Jürgen Klopp: Joël Matip unlikely to be fit for Liverpool's trip to Brighton

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has revealed that centre-back Joël Matip is likely to miss out on their Premier League clash with Brighton & Hove Albion this weekend with a muscle injury.

Jürgen Klopp: Joël Matip unlikely to be fit for Liverpool's trip to Brighton
(Picture: Getty Images - Shaun Botterill)

Liverpool are expecting to be without centre-back Joël Matip to face Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday due to a muscle "problem", Jürgen Klopp has revealed.

The Cameroon international lasted the full 90 minutes in the Reds' 3-0 win over Stoke City on Wednesday evening but sustained a minor injury that will prevent him from featuring against the Seagulls this weekend.

But the Reds boss insisted that Liverpool have no other injury issues as they go in search of three Premier League points to take them at least temporarily into the top four.

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Reds boss hoping to have Klavan fit

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp said that "it looks like Joël Matip is out" and explained: "After the game he had a problem. He felt something muscle-wise. We have to make the final assessment but it doesn't look like he is available for tomorrow."

Klopp insisted that is "pretty much all" of Liverpool's injury problems with no other major worries, insisting that midfielder Adam Lallana - absent from the Stoke squad - "is still building up his fitness."

He also insisted that Ragnar Klavan is "hopefully" available after illness sidelined him for the trip to the bet365 Stadium, declaring the need for Klavan's return all the important "when you think about Matip's situation."

"It's not that we have a big choice to make in defence," he said, also stating that Liverpool endured "a few knocks" at Stoke which is simply "how it is after a game."

Klopp also acknowledged that it is "the shorter part of the week" given the gap between Wednesday night's game and a 3pm kick-off on Saturday, saying that it is "not a long time to recover from different things."

He noted that "final decisions" will be made after Liverpool's training session on Friday afternoon.

If Klavan is passed fit it is expected that he will start alongside Dejan Lovren in defence, with Klopp's other option to move Joe Gomez into a central position and start Trent Alexander-Arnold at right-back.

Having made six changes in mid-week, the German is likely to restore Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho to the starting line-up with captain Jordan Henderson an option to come into midfield.

Reds boss positive about plethora of options

On his rotation policy, Klopp insisted he makes changes using advice from his medical staff - insisting they give him "information" which he has to "accept" because "there is nothing to discuss."

"I need to know who is in the mix, who I can think about in the moment and then I can make the line-up," he said. 

Klopp insisted that his players, in their training sessions, have to show him "every day" how much they "want to be involved" - adding: "That's what the players are doing. When they do that, then it depends on the opponent, on the moment, on the last game, on the next game. A lot of things have influence on my decision [on who starts]."

 

"But the best thing is you have 24 players to think about, unfortunately that is really not often the case," he acknowledged, insisting that so far Liverpool's rotating has "worked okay."

He noted that for him not to be criticised, the team "needs to win" and that if they don't "then it was absolutely the wrong decision" whereas "people think 'not too bad'" if they claim three points, Klopp saying that they "always know after the game and not earlier" whether he was right to make changes or not.