Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp warned two players will be caught out after Van Dijk injury
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been warned his side could be found out at the back after the injury suffered by Virgil van Dijk, because the two full-backs will have to be reigned in significantly.
Van Dijk is set to miss the rest of the season after going down with an ACL injury.
The Dutch centre-back injured his Anterior Cruciate Ligament after being tackled by Jordan Pickford in last weekend’s Merseyside Derby.
As a result, Klopp faces the difficult task of patching up his defence without Van Dijk, and only has two senior centre-backs at his disposal at the moment.
This week against Ajax, he was forced to bring Fabinho down from midfield to cover after Joel Matip was left out of the side through injury.
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But according to Glen Johnson, Liverpool should be more concerned about the two full-backs in the absence of Van Dijk.
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are both attacking full-backs, and are known for getting forward and neglecting their defensive responsibilities at times due to the presence of Van Dijk behind them.
But Johnson explained that because of the Dutchman not being there to mop up behind them, Alexander-Arnold and Robertson could be caught out if they stay too high.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, he warned Klopp that he will need to watch out defensively, and claimed that Fabinho won’t be able to do the same job as Van Dijk because of his lack of pace.
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Johnson said: “Obviously I was an attacking full-back, and when I played alongside [Terry], I knew I didn’t have to come back that far, because I knew he’d win the ball back and I could stay high in an aggressive position.
“But when you play with other centre-halves, you have to defend, you have to tuck in.
“I think it will alter their games, they will have to be reigned in a little bit.
“Everyone will know they’re going to be high, sometimes at the same time.
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“The so-called smaller teams, they won’t even be looking. They’ll just play the ball into the space these guys will be leaving.
“Someone will fancy their chances one-on-one with Fabinho.”
Liverpool face Sheffield United this evening, and could be boosted by the return of Thiago Alcantara and Matip.
Both players missed the trip to Ajax as a precaution, but are set to be involved in some way this evening.
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