Pundit backs 23-year-old Liverpool star who was poor v Wolves to start against Real Madrid

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Paul Robinson has backed Jurgen Klopp to opt for Ibrahima Konate over Joel Matip in the heart of Liverpool’s backline for the Reds’ upcoming Champions League final clash against Real Madrid.

The Frenchman has been Virgil van Dijk’s partner for much of the competition, whilst the Cameroonian has been favoured in the English top-flight.

“Neither Matip or Konate played well against Wolves at the weekend,” the former England No.1 told Football Insider.

“But whoever plays alongside Van Dijk improves. He is a top-class player and a leader.

“It is not an issue that’s for sure. They could go with Matip or Konate.

“I think Jurgen Klopp will go for Konate though. They have a good relationship together. They have worked well together in the Champions League this season.”

The Reds have been handed some positive news ahead of the visit to Paris, with both Fabinho and Joe Gomez back in team training and Thiago Alcantara in contention to be available for the tie in question.

READ MORE: Ibrahima Konate shares personal dream ahead of CL final – Virgil van Dijk can help him achieve it

Given the nature of the game, Klopp’s selection plans are completely up in the air, and history would suggest the decision could very much go either way.

The former RB Leipzig man was brought on as a substitute for the League Cup final but he played all 120 minutes of FA Cup final action as we secured our second domestic cup.

On that basis, we’d imagine that the German tactician is probably leaning more towards Konate, though we shouldn’t be quick to discount a seriously underrated centre-half in our No.32.

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