Premier League

Liverpool search for Joel Matip alternative after latest injury setback

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp hopes that centre back Joel Matip’s injury is not as serious as initially feared, but said the club will look for solutions to their defensive injury crisis before the transfer window deadline on Monday.

With senior centre backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez already ruled out with long-term injuries, Klopp was dealt another setback after Matip was forced off in Thursday’s 3-1 Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur.

Klopp said he was still waiting for the scan results on Matip’s ankle ligament injury but ruled out defensive stand-in Fabinho for Sunday’s trip to West Ham United.

“There are still glimmers of hope that it’s (Matip’s injury) not that serious, so no we don’t have the final result. We will know more in three or four hours hopefully,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.

“Fabinho no chance for the weekend.”

Brazil midfielder Fabinho, who has filled in at the back with several defenders out injured, was ruled out with a muscle injury against Spurs.

Midfielder Jordan Henderson took charge of the defensive line, with Nat Phillips coming on for Matip at halftime.

Thursday’s win was Liverpool’s first in six Premier League games and left them fourth in the table on 37 points from 20 games.

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