(Reuters) – Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne could make his first Premier League start of the season against rivals Manchester United on Sunday as boss Juergen Klopp looks to manage a defensive injury crisis.
Centre back Joel Matip joined fellow defender Joe Gomez on the sidelines after fracturing his collarbone against Napoli on Tuesday, while right back Trent Alexander-Arnold is set to miss at least two games after picking up a knock in the same match.
“It’s our situation. Crisis is only a crisis if you feel it,” Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
“Trent is not as serious as the other two boys, but it’s not top class news. It was unlucky as well, like with Joel. It was in the last seconds of the game.”
While midfielder James Milner could fill in at right back, Klopp said Clyne could be ready to make his first league appearance since May.
The 27-year-old England international missed the majority of the last campaign through injury, while his only appearance this season was in the League Cup loss to Chelsea in September.
“(Clyne) was unfortunately injured in the past two or three weeks but luckily he’s back in full training for three or four days,” the manager said before also mentioning a couple of young players who could feature in the squad this weekend.
“Is he ready for 90 minutes? I don’t know. But is he ready for Sunday? Yeah.
“Rafa Camacho played outstandingly in pre-season and Curtis Jones too. We have other options and as long as we have options everything is fine.”
Klopp’s side are top and remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League, but the German is yet to taste victory against United in the competition since joining the Merseyside club in 2015.
United, meanwhile, have been inconsistent this season and trail their rivals by 16 points in sixth place, with manager Jose Mourinho attracting criticism for his cautious brand of football.
“I’ve been aware of the criticism but when we analyse and switch off the sound there is a lot of quality, technique, strength,” Klopp said.
“Sometimes we haven’t got the results we deserved (against United). We haven’t won a lot but we will try to change that.
“They have pretty much everything. (David) De Gea in the goal. (Marcus) Rashford and (Romelu) Lukaku, (Jesse) Lingard too are unbelievable. We don’t judge the points they have just the quality.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)