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Mamadou Sakho in Contention to Face Arsenal

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At his pre-match press conference, Jürgen Klopp revealed that Mamadou Sakho was a possibility to face Arsenal on Wednesday. If he isn’t ready to go, Kolo Toure and Lucas Leiva will pair in defence.

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Liverpool head into their match against Arsenal with more injuries then any other Premier League side, but the only players most wanted to ask about at manager Jürgen Klopp’s pre-match press conference were the injured defenders: Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, and Mamadou Sakho.

"Skrtel is still a few weeks away," began the Liverpool manager when asked about the club’s defensive injury crisis, with Toure the only senior centre half certain to be available for selection. "Dejan feels good but it’s only been six days so we have to wait and Mama wants to be available so hopefully we can use him.

"Dejan has a chance for Manchester United, and we will come to a moment when we have to decide whether that is a risk for him. For now though we have Kolo and Mama to talk about, and then there is also Lucas—so three who can play at centre-back."

In recent weeks, Lucas has been first choice to fill in at the back, the manager preferring the veteran’s ability to read the game over the youthful exuberance of fellow midfielder Emre Can. What that might mean for Lucas in the longer term isn’t certain, but in the short term he appears to be fifth-choice at the position.

Given the lengthy injury list—one that only seems to grow with each passing week—he could get a lot of minutes there over the second half of the season. Even if others can stay fit, Lucas’ ability to cover midfield or in defence could open up another spot on the bench for a more attacking option.

Another change on the bench many are expecting in the coming weeks is the inclusion goalkeeper Danny Ward. The 22-year-old has today returned from loan at Aberdeen, and while Simon Mignolet is fit and will start on Wednesday, Ward could make the bench.

He may also have been recalled with an eye to having him replace the struggling Adam Bogdan in the FA Cup replay on January 20th after Bogdan made his second major goalkeeping error—and put Liverpool in the position of needing a replay against League Two’s Exeter City.

"We watched his improvement at Aberdeen and it was an easy decision to bring him back," said the Liverpool manager of his decision to recall Ward, who had been starting for the Scottish title challengers. "it’s a moment when we have to make decisions, and we thought it was a good idea to get him back."