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Jamie Carragher 'fully expects' 29-year-old to face Manchester City

Jamie Carragher thinks Jurgen Klopp has deliberately saved Joel Matip to face Manchester City at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.

Who to play at centre-half alongside Joe Gomez is one of Jurgen Klopp’s biggest decisions today. Jamie Carragher, however, believes he knows who will face Manchester City.

More than that, he thinks Klopp has known for a while and kept a player in reserve specifically for this game.

“I actually think [Joel] Matip has possibly been ready maybe for the last game or two,” he told the Sky Sports Football Podcast. “The manager is maybe almost keeping in reserve for the City game and making sure he’s got two recognised, senior centre-backs for that game.

“So I fully expect Matip to play.”

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We expect Matip to face City, too. It just makes sense, in all truth. This is as difficult a game as Liverpool will play this season and Klopp will want a strong defence.

This isn’t one to throw in Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips, as impressive as they’ve been. Matip alongside Gomez is undoubtedly the best and safest choice – if it’s available.

Matip has had real problems staying fit, however. He hasn’t been consistently available for around a year now, usually starting a game and then facing a spell on the sidelines.

(Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

That happened immediately after the restart, for one. He played at Goodison Park but went off injured. Matip then didn’t start another game until the next time Liverpool travelled to face Everton – nearly four months later.

It would make perfect sense, then, if Klopp had kept Matip in reserve for this one. It’s a huge game and one Liverpool will be desperate to win. Making sure Matip is available was vital and, hopefully, that’s exactly the situation today.

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