MATCH CENTRE

Klopp Speaks Ahead of the Carabao Cup Opener

Liverpool face Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday evening in their first game of this season’s Carabao Cup. Manager Jurgen Klopp spoke about it to the press. As coincidence would have it, it’s the same opponent the Reds will be facing on Saturday in the Premier League.

Speaking to the press ahead of the game, Klopp first answered a question about reports linking Mario Goetze once again with a move to Liverpool. The boss replied rather sharply, saying that this was nothing he would talk about ahead of the Chelsea game and that if he had anything to say, he would say it to Goetze first.

Comparing the two upcoming encounters with the London Blues, Klopp said that at this moment the game on Saturday needs to be ignored as this is a different competition. Liverpool showed that they like it in his first season at Anfield. The draw is difficult for both sides, and the Reds want to show they are ready for it as well.

Then the boss confirmed Simon Mignolet would start in goal instead of Alisson Becker, but he refused to divulge any more names than that. He revealed that the Belgian could have gone to another club to be the first choice but the club couldn’t afford to let him go. Since then, Mignolet has been acting like the professional he is, working hard and training well. He deserves this game and the manager is happy to give him the opportunity.

Klopp said the team would approach this game like any other, with full intensity. He believes he has a good team and wants to see them play good football. He also added there would be some changes in the line-up, but certainly not 11.

The German is pleased about the removal of extra-time in the Carabao Cup. He called it a sensible move.

Virgil van Dijk is a doubt for the game. He is in some pain, not serious, ‘but not nothing’, as the Gaffer said. The decision is expected by the end of the day.

About winning trophies, Klopp says he and the team aren’t thinking about it at the moment. They are rather looking to improve their football, and he feels there’s a lot of room for it.

Speaking about injuries, Klopp revealed Dejan Lovren looked quite good having completed four full training sessions. Dominic Solanke is completely back, Adam Lallana is recovering well but hasn’t completed a full training session yet, and Divock Origi’s problem with his ankle will keep the Belgian striker out for another week.

Klopp was full of praise for Chelsea manager Maurizzio Sarri. He said he was a fan of his work at Napoli, and he has done a good job at Stamford Bridge so far.

Here’s a full video – skip to 10:05 and enjoy.

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