Liverpool’s defensive options for Leicester clash with Robertson the latest injury worry

As injuries continue to ravage the Reds, particularly in defence, how will they set up from the back when they return to action against the Foxes? SAM JONES gives his view.

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Liverpool have endured a difficult start to the season with all the injuries suffered by various key members of the first team.

At the moment, much of the entire first team back line looks to be out injured, with Andrew Robertson the latest to be nursing an issue after international duty with Scotland.

As well as Robertson, Joe Gomez has been ruled out for most of the season after picking up a ligament injury while training with England, while Virgil van Dijk had his ACL torn in two following a horror tackle by Everton stopper Jordan Pickford.


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Meanwhile, first choice right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has also been ruled out for four weeks following an injury in the game against Manchester City, while backup option Neco Williams took a knock on the foot while away with Wales.

Taking all of these things into account and the fact that Fabinho is just shaking off his own issue, the defensive situation at Liverpool is looking pretty grim with an important game against league leaders Leicester City the up first after the international break.

Currently, the only fit senior centre-back at the club is Joël Matip. The Cameroonian is a very capable defender so will definitely slot in at the back.

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Matip is likely to be partnered by either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips. Both of the academy graduates have played first team minutes this season with the former playing a lot in the Champions League, and Phillips playing the whole league game against West Ham United where he was named man of the match.

In my opinion, if Fabinho is still unavailable, it will be Phillips who will partner Matip due to the extra experience he has. Also, the Boltoner is not registered for the Champions League while Williams is, meaning it is vital the Prestonian stays fit for the game in midweek.

At left-back, it remains to be seen whether or not Robertson will be available. If he is it is obvious that he will take the starting role. If he isn’t, however, it will most likely be new signing Kostas Tsimikas coming in for his first Premier League minutes.

We are yet to see much of the Greek since he made the move to Anfield, but he did impress for his country against Cyprus during the international break.

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Taking the right-back slot is likely to be either James Milner or Neco Williams. At 34, the former is a far more experienced option to come into the back line, but he is, of course, a midfielder by trade. Also, at his age, it is possible that Milner no longer has the pace required to play at full-back in the Premier League.

Williams on the other hand is a 19-year-old academy graduate, who has that raw pace and is a much more natural full-back option. Hopefully his foot knock isn’t too serious and he will be available here, so that Klopp’s options aren’t restricted too much.

The Welshman does have some Premier League experience, making six appearances in the competition, and is seen as one for now as well as the future so it would be nice to see Jürgen Klopp put faith in the youngster for this important fixture.


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