Blow for Liverpool as star is ruled out before crucial Manchester United clash

By Mirror: Wednesday, December 12th 2018 at 21:20 GMT +3 | Football
[PHOTO: COURTESY]

Liverpool have been dealt a huge blow with news that Joel Matip will be out until FEBRUARY.

And with Joe Gomez also sidelined with a fracture in his leg, and doubts about the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Nathaniel Clyne for the weekend, it leave Reds boss Jurgen Klopp with his first major headache of a stunning season so far.

Matip fell awkwardly right at the end of the pulsating Champions' League victory over Napoli on Tuesday night, and was still prone on the turf at the final whistle, clutching his shoulder.

He was quickly taken to hospital in Liverpool for scans, which have revealed that he had suffered a broken collarbone, and will now undergo surgery to fix the fracture.

That means he will be sidelined for up to six weeks, which is a blow for Klopp given he has emerged in recent weeks in the absence of Gomez as one of the team's most consistent performers.

Dejan Lovren has also been struggling with injury in recent weeks, but he came on at the end of the win over the Italians, and should be ready to resume his central defensive partnership with Virgil van Dijk against Manchester United on Sunday.

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But Trent Alexander-Arnold limped out of the European win with a knock on his foot, and he remains a doubt for the weekend, with club medics still assessing the extent of the injury...even if it is not thought to be too serious at this point.

Clyne has also struggled with a minor problem and hasn't trained, and that meant Klopp using versatile James Milner at right back when he rested Alexander-Arnold at Bournemouth last weekend.

But Milner himself came off against Napoli with cramp, and that could see the manager turn to midfielder Fabinho to fill in at full back.

That wouldn't be a total disaster for the German coach though, with Fabinho now first choice right back for his country Brazil, in a position he started he career in, before switching to midfield.

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