No international duties, a week off, and then training with the first team meant Joël Matip, who headed into the November international break fit, was meant to face Southampton on Saturday. Hours before the match, though, news of a thigh strain leaked out of the club. But it was supposed to be a minor thing; precautionary.
It’s looking like it might be slightly more than that today with news that he was left behind in Liverpool when the rest of the first team travelled to Sevilla for tomorrow’s Champions League tie. There are hopes that he will be ready for the weekend when Liverpool take on Chelsea, but missing two games now is worrying.
In his absence, Jürgen Klopp will have to decide between sticking with the same back four that faced Saints on Saturday or perhaps with moving Joe Gomez to centre half, where he impressed for England against Brazil over the international break, and bringing youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold back in to play at right back.
In more positive news, Adam Lallana—who many expected would be fit for Southampton but wasn’t named to the bench—was included in the travelling squad, as was Danny Ings, who has impressed with the reserves in recent weeks and could be competing with Dominic Solanke and Daniel Sturridge for a spot on the bench.
Liverpool currently sit top of Group E, one point ahead of Sevilla. A win on Tuesday would give them 11 and guarantee their advancement to the knockout rounds of the competition.