sport news Liverpool's problems are all too clear if injury-prone Joel Matip is the answer

Liverpool's problems are all too clear if injury-prone Joel Matip is the answer -Jurgen Klopp's side need reliability in the heart of defence Liverpool are reliant upon Joel Matip, which shows where their problems are  Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were deployed as centre-backs v Southampton  Liverpool missed Henderson's presence in midfield as they fell to a 1-0 defeat 

By Ian Ladyman for the Daily Mail

Published: 22:30 GMT, 4 January 2021 | Updated: 22:54 GMT, 4 January 2021

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Is it too simplistic to say that the direction of Liverpool’s season now hinges on the fitness of Joel Matip? 

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Maybe — but rarely has so much importance been placed on the future well-being of a team’s third-best central defender. But with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez injured for the rest of the campaign, it feels like Matip will have to make a significant contribution when he returns from his latest problem if his team’s underwhelming form is not to continue.

Not all of Liverpool’s issues are in this area. Despite a recent 7-0 thumping of Crystal Palace in London, Liverpool have not been as fluent with the ball this season. Jurgen Klopp’s team do not look as irresistibly dangerous and do not create as many chances. That has been apparent since the defence of their Premier League title began.

If Liverpool have to rely on the injury-prone Joel Matip then it shows where their problems lie

If Liverpool have to rely on the injury-prone Joel Matip then it shows where their problems lie

However, Liverpool’s championship season was built on a reliability when they didn’t have the ball and in the absence of Van Dijk and Gomez that has been irrefutably lost.

Fabinho, a midfielder, is currently the mainstay in the centre of the defence and has hardly faltered. It is finding someone to fill the position next to him that is the problem. When Matip went off at Fulham with a muscle injury three weeks ago, Klopp asked Jordan

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