Liverpool expect to be without Joël Matip for several months after the defender sustained a knee ligament injury during Sunday’s win over Fulham.
Matip was injured in the second half of the dramatic 4-3 victory and is awaiting the results of a scan. However, Jürgen Klopp is resigned to losing the experienced centre-half for a lengthy period and to more disruption to a defence already without Andy Robertson until the new year.
The 32-year-old Matip, out of contract at the end of the season, has been in fine form alongside Virgil van Dijk and made his 150th Premier League appearance for Liverpool against Fulham. Ibrahima Konaté, who has been kept out of the side by Matip in recent weeks, is his likely replacement at Sheffield United on Wednesday.
Klopp, asked whether Matip was facing several months on the sidelines, replied: “When the doctor comes in and says: ‘It doesn’t look great’ … but we have to wait for the scans and the scan isn’t here yet.
“You can imagine it doesn’t look great. It is never good news (when a doctor says that immediately). I’ve never had that in all my years where someone says: ‘Oh my God, it’s completely wrong and there’s nothing wrong, he can play tomorrow.’ It doesn’t happen.”
Liverpool will again be without their first-choice goalkeeper, Alisson, at Bramall Lane, where Chris Wilder will be welcomed back as Sheffield United manager after replacing Paul Heckingbottom on Tuesday. Klopp joked that Liverpool “could probably bin our analysis” after the first managerial switch of the Premier League season but will revisit Wilder’s approach during his first spell in charge of Wednesday’s opponents.
“With all these circumstances it is difficult,” the Liverpool manager said. “But I know how he (Wilder) played still. I have this on my mind. It’s the same system but executed in a different direction and with different players. At that time they were very well drilled and everybody was saying: ‘Oh my God, what are they? Wingers?’ It was exciting.
“But we have to make sure that they react to what we do and if we are good it will be difficult for them. Chris will get a great reception but the only way you can calm down an atmosphere is with your own football. They will be really going for it, I’m 100% sure, but I’m 100% sure we will as well.”