With no concern for the fact that I might now have to learn how to spell Caoimhin Kelleher, the Republic of Ireland goalkeeper will be taking a place in goal for Liverpool while Alisson Becker recovers from a hamstring injury.
He goes into the Fulham game after a clean sheet against LASK that helped the Reds clinch their Europa League group. Sunday will be his first Premier League game this season, but Kelleher believes that his training has prepared him for the challenge of safeguarding Liverpool’s goal for the busy festive schedule.
Speaking at the AXA Training Centre, Kelleher said, “It’s what I’ve trained for, really. It’s been a long time [since I played in the Premier League], but I’m always training for that to try to be ready [so] that if something happens to Ali – and unfortunately something has – then I’m ready to go in and try to help the team get some more wins.”
Kelleher also understands the importance of a win on Sunday, not just to keep pace at the top of the league, but also to maintain their undefeated home record.
There have been 11 consecutive home victories in all competitions this season, and Liverpool are keen to make it 12 against the Cottagers
“We are trying to create that fortress again, and trying to win every game here. Obviously it’s a really difficult place to come, we know that, and we’re trying to use the crowd as well,” he added.
While he lacks much top flight experience, Jürgen Klopp has trusted Liverpool’s domestic cup battles, and now the Europa League, to him in recent years. The 25-year-old has earned this opportunity. Though no one wants to see Alisson out injured, hopefully Kelleher will take this chance and run with it.