Joel Matip out as Jurgen Klopp explains squad rotation plans ahead of Brighton trip

1 December 2017

Jurgen Klopp has revealed that Liverpool centre-back Joel Matip is likely to miss Saturday’s trip to take on Brighton in the Premier League.


Matip returned from a short-term thigh problem to start back-to-back games for the Reds in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea and the 3-0 win away to Stoke City on Wednesday night.

But after playing 180 minutes in the space of five days, the Cameroonian is now unlikely to be part of Klopp’s squad at the Amex Stadium at the weekend.

Speaking at Melwood on Friday afternoon, Klopp revealed that Matip is not expected to travel, while the manager also provided updates on Ragnar Klavan and Adam Lallana.

“It looks like Joel Matip is out. After the game he had a little problem, felt something muscle-wise,” he told reporters.

“We have to make the final assessment but it doesn’t look like he’s available for tomorrow.

Adam Lallana is still building up fitness and Ragnar Klavan was ill. Hopefully he isn’t anymore, especially when you think about Joel’s situation.

“It’s not that we have a big choice to make in defence, that’s the situation.

“A few knocks after the game, a short [break] in the week, Wednesday to Saturday. [The] final decision will be made after the session at 3 o’clock.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, August 22, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Play-Off 2nd Leg match against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp made five changes for the Reds’ clash with the Blues and then six more in midweek, with the German expected to rotate his side once again in Falmer.

Explaining his approach to team selection during the busiest period of Liverpool’s season, Klopp detailed the process involved before he can call upon 18 players for his matchday squad.

“I don’t discuss too much with [the medical staff]. I have to accept it,” he said.

“That’s of course the first talk, I need to know who’s in the mixup and who I can think about.

“Then I can make the lineup. Every player has to show every day how much he wants to be involved.

“That’s what the players are doing. When they do that [then] it depends on the opponent, the moment, the last game, the break to the next game, a lot of things have an influence.

“The best thing is if you have 24 players to think about. That’s not often the case, [but] so far it’s worked OK.”

With Matip effectively ruled out and it still unclear whether Klavan will return to the starting lineup, Saturday could be an opportunity to field Joe Gomez at centre-back.

And with Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah both on the substitutes’ bench at the bet365 Stadium, Klopp can be expected to make a raft of changes to both midfield and attack, too.

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