Fabinho starting against Leicester City on Sunday would be an injury risk. It’s one Jurgen Klopp might have to take, however.
Liverpool have injury problems as it is. They’ll take on league-leaders Leicester City on Sunday without around half of their presumed first XI, in fact.
There will be no Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Thiago or Mohamed Salah. Not a great position to be in, then.
And yet, Jurgen Klopp might have to take another injury risk.
Fabinho is back – just about – and Klopp will probably have to play him straight away. Something he surely wouldn’t usually do.
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Using Fabinho from the start is an injury risk. There’s no two ways about it. He hasn’t played in weeks, can’t possibly be match-fit and the game will be intense. Again – Liverpool are facing the league leaders.
But needs must. If Liverpool were just down the centre-halves, you could argue that Joel Matip could maybe see the game through alongside a young player.
Only if Henderson were there to protect the defence, though. And right there is Klopp’s choice.
He can replace that young defender with Fabinho and play him alongside Matip. Or he can play the defender and use the £39m man in his natural position as a holding player.
Or he can do neither, negate any risk, and limit Fabinho’s minutes. As comfortable as that would be, we just don’t see how Liverpool could beat Leicester with the remaining defence.
So Klopp needs to shoot for the absolute best-case here. He needs to throw Fabinho in wherever he deems best, hope he has a great game, and that a full 90 gets him back to his best instantly.
The worst-case, of course, is that Fabinho aggravates his injury and is out again. But let’s ignore that possibility.
Mainly because you kind of have to ignore it. All these injuries mean Klopp can’t afford to take the safe option with players. To win the title, he’ll have to take big risks and hope they come off.