Jürgen Klopp is expecting to have his injured trio back for a massive Premier League clash with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Many people recognise January as being the pivotal month in Premier League calendar and it’s hard to disagree. It’s a month where teams become bogged down with injuries and are prone to falling behind the rest of the pack.
Except for Liverpool. Despite Sadio Mané being absent for a month due to the Africa Cup of Nations, Jürgen Klopp is welcoming back players from injury almost daily. Daniel Sturridge will be a regular injury concern but with Joe Gomes getting his first minutes against Plymouth Argyle yesterday since before Klopp become manager, there is a lot to be happy about.
Philippe Coutinho had to make himself content with pushing his return date back by two weeks. The idea was that the Brazilian would make a cameo return against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve but he wasn’t ready and hasn’t been since, but Klopp believes his maestro will be ready to travel to Old Trafford for one of the most important games of the season.
According to the Metro, Klopp provided an injury update before the Plymouth game, saying, “Both of them [Coutinho and Matip] are in a very good way, but not for this weekend.”
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Despite what some may want you to believe, Jordan Henderson is a hugely important component in Jürgen Klopp’s team. His composure, clear read of the game and ability to dictate the pace fo the match are traits that have allowed Liverpool to keep possession for large periods this season and force teams to retreat as far as the six-yard line.
Injury to Henderson against Manchester City meant that he missed the following outing to Sunderland. His side drew the game 2-2 and it was because Klopp had to play Emre Can in the holding role. The German is a brilliant box-to-box midfielder but doesn’t have the maturity yet to slow the game down and dictate the play in the way Liverpool needed him to.
According to Liverpoolfc.com, Klopp said that Henderson could be back for the United game too, “Actually, it is good news if you want [missing the FA cup tie with Plymouth Argyle] – we had this issue with the heel and we had to take him out for a while, but he is already on the way back.
“He has no chance for the weekend and I am sure [there’ll be] no risk for Southampton, but then I think it is absolutely possible that he’s back.”
It will be a massive boost to Liverpool’s title dreams that Coutinho, Henderson and Matip will be on the bench at Old Trafford. Although there is still a way to go, Liverpool will need to match every side in the league if there is to be a chance of title glory but the fact that the pressure is on Chelsea and not Liverpool will help a lot.