Despite fears that Liverpool are in the midst of a potential injury crisis, the two players that Liverpool would miss from the impressive 1-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns would be Joël Matip and Lucas Leiva. It is good news, then, to discover that both are making good progress with a view to starting against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Jürgen Klopp will hope to call upon two players that are equipped to help nullify the considerable aerial threat of Christian Benteke at Anfield. The former Liverpool striker is a formidable opponent in the air during open play and from set pieces. Matip continuing his partnership with Dejan Lovren behind Lucas would ensure stability at a time when Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, and Sadio Mané are all missing through injury.
Matip expressed uncertainty about his chances of being fit for the game, but the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce confirmed that both Matip and Lucas have made progress despite not training this week. The “muscle problems” Klopp mentioned yesterday that the pair suffered against West Brom may subside in time for another must-win game. If not, Joe Gomez and Marko Grujić could be called into action.
Ragnar Klavan’s “minor knee ligament problem” keeps him out of the picture, but the centre back is working outdoors away from the main group. Hopefully the rehab team have taken a trick out of Philippe Coutinho’s book and worked some magic on getting two players fit that will be crucial to taking all three points on Sunday. The visitors will be without Mamadou Sakho and Scott Dann, but James Tomkins is set to return from injury.
It appears that both Jürgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce have concerns ahead of a game where a win would be a big step in reaching their respective ambitions in the final stages of this intriguing Premier League campaign.