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Joel Matip faces about three weeks on the sidelines due to a groin injury suffered against West Brom, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp confirmed.
Matip was forced out at the hour mark against the Baggies on Sunday, with Rhys Williams coming in in his place.
The defender’s absence was felt when Semi Ajayi snatched a late draw for West Brom, and the former Schalke player was not in the squad when Liverpool took on Newcastle United on Wednesday.
It turned out to be another frustrating match for the Reds, who drew for the second straight game in a 0-0 draw, the first goalless game between Newcastle and Liverpool since 1974.
Following the draw at St James’ Park, Klopp confirmed that he will be without the center-back for approximately three weeks.
“The normal situation with this type of injury, [he will be out for] about three weeks, “Klopp told a news conference.
Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 30, 2020
With Liverpool having lost Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to season-ending knee injuries, Matip has formed a valuable partnership with the versatile Fabinho at the rear.
He has made eight league appearances, just one fewer than he made in an injury-ravaged campaign last year, although he has had time out with thigh and back problems.
Matip is likely to miss the Premier League matches against Southampton and Manchester United, who come on either side of a trip to Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round.
In Liverpool’s last visit to Villa Park they were defeated 7-2 in October.
Matip has helped Liverpool score a clean sheet three times in the Premier League this season, making 19 punts, 12 headshots, ranking second on the team, and 11 tackles.
The 29-year-old has won 18 aerial battles, although that is lower than the scores handled by fellow defenders Nat Phillips (21), Gomez (21) and Fabinho (29).