Liverpool have been urged to “keep things simple” at the back if they are emerge unscathed from their defensive injury crisis.
Former Reds defender Steve Nicol says Jurgen Klopp’s stand-in defenders will have to go back to basics.
Klopp has lost Virgil van Dijk and now Fabinho to injury to leave his defensive options thin on the ground.
Van Dijk limped off in the Merseyside derby earlier this month and has damaged his ACL. The Dutch defender is likely to miss the rest of the season, while Fabinho is now awaiting a scan after injuring his hamstring in the 2-0 win over Midtjylland on Tuesday night.
The Brazilian midfielder was filling in for Van Dijk, alongside Joe Gomez in the Champions League game.
It leaves Klopp relying heavily on Gomez, with Joel Matip also sidelined through injury.
And ESPN pundit Nicol says Klopp will have to tell his makeshift rearguard to take no chances and joked a re-signing Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho.
“I think we should try and get [Dejan] Lovren back on loan, maybe that would solve the problem, [Mamadou] Sakho’s not getting a game for Palace either,” Nicol told ESPN.
“We’re basically down to Rhys Williams who’s not even a centre-back. It’s just backs-to-the-wall time.
“Defensively you take no chances, clear your lines, keep things simple and try and keep a good shape.
“Joe Gomez is going to have to take the burden of that because he’s the only recognised centre-back really left. I can’t imagine Matip being fit again before at least this time next year, because he never is.
Gomez to grow up quickly
“Joe Gomez is going to have to grow up very quickly in this next couple of weeks.”
Klopp’s men will line up at home to West Ham on Saturday evening, looking to go to the top of the table.
“Losing Fabinho is exactly the last thing we needed,” said Klopp.
“Fabinho felt his hamstring – he said he could have played on but couldn’t make any more sprints.
“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.”