Liverpool (UK), Aug. 6, 2018 – Liverpool face potential defensive problems ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against West Ham United, manager Juergen Klopp said.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are their only senior centre backs fit and available ahead of the new season.
Joel Matip (hip) and Ragnar Klavan (hamstring) both missed Saturday’s 5-0 thrashing of Italian side Napoli due to injuries and are doubtful for Liverpool’s final pre-season match against Torino on Tuesday.
“Joel, we’ll have to see. Klavan shouldn’t be too serious, but if Tuesday is too early I don’t know yet.
“Maybe we will do some magic things with the formation on Tuesday. I don’t know how we will do it,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
Croatia international Dejan Lovren will rejoin the squad on Monday after an extended break following the World Cup but is a doubt for the next two games.
“Dejan didn’t train so far. He probably won’t play Tuesday and Sunday will be very difficult as well.
“The first two league games at least are in the ‘pre-season’ (for the World Cup players),” Klopp added.
Liverpool finished fourth last season and reached the final of the Champions League where they were beaten by Real Madrid.
“The league will be difficult. It is not about judging our situation and thinking ‘wow, really good.’
“We need to be ready each week, not only for a few games. That is our challenge,” Klopp said.