By 90Min
November 18, 2017

Just as Liverpool appeared to be entering the frantic festive period with almost a clean bill of health, they have been dealt an injury blow to key defender Joel Matip, who is set to miss the visit of Southampton on Saturday.

The 26-year-old has been carrying a thigh injury throughout the week, and with Liverpool facing 13 games in the space of six-weeks, Matip is unlikely to be risked against the Saints.

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As a result of Matip's injury, Dejan Lovren is expected to return to the starting lineup for the first time since his diabolical display in Liverpool's heavy defeat to Tottenham last month, as per the Liverpool Echo

The injury blow means Jurgen Klopp will have to reshuffle his back-line at Anfield, with Ragnar Klavan set to partner Lovren at centre-back for the first time this season. 

Matip has played 17 games for Liverpool so far this season and with their defensive record improving prior to the international break, consistency was set to be the key for the Reds as they kick-start their hectic winter schedule. 

The fresh injury comes as a major blow to Liverpool, who have only just welcomed back an injured quartet of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho and Sadio Mane.

Ahead of the clash with Southampton, Klopp spoke of the importance of utilising his entire squad within the next few weeks, he said: "Everyone will be required, 100%. Hopefully we can keep this group healthy, fit and full of desire, ready to go and all that stuff. It’s not only an intense period but decisive as well.”

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