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Liverpool hope to have center-back Joel Matip fit and available for the national team ahead of their top-of-the-table clash with Manchester United on 17 January, as they accelerate their recovery from injury.
The 29-year-old suffered an adductor strain in a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on December 27 and had to be substituted at the appointed time.
His absence has been felt in recent games as Jurgen Klopp opted to play Fabinho and Jordan Henderson on defense, subsequently weakening his midfield in a 0-0 draw with Newcastle United and a 1-0 loss to Southampton.
But Liverpool are hoping to get a big boost in the form of Matip returning from injury to face Man Utd as Athletic reports that he is in time to recover in time and place himself on the bottom line of Klopp.
Jurgen Klopp had talked about the length of the defender’s absence after the tie with Newcastle and explained: “The normal thing with this type of injury, [he will be out for] about three weeks. “
That time frame would put him back in contention to start against Man Utd, and all signs point to the former Cameroon international offering a helping hand at the heart of his weakened bottom line.
Long-term knee injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have left Klopp’s central defense options completely eradicated, and he has had to adjust his picks accordingly. The German clearly decided not to throw any youngsters like Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips into the mix against Southampton, instead teaming Henderson alongside Fabinho.
The Reds lost the game 1-0, but Klopp will have been more concerned about the lost battle in midfield, and will be aware of the dangers Man Utd’s central stars can pose for the reigning champions. The Red Devils could, hypothetically, open a six-point gap over Liverpool with a win, if they beat Burnley on Tuesday night.