BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - Thursday, July 19, 2018: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during a preseason friendly match between Blackburn Rovers FC and Liverpool FC at Ewood Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Caoimhin Kelleher to start vs. Arsenal despite Alisson’s return

Caoimhin Kelleher will start in goal for Liverpool against Arsenal in the League Cup on Wednesday night, despite Alisson‘s return from injury meaning Adrian is now backup keeper.

Kelleher started in the third round tie at MK Dons, but was expected to drop out for the fourth round match against Arsenal with Adrian coming into the side now that Alisson has returned to action.

However, assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has revealed that the young Irishman will continue in goal in this competition.

League Cup, it is Caoimhin’s competition,” said Lijnders on Tuesday.

“As I said before the MK Dons game, with youth development, with these moments when they are in between the U23s and the first team, consistency is very important.

“He had a good game and he is preparing for another one. It will be special for him playing at Anfield.”

Jurgen Klopp has often been effusive of his praise for Kelleher and this is another statement of intent to back the youngster from the boss.

It does, though, mean Adrian will be left on the sidelines. “Adrian did an unbelievable job and if something happens with Ali, Adrian is our No.2 and then has to do the job,” said Lijnders.

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 25, 2019: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between MK Dons FC and Liverpool FC at Stadium MK. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lijnders expanded in his press conference, saying: “[Kelleher] started this competition and he’s the one who will start tomorrow.

“He’s a goalkeeper who on the line is excellent, but his calmness to play out and find a free player… for his age as a goalkeeper is very stable.

“That’s what we like about him, we see a good future for him and we want to give him this opportunity. You need these to grow and that’s why we want to give him that.”

Kelleher is a regular for Ireland under-21s at international level.

Klopp is expected to make 11 changes for the tie against Arsenal, although his options in defence are slim.

Joel Matip and Xherdan Shaqiri will miss the game due to injury, while Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino will all be rested.