Liverpool’s defensive problems worsen after Fabinho suffers hamstring injury

Chris Bascombe
·2-min read
Liverpool's Fabinho picks up an injury during the UEFA Champions League Group D match at Anfield, Liverpool. - PA
Liverpool's Fabinho picks up an injury during the UEFA Champions League Group D match at Anfield, Liverpool. - PA

Liverpool’s defensive problems have worsened after stand-on centre-back Fabinho suffered a hamstring injury in the 2-0 win over Midtjylland.

The Brazilian, who has been deputising for long-term absentee Virgil van Dijk, pulled up 30 minutes into his side’s Champions League victory.

Manager Jurgen Klopp says it is too soon to know how long he will be missing. “I don’t know. Muscle injuries are like this,” said Klopp. “You get the result [of a scan] tomorrow.”

With Joel Matip also battling for fitness, Klopp is not sure what options will be available for West Ham’s visit in the Premier League on Saturday.

“If it would be only one game and it was the last of the season I think he [Matip] could be fit, but then we have a game three days later,” said Klopp. “We can’t use injured players on the first day they are not injured any more. They need a build-up for the rest of the season. We will try everything to make everyone as fit as possible.”

Teenager Rhys Williams played the final hour. “He [Williams] did really well. To be really positive, he played a really good game. He was not in trouble,” said Klopp.

“But now we have four days until West Ham and he has to show he can be calm with everything around him.

“He has more Champions League than Premier League minutes and has not played in the Premier League yet. He looks promising. We also have Nat Phillips and ‘Billy the Kid’ [Billy Koumetio, 17-year-old centre-back] is back in training. It looks like we will have to choose one.”

Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing
Chris Bascombe's Liverpool briefing

Klopp said captain Jordan Henderson was subbed at half-time in a pre-planned move. “Hendo said at half time he wanted to play on but I decided we had to share 45 minutes. In these moments you have to be strong. We made the change,” he said. “It was as difficult as I expected. We made a lot of changes. It is my job to decide with the information. It was tricky. They pressed like crazy. You saw when the team defends like they did you need patterns and we did not have them. You have to fight and that is what we did.”

On Liverpool’s mounting injury troubles, Klopp added: “It is like a marriage. In good and bad times you have to stay together. A player says goodbye for a while but we still have to win.”