Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Simon Mignolet will start in goal for Liverpool in Monday’s Merseyside derby and revealed striker Daniel Sturridge is edging closer to a return.
Mignolet replaced the under-fire Loris Karius between the sticks for the 3-0 win over Middlesbrough in midweek and is set to keep his place in the starting XI due to Klopp’s reluctance to change on a weekly basis.
“I don’t want to change each week,” Klopp said of his goalkeeping situation at a news conference at Melwood on Friday afternoon. “That was not the plan.
“Simon made a really good game, so he will be in goal for sure. I tried to explain it after the game. It was about not pushing Loris through the situation.
“He can use the time in training now and having no pressure — only the pressure he makes himself with getting better. I know about how fantastic he is as a goalkeeper. Of course it’s not enough if only I know about it.
“Simon did really well so there’s nothing to think about, only if something happens and then we have Loris again.”
Meanwhile, Klopp revealed that the England international Sturridge is close to a return to full training and could feature in some part against Ronald Koeman’s Everton.
The striker last featured for the Reds on Nov. 19 and has been on the sidelines nursing a calf injury since.
“It’s still a maybe,” Klopp added. “We can’t say anything different. He is closer to team training than last week.
“Maybe we can involve him today — I’m not 100 percent sure. But it’s possible if we can involve him tomorrow then in our situation, of course, having Daniel Sturridge for 20 minutes would be fantastic.
“If he is available then he will be involved, we have to see. Until now, he made four pitch sessions with the rehab coach and it would be nice if he could be part of my department from today.”
Emre Can should be available for Monday’s match at Goodison Park, but centre-back Joel Matip is a doubt.
Can has missed the last two games as a result of a knee injury sustained in training, while Matip sat out the trip to the north east on Wednesday due to a recurring ankle problem that left him unable to sprint.
“Yesterday he [Can] felt no pain, so he has [had] not that long of a break,” Klopp said. “If he is ready again to train today or tomorrow then we will involve him.
“Joel is again a little bit different. We didn’t make a final decision about how we handle it because he had these problems for two or three weeks, it’s a little bit ankle.
“It’s not a real injury but it’s painful and it makes not real sense. We cannot push him through, that’s the situation. We have to see if we try it again for Everton or we give him another few days. I don’t know in this moment.
“He did parts of the training before Middlesbrough, but in the end he said: ‘I cannot sprint.’ We are in really intense conversations about this and it’s not that we decided already.”