Loris Karius is looking forward to getting another chance to prove himself to Jürgen Klopp after the Liverpool boss confirmed he will start Tuesday’s Champions League match against Spartak Moscow.
The German goalkeeper played in the Reds’ Group E opener versus Sevilla at Anfield, and Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com on the journey to Russia that he will again be named in his XI at the Otkritie Arena.
And that is a prospect Karius is relishing as he looks to maximise every opportunity he gets to impress.
“Of course I’m very excited to play in this competition, the Champions League,” the 24-year-old told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s my first season in the Champions League, so on top of that I see it as a big chance to perform well and show myself to the manager, tell him I’m ready for whatever; if you need me in the Premier League I’ll be there, so it’s a chance for me.”
Simon Mignolet has started five of the Reds’ six Premier League games so far this season, while Danny Ward played in last week’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City.
Karius admitted that he would prefer to feature in all of Liverpool’s matches, but acknowledged that Klopp’s goalkeeping trio work well together under the tutelage of John Achterberg at Melwood.
“As a ‘keeper, or in any position, if it’s up to the player you want to play every single game, but it’s strong competition,” he said.
“It’s a big club so you know you have to fight for your place. It’s good, we respect each other [and] push each other on in training and that’s all we can do and then the decision whatever it is, is always up to the manager, so that’s not for us to worry about, we just have to focus on our work.”
Russian champions Spartak head into Tuesday’s game having made an indifferent start to their domestic title defence.
Nevertheless, Karius is anticipating a difficult test in Moscow.
“[It will be] tough. I’m not sure if any of us have ever played here before - I’ve personally not been to Russia before so it’s new,” the former Mainz man explained.
“I think they have a strong team, they finished top last season then had a few injuries this season. I don’t know who will be fit for our game but they will be a strong opponent.
“But we will look to use all the quality we have to get the points, our first three points of the campaign.”
Liverpool, meanwhile, returned to winning ways at the weekend with a thrilling 3-2 victory over Leicester City.
Karius continued: “Of course results always help for the confidence but I think we knew also in the last couple of games where we maybe didn’t get the results that we did a lot of good stuff, and we worked on the things we could’ve done better so we were going to be confident anyway.
“We know we have quality but a result before the next game always helps give you a good feeling, of course.”
Jürgen Klopp expects Liverpool to face a typically 'intense' and 'difficult' Champions League tie against Spartak Moscow tomorrow evening.
The Reds resume their campaign in Europe's premier cup competition on Tuesday as they take on Massimo Carrera's team in the Russian capital.
And Klopp knows his charges will need to be at their best to overcome the Russian champions on their own turf.
When asked what sort of game he anticipates, the German replied: "Intense, difficult - how Champions League football is.
"[Spartak are] a very strong side, very experienced side, [who were] very successful last year.
"This year they had problems with a few injuries and that is a problem for every team.
"[They are a] football playing side and very experienced so we will be ready but we need to be ready because it's a difficult place to win."
Spartak boss Carrera today confirmed that he is likely to be without one of his key men tomorrow in winger Quincy Promes.
While Klopp acknowledged the difficulty posed by injuries or suspensions for influential attackers, he insisted his side won't be underestimating their hosts as a result.
He added: "He didn’t play in the last one or two games because he was injury. He’s a very good player - his speed, he's good in one-on-one situations - so obviously it's a weakness for each team [to lose him].
"It's like we played the last three games without Sadio Mane, [who is] also a very good player.
"He's not the only good player in the Spartak team but he's a very good one. It always affects performances but we will not win because one player is out or Spartak can win because one player is in - that's how it is.
"We have to play together, that's what we try. I don't know if Quincy can play but the analysis we made was without him because he didn't play in the last game."
Jürgen Klopp admits he and his Liverpool squad are acutely aware of the need for improvement in certain aspects of their game, but insists everyone connected with the club is wholly confident about what can be achieved this season.
The Reds ended a four-match spell without a win - which included elimination from the Carabao Cup - by securing a 3-2 victory over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday.
And while Klopp acknowledges Liverpool still have work to do to enhance their game, he feels there are signs the team are developing.
“People who are too negative don’t see it and people who are not really interested don’t see it,” he told Liverpoolfc.com on board the team flight to Moscow.
“We have a lot of things to do, 100 per cent, but we all know we are on a good way. Yes, a few things are not fixed which happens when you are not flying. The Man City game is a good moment to describe it; for half an hour we were the better side, we got the red card and then City started flying from this moment.
“Each team will have difficult moments in the season because no team will collect 120 points or something like this! Our learning process started again already in this season.
