SINGAPORE - Wednesday, August 2, 2023: Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during the pre-match warm-up before a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and FC Bayern Munich FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp explains decision to start Alisson vs. Crystal Palace

Jurgen Klopp praised the “absolutely exceptional” Caoimhin Kelleher, but admits Liverpool “want to have” Alisson in the side as he makes his first start back.

Alisson has returned to the starting lineup for Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace after 15 games out, with Kelleher dropping to the bench.

It will have been a bittersweet call for Klopp to make, given how admirably his backup goalkeeper has performed throughout a long injury for Liverpool’s No. 1.

But speaking to Sky Sports before kickoff, the manager underlined the importance of having Alisson back in the starting lineup.

“It’s wonderful,” he said, after a 15-game absence for Alisson.

“It [makes it] sound like Caoimh didn’t do well; Caoimh did exceptional, absolutely exceptional, fantastic goalkeeper.

“But of course, we want to have Ali between the posts, that’s really good news.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 2, 2023: Liverpool's captain Trent Alexander-Arnold leads his side out before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alisson‘s return comes with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Diogo Jota also back fit and in the squad after lengthy spells out, with the latter coming off the bench in Thursday’s 3-0 loss to Atalanta.

“Like it is for the whole squad, the situation’s getting better,” Klopp continued.

“The only problem is when players come back it’s not just ‘bam’.

“I don’t just need Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andy Robertson or whatever, I need them in the best possible shape.

“That’s what we need them for. For that, we need to give them minutes, time.

“I think for a few of them today is a good day to make the next step and for some others maybe the next game or whatever.

“We just have to make sure that we find a way to beat Crystal Palace, not to think about all the other stuff.

“It’s this one game, let’s go for it, let’s give it a proper try, and that’s what we’ll do.”

Though Kelleher stood out during his run in the side, it can’t be ignored that Liverpool are without a clean sheet in eight games – and with only one in their last 14 at Anfield.

“The boys physically suffer from that after the game, like ‘again, no clean sheet’. So I understand that, 100 percent,” Klopp said.

“It’s always like that, as long as you win the games you don’t make too big of a point. You win 3-1 and you don’t go ‘this one goal that we conceded’ – you don’t do it like that, why would you?

“But you try to work consistently on little things so we’re getting there.

“The alarm bell was loud enough in the last game. Everybody heard it, everybody saw it. Of course, I want to see that reaction as well.

“We have to defend, as a unit, in these moments better.”