Liverpool confirmed that Matip underwent a scan following a groin problem sustained against West Brom on Sunday.
Matip, who was hailed as ‘world-class’ by Jurgen Klopp, will miss up to four matches for Liverpool. These include important fixtures against Southampton, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Burnley.
Liverpool had been relying on Matip staying fit, as he was the club’s only senior and recognised option at centre-back.
With Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk out for the long-term, Matip had looked to start alongside Fabinho at every given opportunity for Liverpool.
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However, the expectation is that Klopp will have to rotate between Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams to ease the latest injury blow.
Both Phillips and Williams have stepped up admirably so far, but they are inexperienced. With a vast number of games approaching, opposition teams may target the young duo as they look to exploit any weakness in Liverpool’s game plan.
What RTK has to say
It sounds as though Liverpool aren’t signing any defenders in January. That’s what The ECHO reports.
And what Liverpool have got are three injured centre-halves, a defensive midfielder who can play at the back, and two unproven players.
Sounds like a cause for concern, but then, Liverpool are top of the league, after all.
The biggest question is how Klopp utilises the two inexperienced defenders. And from the looks of it, Phillips and Williams have contrasting roles.
This, then, will be demonstrated in the coming weeks. Phillips is there to keep aerial threats at bay. On the flip side, Williams will be utilised against more possession-based sides, such as Southampton.
The Reds may not have their star defenders on hand, but clever usage of their backups could be vital. Liverpool can still thrive without Matip in the coming weeks.