Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Loris Karius will start Friday night’s FA Cup tie against Everton as he pledged Liverpool will name as strong a line-up as possible for the third-round encounter at Anfield.
The German goalkeeper will replace Simon Mignolet between the posts for the Merseyside derby, with Danny Ward set to be named on the substitutes’ bench.
And though the Reds will be without the services of Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah due to knocks, Klopp insists he will field as experienced an XI as possible – particularly with the next fixture against Premier League leaders Manchester City not due to be played until January 14.
“[Team selection] has nothing to do with the City game, to be honest,” the boss told his pre-match press conference at Melwood.
“OK, if we were to play [them] two days later then maybe I should consider it.
“We always try to [name the strongest line-up] and afterwards we are judged and [people] will say it was the wrong line-up or the right line-up.
“That’s our life and no problem with that. It will be the strongest line-up for sure.”
Whether Liverpool’s matchday squad includes Virgil van Dijk remains to be seen as Klopp admitted he has yet to decide whether to draft him into the 18.
The centre-back completed his transfer from Southampton on New Year’s Day and has been training at Melwood, but the manager repeated his desire to integrate the No.4 into the line-up slowly.
“With Virgil it is different, he is healthy and now I have to make a decision for this game,” explained Klopp. “It is not finally done, so we will see what we do with him.
“It is clear centre-half is a position that usually needs to be tuned to the rest of the team, the kind of defending and stuff like that, but of course I can imagine everyone is desperate to see him on the pitch.
“But as I have said before, from our point of view there is no rush for us in this situation and it’s much more important how many good games he can play for us than how many and when it starts. It is not decided and how it always is in this period, we have to wait a little bit for last updates on each position and then we make the line-up.
“The line-up will be a line-up which shows all the respect we have for the FA Cup. I know a few people have said I don’t respect cup competitions and stuff like that enough, but that’s actually not the truth. Maybe we have to make it a little bit more obvious.”