Joel Matip is hoping to recover in time before Liverpool lock horns with Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Wednesday.
Liverpool will be hoping to regain their place at the top of the Premier League table when they play hosts to Tottenham Hotspur. The Reds, however, are not exactly guaranteed favourites, largely due to their depleted squad.
The likes of Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Diogo Jota are all ruled out for this fixture, joining James Milner, Xherdan Shaqiri and Thiago Alcantara on the sidelines. Jurgen Klopp did receive a boost this week with the return of Naby Keita in the squad, although the midfielder is unlikely to start.
One player who could recover in time for the game, however, is Joel Matip. “The physios worked pretty much 24 hours on him [Matip], so we will see. Today we have another session and then we will see,” Klopp told reporters during the pre-match press conference.
The ex-Schalke star is set to undergo a late fitness test, but we do expect him to start alongside Fabinho at the heart of Liverpool’s four-man backline. They will accompany the full-backs in Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson, thus forming the defence for the hosts, with Alisson starting in goal.
In midfield, the absence of Milner, Keita and Thiago pretty much guarantees another start for youngster Curtis Jones. His box to box qualities should give an additional edge to the Liverpool midfield, allowing Georginio Wijnaldum to become more expressive in half-spaces while Jordan Henderson is expected to operate in a deeper role.
The Englishman will primarily be tasked with the job of screening the depleted Liverpool backline. His experience and leadership could be essential as the hosts look to minimise the attacking impact made by the likes Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso in the middle of the park.
Moving forward, Jota’s continued absence will serve as a major blow for Klopp, especially in this crucial contest. Fortunately for the German, he does have his usual front three all fit and available for tonight.
So we can definitely consider Roberto Firmino to operate in the false nine role alongside the two wide attacking players in Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. It will be interesting to see how these three look to breach the Tottenham backline, which has conceded only ten goals in the Premier League this term.
Klopp could be tempted to use the services of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the second half due to his creativity while Takumi Minamino could also be an option.
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Matip, Robertson; Jones, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane