Liverpool team news update: Player could return but 5 men to miss Man Utd clash
Joel Matip could return to action this weekend but Liverpool will still be without five players for their crucial Premier League clash with Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.
Matip has been on the sidelines since suffering an adductor injury during Liverpool’s draw with West Brom on December 27th and his presence has been missed at the back due to their on-going injury issues in defence.
However, Klopp has confirmed Matip is set to resume full training and will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s visit of Manchester United to Anfield – although the Reds boss appears reluctant to throw the centre-back in too soon.
Jordan Henderson has been filling-in alongside Fabinho in defence and Klopp has admitted they need their skipper back in midfield but he will make a late decision over Matip’s involvement against United.
Elsewhere, Klopp also confirmed that Naby Keita has been ruled out of the game this weekend as he’s still working his way back to full fitness following a frustrating period of injury problems.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference today, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com:
“Joel is close. Does it now make sense to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?
“To bring him [in], I don’t know. We have to see, we have to decide, we have to look at him and how he will train, how he looks in training and these kind of things, but we have still different solutions.
“Hendo is very important in midfield for us as well, so we just have to see. It’s not decided yet, why should I?”
“Naby is not ready for involvement. It’s not a big thing; it’s a little bit like with other players in the past when they came back from injuries and then because of the amount of games and situation in the squad they had to play.
“Then a little injury happened again. Now we just had to put on the brake and say ‘let’s settle it properly’. In the moment we have alternatives in midfield, so we really try to give him all the time he needs to get 100 per cent fit. That’s the situation, so no, he is not in contention for Sunday.”
Liverpool will be praying Matip is able to prove his fitness over the coming days as the defending champions have problems in defence with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez still recovering from serious knee injuries.
Greek full-back Kostas Tsimikas is also still out with a knee problem while summer signing Diogo Jota is recovering from his own knee injury so Liverpool will be without at least five players for the visit of Manchester United on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side head to Anfield sitting three points clear of Liverpool at the top of the table after their narrow win over Burnley on Tuesday night so Klopp will be desperate to get back on level terms with a win on home soil.
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