EPL : Klopp backs Alisson to overcome errors in Merseyside derby clash with Everton

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Jurgen Klopp has backed “world-class” Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson to overcome his recent errors ahead of this weekend’s Merseyside derby clash with Everton.

Two poor clearances from Alisson cost Liverpool dear in their 4-1 Premier League loss to Manchester City two weeks ago, before the Brazilian ‘keeper came flying out of his goal and missed the ball to allow Jamie Vardy in to score during last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Leicester.

Alisson, who has been so dependable since joining the club in the summer of 2018, improved markedly however in Liverpool’s Champions League victory over RB Leipzig in midweek and, speaking ahead of Saturday evening’s clash with rivals Everton at Anfield, live on Sky Sports, Klopp gave further backing to his stopper.

“Nothing has changed with my confidence in Alisson,” Klopp said. “We are all human beings, and Ali as well. He showed that in the last two games, that is how it is, it is not a problem.

“It means work [to get over errors] but most of the work you have to do with yourself and he is doing that. It is not about telling him he is a world-class goalkeeper, he knows that, when he gets up in the morning he looks in the mirror and sees a world-class goalie.

“Ali is too smart to ignore it [the errors] completely, other personalities would not struggle, but in the end he can rely, and we can rely, on his quality, on his attitude, how focused he is in a game and all these kinds of things.

“For sure he has not had the best time in the last two [league] games but the Leipzig game was a good one to get back.”

Saturday’s encounter represents the first meeting between the rivals since the controversial moment Jordan Pickford avoided a red card for a lunging tackle on Virgil van Dijk in October.

Van Dijk has not played since, with his absence contributing to Liverpool’s struggles to mount a title defence this season, but Klopp insists there is no long-standing animosity over the incident.

“Nothing will be carried over,” Klopp said when asked about last October’s match at Goodison.

“A week later, two or three when we got the diagnosis for Virgil, it is good we didn’t play Everton again, let me say it like this. Now we just don’t think about it, but it’s still a derby and that’s enough to be motivated.”

Fabinho will not be fit for the 238th Merseyside derby so Ozan Kabak is set to keep his place for the visit of Everton.

Klopp was hopeful the Brazil midfielder, who has been standing in at centre-back, would recover from a muscle problem in time having missed the last two matches but the 27-year-old is not yet back in full training. Klopp will, however, have midfielder Naby Keita available after two months out.

“Naby trained yesterday so we have to see,” he added. “Naby could have been in the squad vs Leipzig (on Tuesday) but it didn’t make sense because he only trained twice, then unfortunately he got ill and couldn’t train until yesterday.

“Fab was not in training. Nothing really new. Fab, Milly (James Milner), Diogo (Jota) are getting closer but not enough for the weekend.”

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