Jurgen Klopp has a number of selection issues ahead of Liverpool’s trip to the Riverside Stadium. The Reds are without Philippe Coutinho till the New Year but the headache for the German manager could come regarding who starts in goal for the Merseyside club.
There have been many detractors of the young German keeper Loris Karius and the 23-year-old came under the microscope after the 2-2 draw against West Ham as well. Karius was responsible for the goal he conceded against Dimitri Payet and also should have done better for the second goal conceded by the Reds.
This performance coupled with the 4-3 loss against Bournemouth has seen a number of Liverpool fans call for Simon Mignolet to replace the under-fire Karius. The former Liverpool number one was replaced by the young German but the Belgian could still make a return to the side.
It would seem like a desperate move from Klopp to drop a player that he has been backing from day one and the former Borussia Dortmund manager also took on the Neville brothers when it came to them attacking Karius’ goalkeeping ability.
Mignolet might seem like a safe pair of hands compared to Karius but it is expected that the German will play between the sticks against Middleborough.
Injury concerns for the Reds
In the 2-2 draw against West Ham, Klopp had to deal with a couple of other injuries. Emre Can could not start the game as he picked up a knee injury and he probably will not be part of the starting XI. Klopp was speaking to the club website and gave an update on the German midfielder.
“His knee…ligament is a little bit damaged [and] it’s painful. He’s in doubt for Wednesday.”
The former Bayer Leverkusen midfielder was not the only player who picked up an injury. While Can didn’t even start, Dejan Lovren was replaced at the break and was replaced by Ragnar Klavan. The former Southampton defender was taken off as a precaution but it seems he too will be out with a hamstring injury.
“The medical department told me it’s a hamstring issue. We don’t know more about it in the moment”, Klopp stated.
Boro also have their own injury concerns with the BBC reporting that Gaston Ramirez will be out of contention but they still could have the physical Alvaro Negredo leading the line, which could be a problem for the central defenders of the Reds.
Liverpool are the top scorers in the Premier League this season but they need to get back to winning ways. With Arsenal losing, a 3-0 win should see the Reds end this match day in second but they still could be six points behind Chelsea, should the Blues defeat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.