Wednesday night’s visit to Brighton appears to be too early for the return of Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Fabinho, with Jurgen Klopp hinting the pair will miss the Premier League clash.
Although the Reds have returned to form in their last two league outings, beating Tottenham and West Ham 3-1, fitness issues have continued for Klopp.
Mane scored and assisted in the victory over Spurs mid-last week but was later ruled out of the squad to face West Ham with a slight muscle complaint.
Klopp insisted the problem was “not serious”. However, it looks like the forward could miss Wednesday’s game as well, judging by comments from the manager’s pre-match press conference (via Liverpoolfc.com).
“It’s like that,” Klopp said simply, when asked about players unavailable for the game against Brighton.
Fabinho is also set to miss Liverpool’s midweek fixture in order to be ready for the all-important showdown with Manchester City this weekend.
In addition, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita and long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all remain unavailable.
Klopp also suggested that new signing Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies have time to fold, making debuts unlikely this week.
“They [Davies and Kobak] will need time, but we don’t have a lot of time, so we’re going to use the time we have on our hands and do our best, ”said Klopp.
“If they were to start tomorrow night together, I think it wouldn’t be too cool. But we’ll give them a few more days. ”
In the absence of Van Dijk, Gomez, Matip and Fabinho, it is likely then that Klopp will continue to start captain Jordan Henderson at center-back alongside 23-year-old academy product Nathaniel Phillips, who impressed during recent outings.