Ahead of Sunday’s big match against Premier League title hopefuls Manchester City, Liverpool’s supporters are keeping on sharp eye on the team’s fitness. Jürgen Klopp’s side will need to be in tip top shape and playing their best football in order to best Pep Guardiola’s team.
There have been a couple of nervy, speculative moments in the lead up. Virgil van Dijk and Jordan Henderson have both missed training sessions this week, causing quite a stir across Liverpool country. Fortunately, Klopp’s injury update at his pre-City presser contained mostly good news. Unfortunately for Joël Matip, the bad news is mostly about him.
“Virg was, for other reasons, not here, but he’s completely fine,” said Klopp.
“Jordan is completely fine.
“Joël is still out. Like Shaq. Like Clyney.”
I’m sure Klopp included Nathaniel Clyne on that list just to keep the player’s name in the mix, togetherness and all of that. But, throwing Matip’s situation, whatever it may be, alongside Clyne’s long-term injury is not exactly a juxtaposition I was hoping to see.
Xherdan Shaqiri likely wouldn’t have been included against City but Matip was in great form to start the season and remains a loss to Klopp’s defense. Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren are still getting comfortable back in action next to Virgil van Dijk but either one can confidently do the job on Sunday. And perhaps, on the other side of the next international break, Matip and Shaqiri can return, fresh and fully-mended.