Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp confirmed on Tuesday night that defender Dejan Lovren was very unlikely to return for Sunday’s clash with Manchester United.
Joel Matip and Fabinho started at the back for Liverpool’s 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich in the absence of first choice pair Lovren and Virgil van Dijk.
Man United players know that a win over Liverpool would ensure they remained in second place behind Manchester City in the Premier League table.
Speaking after the game, Klopp did not sound hopeful of Lovren’s chances of recovering for the game.
“There was not a real doubt, to be honest,” he said.
“It was not mind games but Dejan had no chance for the game today actually, I don’t think he even has a chance for the next game. He will take his time
“It was clear Fabinho and Joel have to play tonight, so we trained it – we tried everything – and now hopefully the boys are ready.”
It should be noted that Liverpool defended well against a skillful yet ambivalent Bayern attack, reducing the visitors to a series of half-chances in a tight game.
The clash at Old Trafford should be a lot more open. Both teams know a win on Sunday would have an enormous impact on how the next few months unfold.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have made it clear to his players that it was their duty to go straight for the throats of Liverpool’s makeshift centre-back pairing.