Liverpool fans expected the return of Joe Gomez to ease their thin defensive back line, but that may be put on hold.
After Gomez fractured his leg against Burnley, Gomez was expected to be back out on the field in six weeks’ time. But two months after the injury, there is only bad news.
With the 21-year-old still not back on the field, Klopp was asked directly if his defender required surgery to fix the problem. “I don’t know,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match against West Ham on Monday. “We will see. It is possible, probably. It is not exactly going how we want, that’s how it is. He needs more time. We will see exactly how we do it.”
While Klopp’s assessment of his defender’s health was somewhat vague, he made it clear the recovery process has not gone according to plan. “There were different moments when we thought we could do this or that. It will take time. We can not say more,” Klopp said.
The inability for Gomez to return to the pitch has presented Liverpool with yet another problem along its back line, one of many. Dejan Lovren may miss the West Ham match with a setback regarding a hamstring injury that has kept him out since early January. Trent Alexander-Arnold has missed the last two matches with a knee injury and the club confirmed he will not return to training until next week. Virgil Van Dijk has played every single minute of the Premier League season but is suspended for the next Champions League match due to yellow card accumulation.
The injuries have forced reserve defender Joel Matip into action alongside van Dijk over the last two games, and the Reds have conceded four goals to Crystal Palace and Leicester City in that span. Jordan Henderson was forced to play right-back in the 1-1 draw against Leicester City, but James Milner will be back from his yellow card suspension to take over in that role.
Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund featured an injury to a position with very little depth.
The Reds lost Joel Matip to what Jurgen Klopp said could possibly be a “small tear” in one of his quads.
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If Matip, 26, needs any significant time to heal up, he’ll put a major question mark into Liverpool’s opening day center back pairing.
Virgil Van Dijk, who scored against BVB on Sunday, already won’t have Dejan Lovren as a partner thanks to a post-World Cup vacation.
That leaves Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan as options next to Van Dijk.
Matches at Crystal Palace and home to Brighton and Hove Albion follow the Aug. 12 visit from West Ham.
Joel Matip’s season looks likely to be over after he suffered a thigh injury in Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The center back, 26, played alongside Virgil Van Dijk in the win but ahead of Liverpool’s UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg with Manchester City at Anfield on Wednesday, the club have confirmed Matip’s injury is likely to require surgery.
In his second season with Liverpool after arriving from Schalke on a free transfer, Matip has been an important part of an improved Reds defense but since van Dijk arrived in January for a club record $100 million the Cameroon international has found himself splitting minutes with Dejan Lovren.
Here are more details from Liverpool’s website on Matip’s injury.
“Matip was able to complete the full 90 minutes of the fixture, but afterwards medical assessment on the thigh revealed surgery is expected to be required to correct the problem. The operation is likely to end the 26-year-old’s involvement in the remainder of the 2017-18 season.”
This is a blow for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool, especially after losing Joe Gomez through injury over the international break, but now it is time for Lovren to step up and prove his doubters wrong.
There has been signs of promise about Lovren and VVD playing together and now we will find out just how good they are as a partnership as they will likely play all of Liverpool’s remaining eight games (and possibly more if they get past City in the Champions League) of the season together at center back.
VVD is the main man at Liverpool and now Lovren must find his best form as he has started ahead of Matip in big games in recent months but has struggled at times as he was at fault during Liverpool’s defeat at Manchester United last month.
Originally ruled out for just this weekend’s fixture against Brighton and Hove Albion, the prognosis of Liverpool defender Joel Matip’s injury worry appears worse than feared.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Matip could miss up to a month of action due to a thigh injury, potentially sidelining him for a busy set of games. Between now and the end of December, Liverpool has eight matches, including one against Arsenal and another in the UEFA Champions League.
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The injury is yet another blow to a beleaguered Liverpool backline, which has conceded 18 goals this Premier League season. Matip has made 13 appearances in the Premier League this season.
Liverpool is going to have to get big performances from Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan in the center of defense while Matip is gone if they want to remain competitive for a Champions League position.
- Reds score twice in 3 first half minutes
- Liverpool sixth with 19 points
- West Ham now 17th
Red-hot Mohamed Salah scored two more goals as Liverpool hammered West Ham United 4-1 at the London Stadium on Saturday in what will surely lead to more calls for Irons coach Slaven Bilic‘s job.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Joel Matip also scored for the Reds, while Manuel Lanzini scored West Ham’s only marker.
Liverpool finishes the day in sixth, climbing back above Burnley on 19 points.
West Ham could finish the weekend in the drop zone if Everton beats Watford on Sunday.
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Joe Hart made a fine intervention early, and it was Simon Mignolet‘s chance to feel danger when Andre Ayew beat him but not the goal in the ninth minute.
West Ham looked up for it until opening up for a counter after a misplayed corner kick. Sadio Mane dribbled the majority of the pitch before deferring to Salah to beat Hart.
Matip then tapped a rebound past Hart off a corner kick. Salah’s corner came off Mark Noble to force Hart’s parry. That fell right to Matip. 2-0, 24′.
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Lanzini bodied Joe Gomez to make it 2-1 with two slick touches, but West Ham made it 3-1 within a minute when Oxlade-Chamberlain had two cracks at Hart.
It could’ve been 3-2 through Lanzini again, but he skied his chance over the bar after a nice feed from Andy Carroll.
Javier Hernandez was pushed in the back with a chance to nod home, but Neil Swarbrick didn’t see a enough for a penalty kick.
Salah made it a three-goal cushion with his final marker of the day.