EPL

Klopp confirms Konate set for maiden Liverpool appearance on Tuesday

By Sports Desk July 19, 2021

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has confirmed new signing Ibrahima Konate will make his first appearance for the club on Tuesday.

French defender Konate arrived from RB Leipzig for £36 million (€42m) in Liverpool's first major off-season acquisition.

Konate was signed after Liverpool were hit with a series of injuries to defenders in their 2020-21 Premier League title defence, losing Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

The 22-year-old recruit joined the club's pre-season camp in Austria and will play a part in their back-to-back 30-minute mini-games against Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart.

“He’s had a good rest, had a normal pre-season so far, so he can play on Tuesday," Klopp told liverpoolfc.com. "For Ibou it is important that he gets minutes quickly, that’s what pre-season is for.

“All the people from outside will say there are similarities between Leipzig and us and that is true, but anyway there are differences as well and the similarities are important but the differences are more important because you see that in training.

"There are some little habits where he is doing different to what we usually do, so we work on that but that’s now not that easy because that’s only six days now.

"All fine, completely normal. The first few days are there to realise what is the boy doing when he is not thinking. Natural stuff. And then from there we start and that’s why he has to play and that’s what will happen.

"Then we will see how quickly we can get all this information together for him and then everything is fine. For a defender it’s not as difficult as it would be for other players but it’s still a job to do, and that is what we are doing."

Liverpool have friendlies scheduled against FSV Mainz and Hertha Berlin on July 23 and July 29 respectively.

Related items

  • Klopp sees Porto progress from Liverpool as Man City clash comes into view Klopp sees Porto progress from Liverpool as Man City clash comes into view

    Jurgen Klopp was pleased to see Liverpool iron out a few issues on the pitch as they thrashed Porto, but insisted they will need to be better when they take on Manchester City next.

    Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scored twice on Tuesday as the Reds cut loose against their Portuguese opponents in the Champions League, easing to a 5-1 triumph on the road.

    Liverpool capitalised on Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa's struggles to make it two wins from two in Group B, though Klopp admitted there were early moments of concern as their opponents appeared keen to follow Brentford's lead.

    The German coach saw his team twice pegged back by the Bees in the second half as a pulsating Premier League game finished 3-3 on Saturday. However, there were no such issues in European action.

    "The game started and we could see that Porto watched our last game against Brentford obviously, as they started off going direct," Klopp told BT Sport.

    "We had our struggles again, but that's very important. The boys are human beings, that's one of the reasons I didn't change today. I wanted to get it sorted on the pitch – and that's what we did, step by step, during the game. 

    "We maybe didn't score the most wonderful goals in the first half, but really important ones. In the second half we controlled the game, obviously. 

    "Porto had massive problems – they had one centre-back out because of the red card in the previous game, then Pepe couldn't play. I don't think their partnership had ever played before together, so that gives you a lot before the game."

    Sadio Mane scored for a fifth time in five appearances against Porto, his goal late in the first half sandwiched in between Salah's brace. Klopp took both players off with the City game in mind, as well as James Milner, who seems set to continue at right-back if Trent Alexander-Arnold remains sidelined.

    Mehdi Taremi pulled a goal back for Porto to make it 3-1, but Klopp was not overly worried about conceding.

    "Defensively we played a super game today. Goals happen, I'm not concerned," he said.

    "I'm not that type of guy who points a finger at this situation and forgets all the rest, so there were a lot of good things. We can improve so much, but for today it was for sure good enough." 

    While Liverpool were convincing winners, their next opponents slipped to a 2-0 defeat away at Paris Saint-Germain. Klopp expects a response from City, even though his side will have home advantage.

    Asked if momentum could be crucial for Liverpool, the former Borussia Dortmund boss replied: "It always helps, but against City it doesn't help a lot.

    "Against them, we need many more things than just momentum. We need to play better than we did tonight, but it will be a completely different game.  

    "I only just heard the result from the PSG game, so City will want to strike back for sure. We are at home, finally, after a few games without our crowd, so let's give it a go."

