Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been speaking to the media ahead of his side’s Champions League meeting with Man City, with talk dominated by injuries.
The Reds are in a crucial period of the campaign as they look to cement their place in the top four of the Premier League and progress in Europe with a mouth-watering tie against Pep Guardiola’s side to look forward to over the next seven days.
However, Klopp has been dealt some bad injury luck this week, as not only was it announced that Joel Matip will miss the rest of the season, the German tactician has other key individuals struggling with issues.
Adam Lallana is one of those players who suffered a setback, lasting just five minutes at Crystal Palace at the weekend before having to be substituted having come off the bench himself.
There was positive news on the England international though, but it remains to be seen if he can feature again this season as Liverpool will surely want to avoid taking any risks with him now.
“Thank God, that’s not as bad as we thought – a number of weeks,” Klopp is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. “There is a little hope, of course, that we can maybe use him again this season but we have to wait; it is absolutely not the time to bring any rush into the situation.”
With Matip joining Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan on the sidelines, that leaves the Reds short in defence as Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk will be their only remaining centre-halves available for selection against City.
In turn, that will be a real concern for Klopp as he’ll be desperate to see them avoid any injury setbacks of their own as that could leave Liverpool exposed at the back against the side with the best goalscoring record in the English top flight this season.
Meanwhile, as noted in the tweet below from the Echo’s James Pearce, Emre Can is also a major doubt to recover from a back injury that has kept him sidelined in recent games, while Klavan is out.
It’s far from ideal for Klopp to have to deal with these absentees this week given the magnitude of the upcoming game, but he’ll have to have faith in those stepping in and his prolific attacking unit to get the job done in the first leg at Anfield at least.
Klopp: “Emre (Can) there is still a chance for tomorrow but it doesn’t look too good. Klavan also not involved. If there is a centre-half in the room I am open for talks!”
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) April 3, 2018