Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Gomez-Matip partnership is not rocket science – Klopp

SoccerNews in English Premier League 23 Oct 2020

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Jurgen Klopp is confident centre-backs Joe Gomez and Joel Matip will have little issue forming an effective partnership in the absence of Liverpool talisman Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk is set to miss at least the majority of the current campaign after suffering knee ligament damage in a challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during last week’s Merseyside derby.

Matip missed the midweek win over Ajax, meaning Fabinho stepped into defence, but Klopp’s options are limited moving forward.

Dejan Lovren left at the end of last season, leaving Gomez and Matip as the club’s only remaining natural centre-backs.

Klopp expects the duo to adapt and “fight together”, although they are yet to start alongside each other in this role due to Van Dijk’s dominance.

“The reason for that is because I think Virg played pretty much all the games and one of them was injured,” Klopp said.

“As long as Dejan Lovren was still here and Dejan was in that moment fit, [he could play].

“I didn’t know they had never played together, I didn’t know that, but they can play together – not a shadow of a doubt.

“As I said for the Fabinho and Joe pairing, they need to get used to each other and the full-backs need to get used to them. The more stability you have in this line, the better.

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