Liverpool and Chelsea go head-to-head this weekend and it appears that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had this game in mind when leaving defender Joel Matip out of his squad traveling away to Spain for a date with Sevilla in the Champions League. The Cameroonian missed Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Southampton at the weekend as well. The Liverpool Echo confirmed last week Matip was suffering from a thigh problem.
It was initially believed that Matip would be fit for the clash against Sevilla tomorrow, and Klopp leaving him out of the traveling squad could be because he wants him fit for the Chelsea clash at the weekend. And if that’s the case, Klopp has done the right thing. The last thing the Reds want is for Matip to aggravate the injury and miss the important Premier League clash.
Liverpool currently top Group E in the Champions League with eight points, one ahead of Sevilla, and have a healthy +10 goal difference. The Merseyside club need two points from their remaining two games to qualify for the second round of the Champions League, and although they need their best players for the clash against Sevilla, Klopp will know he has a good chance of beating Spartak Moscow at home in two weeks’ time.
Dejan Lovren could however start against Sevilla. The Croatian had been out of action since October before returning to the team for the Southampton clash this past weekend. He has travelled with the rest of the first team squad to Spain.
Adam Lallana could also be in line for his first appearance of the season. The former Southampton star is a surprise inclusion in Jurgen Klopp’s traveling squad. Lallana’s return will be a massive boost for Klopp, especially with Chelsea next on the menu in the Premier League. The England international may not start against Sevilla tomorrow but could start against Chelsea on the 25th.
A lot of Liverpool fans would have been scared when Lallana didn’t make the matchday squad against his former club Southampton over the weekend, which was contrary to what Klopp had told the fans and journalists before the game. Now it appears Jurgen Klopp was merely being cautious.
LIVERPOOL SQUAD: Loris Karius, Simon Mignolet, Danny Ward; Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold; Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Philippe Coutinho, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Emre Can; Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Daniel Sturridge, Sadio Mane, Dominic Solanke, Danny Ings.