Jurgen Klopp is hopeful Fabinho can prove a worthy alternative to the absent Virgil van Dijk in Monday night’s FA Cup clash with Wolves.
The Dutchman was unsurprisingly omitted from the squad that travelled to Molinuex having played 90 minutes in all but two of Liverpool’s 28 matches across all competitions so far this season.
His absence represented one of nine changes made by Klopp from the side that lost 2-1 away to Manchester City in the Premier League during midweek.
The Reds’ boss has played down concerns surrounding his star centre-back, admitting that his decision to leave him out was merely to preserve his fitness.
He told Liverpoolfc.com: “We had to make a few changes already, it was clear. Virg cannot play; he is at home and hopefully it is nothing, but he has played all the games so far, so we had to try to find a solution for that – and we found it, hopefully, with Fabinho.”
With no Van Dijk and both Joe Gomez and Joel Matip still nursing injuries, summer signing Fabinho will drop into a central defensive role alongside Dejan Lovren.
Klopp also confirmed Liverpool would be without Adam Lallana due to a minor muscle issue picked up in training, as well as captain Jordan Henderson following a slight injury sustained at the Etihad.
Setbacks for the pair mark opportunities for teenagers Curtis Jones and Rafael Camacho, who come into the starting eleven for their full senior debuts.