Liverpool are in a position we never thought they’d be in. The Reds are second in the table behind Manchester United. The two giants of the game will do battle at Anfield on Sunday. A win for Jürgen Klopp’s men sends them back top. Joel Matip is crucial to Liverpool winning the midfield battle v Man United.
Libpool not top of the league
The Reds were top at Christmas for the third year in a row.
Despite their strong form in the face of an injury crisis, the lads crumbled around the New Year.
Jürgen Klopp’s side are without a win in three. Their poor run of results has seen Man United climb to top of the table.
The Red Devils went three points clear with a win at Burnley this week.
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Kopites, and many other fans, were left wondering how United finished the game with 11 men after Luke Shaw’s horror tackle in the first half.
Joel Matip fitness
We haven’t seen Joel Matip since the West Brom debacle.
The Cameroonian limped out of the draw with the Baggies with an abductor problem.
The best case scenario sees him fit to face United on Sunday.
In his absence we’ve seen Nat Phillips given a run out and, most recently, the Reds lined up with Jordan Henderson in defence with Fabinho.
Matip key to Liverpool midfield
This weekend’s game is absolutely huge, the Reds need to dominate in all areas of the pitch.
Joel Matip is key to Liverpool winning the midfield battle.
Should the Cameroonian pass his fitness test then Jürgen Klopp can lineup with Jordan Henderson in midfield.
Having the skipper zipping around the middle of the park should help suppress the visitor’s creative abilities.
Liverpool have been dominant in recent years thanks to their ability to suffocate games.
We need Hendo alongside Gini Wijnaldum in order to suffocate this game, dropping the captain into the back four could loosen our grip in the middle.