Liverpool will have Virgil Van Dijk to join Joel Matip as center backs for this Sunday’s derby against Manchester United. Jurgen Klopp had some unfortunate news, however, about Dejan Lovren who many might choose to place ahead of Matip to partner the Dutchman. At his pre-match press conference, Klopp indicated that the Croatian would miss out on the derby.
This is a loss but with Van Dijk coming back into the fold after having missed the mid-week Champions League clash against Bayern Munich due to card accumulation, the center of defense will at least cease being a patchwork duo. That being said, center mid and new graduate of the James Milner School of Midfielders as Other Things, Fabinho, acquitted himself quite well in the spot start next to Joel Matip. Doing so well against the German giants - even if their attack was quite downgraded missing the likes of Thomas Müller - was a refreshing sight for Reds fans who spent most of the past month and a half miserable as the defensive players have looked like a triage unit.
There’s no further news on Lovren’s condition which can be a bit disconcerting if you are, like me, prone to thinking the worst. Though, the fact that he was even in contention for this weekend’s match must likely indicate that he’s further along and can be regarded as day to day.
All told, it looks like we will have at least a few more matches featuring Van Dijk and Matip at the heart of defense. Hopefully, it won’t be much longer until we can rest a bit easy and have one more center back in the rotation,