Liverpool take on Manchester United in the EPL on Sunday and defender Joel Matip is facing a race against time to be fully fit.
The centre-back picked up an adductor injury against West Bromwich Albion on December 27 and it’s still unclear if he will be available for selection this weekend or will midfielder Jordan Henderson partner Fabinho in central defence once again.
Some reports claim that Joel Matip is already ruled out for Sunday’s match but manager Jurgen Klopp has hinted that the 29-year-old could still feature vs Manchester United.
The manager said in his press conference: “Joel is close. Does it now make sense to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?
“To bring him [in], I don’t know. We have to see, we have to decide, we have to look at him and how he will train, how he looks in training and these kind of things, but we have still different solutions.
“Hendo is very important in midfield for us as well, so we just have to see. It’s not decided yet, why should I?”
Van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both long-term injury absentees so if Joel Matip cannot be fit in time then either the manager will have to use Henderson in defence or use a youngster like Williams or Phillips alongside Fabinho.
Either decision will be a big gamble from the Liverpool boss since Man United have a fully fit squad as Anthony Martial is now expected to be fit in time.
If Joel Matip is not playing then there’s no point trying to patch up a gaping wound meaning Klopp should deploy a youngster at centre-back and then look to strengthen his midfield by using the trio of Henderson, Thiago and Wijnaldum.