SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 28, 2021: Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips (R) and Ozan Kabak (L) during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp hoping for consistency with Kabak-Phillips partnership

Jurgen Klopp is hopeful of finding long sought after consistency at centre-back with the newly formed partnership of Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips.

The story of Liverpool’s season has primarily centred around the crippling predicament in their centre-back ranks, with the position plagued by one injury after another.

It has been well-documented and the total number of combinations is now up to 20, with the currently preferred pairing in Kabak and Phillips having featured alongside one another on three occasions.

Only three other combinations have accumulated more matches together, with seven games the record for any one duo.

And Klopp is eager to push forward with Kabak and Phillips for as long as possible as he seeks out a rare run of consistency, a move that would keep Fabinho in his preferred midfield role.

“There’s no test now or whatever, it’s not a testing period about long term future and stuff like this,” Klopp said of Kabak and Phillips.

“We will see. I hope there will be [consistency], that they will stay fit.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 3, 2021: manager Jürgen Klopp and Nathaniel Phillips at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. Brighton & Hove Albion won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I cannot sit here and give guarantees for these kinds of things, but I heard nothing different so far so I think they will be available and it looked good [at Leipzig].

“If they’re physically ready to go again, which I hope, then why should we change it?

“It’s clear you want to have consistency and we never had it. It looked really good and so, of course, hopefully, they can play a lot of games, if not all of the rest, but if not then we have to find a solution again.”

Those solutions would come in the form of Rhys Williams and Ben Davies for specialists in the position, with Fabinho slotting back in never out of the question.

But while Williams has seized his opportunity when it has arisen, making 13 appearances, the January signing has yet to see action with only four appearances from the bench but the manager cited experiences from the past for his lack of appearances.

Rhys Williams, I don’t want to forget him he’s in a good moment, Ben Davis has a test to adapt,” Klopp added.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 3, 2021: Liverpool's new signing Ben Davies sits on the bench as a substitute during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It was always clear when a lot of players came here to Liverpool [they would take time]. The most famous story, Andy Robertson took half a year in a normal season where pretty much everything else was kind of settled to settle in.

“And Ben is a really good player but he has to get used to all this stuff here as well, that’s how it is. We still have options and hopefully, it will stay like this.”

It was a case of “Ben will play when he will play” for Klopp as he was asked about the plans for Davies moving ahead.