Jurgen Klopp will attempt to get Joel Matip back-in-time for Liverpool’s clash against Manchester United, according to reports. The Cameroonian defender is currently out with an adductor injury.
This comes from The ECHO. They confirm that Klopp is hopeful Matip will be back for the north-west derby on January 17.
Matip, 30, who was hailed as ‘world-class’ by Jurgen Klopp (official website), has missed Liverpool’s previous two league matches, including Monday night’s 1-0 loss at Southampton.
The former Schalke star’s absence was sorely felt, with the Reds succumbing to their second league defeat of the season.
In the two matches Matip has missed, Liverpool have failed to score in both and have claimed just one of the available six points on offer.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
As a result, Manchester United have since closed the gap at the Premier League summit. The Red Devils are level on points with Liverpool, having played a game less.
It sets up perfectly for a gargantuan encounter at Anfield a week on Sunday, then.
And Klopp has reassured supporters he will do everything in his power to get Matip back up to full-fitness in time.
“We will try [to get him fit for Man Utd]. He’s in a good way, but it will be United or a few days later, I don’t know. We will see.”
What RTK has to say
Matip’s potential involvement is arguably Liverpool’s biggest selection uncertainty heading into the encounter.
Klopp paired together Fabinho and Jordan Henderson as a result of the injury to Matip. In truth, Liverpool suffered without both players in their naturally suited roles.
This makes Matip’s inclusion all the more important. Henderson and Fabinho have proven they are able to adapt and do a job in defence. Unfortunately, their absence in midfield is too noticeable for a long-term partnership at the back to develop.
For now, Matip’s involvement enables Klopp to push Henderson further forward. This is likely to benefit Thiago Alcantara, too.
Liverpool are much stronger in both defence and attack with Matip in the team. The main issue is for how long, however. Matip has started just seven league matches in 2020/21, after all.
Still, with United vastly approaching, Matip’s return couldn’t have been timed better. The Reds defender is still yet to lose in the Premier League this season, too.
Let’s hope his rich reign of form continues on January 17, then, it could have a huge impact on the title.