Ragnar Klavan in line for Liverpool debut against Chelsea, as Matip continues to battle ankle issue

The Estonian defender will come in against Chelsea.

Ragnar Klavan in line for Liverpool debut against Chelsea, as Matip continues to battle ankle issue
Klavan (far left) pictured in Liverpool training - Photo; Getty Images

Ragnar Klavan is in line to make his first start for Liverpool in the early hours of Thursday morning, with the Reds playing Chelsea in the International Champions Cup in the United States.

Klavan is likely to line up at left-centre-back alongside Dejan Lovren against the Blues, as Joel Matip continues to battle an ankle injury that has prevented him from completing a full training session on the US tour so far.

Matip still struggling with ankle knock

Matip, who signed on a free transfer from FC Schalke 04 this summer, limped off in the 2-0 friendly win over Wigan Athletic 10 days ago and hasn't been back in action since. The injury was the same ankle problem that has troubled him since arriving on these shores last month, Liverpool now reluctant to take any fitness risks with the Cameroon international.

Klavan will happily step up in his place to make his first start for the Reds, after completing a £4.2million move from Bundesliga side FC Augsburg last week. He and Lovren could find themselves playing a full game against Chelsea, given Liverpool's rapidly dispersing centre-back options.

Matip couldn't finish the fixture against Wigan (photo; Getty Images)
Matip couldn't finish the fixture against Wigan (photo; Getty Images)

Liverpool struggling for defensive options

Matip's injury will of course keep him out, whilst Mamadou Sakho was sent home from the US tour on Monday, although the reasons for his departure are unconfirmed. Adding to that, Tiago Ilori is away training for the Olympics with Portugal, and Joe Gomez is still recovering from a long term injury. 

Andre Wisdom could step up and get some minutes, but all this controversy will leave fans wondering whether or not Klopp could dip back into the market for one more centre-back this summer, with Matip's fitness doubts and any potential fallout with Sakho.

The German coach is still chasing a left-back to provide competition for Alberto Moreno, and there are reports that he could still yet buy another centre midfielder, despite the arrival of Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle United last week