Simon Mignolet will start the 2017/18 season as Liverpool Football Club’s first-choice goalkeeper, confirms Reds’ boss Jürgen Klopp.

Mignolet finished the 2016/17 season in superb form, notching four consecutive clean sheets and earning his side three points at both Stoke and West Brom with big saves to ensure the club finished in the Champions League play-off spots.

Despite competition from German Loris Karius and Welshman Danny Ward, it was always felt that unless he made a real hash of pre-season, the Belgian would retain his spot – at least for the first few games of the season – and it has now been confirmed by Klopp that he will do just that.

“It is Simon (who will be first choice). It was a battle at the highest level in all the games in pre-season,” the manager has revealed.

“Simon looked really stable. He was involved in all the sessions. He did not have one bad day, which is cool, and after the season he had last year he is very confident. He has improved and is still improving in parts of his game.”

“Loris had a few little issues but was really strong in the games he played. Wardy had a bad pre-season because of back problems. He couldn’t train and for a goalkeeper it is even worse to have back problems than another player, but everyone could see against Atletico that we have another good goalkeeper.

“In this moment it is Simon one, Loris two and Wardy three. That is not a decision for the next 20 years. Things can happen, but I am as confident as possible that if one gets injured we still have really good options.”

Watford was the scene of one of Mignolet’s four successive clean sheets last season and he’ll be hoping for more of the same when the Reds take the field this afternoon.

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