Football

Karius back in the fold

FA CUP THIRD ROUND
LIVERPOOL PLYMOUTH

Loris Karius gets the chance to relaunch his Liverpool career tomorrow, after manager Juergen Klopp admits he was forced to take the goalkeeper out of the firing line because of the intense scrutiny he was under.

The 23-year-old summer signing replaced Simon Mignolet as first-choice in late September but, following 10 unconvincing Premier League matches, he was dropped after being criticised for mistakes in the 4-3 loss at Bournemouth and 2-2 draw at home to West Ham.

Mignolet's return saw him produce a good performance in the draw at Sunderland - beaten only by two penalties - but Karius will be back in the side for the FA Cup third round visit of League Two Plymouth.

"Big chance," said Klopp, when asked about the chances of his fellow German playing tomorrow.

"He trained outstandingly, which was good to see. It is difficult to speak about these things in public because you make it a big story and that is part of the problem.

"But we cannot ignore the pressure you (media) make. We have to cope with it and deal with it and that is why we made the change.

"I am sure Loris will benefit from this step back. It was good for him.

"Simon has done an outstandingly good job since he has been playing again and Loris has forced him to train at the highest level because we have two really good goalkeepers."

Another player guaranteed a start tomorrow is 19-year-old defender Joe Gomez, who has yet to feature in Klopp's first team after suffering a serious knee injury in October 2015.

He trained outstandingly, which was good to see. Pool boss Juergen Klopp on Loris Karius who was dropped after several mistakes in the EPL

There will be a number of other changes, with youngsters to be given a chance as senior players are rested after a hectic festive period.

"It will be his first game for a long time," Klopp said of Gomez.

"It is the next step on a long way to go. He has already had a long way but everything is good.

"It is nice for all of us because we are really happy for him. He is fit now."

The match, however, has come too early for the injured trio of Philippe Coutinho, Joel Matip and James Milner. - PA SPORT

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