“We have 11 points and each point we’ve got so far we’ve deserved. We could have had one, two or three more – everybody knows that. It’s not the perfect season, but we have 11 points. The teams with the perfect season so far have 16, so that’s a five-point difference. It sounds like it’s everything is already decided!
“I said after the [Leicester] game that we know and we are responsible, we have to deliver results. If nobody asked, we’d only carry on working – keep on working, keep on working, keep on working, keep on working. But because everyone is asking, it’s always this kind of, ‘Stop, so 3-2… you are happy?’ Not 100 per cent, but 80 per cent. ‘You are 80 per cent happy?’ Yes – sorry about that.
“We are really in a good mood and in a good moment, we just have to deliver results – [starting with] the next one in Moscow.”
In an attacking sense, Liverpool have had no issue in finding the back of the opposition net with 20 goals already scored so far this season.
However, defensively, the Reds have conceded 18 times in 10 matches and Klopp accepts there is work to be done – though he feels the onus is on the collective and not individuals.
The manager explained: “Roberto, Sadio, Mo, Daniel, Phil and Dom [have performed well]… I don’t want to forget anybody.
“Ox, obviously he needs time to adapt to it – that’s how it is. I know this is another thing that after three weeks, people say ‘Oh, he hasn’t played a lot!’
“Football is an everyday, 100 per cent, important thing. It means every day questions and every day answers. But we don’t have to answer every day for ourselves; we can go on, we can give ourselves the time to adapt to different situations and that’s what we do. It’s good.
“We have to defend better. I don’t like to always say [that] because it sounds like I’m saying what everybody said before the season – that is not the case. We have to defend better as a team, that’s what I am talking about. Not ‘Don’t miss a ball here, don’t miss a ball there’. That’s not what I am talking about.”
Jürgen Klopp and Loris Karius previewed Liverpool's Champions League meeting with Spartak Moscow at a press conference today – watch our free YouTube video of the media briefing below.
The Reds made their journey to Russia on Monday morning and, shortly after arriving, Klopp and Karius were brought before the press to give their views on tomorrow's Group E game.
See what the manager and the goalkeeper he has confirmed will start Tuesday's fixture had to say below.
Jürgen Klopp has indicated Sadio Mane could be restored straight back into Liverpool's starting line-up for Tuesday's encounter with Spartak Moscow – but final decisions on his XI won't be made until tomorrow morning.
Having trained at Melwood this morning, the Reds departed for Russia just after noon from John Lennon Airport, touching down in Moscow at approximately 6.25pm local time.
Among the travelling 21-man party was Mane, who returns to the fold following a domestic suspension that ruled him out of the last three matches.
“He’s back and available again – and if he is available it makes sense to bring him from the beginning, but we will see,” Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com during the team’s flight to Moscow.
“It’s difficult to make the line-up already; we did some analysis of Moscow yesterday morning. That gives you a little insight [into our schedule] – you win at Leicester, have a team meeting when you come in [on Sunday], then you have the analysis meeting about Moscow and then an analysis meeting with the team about Leicester again. Then you go home and you watch Moscow and Newcastle because we play there a few days later!
“The next meeting with the players is tomorrow – and I have to go immediately to the press conference which is in a different hotel to our one, but then we will make the line-up.
“Sadio is back and it’s really good. He made all the normal training sessions. When you are injured or suspended you have to do more than the rest of the squad because you cannot play, so he should be OK.”
Elsewhere, Klopp will have a decision to make in defence due to the suspension of Joe Gomez following his red card against Sevilla in Liverpool’s last Champions League outing.
The boss admits it’s likely to mean an instant recall for Trent Alexander-Arnold, but no final decisions have yet been made.
He said: “It’s likely [Trent will start] but at the moment nothing is sure. But probably.”
Liverpool departed for Russia just over 40 hours on from the conclusion of their 3-2 victory at Leicester City on Saturday evening.
Klopp acknowledges the short time between the fixture at the King Power Stadium and Tuesday’s tie with Moscow will give him and his backroom team some food for thought when selecting the line-up, but doesn’t believe it’ll be an issue for his side.
“For sure, it’s something to think about but it’s not a problem,” stated the boss. “If you do it Saturday, Tuesday, Friday and then Monday that makes no sense, but this time is one time and it’s no problem.
“After Tuesday, we don’t play again until Sunday so it’s a long part of the week. It’s no problem.”
Elsewhere, Klopp reported no fresh injury concerns following the hard-fought contest at Leicester and believes Liverpool touched down in Moscow in high spirits.
