers.
Senegalese forward Sadio Mane, who was involved in the African Cup of Nations final, could make his first start this season after coming on as a substitute against Norwich.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
LIVERPOOL V CHELSEA
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