Liverpool’s injury crisis somewhat worsened during Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match press conference on Thursday as it was announced that Joel Matip is unlikely to feature in this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace.
The defender was named as a major doubt along with Lucas Leiva and Ragnar Klavan, leaving Klopp short of options and with the tough task on his hands of selecting a new look team.
Matip’s potential and seemingly likely absence comes as a worry given the aerial threat Palace striker Christian Benteke promises to pose. It appears that he will be replaced by 19-year-old Joe Gomez, who has rarely featured for the first team this season, if he isn’t fit in time.
Despite the setback, Matip remains determined to keen fighting in the hope he can get himself ready in time to play a part at Anfield on Sunday.
“I’m hoping, but as the coach said I’m still struggling to be available for Sunday. I’m still fighting to get back,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s a muscle problem, a muscle issue. But I will do my best to be available for the coach and for the team.”
“During the game [against West Brom] I felt this and I had a few problems, but I could continue the game and that was the main thing on this day.”
There is no denying that Matip has been an inspired piece of business and an incredible bargain, but the regularity at which he seems to be unavailable comes as a slight worry as far as this team’s progression is concerned.
Klopp’s first choice centre-back pairing of Matip and Dejan Lovren simply can’t seem to stay fit long enough to play together for a significant period of time, which is extremely frustrating given how strong they have looked as a duo at times.
It doesn’t seem like good news at the moment but we’re still hanging on to the small chance that he will be able to play.