Asked if there were any fitness worries within the squad, he replied: “Not really. There are normal things, but nothing we should think about. It’s all good. We have 18 players plus three goalkeepers with us.
“It’s a little bit different because we had to train this morning, which is a little bit too early for the game tomorrow. But we’re now long enough together and that’s European football and I like it. It’s always a little bit of a kind of adventure, things are different and sometimes not what we’re used to. Moscow is a big, big city and the traffic is intense!
“The shape in general is good, our form is good and the shape from the weekend is good, so no problem. We had a good success, three points, so the feeling is good – we’re all in a good mood and everything is fine.”
Loris Karius will start Liverpool's Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow on Tuesday evening, Jürgen Klopp has confirmed.
The German goalkeeper will return between the sticks having figured in the Reds’ last outing in the tournament against Sevilla at Anfield on September 13.
Nevertheless, Klopp insists the decision to restore Karius to the line-up doesn’t necessarily mean he is the club’s first-choice stopper for all Champions League fixtures this season.
The manager told Liverpoolfc.com on board the team flight to Moscow: “Yes, Loris will start.
“I am not sure if I have to make a decision like this [the club’s ‘Champions League goalkeeper’]. It’s all about performing.
“That shouldn’t be taken as me saying, ‘You are not performing, you’re out of the goal’. Everyone is allowed to make mistakes or whatever, but it’s about performing in training and the games for all of our goalkeepers.
“He will play tomorrow and we will see, but Simon is the No.1 and that’s the situation.”
LFC International Academy is now looking to recruit football coaches on a casual basis to deliver 'The Liverpool Way' coaching programme on all of our UK and international activities.
Around the world, our LFC International Academies provide young players with an opportunity to develop under the guidance of our coaching staff, learning new skills and techniques and how to play ‘The Liverpool Way’.
Applicants must have a minimum FA Level Two Coaching in Football certificate, be working towards the FA Youth Award, and be aged 18 or over when applying.
The closing date for CVs is 4pm on Wednesday October 11, 2017.
Successful applicants will be expected to attend the first practical interview stage at the LFC Academy on Monday October 16 at 9am.
To apply, applicants can upload a copy of their CV and covering letter by clicking here.
Liverpool U19s are aiming to build on a dream start to their UEFA Youth League campaign when they face Spartak Moscow in their second group game on Tuesday.
The young Reds thrashed Sevilla 4-0 at Prenton Park last time out, with Curtis Jones bagging a brace and Herbie Kane and Conor Masterson also getting on the scoresheet.
Steven Gerrard and his squad flew out to the Russian capital this morning - ahead of Jürgen Klopp and the first team - in preparation for their next outing in the competition.
Learn more about Tuesday's fixture in our match preview.
Where is the game being played? The match will take place on pitch number four at the Spartak Moscow Football Academy.
Kick-off is set for 12pm BST (2pm local time).
How can I watch the game? The fixture will be broadcast live on BT Sport and you can also catch delayed coverage on LFCTV and LFCTV GO.
How have the teams fared so far? Spartak suffered defeat in their opening fixture in Group E, losing 1-0 away to Maribor despite clocking up 17 attempts on goal to their opponents' eight.
Aleksei Lunin's team is largely made up of players from FC Spartak-2 Moscow, a feeder club that usually plays in the Russian Football National League, one level below the Russian Premier League.
The Reds, meanwhile, go into Tuesday's game top of the group after their thrashing of Sevilla, highlights of which are available to LFCTV GO subscribers below.
Gerrard handed the armband to Ben Woodburn for that fixture, and the Welshman could take up the role of captain again versus Spartak having flown out to Moscow with the U19s rather than the first team.
View from the manager, Steven Gerrard
"We produced a wonderful performance in our opening game against Sevilla and myself and Neil Critchley will be reminding them that they have set a standard and the bar has been raised very, very high. Can they match that or get close to it against Spartak because if they do hopefully we can get another good result. Of course, we are away from home and we are not sure what type of surface it will be, whether it will be astro-turf or grass so we will take that into consideration, but we will be very respectful so they will be a good team. We have watched a copy of their first game against Maribor. They have got some good players, they are a big team who like to play, they also get a lot of men behind the ball and they are not bad defensively as well. But, we've seen some weaknesses as well so hopefully we will be able to exploit that."
Venue – Otkrytiye Arena (Moscow)
Referee – Clément Turpin (France)
Date & Time – Tuesday, 26th September 2017 @ 19:45 BST
Current Odds – Spartak Moscow 7/2, Draw 3/1, Liverpool 7/10Form
Spartak Moscow won the Russian Premier League last season for the first time in 16 years. Their defence of the title is not going to plan, however.
