This Sunday will be a huge day for Cork's Caoimhín Kelleher. Having starred for Liverpool throughout this season's Carabao Cup, he will step out in Wembley Stadium to start the decider against Chelsea.
It will be the biggest day of the 23-year old's career up to this point, getting the opportunity to help on of Europe's biggest clubs to silverware.
Jurgen Klopp has already confirmed that he will be sticking with his number two for the game, with Kelleher set to get the nod ahead of regular goalkeeper Alisson Becker. It is a big call from the manager, even if the Irishman has played a pivotal role in getting Liverpool to this point.
Jurgen Klopp on Caoimhin Kelleher:
"As always, if it works out, then it’s all about Caoimh. If it doesn’t work out, then it’s all about me. It’s as easy as that, and I take it." #awlive [liverpool echo] pic.twitter.com/9Zr7zyQmFU
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 24, 2022
However, not all are convinced by this decision.
Jamie Carragher unsure about Klopp's Caoimhín Kelleher decision
Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Jamie Carragher said he is never convinced that playing your backup goalkeeper in a cup final is the right move.
I will never understand the theory behind selecting a second-choice goalkeeper in a major final. Liverpool will play Caoimhin Kelleher ahead of Alisson Becker. Chelsea will do likewise if - as expected - Kepa Arrizabalaga starts ahead of Edouard Mendy.
It is nothing against those players. The Spanish keeper is a world-record signing for a No 1 and Kelleher has done well when called upon, playing a big part in Liverpool getting to Wembley.
It is more the principle of leaving a world-class keeper on the bench I struggle with, especially in a final where small details make all the difference. This cup final logic only seems to apply to keepers.
In the early rounds of the cups, plenty of youngsters and back-up players get their chance, but they realise they will be stepping aside if Wembley beckons. That’s why Liverpool's Kaide Gordon played in the semi-final, but may not even make the bench this weekend. Why is it any different for back-up keepers?
As a fan travelling to Wembley, I would always be more comfortable knowing the best XI is starting.
Jurgen Klopp will have every confidence that Caoimhín Kelleher is more than capable of stepping up for Liverpool in this fixture, with the German not one for selecting players based on sentiment.
For Ireland supporters, it will be fantastic to see someone from this country start a major cup final.