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Three options for Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp after Virgil Van Dijk’s injury scare

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Liverpool

Three options for Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp after Virgil Van Dijk’s injury scare

A routine victory over Southampton should have been good news for Liverpool, but there was one blow as influential defender Virgil Van Dijk limped off with a rib injury.

Post-match, Jurgen Klopp insisted that the problem was not expected to be serious, but with the next outing a Carabao Cup tie against Chelsea, the German may be tempted to rest the Dutch international.

With more and more options becoming available following injuries, here are three men who could fill in for Van Dijk if Klopp does opt to rest him.

Joel Matip

The free transfer signing returned to action with his first start of the season on Saturday, coincidentally alongside Van Dijk. For the latter stages of the game, he played alongside Joe Gomez and that may be the starting partnership for Stamford Bridge.

 

Matip looked composed and reliable, but the doubt over his ability to play may be the risk of throwing him in at the deep end with 180 minutes of game time in five days after a prolonged period on the sidelines.

Dejan Lovren

Jurgen Klopp revealed on Friday that the Croatian is close to a return to action but was not yet ready to feature. With this injury blow coming, he may be rushed back in order to give more options for the Reds’ back line.

Lovren is yet to feature this season after a stomach issue which he played through the pain with during the end of last season and the World Cup, but if fit it will still be a risk to feature with his expected return date still a little way off.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 07: Nathaniel Phillips of Liverpool in action during the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool and Torino at Anfield on August 7, 2018 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Getty Images)

Nathaniel Phillips

An unknown to many, even devout Liverpool fans, but the 21-year-old featured heavily in the Liverpool first team squad in pre-season and is likely to be the next in line following the sale of Ragnar Klavan on transfer deadline day.

The Liverpool under 23s’ captain joined from Bolton Wanderers and has impressed Jurgen Klopp. He’s unlikely to be given a Premier League debut just yet, but a Carabao Cup run out is certainly not off the cards if the coach is keen to rotate.

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