Klopp tips Liverpool loanee to cope with pressure of predicted debut

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has backed Ozan Kabak to rise to the occasion if he makes his Premier League debut for Liverpool at Leicester on Saturday.

The Turkey international arrived at the club on transfer deadline day, as Klopp looked to strengthen his injury-hit back line.

And with Fabinho sidelined with yet another injury, the 20-year-old is in line to make his debut.

Kabak played 15 times for Schalke in a difficult season for a side bottom of the Bundesliga.

And the current lockout of fans may be more of a help than a hindrance for him, ahead of the clash with the Foxes.

The young defender will not have to deal with the additional pressure of supporters being present and the expectations placed on him.

“He is still young, so probably yes. Of course it can help,” said Klopp.

“I was not a good player, how we all know, but I enjoyed each single supporter in the stadium, at least when there was a number over 200.

Leicester City v Liverpool Match Preview, February 13, 2021

A look ahead to the Premier League game between Leicester City and Liverpool, including stats on form, possession, shots, cards, corners, top scorers and previous meetings.

“I never saw it as pressure when supporters were there but I know what you mean: if you make a mistake you hear the whole noise of the crowd, that’s not nice.

“He is young but experienced as well at playing in front of a lot of supporters; he played at Stuttgart which was very often a sold-out stadium, Schalke is pretty much sold out every home game so he is used to that.”

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Alisson tipped to bounce back

Klopp, meanwhile, expects keeper Alisson to back to his best for the clash with the high-flying Foxes.

The Brazilian made two monumental kicking errors that led to goals in the 4-1 loss to Man City. However, Klopp insists Alisson’s quality is not in doubt.

Jurgen Klopp, Alisson Becker Liverpool

“Of course we had a little talk, if it’s about encouragement I don’t know,” said Klopp.

“He was not happy it happened but it is very important to realise in a moment like this goalkeepers in a long career make mistakes.

“For a goalkeeper of the quality of Alisson Becker it is pretty rare he makes this kind of mistake and then he makes two of them in one game.

“Goalkeepers are used to making mistakes: they concede a goal and they know earlier than all the rest of the world ‘I should have saved it’ and they have to deal with it always.

“There was absolutely no real criticism from our side, from the players around him because everyone knows how good he is.

“He is a very calm person. Now the next game is coming up and that is good as he can play his normal level again and everything will be fine.”

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