Jurgen Klopp Suggests Thiago & Joel Matip Could Return for Sheffield United Clash

Oct 23, 2020, 4:00 PM GMT+1
UEFA Champions League Group D"Ajax Amsterdam v Liverpool FC"
Klopp has been speaking to the press | ANP Sport/Getty Images
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Thiago Alcantara and Joel Matip could feature for Liverpool in Saturday's clash with Sheffield United, with manager Jurgen Klopp refusing to rule the key duo out of contention.

Last weekend's trip to Everton left Klopp's squad stretched to its limits, with Virgil van Dijk effectively ruled out for the season after a horror challenge from Jordan Pickford. Thiago also missed Wednesday's trip to Ajax, after he was on the receiving end of a red-card foul by Richarlison.

"Everyone is fit apart from Ox, Virg and maybe Kostas [Tsimikas]," Klopp told reporters on Friday. "We have to see. We've had a lot of discussions with the medical department and we do what makes sense. With the games we have if someone is out for two weeks that could mean five games.

"So I don't know. The boys who played against Ajax are all fine."

Matip is also a doubt for Saturday, but when pressed on Matip and Thiago in particular, Klopp added: "We have training after press conference, we will see who is out then. I don't want to rule anybody out until somebody tells me different.

"For me, everyone apart from the three I mentioned are in contention."

Should Matip miss out, it's likely Klopp will revert to partnering Joe Gomez and Fabinho at the heart of defence. That pairing kept a clean sheet in Amsterdam, and Klopp is confident the Brazilian midfielder can step in once more if required.

The manager added: "We all know Fab can play [centre-back]. He played it against Bayern at home and was great, I am not surprised but he needs to get used to it. These boys need to get used to each other."

Meanwhile, 19-year-old Rhys Williams, who made his Champions League debut from the bench during the week, could also been in contention to feature at the weekend, with Klopp commenting on the defender's rise.

"It's a nice story. I saw it in his eyes that he was impressed by the occasion after the game which is nice," Klopp said on Williams. "He is a real talent. He played last year at Kidderminster and that makes it special. Nat Phillips and Billy 'the Kid' [Koumetio] are here as well. These are solutions."

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