Jurgen Klopp insists Newcastle have a 'great goalie' in Loris Karius

Jurgen Klopp insists Newcastle have a ‘great goalie’ in Loris Karius with former Liverpool keeper set to replace suspended Nick Pope in Carabao Cup Final… his first competitive start for an English side since his 2018 Champions League final nightmare

  • Loris Karius’ last English club appearance came back in 2018 for Liverpool
  • Marcin Dubravka is cup-tied and Karl Darlow is out on loan in the Championship
  • Re-live the action as Liverpool beat Newcastle 2-0 after Nick Pope was sent off 

Jurgen Klopp insists that Newcastle can ‘absolutely rely on’ Loris Karius, if he should be called upon to deputise for Nick Pope in next week’s Carabao Cup final.  

Pope was sent off against Liverpool on Saturday after handling the ball outside of the box, denying a clear goal scoring opportunity, with Mohamed Salah racing on goal as Liverpool launched a counter-attack.

As a result, the England international will miss Newcastle’s upcoming Carabao Cup final – the club’s first cup final since 1999 – through suspension. 

And the dramatic twist of fates could see disgraced former Reds stopper Karius return in what would be his first English club game since a disastrous performance in the 2018 Champions League final. 

Karius made several high-profile howlers in between the sticks for Liverpool in their bid to win Europe’s most prestigious club trophy, giving away two goals in a game that Real Madrid ultimately won 3-1 on the night. 

Nick Pope was red-carded after deliberately handling the ball outside the box on Saturday

Jurgen Klopp insisted that Newcastle could ‘rely on’ his former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius

Pope’s red card at St. James’ Park will rule him out of next weekend’s showpiece final at Wembley against Manchester United. 

But to make matters worse, back-up goalkeeper Marcin Dubravka will also be unable to feature for the Magpies, and regular third-choice Karl Darlow is on loan until the end of the season at Championship Hull, unable to be recalled. 

Dubravka is cup-tied, having already featured for Newcastle’s Wembley opponents Man United, in an ironic twist, having featured against Aston Villa and Burnley in the third and fourth rounds of the competition.

As a result, Howe is left with a decision to make as to which goalkeeper he calls upon to fill in.

Karius is one option – although he has not featured for Newcastle since the German arrived in September 2022, with Mark Gillespie also available for selection. 

Karius departed Anfield soon after his calamitous Champions League final showing, joining Besiktas on loan for two years, followed by a spell with German side Union Berlin, before eventually leaving as a free agent in 2022. 

Liverpool went into the 2018 Champions League final on the back of a surge of optimism, with Salah in the middle of a prodigiously purple patch under Klopp, although he was substituted early on in tears after a Sergio Ramos challenge. 

And things quickly went from bad to worse, after Karius rolled the ball out directly to Karim Benzema under seemingly little pressure, for the French No 9 to convert from inside the box in the 51st minute to break the deadlock. 

The German goalkeeper made several high-profile errors that cost Liverpool the 2018 Champions League title

The Champions League final in 2018 would prove to be his last in a Liverpool shirt

Gareth Bale then scored arguably the greatest ever goal in the competition with a tremendous bicycle kick that perhaps Karius’ successor Alisson would not even have kept out. 

But the German was entirely at fault once more for Bale’s second of the night and Los Blancos’ third, and ultimately decisive, goal on the night. 

The Welshman picked up the ball and let fly from around 35 yards out in a speculative attempt that was straight at Karius. 

However, Karius was unable to keep the ball out, with it flying inexplicably through his hands and nestling into the back of the net to the surprise of all 22 players on the field. 

It would go on to be the German’s last ever performance in a Liverpool shirt – and one that many contend cost his side a Champions League crown – but he now has a chance at cup final redemption. 

Despite his catastrophic showing in 2018, though, Klopp offered encouragement for Newcastle fans at the prospect of the infamous goalkeeper returning to English club action.  

‘You can absolutely rely on him there’s no doubt about that he’s a great goalie that’s why Newcastle signed him,’ he claimed after Saturday’s match. ‘But of course, unlucky for Nick Pope in that moment, really unlucky.’

And perhaps not wishing to cast any aspersions on a goalkeeper that may be called upon for Newcastle’s most important game in almost 24 years, Howe gave both Karius and Gillespie his backing. 

‘They’ve started games away from competitive action in several friendlies and training games. I’d say they’re match ready.

The German managed to punch Gareth Bale’s long-range strike straight into his own net

Karius never featured in a Liverpool shirt after his disastrous exploits in the Champions League final

‘I would have confidence in them, that’s what they’re in the squad for. They’ve both been very competitive and part of our group all season. I have full confidence.

‘I feel really sorry for Nick [Pope]. It’s a very difficult one, he’s come out and slightly misjudged the ball, I suppose technically it is a handball, I don’t know the rules on the red card.’

The red card proved decisive in not one, but now several games for Newcastle, and Howe refused to comment on whether he would be appealing the decision. 

Under certain circumstances, an appeal can be lodged against a red card to overturn it if there is a strong enough belief that the decision made was incorrect. 

And as Sportsmail’s Craig Hope reports, the Magpies boss would not rule out a possible appeal against the dismissal, as well as saying: ‘I think the red card (for Nick Pope) was harsh. The referee could easily have given a yellow card.’

Hope also reports that Howe confirmed he would be unable to recall Darlow from his loan at the second-tier side, where he is yet to make a single appearance in the league. 

Gillespie – the other option for Howe in his newly outlined goalkeeper crisis – has at least represented the club this season, albeit in the Premier League 2 competition. 

He did however make three appearances for the Magpies in the 2020-21 season, with each of his showings coming in the Carabao Cup. 

And at 30, he is at least a seasoned goalkeeper, rather than an inexperienced youth prospect, having racked up 279 appearances with the likes of Carlisle, Motherwell and Walsall. 

Allan Saint-Maximin claimed that it was ‘a sad day’ with Pope now ruled out for the cup final

But regardless of who should step into his gloves, Pope is perhaps set for an agonising watch from the crowd after his rush of blood to the head on Saturday. 

However, as Allan Saint-Maximin claims, his team-mates will be behind him. 

‘It’s a very bad day,’ the French forward stated. ‘I feel sad for Nick Pope because he tried to help the team. 

‘It’s a bad red card for the team because he won’t be able to play the [Carabao] Cup final. He helped us to be in that situation, so we need to support him and get behind him as a team.’

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