Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

Georginio Wijnaldum back in England as Matip steps up preparations for Leicester

Liverpool’s international players are making their way back to England.

Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum posted an image to his Instagram page travelling back from national team duties with the Netherlands accompanied by Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek.

Wijnaldum returns off the back of captaining Holland to crucial victories in the Nations League over the past few days.

The 30-year-old was named stand-in skipper in the absence of Virgil van Dijk and he rewarded manager Frank de Boer by scoring twice during a 3-1 over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Sunday.

Having bagged a brace three days prior, Wijnaldum then came up with the winner this time around to give his country an all-important 2-1 win in Poland.

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Jurgen Klopp will be desperate Wijnaldum returns to Merseyside in the best possible condition given Liverpool’s ongoing injury crisis.

 

According to The Times, Klopp will be without club-captain Jordan Henderson for the clash against Leicester City on Sunday, while Thiago Alcantara and Fabinho are still both yet to return to first-team training.

Wijnaldum has remained Liverpool’s most durable midfielder in recent seasons under Klopp and the Dutchman will be required once again when Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield at the weekend.

One player who is doing his best to prepare is Joel Matip, who has remained on Merseyside over the past fortnight.

Matip, 29, represents Liverpool’s only recognised senior option at centre-back following setbacks to Van Dijk and Joe Gomez who have both suffered long-term knee injuries.

The Cameroonian was alongside Nat Phillips at the club’s new AXA Training Centre in Kirkby and the defensive duo are expected to start together against Leicester according to The Mail.

Both have been pictured at Liverpool’s new headquarters putting in the work ahead of the clash with the Premier League leaders on Sunday.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool will need Matip to be at the top of his game over the next few weeks.

He has been outstanding in the matches he has featured for the Reds, his biggest issue is that he has only been fit enough to clock up just three Premier League starts in the past year.

Klopp knows better than most just what Matip brings to the table, and the Liverpool boss holds the former Schalke star in the highest esteem at Anfield.

“Joel has been operating as a world-class centre-half throughout this year and long may it continue,” Klopp said following Matip’s contract extension last year.

Against Manchester City and Everton, Matip was outstanding, and if he can remain durable ahead of the busiest period of the season it could prove hugely significant if Liverpool are to remain on course in their title defence.

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