Three ways Jurgen Klopp can cope without Joel Matip
According to The Guardian, Liverpool defender Joel Matip could be out of action for six weeks owing to a knee injury. He was struggling with the injury lately and missed the Reds’ Premier League win against Tottenham Hotspur.
It is clear that the club don’t want to take any risk until he is fully recovered. With his main player out for six weeks, let’s have a look at how manager Jurgen Klopp can cope without him.
Deploy Joe Gomez
Joe Gomez has made just three appearances in the Premier League this season but he proved his worth as a central defender the last term.
The 22-year-old has played just 96 minutes in the ongoing campaign, however. He started in the heart of the defence in their Premier League opener but his shaky display allowed Matip to make his claim for the starting XI.
Klopp can once again deploy the England midfielder to fill the gap and prove his form to get regular first-team games.
Emergency man Dejan Lovren
Dejan Lovren is another defender who has stepped up for the Reds in the hour of need. Even though Lovren has made two Premier League appearances this season, he started in both and played full 90 minutes.
The Reds failed to keep clean sheets in both those games, conceding once in each game. But it must be noted that the games were against top-quality teams – Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur.
In fact, both of Lovren’s appearances came when Matip was suffering from the knee injury and he is likely to get a nod ahead of Gomez. He made two tackles with 67 per cent tackle success rate in those games. He made four interceptions and 12 clearances, recovering the ball 15 times and winning 17 duels while losing just 7.
Try a Fabinho-Van Dijk combo
The German manager could try deploying Fabinho and Virgil Van Dijk. After a few struggles at the beginning of his tenure in Anfield, Fabinho struggled.
However, he has cemented his position in front of the defence. Fabinho was also tried as a full-back last season by Klopp and he may be an extra option available to the former Borussia Dortmund coach.
Liverpool will be playing four games before the international break, including two Premier League fixtures – against Aston Villa and Manchester City. Suffice to say, there will be plenty of opportunities for Klopp to chop and change things.