Belfast Telegraph

Jurgen Klopp hails impeccable timing of Divock Origi's Liverpool return

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has hailed the impeccable timing of striker Divock Origi as his return to the side has provided a much-needed boost.

With forwards Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge out injured, the Belgium international has come in and scored twice in two matches and is set for his first Premier League start since finding the net in April's Merseyside derby at Anfield.

Towards the back-end of last season the 21-year-old was Klopp's first-choice striker but a tweak of the formation, plus some injury niggles, has seen him relegated to substitute.

He has bounced back quickly scoring last weekend against Sunderland, when he came on after Coutinho was injured, and against Leeds in the EFL Cup quarter-final he started.

"Timing is really important. You don't always have influence on timing but in this case it worked out really well because it was exactly one or two weeks since Div was back in shape, in the race, and has the good shape," said Klopp.

"That was lucky, I would say, so he was ready for this specific moment coming in.

"I think everybody could see the difference between one or two substitutions when he came in a little bit earlier and it was not too easy for him.

"He is still 21 and he hasn't had the most match time in the last few months so then he had no rhythm but he is always working, never moaning.

"(Sometimes he is) A little more confident, a little less confident - how it is with all people in all parts of life.

"I was really happy for him having this opportunity and being in the shape to use it. It was really nice to see."

Liverpool are unbeaten in the last 11 league matches since losing at Burnley in August and have not lost in any competition in 15 games and a win at the Vitality Stadium would seem them equal their best Premier League points tally after 14 games, matching the 33 in 2008-09 when they finished runners-up.

They currently have their best goal difference at this stage of any Premier League season (+18) and their highest goals tally (32) but having blown away opponents earlier in the campaign the goals have been a little harder to come by in recent weeks with just four in their last three matches in all competitions.

However, fortunately that has coincided with an improved defensive display and Tuesday's win over Leeds brought a third successive clean sheet for the first time since February.

If they keep out Bournemouth it will be the first time since February 2011 they have recorded four in a row.

"We have conceded 14 goals in the league; five of them in the first two games," Klopp said.

"I was never worried about the defence's performance, strength or skills.

"I respect when we score a lot and concede a few then it's something you have to talk about.

"We have to think more about it from a logical point of view - you cannot play football all the time without conceding goals.

"I know you like to put it on one player - 'because of him you did or did not concede' - but it's a team game, it's teamwork and defending together and having together the luck in the right situation.

"You only need to fix it so it's not easy to create chances against you."

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