Jurgen Klopp could be without two of his three regular centre-backs when Liverpool visit the Amex Stadium to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
Liverpool will be continuing their charge towards the top four, when they face the tricky trip to the Amex Stadium to take on Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday. Ahead of another game on the road, Jurgen Klopp has a few concerns to deal with, particularly at the heart of defence.
Joel Matip is set to miss the trip to the south coast due to the muscle injury that he sustained in the match against Stoke City on Wednesday. To make matters worse, Ragnar Klavan remains a doubt as he is yet to recover from the illness that forced him to miss the midweek game.
That leaves just Dejan Lovren as a fit centre-back at Klopp’s disposal, meaning Joe Gomez could be asked to fill in at the heart of defence unless Klavan manages to recover in time, with Trent Alexander-Arnold likely to return in the right-back slot.
Klopp: “It looks like Joel Matip is out. After the game, he had a problem, he felt something muscle-wise.” pic.twitter.com/dHPu0BW8uj
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 1, 2017
Speaking on the injury situations during his pre-match press conference, Klopp said that he will take a final call on his traveling squad following training on Friday morning. The Liverpool boss also iterated that he’s hoping Klavan is no longer ill to hand him a reprieve, while also talking about Adam Lallana’s progress.
“Adam Lallana is still building up his fitness; Ragnar Klavan was ill but hopefully he is not anymore, especially when you think about Joel Matip’s situation. It’s not that we have a big choice to make in defence, so that’s the situation.”
“We had a few knocks how it is after a game, and it is the shorter part of the week with Wednesday and Saturday [games]. It’s not a long time to recover from different things. Final decisions will be made after the session at three o’clock [today].”
The other absentees are Nathaniel Clyne (back), Adam Bogdan (ACL) and Danny Ward (back), who are all recovering from their respective long-term injuries. Meanwhile, Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah are expected to return to the lineup on Saturday after starting on the bench against the Potters.
Brighton manager Chris Hughton, on the other hand, has just Steve Sidwell on the sidelines as the veteran midfielder continues working his way back from a long-term back injury. Gaetan Bong is fit and available though, after shrugging off a minor knee injury.