Liverpool news Klopp faces Fabinho decision as Liverpool wait on Joel Matip MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - Joel Matip may not be available for Liverpool's clash against Manchester United on Sunday - but who will partner Fabinho?
Breaking News ! It has always been the biggest fixture in English football. And now the table confirms the magnitude of Liverpool taking on Manchester United. First plays second as the League Cup semi-finalists make the short journey down the East Lancs Road to clash with the Premier League champions on Sunday. United, three points clear and with precious few injury concerns, are regarded as favourites in some quarters to end Liverpool's unbeaten home league record that stretches back to April 2017. The Reds, by contrast, have been grappling with a selection problem at centre-back ever since Joe Gomez followed Virgil van Dijk on to the sidelines as a long-term absentee in November. Read More Related Articles Alex Ferguson admission confirms Liverpool suspicion ahead of Manchester United showdown Read More Related Articles Liverpool centre-back remarkable injury recovery explained Joel Matip will be given every chance to be available for the weekend having missed the last three games with an adductor issue. And here we look at the options available to Jurgen Klopp as he ponders who should partner makeshift centre-back Fabinho. Fabinho and Joel Matip (465 minutes together) The news Klopp really wants to hear is that Matip has been given the green light by the medical team to resume training. The Cameroonian - Liverpool's only recognised senior centre-back - has started only nine games this term. Five of those have been alongside Fabinho. During that period, the Reds have conceded just one goal. Must-read Liverpool FC news Genuine interest in PL centre-back Neville apologises for commentary Utd should be worried about LFC weapon 5 things spotted in training However, with Matip absent from training on Wednesday, time is against the former Schalke man. Fabinho and Rhys Williams (300 minutes together) If Matip doesn't make it, Klopp will surely be mindful of the pace United have on the counter-attack - no other team has scored more Premier League goals on the break this season.
. The 19-year-old has made only two Premier League appearances, partnering Fabinho in the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur and then joining the Brazilian again when replacing the stricken Matip for the final half-hour against West Brom last month. He also had spells paired with Fabinho in the League Cup win over Lincoln City, the Champions League draw at FC Midtjylland and featured for the entirety of the FA Cup third round win at Aston Villa.
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Fabinho and Nat Phillips (180 minutes together) Phillips would offer a slightly more experienced option and offer greater resolve defending set-pieces. He has made three outings this season, all of which have come in the Premier League with two alongside Fabinho. However, a lack of pace could be a concern when considering United's counter-attacking threat. The visitors will surely look to press the right-hand side of the Liverpool defence. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson (90 minutes together) Klopp threw something of a curveball in Liverpool's last Premier League outing when he moved skipper Henderson to form an all-midfield centre-back pairing.
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Other than Danny Ings' early goal - for which neither Fabinho nor Henderson were responsible - the partnership was relatively comfortable. Should Matip remain sidelined, Klopp would have to weigh up the gain of experience in playing Henderson at centre-back against the loss of not one but two key elements from the engine room, always a decisive area in these fixtures.
Source = MetiNews.Com