December 6, 2021

Klopp confirms Matip is doubtful for Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham – but Keita could return

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The Cameroon international suffered a back spasm against Fulham on Sunday and could now miss Wednesday’s top-of-the-table clash at Anfield

Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that Liverpool will make a late decision over the involvement of Joel Matip in their top-of-the-table clash with Tottenham.

The Cameroon international was forced off at half-time during the Reds’ 1-1 draw with Fulham on Sunday, with Klopp revealing afterwards he had suffered a back spasm.

Matip has undergone intensive treatment since, but Liverpool are unsure whether the 29-year-old will be fit to partner Fabinho at centre-back when Spurs visit Anfield on Wednesday night.

“We don’t know yet,” he told his pre-match press conference. “Only two days ago we played, and he left the pitch with a back spasm.

“The physios worked pretty much 24 hours on him. We will see. We have another session today, and we will see.”

Liverpool’s injury list is already a lengthy one, with Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, James Milner, Thiago Alcantara, Kostas Tsimikas, Diogo Jota and Xherdan Shaqiri already sidelined for various reasons.

Klopp confirmed that none of those would be available against Spurs but said midfielder Naby Keita could return having missed the Fulham game with an unspecified problem.

“Naby maybe,” Klopp said. “He was involved yesterday in the extended warm-up, I would say. There is another session today, and we will have to see how he reacts to that.

“With the others, no. No-one else.”

On Keita, who has managed just 10 appearances so far this season, he added: “Naby has no rhythm, that’s the truth. That’s because of different things, and that obviously doesn’t help, performance-wise.

“We have two days between games, and we have to make a decision – is he ready? Whatever you do in the rehab process, you cannot replace proper football training, and we don’t have a lot of football training because of the number of games we have.

“In Midtjylland, everyone who has seen Naby Keita playing, knows that was obviously not his best. Normal and explainable with a lack of rhythm, but obvious.

“Now we had to make a little step back with him. It’s not too serious, that’s why he’s back in training.

“Nobody is in doubt about Naby’s qualities, but when you are injured you need to get a little bit lucky that you don’t get re-injuries. He didn’t have that luck. We try to be as careful as we can, consider the personal situation of the boys. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not.”