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Matip and Ox doubts vs. Crystal Palace – but Jurgen Klopp optimistic on fitness

Jurgen Klopp has cast doubt over Joel Matip and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain being involved for Liverpool’s trip to Crystal Palace, though neither are ruled out yet.

The Reds head to Selhurst Park on the back of their impressive 2-0 win over Arsenal in the semi-final of the League Cup, booking a trip to Wembley next month.

With their focus turned back to the Premier League, Liverpool will be looking for another victory as they keep up the pace with leaders Man City, with changes likely to Klopp’s lineup.

Oxlade-Chamberlain missed the clash with his old club due to an ankle problem, and it is unclear at this stage whether he will be fit for the weekend, while Matip was substituted at half-time with a fitness issue.

Speaking to reporters on Friday morning, Klopp confirmed that the centre-back’s withdrawal was “not tactical,” as suspected.

“My god, how good was Joel?” he said.

“We thought something was not 100 percent right, and we have Ibou and Joe on the bench, so it’s just that we change it.”

The manager added: “Ox we hope and pray, he was running yesterday but we don’t know exactly what that means for today.

“It would be helpful if he could train before the game! I don’t know yet.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Thursday, January 20, 2022: Arsenal's Thomas Partey (R) challenges Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho', and is sent off as a result, during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are not expected to have any other new injuries ahead of Sunday’s trip back to the capital, though Klopp acknowledged that late tests may be required after “proper knocks” to a number of his players.

“The rest as far as I know were only knocks,” he continued.

“Yes, we got knocks, proper knocks. The second yellow from Partey against Fabinho, that was a proper knock.

“I didn’t hear anything, so that’s – most of the time – positive, but sometimes I get surprised after the press conference. I don’t know anything else.”

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