Chris Kirkland urges Liverpool first-teamer to be axed ahead of Chelsea clash
By Dominic Toner
Chris Kirkland believes that Loris Karius should replace Simon Mignolet when Liverpool face Chelsea.
The Reds travel to Stamford Bridge on Friday night for the Premier League encounter and Jurgen Klopp has a decision to make over who will start in goal.
German Karius, who moved to Anfield in the summer from Mainz, is expected to rival his new team-mate for the number one position as goalkeeper.
The 23-year-old suffered a broken hand during pre-season and has been absent for the club’s start of the campaign, but was named on the bench against Leicester last Saturday as he returned to full fitness.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Kirkland has urged Klopp to play Karius against Chelsea and believes he must be thrown straight into the action if he is to be the club’s first-choice in goal.
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“You can’t be eased in at a club like Liverpool,” he told 5Times podcast. “The best thing is to get out there and get playing. I’m looking forward to seeing him. I would have thrown Karius in last Saturday. If he was brought in as number one and he’s training and ready then throw him in. You can’t really build up to games in the Premier League.
“I’ve seen bits of him. He looks very cool and calm on the ball, good with his feet and confident in his own 18-yard box. He comes and takes things so hopefully he will be a good fit for Liverpool.
He added: “If he’s ready now after a couple of weeks training then he needs to get to the real thing. Chelsea away, if he has a fantastic game everyone will be happy.”
Mignolet has made five appearances for Liverpool this season and only kept one clean sheet so far against Championship side Burton in the EFL second-round tie.
The Belgian is yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League as Liverpool have looked very uncertain in defence, with many fans not assured by the ability of the error-prone Mignolet.
Karius, who is yet to feature for his new side in a competitive match, has 127 career appearances and kept 40 clean sheets in that time.
Liverpool face an unbeaten Chelsea side and are expected to be tested by the in-form striker Diego Costa, who has already notched up four goals this season.
In other Liverpool team news, Antonio Conte has revealed that Chelsea’s 29-year-old will be promoted into the starting XI.