Jurgen Klopp could make tough decision for Fabinho after Liverpool problems worsen


Another game at Liverpool, another muscle injury for Jurgen Klopp.
This time it was James Milner who joined an already crowded treatment room at the club’s AXA training center in Kirkby.

The all-round veteran picked up on what could be a hamstring issue midway through the second half of Saturday’s midday 1-1 draw with Brighton.

He joins Thiago Alcantara, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri on the long list of absentees.

Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, of course, will also be sacked for much of the season after their respective knee surgeries.

So how does Klopp mix up his options ahead of Tuesday night’s Champions League clash with Ajax?

A draw will be enough to see the Reds advance to the round of 16 for the fourth consecutive season, but Klopp is not without his usual selection headaches for the Group D game.

Nat Phillips, who has put in impressive performances when called up this season, is not eligible for the game as he was not listed for European service.

Neco Williams will likely retain his right-back spot while Klopp has a decision to make on whether or not to rest Andy Robertson for Kostas Tsimikas on the other side.

The big burden then falls on Fabinho, who could be asked to play his third game in six days after a return from his own hamstring problem recently.

Another figure in the plot is Joel Matip.

He missed Saturday’s game with the official explanation being that he was rested due to the workload that will be on him over the next few weeks.

Given that this was the reason for Matip’s exclusion, it wouldn’t come as a shock if Fabinho rested for Ajax’s visit.

It would be a tough call for Klopp to make, but the Reds just can’t afford another center-back problem for a senior player.

It could mean another chance for 19-year-old Rhys Williams to join the squad to help what has now become a long-term problem at the center of Liverpool’s defense.

Klopp’s options in midfield aren’t much better either.

In fact, the options in the engine room are getting as slim as those in the defense center.

No Keita, Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain or Thiago leaves the staff of the Reds much to think about before the delivery of the scoresheet on Tuesday.

Curtis Jones has rested at Brighton after Klopp visited the medical service on Friday, but the teenager could be sent back into action given the central midfielder’s scarcity of options.

Gini Wijnaldum has already made 16 of Liverpool’s 17 appearances this season, does the Dutchman need a break?

His performance may indicate no, but Klopp would hate to lose the industrious and reliable Wijnaldum indefinitely.

A reminder could be on the cards for Sadio Mane at least, given that he sat on the bench for much of Saturday’s draw.

The Senegalese star played just over 25 minutes on the south coast and could come back to third.

Receive all the latest news from Liverpool and the squad as Klopp faces a selection dilemma, plus breaking news and analysis of what’s to come for the Reds.

You will also receive the latest transfer discussions and analysis direct to your inbox every day with our free email newsletter.

Sign up here – it only takes a few seconds!

Klopp would have preferred to have rested at least one or two of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota for this one.

Given the surprise loss to Atalanta at Anfield on Wednesday night, Liverpool cannot afford to repeat what had looked like a comfortable position in Group D in the precarious final round of the matches.

As the importance of defending their Premier League title increases with the game, a chance to rest and turn for that final game against Midtjylland on December 9 would be ideal.

As always, there is a lot to think about for the Liverpool boss regarding his next squad selection.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here