Jürgen Klopp: Mignolet will start in goal for EFL Cup tie against Spurs, but he isn't my No.1

Jürgen Klopp: Mignolet will start in goal for EFL Cup tie against Spurs, but he isn't my No.1

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has revealed that Simon Mignolet will start in goal against Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night, but says the Belgian is still his second-choice behind Loris Karius.

Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp has acknowledged that he will make changes for Liverpool's EFL Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, with Simon Mignolet one of them.

The Belgian goalkeeper has been second-choice to No.1 Loris Karius in the last five games in all competitions but will be given a chance to impress as Klopp rotates his squad for their fourth-round clash. 

With it thought that the German will hand appearances to the likes of Danny Ings, Marko Grujic, Alberto Moreno and Lucas Leiva - he guaranteed that Mignolet will start as long as he is fully fit.

But he said that his return to the starting eleven does not mean he will keep his place for their trip to Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday.

'There will be some changes for line-up against Spurs'

Issuing an update on the fitness of his squad, he added: "There's nothing really serious, [just] a few knocks. A few boys didn't train yesterday [on Sunday] but the line-up [vs West Brom] didn't train, they had recovery and were in therapy."

He added that there has "been nothing serious" in terms of injury problems this season and hoped that it would "stay like this" as he admitted that he will make changes for the visit of Spurs.

He insisted that he doesn't think "about who should be rested" but rather "who should play" as he dismissed suggestions Liverpool would weaken their team, adding: "There will be some changes. No final decision yet."

Reds boss: Goalkeeping situation is a 'luxury' problem

Klopp was asked in his pre-match press conference about the chances of Mignolet starting over Karius and replied that the former "will play 100 per-cent" provided that "nothing happens in training."

He praised Mignolet for remaining "a real professional" in his time outside of the starting eleven and revealed: "We've had a few talks because it's not that I had the perfect answer. I couldn't say 'you are bad and he good' and that's why he [Karius] is playing. It is what I call a luxury problem."

The Reds boss said the situation is "no problem" and that he and his backroom staff simply "have to make a decision", insisting he already made a decision in recent games, one he admitted that Mignolet "was not happy about." 

However, he said that the 28-year-old 'keeper is "a very serious person and a good professional" and so vowed that it is not an uncomfortable situation when both shot-stoppers are "fit and in shape."

Klopp also lauded Mignolet for not allowing his disappointment at being dropped to seep into his game, saying that "everything is good" from his side and that the Reds' No.22 is "still not happy but nobody can see this in training."

"He is still working hard, improving, [doing] all that he has to do and so that's all okay," insisted Klopp.

Karius is still first choice over Mignolet, says Klopp

But despite his decision to bring him back into the team against Tottenham, the manager admitted that Karius - who joined from Mainz for £4.7 million in the summer - remains his first-choice for the time-being.

He added that they "have a number one" which is Karius like how "it was Simon" when "Loris was not fit." 

Klopp labelled that as "the situation" and told reporters that both goalkeepers know that, because he "cannot leave them in doubt."

The manager also admitted: "There was a short period, a short moment, with the last two or three games we gave Loris to see a little bit more of him."

He explained that the club "made this decision" for Karius to be No.1 at the end of the last international break, and that he spoke to both players to inform them.

The Reds boss acknowledged that it "is always a big thing not to start [and] not to play" but said that it is "a little bit more different" for a goalkeeper and declared that there is "nothing else to say."

"We made the decision and that's the ranking, if you want," he continued. "Loris is, in this moment, number one and Simon is, in this moment, number two. That's all."