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Jürgen Klopp: “It’s Very Good to Have Virgil Back”

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The Liverpool manager shouldn’t have to improvise with the squad this week and can field an honest to goodness defensive line at Old Trafford.

Liverpool Training and Press Conference Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

There are no new injury issues in Liverpool’s squad heading into the weekend’s match against Manchester United. Jürgen Klopp has had to make do without either Joe Gomez or Dejan Lovren in defense for far too long but thankfully Joël Matip has remained fit since returning to the XI. Matip will partner Virgil Van Dijk at Old Trafford allowing Klopp to move Fabinho back up into the midfield despite an impressive centre-back performance from the Brazilian against Bayern Munich.

At his pre-United press conference, Klopp was buoyed to have plenty of options for Sunday’s team sheet and especially happy to have Van Dijk available following the Dutchman’s Champions League suspension.

“Dejan is not in, Joe is not in, but I think pretty much all the rest are in training at least,” said Klopp.

“We didn’t miss Virgil as much as some expected against Bayern. We defended so well as a unit but it’s very good to have Virgil back.

“Rhian Brewster is still only in little parts of training, Ox in bigger parts but not ready to play. The rest have trained and will train with us, but there is still a little bit of time.

“Usually now I get the message that somebody is ill in the last three weeks so I am still a bit nervous about that! Until now I didn’t hear anything.”

Time remains for disaster to strike the Liverpool squad before the trip to Manchester but Klopp has proved he has enough players to keep performance levels high even when first choice or in-form players are not in the team.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is back in contention after his injury and should be nice and warmed up for United after a solid outing against Bayern. The manager will have his pick in the center of the pitch with a full compliment of midfielders in training. And it doesn’t look like any of them will be needed to plug a hole in the defensive line. This is good.

“It’s the first time in many weeks that we have a decision to make in terms of who starts,” Klopp said.

“Our problem has been how can we change things during games. We need to have influence off the bench.

“In a decisive period of the season, you need the right number of players. We have three games in the space of a week. This is our best moment for a number of weeks and hopefully it stays like this.”

Liverpool will welcome Watford to Anfield in midweek before preparing for the Merseyside derby at Everton the following Sunday.