Thursday 21 November 2019

Blow for Klopp as Matip is ruled out for six weeks

Joel Matip: ruled out with knee injury. Photo: PA
Joel Matip: ruled out with knee injury. Photo: PA

Jamie Holland

Liverpool have been dealt a blow with the news that central defender Joel Matip has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

Matip is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a setback in his recovery from the injury and has featured just once in Liverpool's last five fixtures - the 1-1 draw with Manchester United on October 20.

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His absence from the two games before that visit to Old Trafford was put down to a knee complaint sustained in the win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Anfield manager Jurgen Klopp was initially optimistic that Matip would return to full fitness soon, but that no longer appears to be the case. It is now understood Matip could be facing up to six weeks on the sidelines.

That would rule the 28-year-old out of up to 10 games, including the visit of Manchester City to Anfield, a home Merseyside derby, and all three remaining Champions League group stage games.

Dejan Lovren has taken on the role of deputy in recent games, starting alongside Virgil van Dijk against both Genk and in Sunday's 2-1 Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur.

However, Klopp has hinted that Joe Gomez is ready to push for further starts in the future after getting back to full fitness.

On the other side of Stanley Park, Everton manager Marco Silva goes into tonight's Carabao Cup game against Watford under huge pressure after a poor start to the season.

There is anticipation that Goodison Park form will eventually ease Everton away from the Premier League danger zone.

However, Silva is under orders from Farhad Moshiri, the owner, to make the club far more competitive in the domestic cup competitions this season.

A quarter-final place would go some way to easing the disappointment of inconsistent results. Silva is setting his sights on Wembley. "Our goal and our ambition in the competition is clear and this is not the moment for us to hide," he said.

"We want to reach the end of the competition - the final. That's a dream for our fans and we have to share with them that ambition.

"Of course, we have to go step by step and the next step is the Watford match. It's good for us because it is at home.

"When you are working at Everton, playing at Everton, each game has to be a must-win game.

"For us, in each competition, until now we have been really serious looking to the Carabao Cup, even if we play against League One and Championship clubs."

Irish Independent

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