Liverpool’s injury woes took another setback yesterday, as Rhys Williams was left out of England’s under-21 side to face Albania as a precaution amid fears of a hip injury.
According to The ECHO, Williams’ injury isn’t expected to be a serious one, but England and Liverpool reached a mutual agreement that it wasn’t worth the risk.
Williams is expected to be in contention for a place in Liverpool’s starting XI as Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield although the Mail report Jurgen Klopp has decided to start Phillips as opposed to 19-year-old Williams.
Phillips, 23, featured for Liverpool against West Ham recently and was imperious at the heart of the defence for the Premier League champions.
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His manager Klopp, lauded Phillips as a ‘monster’ after the match with Jamie Carragher also giving the Bolton-born defender the MOTM award.
Phillips is ineligible to feature for Liverpool in Europe having been overlooked in Klopp’s Champions League squad, meaning Williams is likely to get the nod against Atalanta next Wednesday.
Liverpool are without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Fabinho currently, which leaves their centre-back options very limited.
Phillips, who Klopp described as ‘sensational’ to Sky Sports, nearly left Liverpool in the summer with a number of Championship clubs touted with an interest by The ECHO in the previous summer window.
If he is chosen to start against a Leicester side who are currently top of the Premier League, it is certainly set to be his toughest proposition yet.
Despite just one solitary league start to his name, Liverpool supporters remain confident that Phillips can do a job alongside the club’s only fit and recognised central defender, Joel Matip.
If paired together, it would represent the 38th alternative central defensive partnership utilised by Klopp since he joined the club in October 2015.
Here is a selection of responses on social media following the news that both Matip and Phillips are expected to be partnered together at the weekend.