Liverpool stars losing fitness battle to make Man Utd clash in blow to Klopp

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has selection worries in both defence and midfield.

The reigning Premier League champions will find themselves six points from top spot should they lose to Manchester United on Sunday, and they won’t be at full strength.

As well as the long-term injuries suffered by Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, things are not looking too postive regarding a return of Joel Matip in defence.

That could see Klopp forced to play both Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at the back again, as he did in their defeat to Southampton on Monday.

Matip wasn’t spotted by the cameras as Liverpool trained on Wednesday, and Klopp has stuck by his rule that players need to take part in two full days of training to start at the weekend.

In addition, Naby Keita was also absent, which could prove to be an issue if Fabinho and Henderson are to be deployed at the back once again.

Matip hasn’t played since he limped off during the 1-1 draw with West Brom back in December, while Keita has not featured since the 7-0 win over Crystal Palace.

Additionally, ahead of the crunch derby at Anfield, Mark Clattenburg has accused Klopp of attempting to influence referee Paul Tierney with his recent penalty complaints.

In his column for the Mail, he wrote: “Jurgen Klopp must be getting worried, because his comments last week about Manchester United and penalties were straight out of Sir Alex Ferguson's playbook.

“It was mind games — an attempt to influence referee Paul Tierney and get inside his head before a huge match between Liverpool and United this Sunday.

“Klopp was correct when he said United have won more penalties in two years than Liverpool have in his five and a half at Anfield. He was smart, because his comments could not get him into trouble with the authorities.”

Klopp said after his side lost to Southampton: "I hear now that Manchester United had more penalties in two years than I had in five-and-a-half years.

“I’ve no idea if that's my fault, or how that can happen. But it's no excuse for the performance.

“We cannot change it, we have to respect the decisions."

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