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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Loris Karius 'feeling comfortable' with Virgil van Dijk in Liverpool defence

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol assesses the state of the Reds' back line and proposes how Jurgen Klopp should line it up moving forward.
Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol assesses the state of the Reds' back line and proposes how Jurgen Klopp should line it up moving forward.
Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool only need to focus on their own form after moving to within two points of second-placed Manchester United.

Loris Karius says Liverpool's big-money signing, Virgil van Dijk, is finally beginning to settle into the Reds' defensive system.

The centre-back moved to Anfield from Southampton for a record £75 million at the start of January and, despite netting a goal on debut, has at times struggled to gel with his new teammates.

But off the back of a comfortable 2-0 weekend win over the Saints, and with their Champions League clash with Porto coming up on Wednesday, Karius believes that the 26-year-old Dutch international is starting to hit his stride.

"Virgil has played quite a bit now and we're getting more used to each other -- that's important for the team," Karius told the Liverpool Echo.

"He's a top player -- that's why Liverpool paid the price they did for him. Of course he has to adapt a bit because our style is so different. We defend high. He needs to get used to Dejan [Lovren] and Joel [Matip].

"But the more he gets used to our style, he's finding his feet more and more. It's good to see and as a keeper you feel comfortable having players like that in front of you. The clean sheet was great for all of us."

Loris Karius
Loris Karius and Virgil van Dijk defend a high ball in Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Tottenham last week.

Karius has recently moved ahead of Simon Mignolet in the Liverpool pecking order, and the goalkeeper says his confidence is growing as gets more time between the posts.

"It's my job to help the team," he said. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling strong and getting consistent game-time helps a lot.

"In the last few games I've had more stuff to do and I've been able to make some saves.

"I always try to be there when the team needs me. It definitely helps when you play regularly instead of coming in and out of the team. I enjoy every day of being here as it's a great club."

Karius, however, is not guaranteed to start against Porto, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refusing to guarantee the German's position when asked on Monday.

"To be honest I have not made the final decision," Klopp said.

"It is not the same situation as it was. A good one will play. But I haven't made the decision so far."

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