Jurgen Klopp has been handed a massive boost ahead of Liverpool’s blockbuster bout against Manchester United this weekend as Fabinho and Joel Matip have returned to training.
The duo have been sidelined for a hefty chunk of this campaign due to various injury complications. Fabinho has been out of action for nearly two months after sustaining an ankle injury on November 27, while Matip has not featured since October with a recurring knee problem.
Could Fabinho and Matip feature against Man Utd? Five things to know…
- Liverpool take on arch-rivals Man Utd in the Premier League on Sunday.
- Klopp will hope to have Matip and Fabinho back available after both players returned to training on Wednesday.
- Fabinho has completed his rehabilitation from an ankle injury, while Matip has overcome a recurring knee issue.
- With both players having not featured since October and November respectively, Klopp is unlikely to start either on Sunday.
- Liverpool are unbeaten this season and have kept five consecutive clean sheets, so there is certainly no incentive to rush either player back.
Despite having to make do without one of his main centre-backs and arguably his most influential midfielder these past few months — and across the arduous festive period — Klopp has ensured Liverpool have remained on track for Premier League glory.
The Reds are currently 14 points clear at the summit of the top-flight and have kept five successive clean sheets, so there is certainly no need to rush either player back and risk further injury troubles.
As such, Klopp may be tempted to put both Fabinho and Matip on ice for this weekend’s derby against Man Utd, especially with an FA Cup fourth-round meeting against Shrewsbury and a Champions League double-header against Atletico Madrid on the horizon.
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In other positive news for Koppites, Dejan Lovren is also recovering well from a hamstring injury and could return in the coming weeks, though he has not yet returned to first-team training.
With the trio nearing their respective returns to first-team action, Klopp has sent Nathaniel Phillips back out on loan to German outfit Stuttgart after the 22-year-old centre-back was recalled to provide cover during the Merseyside derby and against Spurs at the weekend.