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Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Joel Matip might not return in time for Liverpool’s crucial game with Manchester United one week on Sunday, meaning the Reds could be left without a senior center-back in form for the Premier League clash.
The crisis of the champions in central defender has been well documented this season, with Klopp forced to turn to several youth players in the absence of first-choice pair Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, who are sidelined by long-term injuries. .
Matip has been called up at Liverpool’s time of need as Klopp looks to add some experience to his bottom line, but he too has suffered numerous blows this season that have seen him absent from the starting eleven.
The 29-year-old was forced to retire midway through the second half against West Brom after sustaining a groin injury, and Klopp has confirmed that he will definitely miss Friday’s FA Cup tie with Aston Villa, if he continues. forward, and it is also a doubt for Liverpool’s clash with United.
“Yes, obviously we will try to work on that,” Klopp told reporters, via the official website. “Until the United game we still have nine days, so we tried.
“He’s on the right track but if it will be United or a few days later, I don’t know. After the game with United, obviously we will play every three days again, so I think that’s pretty safe, but for the game with United, we’ll see. “
If the former Cameroonian international does not recover in time for the United game, Klopp will have a big decision to make in the center of defense.
Fabinho has covered brilliantly as a central defender this season, although the experiment of pairing Jordan Henderson with the Brazilian in the loss to Southampton clearly failed.
St Mary’s defeat saw the 10th different combination in central defense for the champions this season, and Klopp could well be forced to turn to another of his youngsters to take a step forward in what is arguably the most important game of the club season.