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Klopp Left to Sweat Over Midfield Fitness

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The manager won’t know about the availability of his favoured midfielders until the weekend.

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It’s been a rough start to 2019 for Jürgen Klopp. Despite sitting atop the Premier League table, his side has struggled to collect results in recent weeks — with two wins, two draws and two losses from their past six — and the performances haven’t been much better, as Liverpool have looked sloppy and off the pace far too often.

This drop in form is in all likelihood largely down to the Reds’ injury troubles. Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Dejan Lovren are all currently unavailable, leaving the defense alarmingly light, and on Monday, fitness concerns over Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum forced Klopp to rely on Adam Lallana from the start for only the fourth time in 18 months.

The fullback problem should hopefully be solved by the weekend, with Alexander-Arnold set to return to full training this week, but midfield could remain an issue, as Wijnaldum and Henderson, struggling with knee and muscle issues, respectively, will have to be assessed on a day-to-day basis.

As such, a return to the starting XI for Fabinho and Naby Keita could be on the table, and while Fabinho has at times looked imperious at the six and Keïta — despite a sputtering start — was arguably the Reds’ best player in the second half on Monday, fans would undoubtedly feel more at ease if their captain and the quietly impressive Wijnaldum were available to offer an added measure of control in the center of the park.

Nothing left to do now but cross your fingers and hope the injury crisis ends before the Reds’ time at the top of the table does.