In what could be a big blow to Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp could be without two of his first choice centre-backs for the weekend trip to the King Power Stadium.
The Reds will take on Leicester City – twice within the week after the midweek loss in the Carabao Cup. It is being reported that Klopp would be without Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren for this crucial Premier League encounter (Independent).
Klopp has been without Lovren for the last couple of games as the defender has been trying to recover from his back problem. Matip could also miss Saturday’s evening kick-off, which could push the German manager to use Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez in the heart of his defence.
Speaking in his pre-match conference on Thursday, Klopp had said (as quoted by Independent):
“[It’s] nothing major, but enough to keep him [Lovren] out for two games and he’s not in training so far, so that means he’s a doubt for the weekend. It’s not too cool.
“It’s a completely different situation, but Joel Matip and Emre Can also have little bits from the last game so we have to see. Hopefully they can be back in training today or at least tomorrow, but we have to wait.”
Initially, it was worried that German midfielder Emre Can is also an injury worry. However, the German midfielder, who has deputised in the past as centre-back with mixed results, returned to full training on Thursday after picking up a knock in the draw against Burnley last weekend.
Matip, though, will be re-assessed by the club’s medical staff and there is hope that he could shake off his hamstring injury on time to play the match. Whether he plays or not, Klopp has a serious issue of defensive frailties to address. After the 4-0 drubbing of Arsenal at Anfield, Klopp’s men have gone 4 matches without a win.
That phase included a 5-0 mauling at the hands of Manchester City – although that game was marred by a red card to Sadio Mane very early in the match. Klopp’s side lost on Tuesday night to Leicester City 2-0 and would want to get a quick revenge.
The problem for Klopp is the pile-up of fixtures as the Champions Group game against Spartak Moscow looms large on Tuesday. The manager hopes that his defensive duo, or at least one of them, would be fit for the European fixture. Gomez was sent off against Sevilla, which means he would not be available for the match against Spartak Moscow.
Can Klopp come out of this rut? It is tough times for the club as they look to wriggle out of their defensive difficulties. If Klopp can somehow engineer a way out of this mess, Liverpool can hope to launch a title challenge.