  • Guardiola: Man City controlled PSG, but Messi's goal was fantastic Guardiola: Man City controlled PSG, but Messi's goal was fantastic

    Manchester City controlled Paris Saint-Germain but were undone by a "fantastic" Lionel Messi goal, Pep Guardiola said.

    City were beaten 2-0 at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday in their Champions League clash with the Ligue 1 giants.

    Idrissa Gueye gave PSG a first-half lead and Bernardo Silva somehow hit the crossbar with the goal gaping with the best City chance of the half.

    The Premier League champions had 54 per cent of the possession but could not find a way past Gianluigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal, and Messi then made the result safe with a spectacular finish from Kylian Mbappe's lay-off.

    Yet Guardiola had few complaints about his side's performance, coming just three days after an impressive 1-0 win at Chelsea in the Premier League.

    "A good performance. We did everything, but we could not score," the City manager told BT Sport.

    "We defended well, they defend deep and of course the counter-attack is always dangerous with the quality they have, but we controlled them. Unfortunately, we couldn't score. It's football. Nothing to say, more than my biggest compliment to the team.

    "In the second half, we had many [chances]. Donnarumma made good saves, but the team was there, same as Stamford Bridge.

    "It's a pity because we played to win, we played to be there. Unfortunately, they don't need much to score goals, and they did it.

    "The goal [from Messi] was fantastic."

    City suffered their first Champions League group-stage defeat since September 2018, when they lost 2-1 to Lyon – they had been unbeaten in 18 such games since then.

    Guardiola's City had 18 shots against PSG, their joint-most without scoring in a Champions League match, also failing with all of their 18 shots against Porto in December 2020.

    The result puts PSG top of the group with four points, just one ahead of Club Brugge and City, who must now turn their attention to a showdown with Liverpool on Sunday.

    Guardiola did not appear concerned that Tuesday's loss would have much of an impact on their chances at Anfield, though.

    "Now, we are going to eat good tonight, we're going to drink a glass of wine, we're going to recover and we're going to prepare the game on Sunday," he said.

  • Griezmann hopes goal will kick-start his Atletico comeback after making Champions League history Griezmann hopes goal will kick-start his Atletico comeback after making Champions League history

    Atletico Madrid star Antoine Greizmann is hopeful his goal against Milan will kick-start his second coming in the Spanish capital after making Champions League history on Tuesday.

    Griezmann scored his first goal for Atletico since returning from Barcelona on deadline day as the LaLiga champions claimed a last-gasp 2-1 win over 10-man Milan.

    Atletico trailed 1-0 at half-time following Rafael Leao's opener but the visitors eventually capitalised on their numerical advantage after Milan's Franck Kessie received a second yellow card on the half-hour mark at San Siro.

    Griezmann fuelled Atletico's comeback on matchday two, coming off the bench and equalising in the 84th minute before Luis Suarez converted a penalty in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

    Already Atletico's all-time leading goalscorer in the Champions League (22), Griezmann became the club's top scorer in away games after netting his sixth in the competition.

    "I hope to get to my best level as quickly as possible. [There've been] a lot of changes," Griezmann told Movistar post-game.

    "It [the transfer] was done on the last day and it's different tactics, a different dressing room, another way of playing. In the end it's a lot of changes.

    "Everything is different. I have to get used to it as quickly as possible because the coach and my team-mates need me. Nights like this are going to help me to get better.

     "[Head coach Diego Simeone] improved me, he got me to my best level. I want to pay him back and the club, the fans, my team-mates. I'm very proud to be here. I think the fans, the people, want to see me like this like tonight.

    "I want to bring them happiness and they'll be going to bed happy tonight. My only objective coming back here is to make them happy."

    This was Atletico's first away win against Italian opponents since they beat Milan in the Champions League in February 2014 (1-0), having been winless in four such games entering Tuesday's contest (D2 L2).

    Excluding extra time, Suarez's penalty at 96:21 was the latest game-winning goal in the Champions League since the start of the 2003-04 season (as far back as Opta have exact goal times).

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.