Ozan Kabak is unlikely to feature on Sunday as Liverpool look to end their wretched home form against Fulham.
Speaking at today’s pre match press conference, Jurgen Klopp confirmed the 20-year-old Turkish centre half sustained a muscle injury:
“Ozan yesterday after the game had a little problem. We will see if he is ready [for Fulham]. It doesn’t look like it now.”
Kabak partnered Fabinho as he returned to the starting line up to ensure a sixteenth different partnership was employed for yesterdays 3-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Another defeat forces Klopp’s side into seventh place, but the German was able to confirm Nat Phillips is likely to return after his absence last night:
“It’s not easy in our situation, we brought him in and he’s had to adapt. He’s a really good player. We have to see which decision we make for it. Looks like everyone could be available for Sunday but Ozan.”
The Reds suffered their fifth consecutive home defeat, inflicted by Klopp’s former colleague Thomas Tuchel. Mason Mount’s strike in the forty-second minute was enough to secure victory for the West Londoners.
"The most important thing is, and I said it last night and I cannot change that now overnight, the thing we have to improve is our decision-making in decisive moments."
Klopp ahead of #LIVFUL ⬇️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 5, 2021
Praise for Parker
Now another side emerge from the capital in the form of Scott Parker’s Fulham.
The Cottagers narrowly dropped points to Tottenham at Craven Cottage, assisted by a controversial VAR decision which ruled out their equaliser.
Regardless, Parker’s side will be looking to climb the table in their relegation battle, and Klopp heaped on the praise for the young manager:
“[Parker is] great. Big achievement to be promoted, I like them. The way Brighton, Fulham are playing is exceptional in the Premier League.
“Potter and Parker are good English managers and that is a good sign. They do it in a football way. They show they are ready for big careers.”
“I saw a very active Fulham side and Spurs had to defend them. We will have to do the same. I hope we can create more and have more chances against them but we cannot judge Fulham by the position they are in.”
Importance of Mo Salah
Fulham earned a 1-1 draw the last time the two sides met. Mo Salah’s penalty enough to clinch a point despite an unconvincing performance.
The Egyptian was hooked on the hour mark yesterday. Klopp was undeterred by Salah’s increased responsibility as Liverpool’s main talisman.
The 28-year-old has continued his goalscoring prowess where as the rest of the Reds triumvirate have failed to reach their usual high standards in front of goal this campaign.
“I think he enjoys the pressure [of being top scorer]. He’s been outstanding again. I could have changed last night other players but it was more about who we bring on and he looked like he felt the intensity. He maybe saw it different, that’s fine.
“We make these decisions in the moment. Then we have to explain it and you make stories. These discussions we’ve never had.
“I make the decision, the boys accept it. We all knew we came to the top together and we will sort it together. That’s our idea.”
Jurgen Klopp’s side need to rediscover last seasons scintillating form if they are to reach Europe in any aspect this season; and a win here with a depleted squad could be the kick start required to rejuvenate their season.
At times Liverpool have looked lifeless and lost when trying to break sides down at Anfield, persisting with a high defensive line regardless of the back four.
At times last season the Reds were an irresistible pressing machine; mentality monsters. Now they look disheartened and demoralised, perilous and vulnerable when they concede.
The second half performance was encouraging, especially when Diogo Jota made a cameo appearance.
Ultimately, the results have boiled down to a lack of predatory instinct in front of goal and fatigue caused by an injury ravaged season. However, Klopp ensures us that things are heading in the right direction.
“An average game, you can still win it but we lost games when we were even good. That is the opposite of what we want. We are self-critical and take the criticism but it is still our situation. We try to change the near future.”