Massimo Carrera is their fiery Italian coach and he has been struggling with internal conflict this season between the Sporting Director, the first-team and himself. So much so, that after the recent league game against Tosna (where they threw away a two-goal lead in the last ten minutes against ten men) Carrera is rumoured to have confronted his team in the dressing room with the questions “Do you want me to leave?” and “are you doing this on purpose?!”
They followed that up with a good 2-0 win at Kuban and this weekend they drew 2-2 at home to Anzi Makhachkala.
After their first eleven league games, they currently sit seventh in the table with a goal difference of -1. As can be seen from their form table below, they have been showing improvements in their last five matches, winning two and drawing three.
I’m sure you’re all sick of reading my constant bemoaning of Liverpool’s September woes at this stage. I’m certainly tired of writing about it. However, I can’t really avoid it in this section as it’s about the team’s recent results and how they’ve been faring.
Let the form table below tell you the story. Liverpool’s average xG for the last five games is 1.72 and xA is 1.51. Yet, the Reds have scored 6 and actually conceded twelve in that period! Liverpool’s win at Leicester on Saturday was their first victory since the 4-0 home win over Arsenal back in August.
Performance-wise, the team is making the chances but not taking as many as they should. Defensively, it points to the Reds conceding goals that you just would not be expecting to end up in the net – think Slimani’s goal in the Carabao Cup for Leicester.
Spartak Moscow are without Glushakov, Tigiev, Ze Luis and Zobnin due to injury. Timofeev is also a slight doubt for Tuesday night.
Quincy Promes (Netherlands) and Luiz Adriano (Brazil) is the regular up-front pairing for Spartak. Promes has been performing very well this season, getting four goals and two assists in his last seven league games.
Carrera appears to have been using a 3-3-2-2 setup so far this season.
Klopp has Clyne and Lallana out injured while Emre Can and Joel Matip are carrying knocks as well. It remains to be seen whether either of those two will be passed fit for this game. Sadio Mané is available for the Reds and should start on the left side of the attack.
Liverpool are missing Joe Gomez through suspension.
Spartak Moscow’s Top 3 Rated Players this season (WhoScored.com)
- Salvatore Bochetti 7.68
- Giorgi Jikia 7.55
- Aleksandr Samedov 7.47
Spartak Moscow XI (3-3-2-2) – Rebrov; Bochetti, Kutepov, Jikia; Eshchenko, Glushakov, Fernando, Pasalic, Kombarov; Adriano, Promes
Liverpool XI (4-1-2-3) – Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Coutinho; Salah, Firmino, Mané
When they last met
Spartak Moscow and Liverpool have only met four times previously. The last meeting was in 2002, during Gerard Houllier’s time at Anfield. Liverpool beat Spartak 5-0 at Anfield and 3-1 in Moscow.
Before that, Spartak knocked Liverpool out of the old Cup Winners’ Cup competition in the 1992/93 season, 6-2 on aggregate.Prediction
Spartak Moscow 1 – 2 Liverpool
Liverpool must be really wishing September away at this stage. One of their heaviest ever defeats at City, along with an early exit from the Carabao Cup has seen the mood around the Reds deteriorate. The early-season bubble of optimism has burst and the team now need to blow another one. It’s time they started making their superiority in most games count. Tuesday night is an opportunity for Klopp’s men to finish the month on a high and get the confidence rising again for October’s games.
I think Liverpool will have just about enough to nick this one. It won’t be all doom and gloom, then. Hopefully, with four points from two games, it will leave Liverpool in a strong position at the top of the group with Sevilla.
"We had Heighway on the wing, we had dreams and songs to sing" - that Steve Heighway’s name is still sung on the Kop to this day says everything about his standing in the club’s history.
A flying winger who possessed electrifying pace and scintillating skill in equal abundance, Heighway lit up Anfield as a player during the 70s.
In an era when out-and-out wingers were a rare commodity, the two-footed Dubliner was a breath of fresh air, a beautifully balanced wide-man whose galloping forays into opposition territory would have fans constantly on the edge of their seats.
His achievements back then were more than enough to earn him legendary status in the eyes of the fans but his work at the club was not done.
He returned two decades later as head of youth development, a role in which he helped nurture a new generation of Anfield idols such as Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard, celebrated three FA Youth Cup triumphs and oversaw the construction of the club’s Kirkby-based Academy.
Having initially retired in 2007, Heighway was brought back to the Academy on the instruction of Alex Inglethorpe in 2015 to take up a full-time consultancy role.
Click through our 50 Men Who Made LFC countdown below