Klopp warns of unchartered territory for fixing Liverpool’s defensive crisis

Date published: Wednesday 28th October 2020 6:48 - Jonny Whitfield

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admitted he may have to bring in defender Nathaniel Phillips for his Premier League debut, amid his side’s centre-back crisis.

With Virigil van Dijk likely to be out for the season and Joel Matip injured, Fabinho was the man to step in admirably.

However, the Brazilian suffered a hamstring injury in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Midtjylland. As such, Rhys Williams, 19, made his second Champions League appearance of the season.

The 19-year-old filled in alongside Joe Gomez and with the Reds back in Premier League action on Saturday, Klopp must find a solution.

The German admitted uncertainty over Matip’s fitness, with a top-flight debut on the cards for either of his youngsters.

“We have very young and inexperienced alternatives, and at the moment it looks like we have to choose one of them,” the manager said.

“I don’t know yet – but to be really clear and positive, Rhys was not in one situation tonight our problem, he played a really good game.”

Williams is likely to step in having earned Champions League experience in the past week. However Klopp is wary of the media attention that will fall on his teenage shoulders.

“He did really well. The only problem we have now is we have four days to the West Ham game and you will make every day a story of him and then he has to prove he can deal with that as well, because the vibe was calm around him,” Klopp said.

Klopp also confirmed that Fabinho will undergo a scan on Wednesday to determine the extent of his injury.

As well as Matip, Liverpool are awaiting progress on the fitness of Naby Keita and Thiago Alcantara.

Klopp respects Midtjylland

 

 

Danish champions Midtjylland made Liverpool work for their 2-0 victory at Anfield.

After a goalless first half of few chances, Diogo Jota opened the scoring before Mohamed Salah netted a late penalty.

Before the game, Klopp faced questions about playing a so-called smaller team. However, he insisted that after his side’s close win, he fully respects the opposition.

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