Joel Matip almost certainly won’t go to the World Cup this winter and it’s a massive boost for Liverpool. The defender should stay at home.
It’s the World Cup this winter and that will create problems for every top team. It brings about a small break in the season for clubs but not for elite players – they’ll be run ragged by New Year.
For a club like Liverpool, that’s a serious issue. They will plan, once again, to contend in every competition, placing enormous strain on their players. Add in a mid-season World Cup and everyone is going to struggle. We’re not sure how certain players will handle it.
Liverpool will have virtually every major player heading away to Qatar. A couple of key forwards won’t, fortunately – Mohamed Salah and Luis Diaz as their countries didn’t quality. The funny thing about that, though, is that we’d back those two over virtually everyone else to recover quickly from the World Cup.
The likes of Jordan Henderson and Thiago won’t fare so well, for instance.
Joel Matip won’t head to the World Cup
Liverpool can count themselves quite fortunate, then, that Joel Matip almost certainly won’t go to the World Cup. Cameroon did quality but the centre-back hasn’t played for them in some time after a falling out.
And that could be perfect for the Reds. After all, Virgil van Dijk will certainly go with the Netherlands and it appears that Ibrahima Konaté is now in the France squad. Joe Gomez is a difficult one to judge – if he’s fit and playing regularly, he’ll be in the England squad. If he’s not, well, then he’s not fit and playing regularly.
Liverpool will be reliant on Matip, then, as a centre-back who can rest up and get a mid-season break. He had an outstanding season last year, as Jurgen Klopp said, and put in some truly world-class performances.
The extra bonus here, of course, is that Matip is also one of the players you’d want to get a mid-season break anyway. He can struggle with fitness week-to-week and the extra rest should do him good and prolong his season.
With everyone else away, Liverpool could seriously need that come May.