Fresh Liverpool blow as new defensive injury leaves Klopp laughing

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Champions League press conference

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says that centre-back Ozan Kabak is unlikely to face Fulham after picking up an injury against Chelsea.

The Reds suffered a grim first in their history on Thursday, losing their fifth successive game at Anfield.

However, injury blows are nothing new this season, with all three senior centre-halves out for the long-term.

What’s more, Klopp has had to juggle his stand-in options with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho swapping places on the sidelines in recent weeks.

In the midst of their crisis, January signing Ozan Kabak has played every minute of the past four league games. However, as is the tale of Liverpool’s season, that has proved one too many.

“Ozan had yesterday after the game a little problem,” Klopp told reporters (via the Liverpool Echo), chuckling sarcastically as he did so. “Obviously he’s played now a lot of games and we will see now if he’s ready for Fulham.

“It doesn’t look like it in the moment, so we will have to find solutions.”

Klopp was speaking in his pre-match press conference, where he faced questions about his decision to maintain a high line against Chelsea and play Fabinho at centre-back, rather than in midfield.

Fabinho, Timo Werner Liverpool v Chelsea March 2021

Blues striker Timo Werner caused Liverpool’s defence problems with his speed and had a goal ruled out for offside.

The manager added: “I understand it completely, you have absolutely different views on the things.

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“But in the moment when we make decisions, we make the decisions because we think they are the best.”

Despite Kabak’s injury, Liverpool will likely field Nathaniel Phillips alongside Fabinho on Sunday. The 23-year-old did not make the squad on Thursday through injury.

In addition, Kabak’s fellow January signing Ben Davies will likely be on the bench. The former Preston man has yet to play for Klopp since his arrival.

Klopp piles praise on Parker

Scott Parker TEAMtalk

Liverpool face a Fulham side who earned a 1-1 draw with the Reds at Craven Cottage in December.

Indeed, the Cottagers looked the better side for much of that game. Since then, they have picked up nine draws in their past 16 games, a sign of their struggle to finish the chances they create.

Klopp said of Fulham counterpart Scott Parker: “[He’s] great. Absolutely great. [It’s] difficult getting relegated and getting promoted which is already difficult enough but a big, big achievement.

“I thought it the other day, the way Brighton are playing, the way Fulham are playing is absolutely exceptional in this league.”

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