According to the Liverpool Echo, both Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip are close to returning from respective injuries.
Last night, Liverpool slumped to a disappointing League Cup defeat against Southampton at St. Mary’s as the Reds make it three games in all competitions without a win. The loss on the South Coast continued what has been an extremely underwhelming start to 2017.
Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp has had to do without Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip and Philippe Coutinho in recent times, although the latter made a return against the Saints last night.
The Echo report that should Henderson not suffer any setback in training that he will be fit to face rivals Manchester United at the weekend. The captain’s return could not be more timely. The general consensus is that if Liverpool were to lose a game this week that it should be against S’oton and not Man United. Liverpool are just five points behind league leaders Chelsea and are within a shout of winning the league title.
Key to Liverpool’s early season form was the solidity of Joel Matip, the subtle brilliance of Jordan Henderson and the pace and energy of Sadio Mane – and all three have been absent in the last 10 days.
Joel Matip, who has turned out to be an absolute bargain, will return to training today and could play against Plymouth and/or Swansea next week. The Cameroonian chose not to go to the AFCON with his country and it seems like some sort of karmic voodoo has seen that he misses the equivalent amount of football. Bloody football superstitions.
On a serious note, Liverpool are at a very critical moment in their season. While being 1-0 down going into the second leg of the EFL Cup semi-final might not seem too bad now, if they get eliminated and lose to Untied then the whole season will adopt an entirely different mood.
With Henderson and Matip both returning to full training, and Coutinho already back in action, there is a lot to be positive but Klopp has a job to do to reinvigorate a side that looks jaded and devoid of creativity after looking unstoppable for so much of the season.