Liverpool Planning For Bayern Munich Clash Without Three Key Defenders
Liverpool are looking ahead to their next crucial game against Bayern Munich, but the defensive injuries that have plagued Jurgen Klopp’s side look like they will wreak havoc with his team selection. Up front, they have no issues, with star men Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all ready to go but we could potentially see a high scoring game at Anfield as they look short at the back.
The squad arrived back from Marbella today and with no FA Cup game this weekend, they are hoping to fix any niggles they have to current players. However, Klopp has confirmed he is planning for the Champions League last 16 tie without Dejan Lovren, who did not travel to Spain with the rest of the squad.
This is due to a hamstring injury he picked up last month and Klopp knows he cannot rush back the Croatian defender, or have him in his plans. He told the Liverpool website:
“I don’t want to rule it out but I cannot really plan with it. He is not here for good reasons, because he cannot be part of training.
“But, of course, we have to prepare it differently. If Dejan gives a sign on Monday – ‘I feel brilliant’ – then we’d have to think anew.
“But in the moment we prepare the game and in this preparation Dejan is not involved. We have to find other solutions.”
Those other solutions could be hard to come back as main central defender Virgil Van Dijk is ruled out of the first leg due to suspension. Along with that Joe Gomez is expected to be out for another month with his injury leaving Joel Matip as the only fit centre-back heading into the game.
That means he is expected to pair midfielder Fabinho at the heart of the defence, as he did against Brighton in the Premier League. The versatility of the Brazilian will provide relief for Klopp, who knows he can rely on him to fill in in a number of positions.
One positive for Liverpool is the impending return of right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is looking to regain match fitness after his knee injury. He will not be ready for Tuesday night but he will provide a much-needed option at right-back, where both Jordan Henderson and James Milner have played in recent weeks. It is presumed Klopp will trust Milner to play there once again against Bayern Munich.