Football

Irish Keeper Handed Big Boost As Klopp Shows Faith For Champions League Final

Irish Keeper Handed Big Boost As Klopp Shows Faith For Champions League Final

Jurgen Klopp has named Ireland U21 international Caoimhín Kelleher in his squad for Saturday night's Champions League final with Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

The 20-year-old has earned high praise for his performances for the Reds during last summer's pre-season and will now take his place on the bench for the biggest game in club football this weekend.

A change in Uefa rules this year means that teams are permitted to name 12 players on the bench in the Champions League and Europa League finals, as was first seen in Chelsea's win over Arsenal on Wednesday night.

It was confirmed on Friday that Kelleher has made the cut for Liverpool's final 23-man squad for the game at the Estadio Metropolitano.

While the Corkman is still awaiting his first senior appearance at the club, this will be the second time the 20-year-old has made the bench this season after serving as an unused substitute during his side's 2-1 FA Cup third round defeat to Wolves in January.

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Kelleher spent much his the season playing for Liverpool's U23 side, making 11 appearances during their Premier League 2 campaign. With Kelleher in goals, the Reds boasted the second best defensive record in the division as they finished the season in fourth place.

With Brazilian shot stopper Alisson is the undisputed first choice for Liverpool and Belgian Simon Mignolet the preferred option at number two, it is unlikely that Kelleher will see any action but the fact he has made the trip to Madrid shows his role at the club is growing.

The full Liverpool squad for the clash is: Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Brewster, Fabinho, Firmino, Gomez, Henderson, Kelleher, Lallana, Lovren, Mane, Matip, Mignolet, Milner, Moreno, Origi, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Robertson, Salah, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum.

Read More: Six Irish Players Who Could Use A Transfer This Summer

Kevin Beirne

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