Klopp facing defensive crisis as key man set for scans, midfielder out too

Date published: Monday 28th December 2020 9:56 - Isaac Johnson

Joel Matip Fabinho

Liverpool’s backline problems were heightened on Sunday as another centre-half limped off injured in the draw to West Bromwich Albion.

Joel Matip was left the pitch with yet another knock with the Reds already thin on defensive options.

Jurgen Klopp admitted after the game that the defender’s injury is “not too good.” The Cameroon international now has an issue with his adductor.

Matip is due to undergo scans on Monday and is likely to miss the trip to Newcastle United on Wednesday, according to the Liverpool Echo.

“Joel told me he felt something in his adductor, that’s obviously not too good,” Klopp said following the draw at the weekend.

“Not sure how serious it is now but it was serious enough that he had to leave the pitch.



“It’s not the first time a centre-half is injured (this season). It’s of course not good.

“He was in a really good shape again. We cannot change that and we have to accept it and carry on.”

Since his arrival on Merseyside in 2016, Matip has missed 61 games through injury.

With Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez both sidelined, Klopp is facing a real headache. Rhys Williams, 19, is the likely candidate to start alongside Fabinho in the heart of defence.

He has made ten first team appearances for the Reds this season, six of which have come in the Champions League.

Nat Phillips and Billy Koumetio are the other two available centre-back options.

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Keita to miss Newcastle clash

Naby Keita

Meanwhile, Klopp has all but ruled out the possibility of Naby Keita returning to action this week.

The midfielder is currently nursing a muscle injury and missed the West Brom game.

Post-match, Klopp gave update on his recovery progress. He said: “Naby felt again a muscle.

“We don’t know exactly for how long but he wasn’t ready for today and not for Wednesday I don’t think. We will see.”

The Guinea international has featured 11 times for Liverpool so far this campaign.

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