Jurgen Klopp offered hope of the close return of Joel Matip, after informing reporters at today’s pre-United press conference that the Cameroonian could be involved in the match, depending on how he trains.
The 29-year-old has been out of action since pulling up with a non-contact injury during Liverpool’s 1-1 stalemate with West Brom in late December.
“Joel is close. Does it make sense to throw him in a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved?” the former Dortmund coach said. “We have to see, we have to decide then, we have to look at him, how he’ll train and how he looks in training, these kind of things. But we still have different solutions.”
Should the Reds’ remaining senior centre-half be available, it would provide a massive boost going into Sunday’s pivotal fixture.
Matip has consistently struggled to hold onto his fitness throughout his Anfield career, with the defender often falling apart after a consecutive run of games.
It’s a frustratingly regular occurrence, even more so now with our starting centre-back duo out for the count for much of the season.
With Klopp potentially facing a difficult decision between giving the nod to one of his inexperienced Academy graduates, or pulling Jordan Henderson down to defence, the availability of the former Schalke man would be greatly welcomed.