Matip injury scan puts youngsters Williams and Phillips on standby

Liverpool defender Joel Matip faces injury scan on Tuesday after limping off against West Brom as Reds’ defensive worries deepen… but Jurgen Klopp still has no intention of bringing in cover during the January window

  • Joel Matip was substituted after pulling up in Liverpool’s draw with West Brom
  • Rhys Williams came on, with the Reds already missing Virgil van Dijk and Gomez
  • The youngster and Nat Phillips are their only options to fill-in for the defender 
  • Matip undergoes a scan on Tuesday to check the severity of the problem  

Joel Matip will on Tuesday have a scan to determine the severity of the groin issue that once again leaves Liverpool facing a defensive injury crisis.

Matip pulled up sharply during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with West Brom and was substituted in the 57th minute, after damaging his adductor and he was replaced by teenager Rhys Williams.

Liverpool have had to carefully manage Matip, who has endured a number of fitness issues over the past 18 months; he had been forced to miss the Tottenham game earlier this month but had returned for the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace.

Joel Matip was forced off injured against West Brom to deepen Liverpool’s injury problems 

Rhys Williams came on for the 29-year-old as Liverpool are left bare for centre-back options 

Nat Phillips has also impressed filling in for Jurgen Klopp this season as an emergency backup

The worst case scenario for Jurgen Klopp would be the 29-year-old facing a lay-off that runs into several weeks, as he is already without his first choice pair Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez almost certainly for the rest of the season.

Fabinho, the midfield anchorman, has been converted to a central defender but Matip – who will miss Wednesday’s trip to Newcastle – had been the only recognised senior professional in that position.

The onus will now be on Williams and Nat Phillips to continue their progression – both young players have impressed in the moments they have been called into action this season and are highly-regarded by Klopp.

Klopp now has a tough situation to manage, hoping to keep the Reds atop the Premier League 

As things stand, Liverpool have no intention of looking to bring someone in on-loan to provide cover as they are adamant that Williams, 19, and Phillips, 23, have the quality to take on more responsibility and know how Klopp wants to play.

It has been an unprecedented season for Liverpool in terms of serious injuries but James Milner and Xherdan Shaqiri returned to the squad against West Brom and Thiago Alcantara, who has so far been limited to just 135 minutes since his £20million move from Bayern Munich, is edging closer to a comeback.

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