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Klopp set to make changes for Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Fulham

Jurgen Klopp has been presented with yet another unwanted injury headache ahead of Liverpool ’s Premier League clash with Fulham.

The champions have seen their title defence derailed in recent months following a run of just three wins in 13 league matches, including a remarkable five home defeats in a row.

Liverpool’s collapse is due in part to their manager constantly being forced to chop and change his line-up as players drop like flies on an almost weekly basis.

Klopp’s primary cause for concern is his backline. Having lost first choice centre-backs Virgil van Djik and Joe Gomez to long term injuries earlier in the campaign, deputies Joel Matip, Fabinho and even Jordan Henderson have also spent time on the treatment table.

As Liverpool took to the pitch against Chelsea in their last outing, Klopp was forced to name a 19th different central defensive pairing for the season with Fabinho lining up next to January signing Ozan Kabak.

Klopp has had to constantly chop and change his defence

However, after suffering a 1-0 defeat thanks to Mason Mount’s first half strike, the Liverpool manager then revealed Kabak was the latest player to pick up an injury, casting doubt over his participation against Fulham.

“Ozan had after the game a little problem,” Jürgen Klopp revealed. “He has played a lot of games now and we will see if he is ready for Fulham.

“It doesn’t look like in the moment, so we will have to find solutions.”

Klopp hinted that Nathaniel Phillips will be drafted back into the starting eleven as well as suggested another January defensive signing in Ben Davies could be available.

“Nat, I think, will be ready and Ben as well,” Klopp said on Friday. “For Ben it’s not easy in our situation; we brought him in and he has to adapt and all of these kind of things. He is a really good player.

Ozan Kabak is set to miss out for the Reds
Ozan Kabak is set to miss out for the Reds

“If you bring one new player and then a second new player it changes everything, so we have to see which decision we make for it.

“It looks like from the boys who were available – and I didn’t get the final information yet, only yesterday after the game – the game could come too quick for Ozan, but Nat should be ready again and Ben.”

With one eye on the return leg of the Champions League last 16 against RB Leipzig next week, Klopp could make changes further up the pitch as not to risk further problems for his injury-ravaged squad.

Alex Olade-Chamberlain and James Milner could be drafted into the midfield following their cameo appearances in the Chelsea defeat while Diogo Jota might be trusted with a place in the front three as he continues his return to fitness.

Liverpool are set to make changes against Fulham
Liverpool are set to make changes against Fulham

The summer signing from Wolves had an explosive start to his Anfield career scoring nine times in 18 appearances, but has missed nearly three months of action following a knee injury.

Portuguese forward Jota made a substitute appearance against Chelsea and could replace Sadio Mane who has struggled for form recently.

“I want to help the team and I know scoring goals is important,” Jota told the Liverpool website. “But at the moment we just need to all stay together because it’s a hard moment – not just for me but for the team.

“We all need to push from the same side and hopefully on Sunday we can get back to winning ways.”

Despite being withdrawn for Jota in the same game, Klopp is expected to keep faith with his top scorer Mohamed Salah against the struggling Londoners.

Possible XI: Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Fabinho, Phillips, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Salah, Origi, Jota




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