EPL

'Kelleher will start EFL Cup final', says Klopp

By Sports Desk January 21, 2022

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stated that Caoimhin Kelleher will start for the Reds in next month's EFL Cup final against Chelsea, fitness permitting.

The Irish goalkeeper is the understudy to Alisson at Anfield, but has played in three of their five EFL Cup games this season, including Thursday's 2-0 semi-final second leg victory at Arsenal.

Kelleher has played 15 times in all competitions for Liverpool, with former Republic of Ireland international Shay Given recently suggesting that the 23-year-old should leave the club to seek regular football.

However, Klopp insisted before the first leg against Arsenal that the EFL Cup was "his competition" and explained that Alisson only played in last week's 0-0 draw at Anfield because the Brazilian needed "rhythm" after a spell out with COVID-19.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of Sunday's trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League, Klopp was asked whether Kelleher would retain his place for the Wembley final on February 27, to which he replied: "Caoimh will play, if he is fit.

"We consider Caoimh as an outstanding goalkeeper and we want to keep him here, and to keep him here you have to make sure a few things.

"It is all about how you perform, and if he didn't perform the way he did I would maybe see it differently. He shows that he deserves all the trust and faith we have in him.

"I don't see any reason why Caoimh won't play. He deserves it, he brought the team there."

Klopp was also effusive in his praise for Trent Alexander-Arnold, whose two assists for Diogo Jota in the win against the Gunners took his tally for the season to 14 in all competitions.

In the top five leagues in Europe, only Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (18) has more, with the German having played four more games than Alexander-Arnold.

"I don't know anyone who is like Trent, who is a right-back and is that decisive," Klopp said. "On the bus on the way home the television is on and you hear people talking and they say 'yeah defensively he is not that good'... honestly I thought he played outstandingly well defensively last night.

"[Gabriel] Martinelli, we will talk about this player in the future. If he avoids major injuries he will have a proper career, so he's really good and what he did there against [Alexander-Arnold] and how he kept him busy defensively and where he showed up and all these kinds of things... the [overall] package of Trent is insane.

"It's not that he delivers every day, there are still departments where he can improve and has to improve and we work on that... he still has 15 years or whatever to play, to create and to score and to learn and to improve. The last five years were a good start in the career I would say."

Related items

  • Mbappe deal will 'make things change at PSG' as Leonardo, Pochettino futures questioned Mbappe deal will 'make things change at PSG' as Leonardo, Pochettino futures questioned

    Kylian Mbappe's anticipated contract extension will bring significant change to Paris Saint-Germain with doubt cast over the futures of Leonardo and Mauricio Pochettino by former midfielder Jerome Rothen. 

    It was widely reported on Saturday that World Cup-winning forward Mbappe had opted to snub Real Madrid and prolong his stay at PSG for another three years. 

    The news was shortly followed by claims it could spell the end of Leonardo's tenure as sporting director, while Pochettino's position as head coach was also brought into question. 

    Former France international Rothen thinks the process with Mbappe has brought issues that need fixing to PSG's attention, and that they will be sorted as part of the agreement. 

    "I think all his questions have been answered and that changes will be announced. By agreeing to extend, he will make things change," Rothen told RMC Sport. 

    "He can't be seen as the one that will make heads roll. The project of Leonardo, the sporting director, was a failure and on a downward trajectory. 

    "If Mbappe wants a new sporting project, automatically you have heads that will roll. There will be a lot of departures, and I even think that some will be surprised at who goes. 

    "The leaders have become aware of the situation and all the dissatisfaction of the supporters will be lifted. This is good news for everyone." 

    PSG conclude their triumphant Ligue 1 campaign at home to Metz on Sunday. 

  • Capitals fall to Mumbai to hand RCB final IPL play-off spot Capitals fall to Mumbai to hand RCB final IPL play-off spot

    Delhi Capitals missed out on the Indian Premier League play-offs after Tim David capitalised on a reprieve in a five-wicket win for Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

    The Capitals, requiring a victory at the Wankhede Stadium to make the last four, were limited to 159-7, with Jasprit Bumrah (3-25)  the pick of the bowlers.

    Rovman Powell (43) and Rishabh Pant (39) fell short of half-centuries, but Delhi's total looked competitive as the Indians made a slow start in response.

    Mumbai struggled to 27-1 at the end of the powerplay after Anrich Nortje dismissed captain Rohit Sharma, who managed only two off 13 deliveries.

    Ishan Kishan offered more attacking intent, scoring 48 off 35 balls before falling to Kuldeep Yadav (1-33) in the 12th over and Dewald Brevis (37) followed to Shardul Thakur soon after with 65 runs still required.

    Pant failed to review when David, on nought, edged behind and the Australian capitalised by blasting an 11-ball 34 before he was removed by Thakur (2-32) to leave Mumbai needing just 15 from 13 balls.

    Ramandeep Singh (13 not out) saw Rohit's side over the line with five deliveries to spare, which meant Royal Challengers Bangalore took the final play-off spot and will face Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator on Wednesday.

    Brilliant Bumrah

    Bumrah has been somewhat off the pace for the struggling Mumbai in this year's competition, barring his excellent 5-10 against Kolkata Knight Riders.

    However, the India quick was in imperious form in the first innings of this game, removing Prithvi Shaw (24), Mitchell Marsh (nought) and Powell to take his tally to 15 in the 2022 IPL.

    Pant's reviews

    Pan dropped a simple chance when Brevis skied Kuldeep on 25. The skipper then ignored Thakur's advice and opted to not review when David edged behind.

    The Capitals captain followed that up by reviewing a Nortje delivery to Tilak Varma that pitched well outside leg stump, capping a miserable day for the India wicketkeeper.

  • 'An insult to football' – LaLiga chief Tebas furious as Mbappe chooses PSG over Real Madrid 'An insult to football' – LaLiga chief Tebas furious as Mbappe chooses PSG over Real Madrid

    LaLiga chief Javier Tebas took a swipe at Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi as it emerged Real Madrid have missed out on Kylian Mbappe, claiming the Qatari was "as dangerous as the Super League". 

    The Spanish league did not have sufficient appeal to persuade Mbappe to give up the riches on offer at PSG, as reports on Saturday said the 23-year-old has picked Paris over Madrid. 

    Al-Khelaifi has been president at PSG since October 2011, with Qatar Sports Investments orchestrating dramatic change at the French club, bringing a host of global superstars to the Parc des Princes. 

    He resisted pushing PSG into the controversial European Super League project, but the enormous investment in the club has not gone unquestioned. They have been able to attract the likes of Neymar, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos away from LaLiga. 

    LaLiga president Tebas has now questioned how PSG can afford to offer World Cup winner Mbappe what is expected to be one of the biggest deals in the history of football. 

    Cadena Cope radio show Tiempo de Juego has claimed LaLiga could launch a complaint against PSG over the renewal of Mbappe, questioning whether the Ligue 1 champions are operating within financial fair play limits. 

    Tebas wrote on Twitter: "What PSG are going to do by renewing Mbappe with large amounts of money (namely where and how they pay him) after giving losses of €700m in recent seasons and having more than €600m of salary bill, is an INSULT to football. Al-Khelaifi is as dangerous as the Super League." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.