Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Emre Can could all miss Saturday’s Premier League clash away to Leicester City.
The trio were all absent from Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss to the Foxes in the League Cup, but only Lovren was believed to have missed out due to injury.
But speaking ahead of Saturday’s return trip to the King Power Stadium, Klopp suggested all three could be left out once again, as they struggle for fitness.
Lovren is the biggest concern with a back problem, but both Matip and Can are carrying knocks.
This is a recurring issue for Klopp, with Matip and Lovren suffering 13 different injuries between them last season, only starting together for 19 of Liverpool’s 47 games.
“It’s as difficult as it always is with injuries, nothing major but it was enough to keep him out two games,” Klopp said of Lovren.
“He’s not in training so far, so that means he’s also a doubt for the weekend.
“The same with Joel Matip and Emre Can, they also have little bits from the last game [vs. Burnley].
“So we have to see, hopefully they can be back in training today, or at least tomorrow, but we have to wait.”
Without Lovren and Matip, Klopp would be required to turn to his centre-back pairing from midweek, with Ragnar Klavan alongside Joe Gomez.
While Gomez produced an impressive showing at the King Power, there were clear signs of a lack of chemistry between the two, but Klopp is confident they can perform together.
“Ragnar would play his third game in a row, Joe played in the centre-half position [on Tuesday],” he said.
“If it would be like this, then Trent [Alexander-Arnold] plays at full-back, then three days again because Joe is suspended.
“We have to see what I have to do, I have to wait, train with the boys who can train again today, then prepare again.
“It’s a normal challenge, it’s not that it’s worse, or better.
“Players can get ill overnight, then you have to make another plan, so that’s why we prepare pretty much everything util we know who we can use.”
The absence of his two first-choice centre-backs hammers home the failure to sign another leading defensive option in the summer transfer window.
It could be that, beyond priority target Virgil van Dijk, Klopp in fact needed to add two new centre-back options to his group.