Jurgen Klopp has casted doubt over the fitness of Virgil van Dijk, after the £75m man sat out Liverpool’s FA Cup third round defeat to Wolves on Monday night.
The 27-year-old is yet to miss a minute of Premier League football this term, but could be set to sit out Liverpool’s trip down south at the weekend to face Brighton.
In his post match conference following Liverpool’s 2-1 loss at Wolves on Monday night, the enigmatic manager was questioned over the fitness of his key players, but left fans guessing whether van Dijk will return for the weekend.
“I had to make these [nine] changes. Hendo had something from the Man City game. Virg [van Dijk] cannot play; he is at home and hopefully it is nothing but he has played all the games so far,” Klopp told the media, as reported by Goal.
With Joe Gomez and Joel Matip still nursing long term injuries, Liverpool are short-staffed at the back, and the news that Dejan Lovren could be out for more than a month with a hamstring issue only hinders Klopp further in his quest for a first league title on English shores.
Monday’s 2-1 loss at Molineux means Liverpool will be competing on just two fronts this term as they vie for the Champions League and Premier League titles.
Looking forward, the league leaders’ domestic schedule will return to normal in the weeks to come, as they must contend with just three more Premier League ties in January.
Liverpool go into Saturday’s game four points clear at the summit of the Premier League table, and will be desperate to take all three points from the Amex after their seven point lead was slashed by Man City last time out.