Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has this afternoon declared that midfielder Naby Keita will miss Sundays tie with Manchester United at Anfield.
The Liverpool boss insisted that the 25-year-old’s injury is ‘not a big thing’ but will not be ready for the visit of the league leaders.
‘Its one of those injuries were we have to take it slowly and put on the brake and settle it properly’ said Klopp.
‘We have alternatives and so we will give him all the time he needs’ added the LFC manager.
Klopp also teased the return of defender Joel Matip as he explained the centre-back will be assessed prior to this weekend’s clash.
‘Joel is close. Does it now make sense to throw him into a game with one or two sessions, which he didn’t do yet, but today and tomorrow he might be involved? I don’t know’ he explained.
‘We have to see, we have to decide, we have to look at him and how he will train, how he looks in training and these kind of things, but we have still different solutions’ the 53 year old added.
With a chance to regain to top spot in the Premier League up for grabs, Klopp spoke of his admiration of United’s key playmaker, Bruno Fernandes.
‘He is an outstanding player’
‘We played Sporting in USA and that game you could see, wow. A difference maker and that is what he shows now.’
‘He’s an influential player now. Goal involvements important but he is the link-up player and is a leader too. A good signing for Utd’ added Klopp.
Centre-back remains a key area for Liverpool’s woes this campaign, as injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip have meant Brazilian midfielder Fabinho has often dropped further back to aid within the starting XI.
Youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have stepped in to help when required but in a game of this magnitude, it is not yet clear which partnership Jurgen Klopp will go with.
The game could prove a vital early turning point in this season race to be crowned champions as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side look to stretch their lead at the top to 6 points.
United jumped ahead of their nearest rivals with a 1-0 away victory at Burnley on Tuesday evening, Paul Pogba’s volley the difference between the two sides.
As for the hosts, it’s a chance to end United’s impressive away form in the league this season, a record which has seen them win seven out a possible eight away ties.
Liverpool however have a record of their own to keep intact having not lost at home in the Premier League since April 2017.
A blockbuster awaits at Anfield on Sunday, with the top two looking to draw first blood in an already tight edge league campaign.