Jürgen Klopp: No Matip or Coutinho for Liverpool's trip to Sunderland, but Sturridge and Origi up top is a possibility

Jürgen Klopp: No Matip or Coutinho for Liverpool's trip to Sunderland, but Sturridge and Origi up top is a possibility

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp categorically ruled out both Joel Matip and Philippe Coutinho of their trip to Sunderland on January 2, while admitting that Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi could both start a Premier League game up top together for the first time this season.

charlie-malam
Charlie Malam

Jürgen Klopp has confirmed Joel Matip and Philippe Coutinho will both be absent for Liverpool's trip to Sunderland on Monday and suggested he could make tactical changes. 

The Reds face their first test of 2017 with a trip to the north east to face David Moyes' men at the Stadium of Light, just two days after disposing of title rivals Manchester City at Anfield.

But they will be without Matip and Coutinho for the fifth successive game, having had the Brazilian absent since the reverse fixture against the Black Cats - a 2-0 home win at the end of November.

Centre-back Matip hasn't been available since a home draw with West Ham United last month, though the Reds have kept three clean sheets across four wins in his absence.

'No chance' of Matip or Coutinho featuring

The Reds boss hinted that miracles aren't possible and told journalists, when asked about whether Matip and Coutinho's situations had improved since his last press conference on Thursday: "Nobody told me that they can do what you have to do when you want to play a football game in two days. No chance [they will play]."

Liverpool could also be without midfielder Jordan Henderson, who was forced off after 64 minutes of their win over City on New Years' Eve.

Speaking in the aftermath, Klopp admitted that the club captain was struggling with "a little bit of pain in the heel."

"If Hendo is limping, it is probably a little bit more pain," he said, hinting at the Englishman's determination to play, before adding: "We have to see. We will see. We don't know exactly [how bad the injury is] in this moment."

We need to deliver, and we will, vows Klopp

But despite the short turn-around between fixtures, Liverpool's German manager declared that he is confident of as strong a performance as usual from his charges.

Asked about his thoughts on his starting line-up, he said he would "wait for information from the medical department" because the players "don't even have a real [training] session."

Klopp said that they have a "pretty short" session planned, in which they would do "some tactical stuff", but nothing else.

He added: "I think it was very important, that's what I was so happy that we won [versus City]. If you invest that much [into a game] then it would be really hard when you get nothing. We got everything and that's great."

Klopp insisted that Liverpool now "have to go to Sunderland and play our best", saying that Sunderland will face "the same" but "played a few hours earlier."

He bemoaned that he has "said enough about the fixtures" and that "long, long ago" they "accepted it" and must simply "try to get the next three points" at Sunderland.

Klopp said that he would watch the full 90 minutes of Sunderland's 4-1 defeat away at Burnley on Friday, having already seen their "other games", continuing: "Hopefully I will see some weaknesses, then I will make a line-up when the medical department gives me the opportunity to."

He added that he may have "no choice" and will simply have to play "the players who are fit" because "that's how it is" but admitted that there are "no excuses for anybody."

Klopp vowed: "That's how everybody obviously wants it and we have to deliver. And we will deliver."

German refuses to reveal much about tactical plans for Sunderland clash

Having played with both Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge up front in some games earlier in the season, reverting to a diamond formation in the EFL Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur in October, Klopp admitted he could do similarly here.

He said that they have "played already with Divock and Daniel together" and insisted that, with rotation a possibility, there is "an opportunity" for the two frontmen to start here.

However, he refused to reveal more as he said that he didn't "want to give David Moyes any information about our line-up" and joked: "I will say, at this moment, we will play the exact same line-up as we did tonight [against City]."

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