Simon Mignolet Reportedly Dropped for Loris Karius Before Liverpool vs. Arsenal

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2017

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Simon Mignolet of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at Anfield on August 19, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Simon Mignolet has reportedly been dropped by Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for Sunday's Premier League game against Arsenal at Anfield. Belgian stopper Mignolet will be replaced in the starting XI by Loris Karius, according to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo.

Kristof Terreur of Belgian source Het Laatste Nieuws revealed Mignolet is fully fit, despite the decision:

Terreur also detailed how Mignolet was made aware of the decision, insisting it's not transfer-related, with the close of this summer's window less than a week away:

Even so, Mignolet will reportedly ask his manager about the decision after Sunday, per Sky Sports News:

Significantly, Pearce reported how Mignolet won't even make the matchday squad, with Danny Ward set to take a place on the bench. Along with Mignolet not carrying an injury, Ward's place in the squad adds another layer of mystery and surprise to Klopp's decision.

It's not as though Mignolet is in particularly shaky form, with Pearce crediting the former Sunderland ace with producing "some crucial saves in Liverpool's Champions League play-off win over Hoffenheim."

However, despite any individual moments of brilliance, Mignolet has still been part of a defence breached six times during four matches across all competitions to start this season.

Perhaps Klopp is simply looking for a quick way to shake things up for those struggling at the back.

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The pressure will be on Karius against Arsenal's forward line.
The pressure will be on Karius against Arsenal's forward line.Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Even so, the manager's decision to replaced the more experienced man with 24-year-old Karius still represents a risk against a mercurial Arsenal side capable of producing goals. The Gunners drew a blank in a 1-0 defeat away to Stoke City last time out but found the net four times to beat Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in the season's first week.

Star forward Alexis Sanchez will be back from injury for Arsenal at Anfield, joining Alexandre Lacazette, Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck in a formidable attacking lineup sure to test Klopp's faith in Karius.

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